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Why Can't I Stop Loving Him?

by Dawn
(Austin, TX)



This was my 3rd marriage and 3rd abusive relationship. It appears I keep being attracted to them and worse yet, staying with them.

I was married to my last husband for 8 years. It was good at first and he worked hard to get me to the point I wouldn't flinch when he touched me. I was so happy to have a man that cared for me, my grown children and my grandchildren.


Then slowly it began to unravel. The better it got, the more he drank and used that as an excuse for the things he did. First it was all emotional, the name calling, belittling me for my past which I had trusted him enough to tell him about.

Then it was the…I think the term is gas-lighting. Saying things then swearing he never did. Doing things that he knew I must be imagining.

Then it became physical, first just threats, then the pushing, shaking, eventually a black eye. There were times I knew it was not safe and I slept in my car or a hotel or even at work.

And he never asked where I was or why I left. He'd laugh when I cried and tell me take my "crazy pills" though I didn't take any psychiatric drugs.

Several times I asked him to leave, but then I would ask him to come back. He always did. The last time I filed for divorce because he said that was what he wanted, and I always gave him what he wanted, but it devastated me. I tried to commit suicide because I felt like I was nothing without him. I felt lonely.

But the real truth is that I am a strong, self-supporting professional woman. I took care of him, provided him with everything while he gave me nothing - not even sex. And I took that and still wanted him, still do. I know that I deserve better, I know that I am intelligent and sought after.

Yet, here I am, 10 months after he moved out and 5 months after our divorce and I still want to be with him, feel like I love him.

When and how can I stop loving him? How can I make the pain go away?

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Mar 10, 2015
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You Can Do This
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello Dawn

While you may not be thinking of yourself in this way, you are showing some of the patterns of a battered woman. The things you are saying fit the pattern completely.

Go to Battered Wife Syndrome, and that will take you to a page that will help you understand and let go of some of these patterns.

This is no short or easy matter, Dawn, but I encourage you to make up your mind to correct it, or you may find yourself entering another dysfunctional relationship down the road.

Believe in yourself, and do the work. You will succeed.

My best,

Dr. DeFoore

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