Wants Abuser Back

Q: I am in love with a man who mentally, physically and verbally abused me. We are not seeing each other right now, but still occasionally talk on the phone. He is seeing a therapist, has been put on meds, and wants me back. I am having a hard time forgiving him. How do I deal with it? I do want him back. -- Tammy, 44

Dr. Susan: Ever hear of the word "masochist"? How about the word "desperate"? Get yourself to a shrink (seriously) to find out WHY you want this untrustworthy fellow back. I wouldn't be in any rush to "forgive" him for so many kinds of abuse. It takes time to learn new habits, and abusive men are very slow to learn. If it were only a matter of his taking meds, that would be great, but I wouldn't trust him not to revert to his old ways. You could be risking your life. Abusers actually tend to get worse over time. It could be useful for a professional to see you together as a couple to get at some deeper issues.

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