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Dear readers and forum members:

Thank you so much for the Ask April Relationship Advice Forum. What a warm and welcoming community!

Due to the demands of launching my new company, AIFI (American Initiative for Film Industry Research Institute & Development Council), I'm so sorry to say that I must suspend forum activity.

I wish you all the very best, always.

April
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In serious need of advice...

#1
Ok, before I can ask for your advice I need to give you the background. I met my ex a year and a half ago, right off the back I got pregnant, not intentionally but I still take responsibility for not using birth control. I was so afraid of his reactions, and ashamed I guess that I lied to him about it. He is the kind of person that will not give up until he finds the truth, and so he did. He is a firefighter, and thinks I wanted to get pregnant. So, he found out I lied to him about birth control, and also about my past relationships. After going back and forth, breaking up and getting back together.... under a lot of confusion I went to get an abortion. Midway through I backed down and only had half of the process done. We went to a hospital and the baby was fine until a month later. He was born premature three months, was in the NICU one Month before he past away. Eight months ago something clicked inside of me that made me realize just how my ex wanted me to try. I came from a home that had zero communication, so it was incredibly hard for me to have it with him. He was tough on me, but somehow got through. Our relationship had everything, bad communication, mental and physical abuse, anything .. you name it and it was there. I know I am to blame for so much, but at the same time while I was hurting him he has to understand he was putting me through hell also.

I began trying and tried my hardest for 8 months, those entire 8 months he was online dating, and I can't be certain but perhaps went on dates too. Since I caught him lying to me numerous times about places he was/were,ect. He always had new phone numbers...

So we broke up a month ago, and now he tells me he wants to "truly" try and make this work. that this time apart made him realize that he wants to be with me, and that I showed him how much I loved him these past few months. Problem now is I don't believe him.. he is still online dating as of right now. He says he will delete it though. I guess what I am scared of is saying I can trust you when I cant. I don't want to make the same mistake he did by having him around if I can't try. I know I can, but I will be controlling it's not healthy. However our relationship has not been healthy for over a year.

I love him, no doubt. I have lost so much weight, so much sleep. I need to feel good again, and thinking about going back with him automatically brings back all the stress. I don't want to make a wrong decision. I was truly happy with him, we have so much in common when it comes down to things. I am afraid to live in an illusion thinking things will be like they used to, even worse I am afraid to not give us that chance.

I have to get advice from an outsider, because I already know what my family will say.

Please help!

Re: In serious need of advice...

#2
First off, you cannot -- I repeat, cannot -- return to an abusive relationship. Putting aside the lies, the suspicions, the lack of trust and everything else, that one issue -- abuse (mental and physical abuse), is, in and of itself, a deal breaker. Period.

Frankly, even if there wasn't abuse... I would still suggest you "move on". You and/or he may have regrets, but that's not enough to resolve the previous problems and conflicts... and yours are very, very serious ones.

While he may be telling you what you want to hear on the one hand, while implying that you've earned another chance with him by "showing him how much you loved him these past few months" (Am I supposed to think lucky you :?: )-- what has HE actually done to demonstrate that he loves you ... or has even changed for that matter? Nothing.

Actions, actions, actions. They are all that matter.

Your new conversations may remind you of the good times and your first thoughts may be "Maybe he has changed" and "This is why I fell in love with him in the first place." But something inside you is telling you that you cannot trust him... DON'T! Listen to your instincts and stop forgetting all about the bad times.

The only way to make a relationship with your ex truly work is have dealt with the underlying issues that caused the break up in the first place. Those issues have to be resolved or the past will simply repeat itself.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.