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A gentleman I have been dating for the past 8 months and

have known him for the...
A gentleman I have been dating for the past 8 months and have known him for the past 17 years recently went back to a women who by his own account is always putting him down and verbally abuse to him. They have had an on off relationship for about 9 years. His family and friends absolutely hate this woman. They all tell me he is screwed up and extremly upset about his going back to her. They say he is on his own this time. His wife of 30 years was an awful women per their children and I knew her and she was also abusive of him. He is a gentle soul. We never fought and only had two arugments. This was an out of the blue thing to me. My problem is I don't know why he went back to her or what prompted him to do it. I feel that if she is so awful by everyones account, how bad must I be. Everyone including him say it is him not me however I cannot get past that I MUST be the worse person on the face of the earth for him to go back to her. Why do I feel so responsible and my self-esteem so low and can't get to a point to move on?
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Answered in 1 hour by:
5/8/2011
Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 358
Experience: 15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
Verified
Although I don't know enough to tell you the underlying causes of his behavior, there is one major theme that should explain. Sadly, this sounds like a man who, for some reason, has learn that in order to be loved he must also be abused.

This is common in people who were abused by their parents as a child. The child learns that the parent, who loves & takes care of them, also is the one who scolds & beats them. They indirectly learn that love & abuse must go hand in hand.

That's why people who have been abused end in up abusive relationships. Even if he wasn't abused as a child, if he had an abusive wife for 30 years...that would be enough to also explain this.

The next question is why did he stay with her that long...which is likely a long & complicated answer that cannot be answered without talking to him. It's hard to leave a a marriage...after all it's "till death do us part." Some people are also afraid to start over with someone new ("what if this is as good as it gets & the next person is worse") or afraid to be alone.

I understand that your self-esteem feels low at the moment, but likely his is worse. I don't want to guess to much, but one possibility (and there are numerous) is that he freaked out after even a couple arguments with you thinking things might get worse. Or maybe he is so down on himself that he doesn't think he deserves you. Keep in mind, that his subsconscious is likely influencing him so it's possible that he doesn't even realize all the reasons he went back to this abusive woman.

The obvious part here is that it's not your fault. All couples have arguments, so don't get too hung up on the ones you had with him. It might not hurt to try to reach out to him romantically and give it one last shot...but be prepared for the worst case scenario that he conintues to self-sabotage (consciously or subconsciously) and stays with the other abusive woman. If so, move on as best you can...life is too short & you deserve to be happy & live it to the fullest.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more feedback. Good luck & take care.
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Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.com
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago

I don't feel at this time I can reach out to him. He has done everything possible to avoid me. I understand he is probably hurting. I still can't help but feel I must really be an awful person for him to run back to her.

I guess my question now is, what if anything can I suggest to him/his family that might gently push him towards seeking appropriate help. He has been seeing someone for years however according to him they talk about sport and fishing and this dr gives him whatever drugs he wants. He needs a real councelor to help. I have already told him that no one deserves to be abused. I have told him he is a wonderful person and deserves more even if it isn't me he needs to do this for himself. I feel he knows he needs help. I was abused and did a lot of work and know it is not easy to go through and you are affraid you are going to loose yourself in the process and what will be left of what you know. How can I help him?????????

Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Above question was submitted early this morning and have not received a response.
The bot***** *****ne is he has to want to help himself...and he will only heal if he actively participates in the healing process.
You can certainly try to encourage him down that path. You could buy him self-help books on this topic or even offer to escort him to his 1st counseling appointment (which you may even want to help him find a good referral & set up the appointment).
You can also try involving his family in this process...and or writing him a letter.
Sorry for the delay, I just go back online.
The key is to be gentle & non-confrontational. Try to "normalize" the situation as much as possible with comments like "lots of people go through this." I often tell patients there is greater strength in humility to get help.
At the end of all this, you need to accept a certain amount of helplessness. Despite all your efforts, there is no guarantee that he will seek help. This, sadly, is a part of life. Try to remember that even if he doesn't, he probably still
Anything else?
______________________________________________________________________
Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.com
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Thank you for your response. The last sentence is incomplete. TRY TO REMEMBER THAT EVEN IF HE DOESN'T, HE PROBABLY STILL ???
Sorry, don't know how that happened.
He'll probably still enjoy parts of his life. And maybe even if not now, he will seek help in the future. Try to accept your own helplessness. You can only help so much & the rest his up him. To a certain extent you need to move on with your own life...it's too short to remain stressed...you deserve to be happy as does he...
Hope this helps. Take care.
______________________________________________________________________
Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.com
Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 358
Experience: 15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
Verified
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Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 358
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