How do I let go of my relationship without feeling tremendously guilty for not trying again?
You can look at these two
previous questions for an idea about the problems I've had in my relationship. The bottom line is that I believe that my ex (we broke up a week ago) is emotionally abusive. However, I still love him very deeply and want things to work. When I walked out, it blindsided him, and I feel a lot of guilt about not bringing my concerns to him in a respective, open, and honest way.*
If I look at a list of abusive behaviors, he's done almost all of them at some point or another in our relationship. Things were getting better, but I think that was mostly because I had stopped causing fights by expressing myself and my feelings - as in, I was acting the way he wanted, so we were having fewer bad incidents. However, he did conduct himself better than he had in the past during these arguments/incidents - so I do think things were getting a bit better on his end, too.
I know about the cycle of violence
, and so I'm trying to be rational about this. But I love him, and I want him to change - for himself just as much as for me. He's finally agreed to couples counseling, and he has apologized for making me feel small and sad and scared. I feel like I'm damned if I try and I'm damned if I stay: this is really, really hard for me.
I'm in therapy, which helps, but my therapist is on vacation for the next two weeks. She set me up with someone I can speak with in a crisis, which is really great, but I feel kind of lost. I feel like a failure if I don't try again. If I try again, I'll be certain that it was wrong if it doesn't work out; if I don't, I'll never know if I did the right thing.
What do I do? Should I try again? If not, how can I forgive myself and be kind to myself in this time of great turmoil?
* We had a fight, and when he started swearing and calling me names and getting in my face I just walked out and spent the night in a hotel. This was a big shock, and a few days later, after we had still been fighting (and he continued to yell and call names and discount my feelings) I told him that I didn't want to be in the relationship anymore. I haven't been home since.