There are dealbreakers and then there are dealbreakers—and a past history of domestic violence is a dealbreaker on a lot of people's list. Salon.com's advice columnist, Cary Tennis, fielded a question from a former abuser who's nervous about telling his new girlfriend he physically abused his ex-wife half a dozen times during their marriage. The Frisky: Helping A Friend Who's Being Hit
After divorcing, "Ex-Abuser," as he signed his letter, entered therapy and said it helped him "understand my reasons for the abuse, and the effect it had on both my wife and our relationship." Also after the divorce, he and his ex-wife went to therapy together and "the abuse was addressed and some amount of nascent healing took place." The Frisky: He Says He's Just Not Boyfriend Material
Now Ex-Abuser is in a new relationship with a woman he seems to want to spend his life with. Trouble is, he hasn't told her about his past. Not only is he afraid his new girlfriend will ditch him if she knows, but his ex-wife is threatening to spill the beans herself. And that, obviously, would be bad. The Frisky: Sometimes You Shouldn't Mind Your Own Business
Of course, Ex-Abuser should tell his girlfriend himself, but I don't think it'll go as badly as he thinks. Maybe I'll get my Feminist Card revoked for saying this, but I don't think a man's abusive past should necessarily be an automatic dealbreaker. The Frisky: MERRIme, A Web Comedy About Online Dating
I believe people can change their mentally ill ways and behave healthily again. I've met enough sober alcoholics and clean drug addicts to know that is true. A lot of factors contribute to domestic violence in a relationship, but I have faith a man can be taught how and why he controlled and abused his partner and learn not to do it again.
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