Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dear Brookey...

Dear Brookey,

I’ve fallen for a great guy and I’m totally in love with him. He’s kind, generous, intelligent, motivated and treats me well. He has no children, but he was married once before. We are discussing marriage, and I have a feeling he’s going to propose soon, but I’m skeptical for 2 huge reasons - the first reason being he admitted to hitting his ex wife. The second reason is he also admitted to cheating on her once before as well. I know those are two HUGE reasons to be careful, but his marriage ended over 10 years ago and he says he has sought help to deal with his past actions. I simply can’t even imagine such a gentle and caring man doing those things in his past, which makes me think he has overcome those demons. Am I naive for believing in my heart that he’d never do those things to me, especially since I haven’t witnessed any behavior like that in the 2 years we’ve been dating? What do you think?

Wow. This is major…and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my first instinct was to tell you to RUN!

That being said, people can and DO change. If his past behavior was something that he recognized as being abusive and he realized it was wrong and wanted to change, then he absolutely could have. Without knowing anything about him, it’s hard to tell if he’s done the necessary work to be a better person, but everyone is capable of doing it. I’ve had people in my life with questionable backgrounds that I simply can’t fathom based on the type person they’ve shown me they are today. We can judge people by their past, or give them the benefit of the doubt. People develop, grow and mature…and when you know better, you can do better.

All of that being said, you still need to be very careful…as many habits are hard to break. I don’t know if he hit his ex-wife once or if it was full on abuse (even once is one too many times), but ask him what type of treatment he sought to deal with it. Talk to him about his past. Most people tend to repeat behavior they witnessed growing up, so maybe that was his trigger and he sought therapy for it. If the abuse was due to drug or alcohol issues, then the problem may have been corrected through sobriety. If, however, the abuse was brought on by anger issues, the problem may be more likely to resurface in the future, so try to understand what prompted the violence so you know what signals to look for.

As far as cheating goes, some would say that if they’ve cheated once, they might be tempted to do it again. Don’t dwell on the matter, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye out for warning signs. Again, ask him why he did it, what they were going through at the time, if he felt any remorse, if he feels he may be tempted to do it again, and his general feelings about fidelity, marriage, monogamy and adultery. You will be able to tell in his responses if it’s behavior that he’s likely to repeat, or if he truly has changed and will be faithful to you.

At the end of the day, only YOU know this man – and if you feel that he’s a changed man, then he very well may be. Trust your instincts, pay attention to him and his actions and be honest with yourself. Don’t see what you want to see, see what is actually there. Sometimes love blinds us to signals that are like flares because we choose love rather than truth. He was honest with you, which says a lot, so you know what the truth is now. Just proceed with caution.

I think it’s great that you two are in love and discussing marriage and all that wonderful stuff, so don’t take away from that TOO much by only dwelling on all the negative. Everything you've mentioned about him so far sounds positive, so trust your judgment. Your fears are valid, and it sounds to me like you know you should be careful and aware...but enjoy being in love too. Great love involves great risk, so just keep your eyes open and always love yourself first.

Blog fam, what say you?

Go!

-b

24 comments:

BatMan said...

First BITCHES!!!

The Fury said...

I agree with Brooke with the exception of one thing...

I don't think you should proceed with caution or becareful or keep your eye out for...none of that.

If you're going to be in a relationship with him then be in a relationship with him. If you're tip toeing and Nancy Drewing the whole shit is gonna fail.

If you don't trust him, then it's over already. If you're worried if you tell him you hate his favorite football team he's gonna back slap you then it's not gonna work.

I agree with Brookey that you should find out what help he got, the extent of the abuse and why he cheated then act according to what makes you feel safe, comfortable and loved.

Annamaria said...

I hate batman..LOL

Brooke I think everything you said was 150% correct.
The only thing I would add is maybe do couples counseling. There you can SAFELY (LOL) disclose your feelings of skeptism and he can go basically tell you how he feels in turn. Then together with a help of a professional you two can work towards having a POSITIVE future & will both feel better about having faced the issue head on. :)

Latinegro said...

I agree with Fury. If you don't trust him based on information he told you on the past relationship...then it is over.

Tony said...

Agree with Fury and Latinegro. Hands Down.

Brooke said...

Couples counseling is a good idea - and Fury and Ant...I get it. I guess I what I meant moreso was keep an eye open for triggers. Alot of times people give signals to certain behaviors and we only see them after the fact since hindsight is 20/20. Many people I know who have been cheated on in the past say things to me like, "Well, he DID always used to come in at 3a and head straight for the shower before he kissed me, but I just thought he was dirty." You know...stuff like that.

Trust is one thing, but ignoring signs is another.

Stef said...

I think I'm the only person in the room who says RUN!

I'm sorry, he may have changed, but some other woman is going to have to find out. I won't put up with ANY man who puts his hands on a woman. No way. I normally agree with everything you say B, but not this time.

Sorry, still love you boo! LOL!

Serena W. said...

Agree with everyone and Annamaria's point on couple's counseling. Trust is also so huge and echoing everyone...if you don't trust him now then ask yourself if you ever will?

Brooke I would love to hear a follow up to this blog later down the road to see what they decided to do. (Couples counseling...if they end up married...etc).

The Fury said...

@Brooke - I get the triggers concept, but there's no way to totally guard against him cheating. If he feels the need or urge to cheat, he'll cheat. She should make sure she keep yesterday's list handy ;-)

Serena W. said...

One question I have for her is what are her instincts (gut) telling her in regards to both cheating and the abuse?

Anonymous said...

@Serena,

I wrote this letter, and my gut instincts are telling me to trust him. I've never felt in danger or that he's been unfaithful. We talk about everything, and he wanted to be completely honest about his past if we're considering marriage, so he told me that he once hit his ex-wife, knows that it was wrong, never hit her again. He also admitted to cheating once, at the end of their marriage he says because he knew it was already over. He isn't proud of that either since he wasn't divorced yet, but he wanted me to know everything about him so that I would never find out from anyone else what he'd done. He wanted to be the one to tell me.

I appreciated his honesty, and I still can't believe that the man I love did any of those things, which is why I was wondering if I was walking around with love blinders on. I confided in a girlfriend who told me to leave him alone, even after knowing him and hanging around him and seeing what a good guy he was to me. She went from telling me I was lucky to find a man like him, to changing her mind 180 after I disclosed what he had told me. I probably shouldn't have confided in my friend, but I figured she'd still be happy for me and see him as the same wonderful guy I've grown to know and love.

That didn't happen.

That's why I decided to write to Brooke. Sometimes it's best to get advice from someone you don't know. Your mother, sister, girlfriends all mean well, but can give you some messed up advice sometimes. I know they love me and want me to be safe and my heart be protected, but I wanted to get someone's objective opinion who I think has a decent head on their shoulders, so someone I know forwarded my letter to Brooke. I lurk on the blog and I think you all are a very smart group, so just wanted another take.

I appreciate the counseling advice, and he actually suggested that before marriage as well because he knew I'd probably have some reservations after is admission. I think we should start on that and see if that can strengthen our relationship. Thank you everyone. And thank you Brooke!

Courtney said...

I think Brooke's advice is sound and I think Fury and Ant are right to a degree. We should all be careful in relationships. While it would be nice to just love with reckless abandon, sometimes loving while not paying attention to signals can get you in trouble. Love CAN truly be blind.

Couples counseling is a great idea, I agree.

Serena W. said...

I understand about reaching out to Brooke and glad you did ;) sometimes those close to you will have a lot to say because they want the best for you and of course they don't want to see you hurt. There are some though that are envious too and will throw a wrench into your dreams and plans just because. I truly wish you the best.

Annamaria said...

I agree with Serena.. you have to be careful when listening to loved ones advice...
Just in case get a taser in case he does get out of line you tase the shit out of him..LOL
BUT I do think the fact of the matter is he should be at least given some credit for telling you about his past & talking openly about what he had done. He didn't have to do that.

DISCLAIMER: I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHY THE HELL I'M BEING SOO NICE TODAY..LMAO

Jay said...

Counseling is a great idea. If he's sought help before, maybe it would help to go with him as a couple.

Do you all go to church, believe in God, or pray together? Your pastor might be able to offer advice as well. Can never go wrong when you keep God first.

Annamaria said...

@Jay...I second that.. plus a lot of churches offer couples counseling, marital retreats, etc etc..

Not sure what prompted him to get soo angry at his ex wife to hit her but it may be something that you guys need to work on throughout your marriage. OR maybe not. Just remember that marriage is a job.. A full time job. So you guys will ALWAYS be working on it & yourselves. And that's ok.

And if you need any advice on how to keep it spicy please see my blog and/or website..(Shameless plug)

Latinegro said...

A.M. is being nice because she prolly got some last night... #justsayin...lol

Look, everyone should get a second chance. I cheated on my x-wife. I admitted that. I was dumb and I used to beat myself up all the time. Does that mean I should be a Pariah?

I dont condone the hitting of a woman at all. Men have issues dealing with emotions and most times doing things like hitting walls, kicking the dog, or literally banging their heads on shit is the only way to release.

The point is he admitted it. If he wasn't genuine about changing he would have lied.

Sillouette2wx said...

Hey all!!!

Yes I agree Couple Counseling can also clear any doubt that you may have with pursuing a realtionship and furthermore marriage with this man. I commend him for being honest with you and giving you the option to accept or not accept it his past action in his previous relationships. Sometimes certain things are not easy to swallow. Take it slow , theres no need to rush.. Only your gut feeling will let you know how to proceed in the future. Just pay attention. You do not want to end up on an episode of "Who the Bleep did I marry"....

Annamaria said...

@Ant... Yes I did but normally that does not stop me from tasing people...LMAO

The Cable Guy said...

@Stef,

So you think a man can't change? You think he should never find love or be loved again because he made a mistake? f*ck outta here.

I'm not saying I condone anything he did, but if he knows he made a mistake, was wrong, sought help, and admitted his past mistakes, why not give him another chance. It was over 10 years ago and he's been with this woman for 2 years and not displayed any of his past behavior as far as we've been told. Like Ant said, he could have lied or hid it from her. Give the brotha a break and hope for the best.

Annamaria said...

We know I'd tase a nucca for less BUT I think a man who saw himself in a bad situation & took himself out of it, got help, admitted his mistakes when he didn't have to & offered to continue seeking help as a couple deserves a break. NOT condoning what he did BUT he's a lot better than most!

Stef said...

@Cable Guy,

I'm not saying he doesn't deserve love from anyone...just not from ME! LOL!

I'm sorry, I can't see myself respecting a man who hit a woman. Like Brooke said, once is one too many times.

Cheating, maybe...but violence I can't get with.

Annamaria said...

@Stef...Normally I'd agree once is too much & although I don't condone a man hitting a woman I think some women KNOW how to provoke a man & KNOWINGLY push his buttons to get a reaction out of him.
AGAIN I'm NOT condoning it BUT let's just say his ex wife slapped him or hit him with the frying pan.. I can forgive this dude for laying the pimp hand down..
Like I always say if a woman steps to a man like a man she better be ready to get knocked the fuck out like a man.

Anonymous said...

Thank you everyone for all of your feedback, it was very helpful!

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