Dearly Surly Amy,
About one year ago I met a woman online. We became fond of each other and started what, even if we never met in person, has every right to be called a relationship. She wasn’t single. The man knew about me and didn’t mind; they had an “open relationship.” Eventually I learned that he used to beat her. She used to say she had nowhere to go, but that I was her escape. I finally got her to leave him. It was tough for her at first, but I did everything I could to help. Things paid off: she got a job and a house. She was proud of herself and had plans for the future. And then she gave up all that and came back with him. Because she wanted to. All this happened TWICE.
I am very angry now. I feel she trashed everything I gave her, and will do so every time. I decided I’ll not stay around to see her ruin her life. My question is: She’s smart. She’s educated. She realized their relationship was sick. Why does she keep doing this?
I have to start this out by stating something that may or may not be obvious to others but should be. It is never okay to be in an abusive relationship. Never. Domestic violence is not something that should be tolerated. If indeed this woman is being abused please let her know that even if (and I’m sorry to be harsh here) but even if she does not want to be with you original poster she shouldn’t be with an abusive partner either. I do not know what city or what country you are from but there are many local women’s shelters and safe houses set up across the United States to help people in just her situation.
She needs professional help.
If anyone is familiar with other valuable resources in their area please add them into the comments.
Now to return to Finally Frustrated’s question, “Why does she keep doing this?”
There are many reasons why people get caught in cycles of physical and psychological abuse and there are just as many reasons why people make bad decisions in relationships. There is absolutely no way, with what limited information we have, to determine the answer to that question. I’m very sorry that you feel like you were taken advantage of in some way in this relationship and I am sorry that I can’t give you a definitive answer but what is much more important here is for that woman to know that she has options whether or not you are one of them. It might also be good for you to speak with a professional therapist about your situation. Often the pain of abuse can spread far beyond the specific person being abused and talking to a therapist might help you come to terms with the feelings of frustration you have. Some of the information in the above links may prove helpful for you as well as for her.
Thanks for writing in. I hope you both find a peaceful existence and can eventually find your own personal happiness.
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