Should I warn my abusive boyfriend’s new girlfriend?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I was abused by my ex boyfriend. He was aggressive and on drugs. We have broken up for 3 months now. I heard that he has got a new girlfriend and right now I am worried about the girl who’s dating him. I do not want history to repeat itself. I need advice on what should I do. Whether I should inform the girl or not. I’m so lost, and I hope that he won’t hurt the girl.

A: “Abuse is the weapon of the vulgar”
Samuel Griswold Goodrich

I am very sorry you had to endure abuse from your boyfriend and am glad you were able to leave. You did the right thing.

But you are going to be too enmeshed with him still if you have to track down each of his new girlfriends to warn them. How long will you follow him? This entangles you with him and depletes you of emotional resources that you will need for your own growth.

If he has done something to you that is illegal you can report that if you haven’t already. That is the most universal way of identifying an abusive person. Beyond that I would direct your attention toward therapy. Resources can be found at the top of this webpage under the “Find Help” tab.

In therapy I would try to understand the reasons you were drawn to him in the first place. This will be the best anecdote for your future relationships. As you said, you don’t want history to repeat itself.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 May 2010

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). Should I warn my abusive boyfriend’s new girlfriend?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/05/18/should-i-warn-my-abusive-boyfriends-new-girlfriend/

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