In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
I didn’t want to expose my kids to him too much as their father and I agreed to keep our love interests low-key concerning the kids, so I respected that agreement. Soon after we started dating, my boyfriend became demanding and started sharing concerns over my ex-husband coming by to my house to visit the kids, he had issues with some of my clothes, he would get angry and start arguments without provocation, and he would make plans and then renege or not follow through. With time I saw more and more drinking take place. Was I too stupid to miss that massive red flag to begin with? Seems we see what we want to see.
I’m still somehow connected to this man – he has made me a shadow of my former self with respect to self-esteem. I somehow feel that if this alcoholic does not validate me that I’m worthless. He will tell me I’m the one with issues, will turn the tables constantly, and uses emotional callousness to make me feel shitty. Help me find my old self, escape his grasp and be done once and for all. — Hook, Line, and Sinker