Could you forgive a man who walked away on you and your kids once before? Dr. Sherry gives her best advice.
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 have recently reconciled with the father of my children after two and a half years of separation. We were together eight years before we broke up for what I thought would be for good. Over the course of the time we were separated he disappeared for a year away from myself and his children ( we have two girls together). Even though I heard rumors about him being in a relationship with another woman every time I confronted him about it be would deny it. The sad truth is as long as he did that I was cool. It was more like an out of sight out of mind type of situation. One day I called him and the woman answered the phone and hung up on me. I called back and was very upset. She got on the phone and tried to say she didn’t hang up on me but I know she did. Once it was confirmed there was a woman in his life I started feeling jealous and upset about that. I had a tumultuous relationship with this man. Every aspect of abuse you can think of. But I can’t stop loving this man. I called him and asked if he thought it was time for him to come back home. He said yes and was back within two weeks. The day before he came back I had so much anxiety. And now that he is back I cannot let go of the past I had with him or the relationship he just got out of. I do love him but I’m battling myself about the decision I made to bring him back into my life. I just don’t know what to do. Can you please give me some advice?
It seems like you can’t live with him and you can’t live without him. That is a real issue because you don’t know if you really want him but it is obvious that you don’t want anyone else to have him. My question is why? This is the man that you said abused you in every aspect you can think of. Yet, you still love him and called him to come back. Now that you got him back, you are still unhappy. Your desire to have him back is not related to love but to a need to control feel in control. Now that he is with you once again, you are reminded of the how your relationship was in the past and why you separated. You can not have it both ways. If you are willing to accept his past and likely future history of abuse, keep him around. If that is not what you want in your life, get some help in moving on. It is hard to entertain leaving him of you don’t feel good about yourself. This has nothing to do with loving him or not. It is about loving yourself. For some reason you believe that you do not deserve anymore from a man. This is a man that you have two children with and a “tumultuous ” relationship. Given that you have not indicated that neither one of you have worked through any issues, the only thing that has changed is time. I recommend that you seek individual psychotherapy to take an honest look at what is going on with you emotionally. Ask yourself, why are you willing to accept a man that you know is abusive. If your answer is love, maybe it is time to redefine what love really is. It is hard if not impossible to love someone when you do not truly love yourself. Loving yourself means that you are willing walk away from an unhealthy relationship. You deserve more but you have to make some changes to have more. — Dr Sherry
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