You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel 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…

Dear Dr. Sherry,

I have been dating this man for 7 years. Upon us entering in a relationship he had several different ladies he was dating. He asked me to move out of state, 8 hours away, so that we could start over. The night before our move he was with his ex. We moved 8 hours away from my friends and family along with my children.

Within 3 months, he started to tell me that I hold my children, 13 years and 8 years old, in high regards. He would be so angry when I helped them with simple stuff like homework or chores around the house. 5 months into the relationship he pushed me down stairs and I fractured all the bones in my ankle. I did not contact the police because he left me and moved back 8 hours to be with the lady he was with before our move. I then moved back for help with my kids because I could not walk, work or tend to my children after he caused my injury.

Upon moving back to my home state, somehow we got back together. He has been consistently stating that I love my children more. He cannot be with me and my children. He tells me that he wants me with no strings attached. What am I to do with my kids whom I love? Why can’t he accept us all? Please help me. What is he doing? Does he love me and want to be with me or does he want to ruin me? I’m not sure. 

Please bless me with advice.

Hey sis,

Let me start by answering your question “Does he love me?,” The answer is absolutely “No!” There has been no indication that he has ever loved you. He was with another woman the night before you moved and returned to her when he left. Let not forget that he left you with a broken ankle from pushing you down the stairs. Needless to say he left while you were unable to walk, work, or care for your yourself or your children. With all that, you question if he loves you. Really??  Love should not hurt you physically, verbally or emotionally. You are in an abusive relationship where you have been abused physically, emotionally and verbally. This has nothing to do with love. This is all about control. The abuse started long before you moved 8 hours away from your family and support system. He managed to separate you once from those you love and has tried to separate you emotionally from your children. He is trying to get you to choose between him and your children. For most women, their children wins hands down. Don’t be fooled into thinking that he will change or ever accept your children. The fact that he has seriously injured you before and you did not call the police sends him the message that it is ok to hurt you anytime he wants to. It is not a matter if he will physically hurt you again but a matter of when he will do it. My question to you is why do you remain in an abusive relationship. This is no longer about him but it really is about you and how you feel about yourself. 

Your children are innocent bystanders of being in an abusive relationship. You are sending them the message that abuse is ok and you are helpless to change anything. I highly recommend that you seek individual therapy to address why you accept being abused and what has happened to make you believe that you do not deserve anything more. If you want someone to treat you well and love you, you must first treat yourself well and love yourself. –Dr. Sherry

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