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Torn

Reader:

I've been seeing this woman in this very ill defined relationship for about four years. I've been patient with the fuzzy relationship because this person grew up in a household where she had to deal with sexual abuse, which caused her to leave home from her drug addicted mother as soon as she graduated high school. She was set up by high school boyfriend where he and a friend abused her. In her adult life The father of her three children was very physically and emotionally abusive he threatened to kill her at gunpoint on more than one occasion. Because of the abuse in the family and her mother's continued drug use there is no support system whatsoever around her. I knew her six years prior to us being involved we were just friends. Even though she lies about it I know she has seen other guys (social media tells all) but because of the parameters of our relationship and I've been on dates myself I just let it all go but now I'm starting to get tired. So on the one hand I know I'm not being treated the way that I want nor deserve to be treated but there's another part of me that continues looking at the fact this woman was dealt a really bad hand and has never really been in a position to learn how to truly trust people and have healthy loving relationships. I do love her but I am at a loss as to what to do now, I don't want to be another person that abandons her. Thoughts?

Carla Ashley:

My first thought is that you mentioned this being an "ill defined relationship", which means there have not been any titles. You've both seen other people which causes a whirlwind of other issues you did not go into. Since this has not been an exclusive relationship this has possibly also caused more frustration in her life on top of all the other things she has dealt with in her past. Is there a reason the two of you have not committed to each other in 4 years? Stability is what she may need, not the on again off again type of situation. That's a large amount of time that you can't get back.

She has children, what is your relationship with them? Do you hold a father-figure role with them? Unfortunately, they are a factor in this equation and whatever your decision is with her, you have to consider what effect this will have on the children if you have played an active role in their life and attempt to make it a smooth transition for all with communication. You haven't mentioned if you've talked with her about any of this. Does she know how you feel?

You mention bits and pieces of her past but you have not mentioned how it effects your relationship with her? Does she have trust issues with you because of her past or because you have not shown her the support that you say she doesn't have? Does she lack consistency? Have you done enough to prove yourself to her so that she knows she doesn't need to doubt your long-term/overall intent? Have you guys been loyal to each other for any period of time where's its proven that you're down for each other and others don't matter? It could be too late to consider these things but they are good questions to ask yourself. Are you simply making excuses with her past as a reason to move on and date others without the inside guilt?

If you want to see other people, then do so but be real and honest with her. No need for all that social media stalking. She obviously isn't hiding anything when she posts publicly and you are both adults. (I'm assuming) You're coming to me because you're concerned about the potential for a future together with her but honestly that decision is genuinely up to you. Only you know if she's worth staying and fighting for. A lot of details for your actual reason for wanting to leave were vague but if you truly care about each other equally, I believe it can be worked out. Are you willing?

 

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