Less than a year ago, I went through a nasty breakup with a man I was living with. He was emotionally and verbally abusive and made me feel like nothing I did was good enough. I'm finally in a stable place mentally, and he's been texting me a lot. Part of me knows it's not healthy to dive back into any kind of relationship with him, friendship or otherwise. The other part of me is confused all over again. Any advice?
Ex Enticed (female, 32)
Dear Ex Enticed,
My advice is that you listen to that first part of you, because she already knows what to do: Stay away from him. There's no need to even respond to his texts. If you reply to tell him not to contact you anymore, he may feel like he's getting a rise out of you, which is probably just what he wants. I'd suggest that you block his number from your phone. If he's on your social media, unfriend or delete him. I know it's extremely hard, but there's no room for confusion when abuse is part of a relationship.
People sometimes think that emotional or verbal abuse isn't really abuse, but it can cause just as much harm as physical violence. If he had been punching you, would you feel conflicted about getting back with him? Even as a friend? Maybe. But I certainly hope not.
It can take a long time to heal from emotional abuse. Less than 12 months later, your wounds are still pretty fresh. Give yourself time to rebuild your confidence and self-esteem. Surround yourself with friends and family who truly care about you. Reach out to them for support if you feel yourself being tempted to contact your ex. Stay strong and know that you are worthy of love. Especially from yourself.
Good luck and God bless,