Am I mixed up with Mr. Really Wrong?

Dear Toni-

I just finished reading some advice online that you wrote regarding what can go wrong in the early stages of relationships. My problem is about just this.

I am a 42 year old divorced female who has been dating a divorced man who is also 42 for just over 5 months. He moved in with me after we had only known each other for three weeks because he had sold his home and was staying with his folks before moving to another country, so the move to my place seemed to make sense at the time.

All was amazing between us until we had been together for 4 months and after a nothing chat we fought and he full on punched me in the face, no hesitation he meant to punch me. He went to England the next day and I packed up all his things and gave them to his folks, telling them about what had occurred. I do know that he did this before with his ex girlfriend of 4 years - but they always kissed & made up.

When he returned from his trip he expressed sorrow and regret, saw a counselor once, and told me he would do anything not to loose me. He said the meeting with the therapist was positive and he will never hit me again. Four weeks passed and I allowed him to move back in, much to the disapproval of all my friends and family. He has no friends which I find abnormal. We have now been living together for one week and I feel no respect for him. In addition to everything else, he is not earning much money which I have always associated with "losers," and I am asking myself if this is the kind of man I want in my life.

I have always been a strong and independent woman. Am I just being weak now? Is there any hope for this relationship? --In Over My Head

Dear In Over My Head--

You let him move in after knowing him only three weeks, he PUNCHED you in the face over a "nothing" chat at 4 months into the relationship, he hit his ex-girlfriend more than once, he has no friends, he is not financially stable or independent--and he saw a counselor once and now all will be just fine? I'm asking myself what more you need to experience or know about this guy in order to evaluate the rightness or wrongness of this man/relationship for you.

You asked if you are being weak, and I would say that you are acting from a place of denial. Where this denial comes from and how much of a problem it is for you in general is something I can't evaluate based on what little I know about you. I do suggest you give this some thought and consider counseling for yourself in order to better understand how this man managed to get into your life and home twice. He is abusive. Do you have a history of abusive relationships or relationships with "bad boys?" Whatever the attraction was and has been is something you need to get to the bottom of--I think when you understand that you will have no problem making better relationship decisions in the future.

In the meantime, I urge you to make a plan to get him moved out as soon as possible. Enlist the aid of your friends/family and even his parents if possible. Make sure you have back-up because he has already demonstrated his potential to cause you bodily harm when he is not happy with your behavior.

You made a mistake- don't let it become much more than that. It's only been five months, cut your losses and let this experience be something that leads you to do work on yourself. After all, no experience should be wasted.

(from April 2011)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

"Hinting about wanting to end relationship"
List of more
"Relationship Challenges"

"To love, honor and live with obesity"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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