Ex may be entering abusive relationship

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My ex girlfriend broke up with me about 4 months ago to be with some married man. It was devastating but I knew she was allowed to make up her own mind about who she wanted to be with so after practically begging her to take me back I left her alone. Now it seems they were discovered a month or so ago by the man’s wife and he was forced to call it off. I learned of this second-hand because I had not seen or talked to her in several weeks. She is now practically living with another man who had headbutted her on the nose and threw a nightstand at her hurting her finger. This was last week.

Now her sister tells me that she not only has gone back to him but she has not told her parents that he hit her and my mutual friend later told me that my ex had told her that he was drunk which I don’t know if I really believe.

She apparently has been abandoning her friends and even her family (she missed her sister’s birthday the other day because of him) her sister has also told me that he gets very jealous of my ex talking to other men. This man is also apparently taking medication for bipolar disorder had not been taking them up to the point when he hit her. Again second-hand information.

To me it sounds like she was on the rebound and got attached to someone who really is not going to treat her right.

So I don’t know what to do, she’s not my girlfriend anymore but I care for her deeply and I don’t want her to get caught up in that kind of relationship. I know she sure as hell is not going to listen to anything I or even her best friend says so I was thinking about talking to her mother to see if maybe she could talk some sense in to her daughter but I don’t know if it’s even a good idea to get involved.

A: It’s so hard to know what to do in a situation like this, isn’t it? You still care for your ex but, as you pointed out, she is entitled to be with who she wants to be with. On the other hand, it sounds like she is making choices that could result in her being seriously hurt and what you are describing with the current boyfriend is assault.

Some people may well disagree with me, but I think it’s okay not to mind our own business when someone is standing on the tracks of an approaching train. My suggestion is that you do some research and find out where there is counseling for domestic violence in your city. Contact your ex, express your concern, and give her the phone number. She may not understand that there are resources to help her.

Because you are still in your teens, I also think it’s okay to express your concern and provide the same information to her parents and her sister. If they don’t think your ex will accept help, they can make use of the services to get educated about what they might do to intervene.

Beyond that, there is little you can do but hope she comes to her senses before she gets hurt. Perhaps you can take a small comfort in knowing that you have done what you can do.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Aug 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Ex may be entering abusive relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/08/09/ex-may-be-entering-abusive-relationship/

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