My ex needs to stop being abusive


August 29, 2016

Dear Pastor,

I'm a frequent reader of your column. I enjoy every moment of it. I never thought I would actually be writing to you.

I was in a relationship with a guy for more than two years. It ended in May of this year. We also have a handsome baby boy, who was born last February, and he's the first for both of us. I ended the relationship for a number of reasons. He was extremely disrespectful throughout the relationship and it got worse when I was pregnant. He even threatened to take our son away when he was born.

He's a liar because, at one point, I asked him to end a relationship he had with a girl he claimed he only kissed. He said he would, and I later found out that he didn't. Then he told me that he just couldn't. We broke up after that, but eventually got back together. He continued talking to her and I tried to live with it, but I couldn't. That contributed to my leaving. He is a flirtatious and friendly guy.

One night while I was spending the night with him, he told me that a girl had asked him for his number and he just gave it to her. I got upset and asked him why he did it, and he said because her friends were around and he didn't want to embarrass her. I got upset and just walked away. He tried to restrain me, but that just led to a fight.

He has a particular cousin, who, in my opinion, all he does is smoke all day and hardly seems interested in working. He always asks him for money, and he is always giving him. It's as if he's more interested in supporting his cousin's bad habits than his child. He doesn't listen to anything I say. I continuously tell him to save and start a bank account in his name, but he is giving me stupid excuses about him feeling like a scammer or something when he goes in a bank. I don't know what he is scared of.

This may sound stupid, but he asked me if he really did propose to me, what would I say. I told him that I would say yes, regardless of all the problems we've been through. I really saw myself with this man 'till death do us part.' But one day, he asked me if I remember when he asked me that question and I said yes. He said he wouldn't marry me. Pastor, as I'm writing to you, I'm crying and I still feel like my heart is being torn out after he told me that.

He's verbally and physically abusive. Even now when we aren't together, if he comes to my mother's home to see our son, he finds some way to touch me, which is absolutely not necessary, and when I push away his hand, he wants to make a fight out of it.

He smokes and I've asked him so many times to stop, but he hasn't. When we started dating he didn't smoke, but he picked up the habit afterwards and doesn't seem to care how I feel. He isn't all bad and has been there for me at some very low points in my life, but we've both changed. I still do love him, but I don't know if he really loves me, even though he says he does. He supports our son and I appreciate that, although I wish he'd spend more time with him. I wanted to be his wife at one point, but now I'm glad I'm not, because I think we both need more time to mature.

I'd love to work things out with him, but he needs to stop being abusive. He needs to stop putting the relationship he has with other women before the one he has with me. He needs to stop smoking, start saving and go back to school. Please help me, pastor. I am patiently awaiting your response.

A. T.

Dear A. T.,

You have left this man for good reasons. You shouldn't be eager to go back to him. An abusive man doesn't change overnight. He enjoys running around with his women and making stupid excuses. You say that he does not save; he blows his money, perhaps on things that are not necessary.

Foolish people say all the time that money was made to spend. Yes, we all should know the purpose of money. It is used to provide basic needs and wants, and it is a great shelter in the time of need. However, it should not be spent frivolously. Some spend their money on things that are not necessary. That is why they are always broke. Your child's father has not yet come to know why he should save and invest. He has a child and the child will need to attend school and, as a parent, he is obligated to provide shelter for him. As I see it, both of you are going in opposite directions and you should not allow him to drag you in the wrong way.

Having said the above, let me quickly add. I am not convinced that you are willing to let this man go. Perhaps both of you should agree to make an appointment to see a family counsellor. I am not insisting that you do so. I recommend a counsellor cautiously, bearing in mind that this man is an abuser.


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