My Abusive Ex Wants Me Back

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woman at man's bedside
Did the cancer drugs make him do it, and should she forgive him?

I started a long-distance (1500 miles apart) relationship with a wonderful man in August of last year. Things were going great, but suddenly took a turn for the worse in January when he was diagnosed with cancer. I was able to take two semesters off from school to go be his caregiver. We continued to build our relationship and he constantly expressed his gratitude for my being there. Unfortunately, about a month into his treatment, he started to become verbally abusive, and began to pick fights. Months went by, and threats of hitting me turned into actually hitting me, on two occasions. I reached out to his family and friends for support, but he told them I was a crazy liar. I begged him to see a therapist, or to talk to his doctor about the medications and steroids he was on, but he refused. When he was done his last round of chemo and in remission, I ended the relationship, packed my bags and went home. We have stayed in contact, and he surprised me last weekend by driving out to visit me. He spent a few days at my apartment, and was once again the man I fell in love with. He told me that he'd told his family about the abuse, that he loved me, and that he wants to get back together. My friends think I should cut all contact with him, and that he lost his chance to be with me once he hit me. I think his behavior was caused by the drugs and steroids he was on, so my decision isn't easy. Is it really as cut-and-dry as my friends think, or can I give him a second chance?

Abused Caregiver

I agree with your friends that your ex-boyfriend lost his chance to be with you once he hit you, but I don't believe it's necessarily a cut-and-dry situation. If you'd been married, for example, or living together or even just in a long-term relationship versus one that was only a few months old (and long distance for the most part), my advice may be different. But the fact is that you really hardly knew each other when you became his full-time caregiver. It may have felt like you'd known each other forever, but truly, how much foundation had you really built together in the period between August and January when you were 1500 miles apart? Probably very little, and that's really why you should give up any thoughts of reconciling. The Frisky: I Recovered A Repressed Memory Of Abuse

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