“Still Loving a Man Who Beats and Cheats”
Dear Bearded Confidant,
I feel the need to write because I simply do not know which way to turn. My lover and I have been together in a monogamous relationship for almost three years now, and it has been anything but smooth. About 3 months ago we got into a physical altercation which ended up with him getting hauled away by the cops. He is pretty big (football player type) and he beat me up pretty bad, both physically and emotionally. I have been attending a domestic violence group and it is really helping me see my patterns and how to deal with my anger. Problem is, I still love him and don't want to leave him. He recently went on a Navy drill to Hawaii and ended up meeting someone while there. He was honest with me and told me no sex happened, just kissing and dancing. Yet the guy emailed him with his phone and address. I was beyond over it all and told him to leave me alone. He then began stalking me and waited for me one night at my house while I went out dancing with a friend. He says he loves me and can't imagine being with anyone else but I feel devastated and completely confused. I still love him but really am trying very hard to see how this can possibly work, yet I keep allowing him to call and we have had sex twice since he has been home (which is always hot). He says he is very sorry but I just don't know if I can ever trust him again. I was somewhat non-trusting to start with and now I am really leary. All my friends say I should just cut bait and run, but my heart still loves him. I really appreciate your input.
Dear Love Him or Leave Him,
My take on this situation is that you should give the man another chance. He was honest with you about meeting another man, and he says he didn't fool around with him. He clearly still wants you, and you clearly still have strong feelings for him. My only reservations come from the fact that he stalked you and that he beat up on you in the past. I don't think anyone should ever be physically assaulted, and certainly not by his partner. Ask yourself whether the physical altercation was likely to be a one-time event. Any man can find himself so emotionally upset that he lashes out. But if your man has a problem with anger management then you don't need to put yourself into a vulnerable position until he learns to control himself.