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I feel ashamed and not sure if I should be in this relationship

Published on August 2, 2010 by airborne2k10

So me start off by saying that I really respect your "Is love blind?" article. The content in that article is how I view love and that is why I want to ask you this question. I think you can give me an honest and wise answer. So me and my girlfriend have been dating for a year. Shes 19 and im 18. We both have college in our future and we have said that even though college comes first, were dedicated to remaining loyal to one another. We are living on seprate campuses about an hour away. If we ever get in a disagreement we try to talk it out, in person if we can, but the problem is that she shuts down and remains silent during our 'discussion". I believe she gets this from her dad who completly ignores her when hes mad at her. Sometimes she just doesn't talk to me for multiple days. Yesterday was the tail end of one of those bouts of silence. She finally came over to my house and discuss things with me. Our discussion was about how she doesnt make decions for herself and she allows her mom to controll her life. I tried to approach it respectfully, but thats a hard thing to do. Anyways we had come to an agreement and moved on to more positive things, but I had noticed that she was cussing alot which was stange to me. She had just got done chilling with her friends and I think they cuss. Anyways, the only time I cuss is with my guy friends so it made me uncomfotaable that she was doing it. I just tried to go allong with it thinking its a part of life and its ok to cuss around your girlfriend. So I was trying to adjust to this, but it made me feel like she was partially a stranger. Anyways we were playfully debating something and just going back and forth about some topic she had discussed with her friends. Anyways, when she wins those playfull debates, she usually gets close to my face and brags about it and i just laugh and am like Ya, you won, good job. Well not this time. I was still fealing uncomfortable about feeling like I didnt realy know her, so when she got in my face I instinctively without thinking slapped her, like would push away a stranger or my brother getting in my grill. She was devistated, not because it hurt (I didnt hit her hard) but because she always told herself she could never stay with a guy who hit her. I didnt do it out of anger, just out of annoyance that she was in my zone. I felt soooo ashamed that I did it. Most everything ive ever read says that once a woman beater, always a woman beater. I just dont know if its best to stay in this relationship. Its sometimes extreamly frustrating that my girlfriend just shuts down for a couple of days. She understands that to the best of her ability why I smacked her. I told her that it was instincive and that there was no thought process, so i couldnt promise that it wouldnt happen again, and Im scared it will. I did promise her that if it ever did happen, I would end the relationship myself so shes stuck in an abusive relationship. Im just wondering if it would be better to break up now ?

ANSWERS

It sounds to me like there are a lot of things going on in your relationship. It also sounds to me like you had some pent up anger and that's what made it feel like she was "in your zone". It might have been the residual anger that triggered the slap. Honestly, I would guess you both have some growing up to do, which will probably happen naturally as you spend this year away from home and maybe away from each other. However, I am only guessing because you can't outline an entire relationship in an email.

All of that said, the most important thing here to me is the "once an abuser always an abuser" idea. Not true. You hit your girl friend. It doesn't matter why really - it happened. It's your responsibility to guarantee it never happens again. I know abusers that have committed to improving their interpersonal skills or dealing with their issues, and through that commitment have never abused again. So, I know you can do it to.

I really think you might want to put your energy on working on yourself right now. That may be a job that doesn't leave you with a lot of time or energy to devote to a relationship that's has some issues anyway. You simply might tell her that you realize how serious what happened was. You intend to work on your issues at this time outside of the relationship - and do just that.

Probably not what you wanted to here about the relationship. However, I hope it is what you want to hear about the most important thing on the table, which is you. You can change. I hope you get started.

Peace~ Lisa

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