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Old 02-22-2021, 10:09 PM   #1
twaf0908
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Trig I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

Hello all, I appreciate everyone's thoughts and responses in advance.

I'll be as short as I can here while trying to remain thorough.

I worked with this girl who I have known for about a year and a half. She was in a relationship, which I knew about, but the man was in prison. He had been for several years.

This man is the father of her two children. She and I began getting close and I eventually revealed my feelings towards her. That led to us talking much more often and hanging out together, which eventually led to sex. We no longer work together.

We became extremely close, but toward the end of the year, he was released from prison. He came home without any idea about me and wanted to have his family again. Due to the terms of his parole, he is not allowed to live in the same state. However, he has worked the system somehow to be able to be around quite often using a work permit, I believe. I am not sure how the parole system works but I know he is here often.

She wanted to see what they still had, but after a couple of months told him she didn't want to be in a relationship with him and just wanted to remain civil for their kids. However, he was not taking no for an answer. He lays a guilt trip on her every time she tries to leave, saying things like "how can you do this to me" and "you're breaking up our family". She ends up feeling bad and going back on her thoughts. He finally found out about me and struck her in the face. He is both physically and emotionally abusive towards her.

For me, it is awful. When he's not around, her and I speak freely and often. When he is around, I hardly hear from her. Frustrated out of my mind, I finally told her tonight that I can't do this anymore. That I would take a step back and allow her to figure out what she wants. I told her I wanted her to have what she wants out of life and not what gets forced on her. I also told her that I didn't want to add to her stress level any more.

Her response was that I am "amazing" and I am a "true blessing". I don't know how to take that, because I don't feel amazing.

I have always been clear that I want a relationship with her. She knows that. It bothers me that the decision is not as clear as I feel it should be, but I will always respect her decision.

My question is what do I do now? I was proud of myself for saying what I said, but I also feel like I gave up in a way. I am struggling with this and will gladly take any advice anyone has to offer.

Last edited by bluekoi; 02-22-2021 at 10:46 PM.. Reason: Add trigger icon.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:02 AM   #2
Bill3
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

Considering you to be a blessing and amazing is completely consistent with her continuing to be in a relationship with him. You are a blessing to her, you are amazing. But she may still be attached to him.

You might want to do some research about people who choose to stay with abusers.

One big reason is fear. You must consider that it could well be unsafe for her, and/or for her children, to contact you when he is around, or to actually break up with him, even if she wanted to. She might even need to go to a shelter at an undisclosed location to get away from him.

Also, this guy sounds capable of wanting to harm you. Why was he in prison for several years?

I'm proud of you for what you said too. I wouldn't call it "giving up". I would call it "facing reality". You've made it clear that you are still interested. Despite that, she chooses to stay with another man, for whatever reason. You can care for her and have sympathy for her but still want to have your life free of ongoing pain, free of a woman who is not available to you.

To get free of her, you might want to go no contact. Reasons for going no contact with her are (1) she isn't available, and (2) right now she gets the "best of both worlds" and doesn't need to make a decision. Possibly she will choose you if she has to make a choice. Possibly not. But either way you will know where you stand.

When I say "no contact", I mean you could tell her to call you when she is ready to have an exclusive relationship, and you will see if you are still available. Until that time, she won't hear from you, even though you will be thinking of her.

Easier said than done. But if you don't protect yourself, there is a good chance that life will continue as it is right now. How would that be for you?
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

Welcome to the boards, twaf0908. I can't add too much to Bill3's wise words. When I read your post I, too, worried about the personal safety of everyone involved. Since you can't control her decisions, all you can do is continue supporting her emotionally...so long as you're not hurting yourself too much in the process. I hope posting helps you clarify things. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twaf0908 View Post
He finally found out about me and struck her in the face. He is both physically and emotionally abusive towards her.
That's enough to put him away for another few years. If shes not up to reporting it, then don't waste your time on her. She has very deep-seated issues.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

Iím so sorry youíre going through this (and her, truly! Her situation sounds terrible). Itís tricky! Itís obviously not easy leaving an abuser, but at the same time, you canít rescue her, especially when sheís not ready or willing to go.
I think if you do want to support her, you need to step back from your feelings and what you want with her. Support her to find her own way out, as a friend or relative might, rather than as a potential partner. Ask her what she intends to do about it if she tells you how heís treating her/her children. She likely wonít be in a good mental place to have a relationship if/when she does leave, in any case. Even if she just didnít like him, if she ďmonkey branchedĒ from him to you, itís still a shaky foundation for a relationship.
I know none of this is easy, itís complicated and you need to look after yourself too. You donít know what this other man is capable of. Ideally she should leave him, and start healing herself before getting with anyone else.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

This is hard because there are children involved and that connects the two of them like it or not. Unless he proves to be a danger and she can get a restraining order and she has sole custody. Yet, he did something bad enough that turned into a lengthy jail sentence which contributes to him being a genuine threat. It's disturbing that when he learned about you he physically abused her. She should have reported that right away. It sounds like she is very afraid of him. It can be dangerous for you if he learns who you are too. And if she did break away from him to be with you, both of you would be living your life looking over your shoulders as long as he is out of jail.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

Are you up for a man to man talk?

Take this for what it is. This is a man showing care and support to another man. This is real stuff, similar to what I'd tell my son in a similar situation.

No one can make your choices. You have to make them, and you have to live with them.

Boundaries are a good thing with all relationships. Boundaries create value. Put up some boundaries and create value in yourself. I'd suggest you yell her you're out until her decisions are made. (Un)fortunately for you, you will most likely find out you won't be her first choice.

Never be someone's back up or second choice. It will devalue you for the rest of your life.

It is never a good idea to get involved with someone to "help" them or "fix" them. That will lead to a codependent situation that is never healthy. Or, they may be just fine with who and how they are. Your version of "right" may not apply.

If there is drama and history in her life with this person, that will remain in the future. If you choose to have this in your life this will effect you, and other people around you. If she has kids with this person, then he is around Long term, and your relationships with her and her kids will be effected.

If you choose to draw a line and walk away, immediately begin investing in yourself with positive actions of self care; invest time in things, past times and people that make you happy or improve you as a person. Exercise, learn a language, contact new and old friends, ANYTHING to fill your mind with positive things and occupy your thoughts instead of her. Your value as a person will increase.

Your choices dude. I wish you the best, sincerely.

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Old 02-25-2021, 09:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

From what you share, you are battling with your feelings that you care and want to help her, yet at the same time it's starting to take a toll on you. It's ok to step back and take care you yourself. We cannot really stop someone else for making bad choices. If this man is abusive she has to report it and take steps to get help.

Allowing him to come back into her life when he can be abusive is a bad choice on her part.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

What do you do now? You move on with your life.

She may be directed to resources (women's shelter, protection services etc.) but in terms of wanting a romantic relationship with her? She has to make the choice herself as to what she wants i.e. leave him or stay with him. Until and unless she does so, you would only be left dangling in this state of uncertainty. And her partner may escalate the abuse towards her..
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: I can't seem to let this girl go. Please help.

Here is a really good article to read and mull over, may help you think about things differently.

Are You An Emotion Dumping Ground for the Trauma Bonded?
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