He has shown nothing but remorse for everything that happened, and acts committed to improving himself in order to make our relationship work. Over the last few years he has said I have always been the only woman for him and he would do anything to spend his life with me. I, however, don’t believe in soulmates – I am a bit cynical and have trouble saying he’s “the one.”
This seems like a pretty cut and dry MOA situation, but I have never felt this way about someone. We have the same interests, motivations and goals in life and have always been very attracted to each other. I have tried dating other people but my mind and my heart always goes back to him. Many
people have told me never to give him another chance after what he did that night, and that someone who loves me would never hurt me, but I don’t see it as simple as that. Other than his temper, he is very caring, goes out of his way constantly to help me, and we enjoy our time together–but he does have communication issues when it comes to making me feel appreciated.
I know there is no excuse for abuse, but he does have anger issues stemming from an abusive childhood, and, with his commitment to making positive changes, I decided to give him another chance. We have been back together for about four months after a long break, but he sometimes loses his temper a bit (though never gets violent).
How do you think I should move forward with this? He wants to move in together in October when my lease is up, and I think it’s a long enough time away that we can continue to improve our relationship and personal issues. Would couples’ counseling be worth it even though we aren’t married or living together yet? Can an abuser ever be “fixed”? Everyone I talk to about this is biased one way or the other, so a neutral opinion – even some tough words – would be greatly appreciated. — Seeking Tough Love
If someone has been abusive to you in the past, has trouble communicating with you, and has continued to lose his temper and exhibit signs of unresolved anger issues, he is NOT — I repeat, NOT — someone you should be involved with, let alone considering moving in with. Couples’ counseling might be a fine idea if you had years and years invested, were already married, and/or had kids together. But you’ve been back together with this guy for all of four months and still have enough doubts to write to an advice columnist for some unbiased guidance. Do yourself a favor and break things off before it gets messy. By my calculations you’re in your late 20s now. It’s that age where you still have plenty of time to meet someone to build a life and family with if that’s what you want, but you aren’t so young that you can afford to invest years in a relationship that doesn’t have a future. There are many signs here that your relationship is destined for heartache and worse. Save yourself the agony of repeated abuse and give yourself the gift of time — time to start over with someone who doesn’t bring the same kind of baggage into your relationship that your current boyfriend does.
This has nothing to do with love. Someone can love you and still have personal demons that keep him from loving you the way you need to be loved. In that sense, you are right that this is complicated. Love sometimes is. But this isn’t a novel or some romantic movie where you can help your boyfriend fight his demons and win the war against them forever so he’s able to give you the kind of relationship you want. It rarely works that way in real life. In real life, someone can love you and you can love him and that doesn’t mean you’re right for each other or that your bond erases the bad stuff between you enough for you to be happy together.
The truth is you may find you never can forget your boyfriend. You may end up comparing all future dates and boyfriends to him, and for a while it may seem that no one stacks up. That doesn’t mean he was who you’re meant to be with. It doesn’t even mean that in time you won’t move him to some place in the back of your mind and a corner of your heart reserved for memories and ghosts of your past that no longer affect your present life. For all you know, there may be great loves in your future, and you’ll thank yourself for the opportunity to find them. You’ll thank yourself for making room in your life and your heart and for clearing away that which ceased guiding you to all the fulfillment and happiness you deserved to have. You’ll never know the great love you could have if you keep holding on to a fantasy that will never be.
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