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Abusive Ex is in an Abusive Relationship...???

I broke up with him about four years ago. Pretty typical emotional and physical abuse. No broken skin or bones, but a few bruises. I won't get into detail because that's not the point.


He started emailing me very recently, told me some sad things about his life, and we began a communication that has evolved into him apologizing in a way that makes me feel great, you know? He's not asking for forgiveness, just wants to let me know what a jerk he knows he is. Awesome.


I JUST got out of another abusive relationship and I guess I'm emotionally vulnerable. This last one was easier and I guess I'm learning but I've just caught myself because I'm starting to have stupid thoughts about the new improved apologetic abuser.


Today he wrote me again and told me that he has been in an abusive relationship and it has escalated to the point where he fears for his life since she moved in about a week ago. His email is dripping with humiliation and shame. I feel awful for him.


I write him back and tell him what I think is pretty sound advice to anyone in an abusive relationship. Then I stop to ask myself how far I would go to help this person who has shown no real proof to me that he truly has changed from when I last saw him four years ago.


I'm a big softie and my first instinct was to tell him I'd go and fight her off if I had to. I didn't tell him that. But... what is wrong with me?


I think this is the point at which I should put my head on straight, quit feeling so sorry for him and keep contact with him limited. I just moved back to the same state as him and though it would be difficult to see him in person, it's now much more possible. I just got out of a relationship and I'm already having fantasies about sleeping with him because the sex, from what I remember, was pretty awesome. He is still heroin to me, apparently.


Somebody tell me how to not become too involved. I know I don't need to get back with him. I gave him my phone number oh no. Smiley Sad

Re: Abusive Ex is in an Abusive Relationship...???

Hey @alfredthefairy - you've been through so much and you strike me as someone with a lot of strength and a lot of self-awareness and insight.

I think it's a good thing that you're catching your thoughts and questioning them - it's very difficult to unlearn everything that's happened in your two abusive relationships and as you've so recently come out of another abusive relationship it makes sense that your thinking is cloudy.

I'd really love for you to chat with through with an online counselor who specializes in abusive relationships. It's free and they won't judge you or tell you what to do but they will help you work through a course of action that feels comfortable for you.

You can webchat or call, 24 hours a day to talk through your options.

Check it out here:

Online Community Manager

Re: Abusive Ex is in an Abusive Relationship...???

Thank you so much @Sophie-RO very appreciated!!!

Re: Abusive Ex is in an Abusive Relationship...???

Hi @alfredthefairy, welcome to ReachOut. There are a lot of similarities in your story to a recent experience of mine except, like Sophie said, there is a lot of strength and self-awareness in your words. I found that questioning myself, and the information being presented to me, really came a bit late so it is inspiring to see you doing this in difficult circumstances.


Talking to someone about your experience is really important. It's easier to talk about all the parts of your relationship with someone who won't judge than picking only pieces to tell your friends about. From my experience the other thing that I found very helpful was to spend a lot of time focusing back on me. RO has a good article on self-care that may help you feel centred again.


Remember it is ok to want to help and be generous with our care for others, but sometimes not all demands for our attention need to be met.


Keep going Smiley Happy

Re: Abusive Ex is in an Abusive Relationship...???

Thank you thank you- @Kit I have been talking to my friends about it because I know it is a tendancy of mine to isolate myself when it comes to these particular relationships. I got some good feedback. Some of my friends are questioning if he is even telling the truth which now I realize is a huge possibility. He called me like five times in a row tonight and I just let it riiiiing and didn't even feel bad. There are better, much more worthwhile people in the world that I could be meeting and I am not wasting one more moment on him. He had his chance. Moooooving on. Not looking back Smiley Happy The encouragement helps! I will be focusing on my self, thanks for the link.

Re: Abusive Ex is in an Abusive Relationship...???

Hi @alfredthefairy, thank you for having the strength and self-awareness to share this. There may be others on Reach Out who have gone through similar experiences and aren't ready to discuss it or aren't sure what to do, and reading this could really help them a lot. 


It's awesome to hear that you've got such a supportive group of friends and I'm so happy for you for making a decision that makes you happy, and that's moving on!