I am not a violent person. I wanted to know if anyone who considers them self nonviolent has been in a violent relationship or used violence in a relationship.
posted by anonymous to human relations (46 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Background - A while ago I put up a post related to my girlfriends cheating. She asked me to take it down and I have since had it removed. To make a long story short, she had 2 lives and was dating someone else during the entire first 3 years of our relationship. He was her boyfriend for a total of 8 years. I was the other guy that never knew. Anyway I changed my life for this person which included leaving my job, moving from another country, moving into her apartment, etc. As you can imagine I was pretty upset with the whole thing. From about a year prior to discovering the truth I had strong suspicions that things were not as she was telling me. This part is complicated and for the sake of being concise, I will just leave it there. In the past other people have told me that I must have known. All I can say is that she did everything she could to protect her secret. When the story finally broke (I broke it by waiting outside all night and catching her with him) everyone went their separate ways. He left her for good, and she left me and told me I had ruined her life.
Over the next months I missed her like crazy. I went away on vacation for a while to try to escape the whole thing but even there she was still the focus of my thoughts. Despite all the good advice I had received from my friends, family, the metafilter community, I began to push her to try again. At that point I had invested so much (and honestly before having suspicions, this was in the best relationship of my life and I was ready to marry this person) and I only thought it reasonable to give things another try. This would be the first real chance we had ever had. During the month apart and early into the restart, she explained to me that what had happened was a terrible mistake, one that she hated the whole time and that she couldn’t get out of. She met me while traveling, cheated on her BF with me, and over time began to fall in love with me. Ultimately she ended up loving 2 people and was incapable of leaving either of us. She didn’t want to hurt anyone. This was not the person she wanted to be and she was seeing someone to help her be that person and come to grips with what she had done. I went for the story however over the next months began to doubt if it was quite as simple as she explained things. For example, the consequences for me to be with her (i.e. moving and leaving my job) under false pretence, presented such a great risk to my life and livelihood that her love for me should have helped her to make a hard but correct decision. If you truly love someone as she said she did with me, you would never put them in a position where your actions could have negative consequences on them. In fact it should be exactly the opposite. There were times that I thought I would do anything for this person if it meant making her life better, shouldn’t she do the same for me?
To the point – In the end we got back together however it was never easy, we didn’t trust each other, there were things she was asking for that were not in line with what she said she wanted to be. For example we agreed to go see a dr together - this never happened. We agreed that we would begin to integrate our friends, something which was partly missing during the first round of our relationship– never happened. To make a long story short after about 2 months we agreed that we had tried to restart too soon, and we would take a 1 month break to reassess the situation. This is more complicated than it sounds because there was an official break up, then promises of fidelity during the break, conversations about how much we missed each other during the break, sex, etc. Basically it was clear that things were unclear but really hadn’t moved forward.
I made a big mistake – Early in the break I fooled around with a girl at a wedding. Not to make excuses for myself but this was the first time I had been with another woman since we were together. I went to this wedding alone, I was confused by all the mixed signals that I had received from my GF, I was tired of being alone and never having 100% of the other person. This was a meaningless encounter at the time, however during the month I began to develop a friendship with this girl. She lives in CA and I’m in NY and we began speaking on a nearly daily basis. We have lots of friends in common and it was easy to stay in touch. I guess I began replacing my GF with this new person but at the same time mostly wishing that my girlfriend was this person and would just be there for me like she once was, as this girl was. I also used this girl as a sounding board for my frustration with my GF. At the same time there was a lot happening in my life. I had just started a job after having been unemployed for 6 months, my mother had been admitted for heart surgery, I was ill for a few days, and my GF was pulling further and further away. She was frequently not sleeping at home (said she was sleeping at a sick friends house to comfort her), often not answering her calls, but still contending that she was alone and this was a break.
Last week, my GF found out that I was talking to a new person and planning a trip to meet her. She asked me and I told her. Rightfully so, I got hell for this. She told me if I went she would never speak to me again. She called me every name in the book and hit me a few times. She was understandably very upset. What I had done was wrong and my actions were completely opposite from what I had been saying to her. I canceled my trip and thought that maybe we could finally start things again. On equal terms. I was susceptible to a similar dishonesty that she was.
Over the next days she got better, instead of F U you sicko, it became I’m angry at you sweetheart. She was upset and said she needed time. I continued apologizing profusely and told her how I really felt. That this was an honest mistake and that I just missed her and didn’t want to start anything with anyone else. On the third night she called me to check in and tell me that she was going for drinks with some friends and that we could meet the next day to talk about things. And not to worry she was with friends… She forgot to hang up her phone. Over the next 20 minutes I listened to her go back to someone’s house to sleep with him… Not the old guy but a new one. One that she had once introduced me to as her friend. She had been sleeping with him for nearly, as far as I know, the whole month we were off. And possibly earlier.
The next day I went to get my things from her house. Honestly I was just looking for some kind of an explanation and a place to vent my anger. It was a surreal experience and I can’t really remember much of what happened. It might have lasted 5 minutes or 5 hours. I don’t really know. I had a mix of emotions ranging from wanting to hurt her, to wanting to be with her. During our discussion, I screamed at her and called her every name you can think of, I tried to get her to sleep with me, I destroyed some of the gifts that I had given her that were in the room, I told her I loved her, etc. It was a mess but worst of all, I slapped her in the face 4 or 5 times, not hard enough to leave a mark but hard enough that it stung. I have never hit anyone first in my life before.
I have been speaking to a therapist about what has happened. I am extremely disappointed in myself and scared of myself for what I did to her. I don’t really care what a person does but violence is not the answer. I have cried over this at times. My last image of her is her crying and telling me to please not to slap her again. It hurts me like hell. This was the person I loved more than anything in my life and now I am hitting that person. I’m not really sure what my question is but I mostly worried that I will do something like this again? The more I think of the situation, the more I realize that from the moment I first saw her that day, I was physically intimidating. I was in her face, looming, etc. I guess I used the last advantage that I had over her. I am not a violent person but I have done violence. I’m having trouble coming to grips with this. Any commentary would be greatly appreciated. Steps for the future. I can never do anything like this again.