- Dr. Love's Appearances
- Love Library
She Lets Her Ex Continue to Abuse Her
May 26, 2007 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Dr. Turndorf, I really need your help.
I've been in a relationship with a woman for almost a year now who has been in abusive relationship (physical/ emotional) in the past. I really love her and want this relationship to work out.
She has a child with one of the of the abusers. She doesn't quite know how to pull away from him. He's using the child as the bait to continue his control.
I did some research for her in the past and she recognized the symptoms/patterns. She changes her ways after recognizing the problem but shortly goes back to her old self again. Her putting up with the abuser.
Please, help. . . I just don't know what to do anymore. How can I help her out without her being defensive?
I completely understand your predicament. You want her to feel like you're on her side rather than blaming her for always falling back into the same old unhealthy habits.
Tell her that you love her and want to help her to free herself from the manipulations of her abusive ex. Tell her that your wish to understand her led you to reach out to me. Tell her that I explained that when a person is drawn to abusers it's because he/she is trying to work out a relationship with an abusive parent.
I recommend that she use my Personality Profile, which will pinpoint the exact wound she suffered as a child and guide her on how to begin to set limits and separate from an abuser. As she becomes more self-aware, she's going to discover that she returns to the abusive ex in the hopes that this time around she can succeed in being loved not abused.
That's what she hoped would happen with her abusive parent. And this explains why she keeps going back for more hoping that this time the outcome will be different. What's more, all abused children believe that it's their fault that they're being abused. As a consequence, they passively accept the abuse and reward the abuser by being always more 'good' or compliant.
The fantasy being that one day the abuser will wake up and see how good and obedient he/she is and reward them with love. Of course this pattern never works. Compliant behavior just encourages the abuser to continue the abuse.
I've given you a brief explanation of why it's so hard for her to break free of her ways. Giving up an abuser feels like giving up all hope of making it right with the parent who harmed her. She's going to need to feel all kinds of feelings, hurt, anger, disappointment, etc. in order to heal and let go.
My Personality Profile will guide her on how to do this.
Join the Love Revolution
and get your free gift!
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book provides a down-to-earth, easy to apply, proven method for creating relationship harmony. This book should be mandatory reading for every couple that wants to head-off or resolve the inevitable relationship conflicts and build lasting love. Buy this book and put it to use!”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show