Wednesday, August 3, 2011
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?