Head or Heart ???

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Head or Heart ???

Postby DVMagnet2018 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:00 pm

Hi i am new to forums and such alike, but i am really struggling to make the right decision ....

Ill start with the background of the current issue;

for 4 years from 2012 until 2016 i was in a relationship with a guy who abused me both emotionally and physically. we had a son, who is now 4 and a half years old. my son is suffering trauma from the incidents he was witness to. After my ex attempted to strangle me in November 2016, and my son seeing this, i obtained a non molestation order against him and neither of us have seen him since. The relationship was toxic and i only stayed with him because he made me think i had no other choice, now i know that i did and i regret taking action against him sooner. He was bad coke addict and would take it daily, without me knowing, which intensified the abuse.

fast forward to April 2017 and i meet a guy who seems to be too good to be true, he is amazing, loves me, looks after me, and loves my children too despite their behavioural issues and we get on, better than ever. We are best friends. It quickly got serious and by November 2017 we had moved in together, so as to not miss the opportunity of moving in to a nicer, larger house that a friend was renting out. This took its toll on our relationship, and finances. We persevered and had the odd argument which was always over with and forgiven within a matter of hours. After the Christmas period the pressure increased and we found problem after problem occurring, my health including my mental health suffered, we had further financial issues due to the weather and his inability to work (as a bricklayer). The arguments and disagreements got more and more often and our tolerance of one another began to shorten. But still, despite this, we loved each other and still had the closeness we always had.

Over the past few weeks however, i felt a distance between us. i have been paranoid thinking he was cheating on me and spouting accusations, he began drinking in the house during the week, and i have been accusing him of being just like my ex partner. i seem to relate everything back to my experience with my ex partner and i am terrified of making the same mistakes again.

this weekend i found some cocaine in my partners jeans pocket as i was doing the washing, i instantly flew off the handle. i flushed the drugs down the toilet and went to confront him, he was being grumpy and horrible with me anyways, and now it made sense, id seen it all before, he was on a come down. As i confronted him he slapped me across the face and grabbed me, shouting in my face that i am the reason he takes it, that i constantly make him feel like he isn't good enough and he has been using cocaine to keep him from sinking in to a depression for the past few weeks .... i have never felt so broken, never in a million years would i have ever imagined that he could do anything like that to hurt me, but at the same time i was also guilty and devastated that i could make him feel so bad that he feels the need to turn to drugs.

The argument intensified and we both said some very hurtful and disgusting things to each other that can never be taken back, i was so hurt and so scared that i had made the same mistake again with my new partner that I rang my mum in tears and asked for her help, she told the entire family, victimising my partner and insisting that i am to throw him out and never look back. at the time, that completely made sense and my head was dead set on it being over, as was he at this point. my mum and family are now strongly against our relationship continuing, and say that it will have a negative effect on the children if it continues. one family member has even threatened to report me to social services if i continue my relationship with him.

after a day and time to think we both got in touch with each other, he apologised profusely and insisted that he would get help for the cocaine and go to anger management to make sure he will never hurt me again. he insists that he is disgusted and ashamed of himself and had lost his way. at the moment i have not decided on whether i am prepared to give him a second chance, i am very confused and conflicted about how i feel, my family has pressured their thoughts and feelings on me, i am not sure which thoughts and feelings are theirs and which are mine. my family are dismissing any of my feelings or reasoning, and just telling me what i should do. I know that they are looking out for me, and have mine and my children's best interests at heart, but i cant help feeling that they don't understand and they're not willing to listen to how i feel. My mum says i am stupid.

i have made lists, pro, cons, solutions, reasons to stay together, reasons to split up, and on paper the best option is to stay together but only on the condition that there is a 100% chance that what happened at the weekend never happens again ..... i just don't know whether i can trust that!!

No matter what happened, i still love him, and i deep down do believe that it was massively out of character of him. but can i risk losing the support of my family? or risk my children and myself being exposed to the same stuff we have experienced in the past?

There are a lot of questions, if's, but's and maybe's there .... its a minefield, but can anyone help me get out of the mine field un-harmed and able to make the right decision.

What would you do? or what advice would you give?

Thank you
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Re: Head or Heart ???

Postby stephie2 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:28 am

I am sorry to say this but once someone hit then that is where I would be gone. Violence is never ok whether in anger or a loss of control. Furthermore drugs is never an answer and again it would make me get out of there.

You have children to think of. Is it fair for them to see violence and drug taking even more so when they have had such a traumatic past?

I would sit and think about this one and not just about you but your children too!
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Re: Head or Heart ???

Postby boulding » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:41 am

Hi
This is a very distressing situation you find yourself in and I feel for you.
However the first thing you need to do is reject the guilt he is trying to put on you. You didn’t chain him to a radiator and force the drugs down his throat. He took cocaine because he decided to do so. The defence that “she pushed me into to doing it” is the oldest trick in the book and just a very cowardly excuse. You need to make it plain to him that he must take responsibility for his actions and seek help. That means doing it not just talking about it.

You have pressure from all sides so the best thing is not to make any decision at the moment. Your family have legitimate concerns for you and your children and you need to reassure them that you will not put yourself or your children at risk. You seem to have strong emotional ties to this man so I think you need to meet him on neutral ground and make it clear that he needs to address his drug problems and his anger and take responsibility for his behaviour. Tell him you want to remain friends but you are not prepared to make any commitment to this relationship until you see signs that he is changing his behaviour. People can come off drugs, people can manage their anger but they have to actually do it and not just make excuses and promises.
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Re: Head or Heart ???

Postby snail » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:46 am

DVMagnet2018 wrote: April 2017 and i meet a guy


It's March 2018 now. This has all happened in the first year of your relationship - what should be the honeymoon period.

I'm afraid when I read your post I felt I agreed with your family. Violence and drug-taking together are too serious to risk, where there are children involved. Worse, he blamed you for what he was doing. This isn't a long-term relationship where the other person has gradually developed problems and you owe it to them to stick by them, it's still a new one.

You say your family are dismissive of your reasoning, but you haven't really explained what that is, except that you don't want the relationship to be over. Given the similarities between this man and your previous one - cocaine and violence are not at all common and yet you've had two men who do this one after the other - I would definitely take some time away from him for a while.
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

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Re: Head or Heart ???

Postby DVMagnet2018 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:04 am

Thank you for your responses, i really appreciate it. You have just reiterated what my family are saying. I can't say that i don't agree with my family because i do, based on past experience they are right to have those concerns, however, they are not the same person, the circumstances are completely different. My ex was a horrible person when he was sober and off drugs, my current partner has never treated me like that until this weekend. I know we have only been together for a year, however, it has been a very intense relationship and we have done stuff quickly, it seems like we have been together forever. so what has happened at the weekend has sent my anxiety out of control and i am struggling to make sense of it all because its completely out of character.

in a strange way i am thinking of the children by considering giving him another chance because they have such a strong bond and relationship, he has had such a positive influence on them, they are heartbroken now he has gone and cry for him every night. They have already experienced loss of someone they loved and it has affected them negatively, i don't want to have to turn their world upside down once again, move house and change their routine and consistency ... because IF he can get off the drugs MAYBE it would be good again ????? BUT, IF he doesn't it will be an absolute disaster!! .. i am second guessing any thought i have and i am going round in circles. no mater what decision i make, i will never be 100% certain of the outcome unless i have a crystal ball.

We have not spoken for a few days now and the way we left it is that he said he was disgusted with himself and he was sorry, he told me he was seeking support services to help him with the drugs and wanting to access some anger management counselling. He said he has also been to the doctors to address his low mood and why he feels to need to turn to drugs. The way i have left it is that i have said he needs to focus on himself and do it for him and i hope he is able to get better. i am also seeking counselling to deal with what has happened to me in the past and to help reduce my anxiety. He is hoping that if he gets help and gets better i will be able to forgive him and give him another chance, I've told him this isn't something i can promise at the moment because as much i want to and want to believe that he can, I'm scared of making a mistake, affecting my children and losing the support of my family in the process.

i'm torn between my head and my heart, which one do i follow?

i suppose i'm just gonna have to go with my gut and hope for the best ....

Thank you
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Re: Head or Heart ???

Postby stephie2 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:37 am

I do think you need to take a step back and let him show you that he is getting the help he needs. You have made the right decision in dealing with your past too as this will help in the future for you to move forward and learn from the past events.

My friend once said a very wise thing to me - "First time a victim, second time a volunteer". Never put up with anything derogatory and harmful. You have to respect yourself and protect your children too.
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Re: Head or Heart ???

Postby DVMagnet2018 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:02 am

Yes i agree, i have even helped him to get in to contact with a therapist and then left him to it, its now up to him to get the help he needs and see it through. Even if we don't sort things out further down the line, i do still care a lot and hope that he can make the change for himself and his future. For now i am going to focus on my self and hopefully i can get my head straight. I hate being thought of as a victim and i refuse to let myself and my children get into a situation where we are in that position again. Having had a few days to figure things out and listening to different perspectives, especially those that do not know us, has really helped me to make a decision. Thank you all very much. x
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Re: Head or Heart ???

Postby Tarantula » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:29 am

'i refuse to let myself and my children get into a situation where we are in that position again.'

If you mean that, then staying in this relationship is not an option. That is the hard, hard, SO VERY HARD truth of the matter.

The best thing you can do, the very best thing, for yourself and for your children, if you truly do put them first, put them ABOVE your need to be in this relationship... is tell him you need a period of no contact (three months at LEAST) to figure out things from your side, and to give him space to heal himself.

You cannot do this work together, because you will only be inviting MORE OF THE SAME.

The choice you face here is comparable to the choice he faced when he was feeling bad and the cocaine was an option. Your behaviour is an addiction. You know what you need to do, but you are driven by emotional programming which is BEYOND your control and which is making your life UNMANAGEABLE.

About him: He probably has genuine intentions at this point. He genuinely wants to change. Unlike your family probably, I don't necessarily think he is a 'bad person' - I think he is a person who has done bad and, in my opinion, unforgivable things to you, because he was driven by the VERY SAME uncontrollable emotional urges that drive you straight back to him.

A stable, kind man who wouldn't dream of hitting a woman simply wouldn't interest you. Such a man wouldn't be dancing the same dance that you need in order to feel attraction. You can say that this guy was unbelievably different, but I'm not convinced of that. I think if you were to look back on the relationship a bit more clearly... were there not any signs that he could be the same person in a different outfit? Perhaps not as severe as your ex, but... similar melody? And even if not, then - was this guy really so magical, or was he simply, not as abusive as your ex? And even if he really WAS magical wonderful stable secure loving loyal supportive and fun... this is still a young relationship. If he's doing this now, and you go back to him, what will he be like in another year? Five? Ten?

So about you: your username says it all. DV magnet. This doesn't happen by coincidence. For you to be attracting these types of men to you, you are sending out certain signals that play into their expectations as much as they play into yours. You might SAY you want a good, stable, non-abusive man... just like a fat person says they want to get thin, but continues to overeat. Just like a coke addict says they want to quit (and they mean it, when they say it), but give up every time and go back.

In the end, there is a huge disparity between what you SAY you want for yourself and your kids, and the REALITY that, even today, you're probably tapping out a text message and agreeing to meet up to 'talk things through'. Like an alcoholic saying 'I'm only to the brewery to VISIT.'

I'm not trying to shame you, but I want you to admit you have a problem here and that you are not in control. You cannot control the overwhelming drive to be with him, and it doesn't matter what any of us can say. You can understand how that's frustrating for your family.

But your family are probably somewhat responsible for how you ended up like this. Going deep now!

There are things you have suffered, in your life, that have made you the way you are. This is true for everyone, and the men we choose, in a way, are like a map of ourselves. We unconsciously look for men who will recreate the same struggles we experienced as children. For you, your relationship (or not) with your father will have some bearing on the men you choose. The abuse or neglect you suffered, or perhaps seeing a parent struggle with an addiction, or perhaps an early bereavement - whatever your particular painful experiences are now determining the men you choose.

So in a way, you're not even making the choice. Your demons are deciding for you.

No one wants to suffer. But you feel a certain familiarity when he got angry, when you got beaten, when you were again in this position of trying to CHANGE him, no matter how much clear it became that he is NOT going to change.

Until you stop playing out the same old track, and focus inwards and begin to unravel all this repressed pain, you will continue making the same choices. And your children will learn from your example. You are showing them what a relationship should be. And they will carry on the tradition.

If you want to change this, which is hard, courageous and totally necessary, then you must take a break from him and ideally all men, for some time, go to therapy, join Co-Dependents Anonymous, get support, distance yourself from the people who shaped your expectations of men so that you can think outside of the family 'bubble' and do all the thing you know deep down you need to do.

This work is hard. Going back to him is easy. But when you stop and realise that you are suffering from addictive behaviour JUST AS MUCH as they do - and you realise you can't stop it without extra support - then it becomes a bit easier. Give up the notion of control. You are not in control. If you were in control, then you would not go back to him because you know, logically and rationally, that it's a bad decision. You FEEL it's a good decision, but you KNOW it's a bad decision.

You said it was head vs heart. It's not. This is head vs childhood suffering and maladaptive behaviour. Heart has nothing to do with it. This isn't love, this is addiction. It was caused by pain. Only addressing the pain, and feeling it, and acknowledging the time in your life when you really were a victim, and din't have a choice, and suffered greatly, can help you to stop being a victim now, as an adult.

If this message pushes you even 1% closer to clarity then good. I'm only telling you what your wise self already knows anyway. Let that part of you take the lead for a change.
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