You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
I am a 24 year's old and the mother of 1-year-old twins boys and a six month old son. I have a full time job and I go to school online too. My ex and I were together for four years and now we are just co-parenting. I admit our relationship was unhealthy. We argued, made up and then argued and made up again. At times I even felt unsafe around him. He used to grab me, pull me and corner me. He threatened me many times, even when I was eight months pregnant with my third child. I got out of that relationship with the help and support of my mother.
Now, 10 months later, he calls every once in a while to tell me how he is going to counseling and trying to change his ways. For the first time in 10 months he actually bought food for our sons. I do everything and I did everything when we were together even when he lost his job and I was pregnant. Now I’m slowly moving on, but for some reason I am still thinking of him and feeling bad because I know he is in a bad place and I'm struggling to get my head right for me.
I met a guy I work with who makes me feel like a real woman. He takes me to dinners and makes me laugh and it seems like he could actually providea great future if thing headed that way. The thing is, I'm nervous because I am not ready to commit and somehow I feel like I should be with my sons’ father.
I don’t know what to do or how to move on. I don’t even know if I should move on. I believe because of the kids I feel like I should still try to make it work, especially if he’s making new effort, but then again, I know going back can be the biggest mistake. I’m not sure he will change. How do I get my head right for my family’s sake?
A Young Mother
I am glad that you are able to acknowledge that your relationship with your ex was unhealthy and that you physically moved out. Unfortunately, your relationship was and continues to be unhealthy. Despite the fact that your relationship has been abusive, you have not let go. Yes, you moved out physically but it seems you’ve stuck around emotionally. If you don't deal with these issues, you just pack them up and move them to a new address.
Your ex's problems are his problems not yours. It is great that he is seeking help but that is not your issue. Your issue is that you are the mother of three young children by a man that has been abusive to you and unable to take care of himself or his family. You seem more concerned with taking care of his needs than your own needs. This is quite unhealthy. You must separate your issues from his. Although you owe him nothing, you can be responsive to him without being responsible for him.
You have allowed your ex to become your fourth child. You actually seemed surprised that he bought food for his children after 10 months. Really?! What does he offer you or your children? You must asked yourself, "Why am I holding on to him? " Remember, you can do bad all by yourself, sis. You must look inward and take a deep breath to get ready to move forward. Moving forward does not mean running to another man. It is okay to be friends but I would warn you not to jump into another relationship with anyone right now. Allow yourself time to heal emotionally. I would recommend that you seek individual psychotherapy to help process your feelings and work through issues. You must believe in yourself and be ready to move on. You desire more in life; I know it! Best of luck. – Dr. Sherry
Email us your questions for Dr. Sherry now and be sure to include "Ask Dr. Sherry" in the subject line.