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When Is It Time To Throw In The Towel?

by Kyrsten

Time To Break The Cycle Of Abuse

Time To Break The Cycle Of Abuse

My boyfriend and I have been together for the last year and a half. Our relationship had a very rocky start. In the beginning he was showing signs of being emotionally abusive but by the time I caught on, it had been only months of being together when we found out we were expecting a baby. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was put through the ringer with endless stress and worry. Every other month he was kicking me out of our house and I was constantly having to pack my things to move back in with my mother. At 32 weeks I went into labor early with my daughter, and after a series of very unfortunate events she passed away at 4 days old. The two of us were just absolutely destroyed over it.

Things were going very well with our relationship after the first month of losing our daughter and we were being very supportive of each other. But soon after, we were engaged in a physical fight where he ended up slamming my head into the ground and was arrested that night for domestic abuse.

Shortly after, he started therapy and began taking medication for severe depression and we thought that would help. Unfortunately, we broke up for three months after that. No contact at all until recently.

We decided to rekindle things and I thought things were going to change because he started his medication. But some of the same patterns are beginning again and I'm worried.

I told him today that he's an abusive person and that it's something I can't help him with and that I need to take some time away to sort myself out. He agreed to talk to his therapist about it but I don't know what good that will do.

Can an abusive person change? It's already causing so much conflict with my friends and family and I don't know what to do anymore.

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May 02, 2016
Please Take Care Of Yourself
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Krysten - You already know what is right to do. You told your boyfriend that you can't help him, and you're right.

You also asked if an abusive person can get better. The answer is yes...but it rarely happens. Most abusive people continue to be abusive, unfortunately.

And, if they do get better, it's only after many years of a particular type of therapy, which is not always available or affordable.

While the decision remains yours, it seems very clear that you need to be away from this man. You are caught in an abused woman syndrome, and that's why you keep hoping things will get better and reconciling with this man. It's time for that to stop.

I'm sure you will make a good decision and get some help for yourself, so that you don't repeat this pattern with another abusive person down the road.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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