How do I prove myself (to an abuse survivor...?)

Zarathushtra

Registered Member
#1
Hi all,
This is my first time posting on this forum about this kind of issue... It could get long, so please bare with me.

In short: My girlfriend and I have been together five years. We are currently on sort of a break. We've lived together four of those five years and now she isn't living here anymore.

Now I'll back track a little and tell you all why she isn't living here anymore. I will admit from the getgo that I screwed up.

She's an abuse survivor... and five years ago when I met her she was trapped in a very bad abusive marriage. We connected right from the beginning. It was instant... And soon after she moved out of the apartment she shared with her now ex husband and in with her sister. After a year or so dating, she moved in with me.

Here's where (part of) the problem enters the picture... I have a roommate. To make this easier I'll call him T.) But he's not just my roommate, he's also a close friend. Him and I have a brotherly kind of relationship. I moved to the US in 1996 and he was the first real friend I made here. Him and I have lived together for 11 years (in three different places.)

I guess this next part is really going to throw a lot of people off... but it has to be mentioned because it's part of the story... When my girlfriend moved in T and her became pretty good friends also. They have a lot of things in common and they have very similar senses of humor. People we know say she acted like she was dating both of us. And some of the more gossipy people we know even though all three of us were in a relationship.

There was one night in late 2008 when we all three came home from a pretty crazy night out drinking. We all were feeling pretty good... And we started joking around about how this one friend of ours thinks we have this three way relationship going and all that. Without giving all the details I'll just say what started out as the three of us joking around about that, turned into a threesome. I use that word for lack of a better word. Him and I didn't do anything to each other, but we both did stuff to her. So I guess technically it wasn't a threesome, but you get the idea.

Neither her or I knew this until about a year later, but I guess that night he started to have feelings for her. I guess he figured if he just hid them they would go away, idk.

But they didn't. His feelings for her actually started causing some problems for us.

After months of this, and feeling paranoid, there was one night a couple weeks ago that I went off on both of them. But I laid harder into her that into him. I yelled at her, I called her names, I just went completely off on her. It's hard for me to even type this because it's just so upsetting to remember it. I know that what I did was very wrong. And I can honestly say it was out of character for me. I am normally very quiet and mild mannered. In five years together I've never talked to her that way.

The next day when I woke up she was gone. She didn't take a bunch of stuff with her though, so I figured she would come back soon. And here it is, two weeks later, and she's still gone.

Her and I got together and talked last Friday and she told me she just needs some time away from me right now, to think about things. I am willing to give her that...

Then (the plot thickens yet again...) I lost my job Tuesday. I called her and told her what happened... She didn't want me to be all alone and upset, so we met for a couple hours in the afternoon before she went to work. It seemed like she was putting up a wall around herself. I felt worse after seeing her... I started losing hope that things would ever be the same between us...

Then, the next day was our five year anniversary. (This is something neither of us made a big deal about when we were together. But now that we are on this hiatus it suddenly became a big deal... I felt like my heart was being ripped out that day... I was so depressed I almost couldn't take it. And apparently she felt the same way... because she called me and told me there is no need for us to torture ourselves on this day. So, we spent this amazing night together in a hotel room. And I haven't seen her since. We have texted each other a few times though.

So now I am trying ti figure out what I need to do to make this right... She is in survivor mode right now... She's afraid because of the way I treated her. And I think she also wants to stay away from here because of the roommate. It's so easy for people to say we should kick him out... But we are all three on the lease still for another six months. Legally we can't just kick him out.

As the title of this thread states... I have no idea how to prove myself to her. I don't want her to be afraid of me or not to feel safe with me. How can I convince her that I am not going to hurt her?

If you stuck through all that thank you. And thanks in advance for your opinions...
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#2
hmm.

I would think that after 5 years, you wouldn't have to prove yourself, that one "oh shit" doesn't cancel out 5 years of "atta boys" so to speak.

My advice would be to give her time and space; she should be able to figure out on her own after knowing you for so long whether she can trust you not to hurt her. It sounds like she loves you, she just has to sort through everything. Just let her know that you're there when she's ready.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
#3
Ok. Sorry for being rude but this story kind of made me vomit.


At first, you need to realize if you really love her. It doesn't matter if you've been together for 5 years ... it could mean nothing.

So, you put her in a threesome and you call her names? And then you regret and you want her back?
Are you kidding me? From the moment you accepted the 3some, you had two choices after it : You should've broken up from her right away, or you should've shut up and not call her names.
You didn't do any of them, so she's right about being upset.

Sounds like you don't know what you want.
Also, I wonder what kind of girlfriend she is ..or what kind of boyfriend you are for accepting such thing IN A RELATIONSHIP.
(I don't want to sound judgmental though)

If you weren't in a relationship together, threesome takes another meaning.

This situation may happen again because you allowed it to happen once and again you might regret ..

You both need to have a serious talk and decide what attitude you both should keep towards T.

Also, welcome to the forum! :)
 

Zarathushtra

Registered Member
#4
hmm.

I would think that after 5 years, you wouldn't have to prove yourself, that one "oh shit" doesn't cancel out 5 years of "atta boys" so to speak.

My advice would be to give her time and space; she should be able to figure out on her own after knowing you for so long whether she can trust you not to hurt her. It sounds like she loves you, she just has to sort through everything. Just let her know that you're there when she's ready.
Under normal circumstances I don't think I would have to prove myself... But she was abused before. So she's more sensitive than most people... The abuse from her ex started with him talking to her exactly the way I talked to her during our big blowout. It started with that... and ended up with him punching her, kicking her, even biting her to the point of drawing blood. I think she's just afraid right now.

I've been trying to give her time, but still keep up some contact... (Mostly texting, if she wants to talk to me, she calls.) I want to give her the time she needs, but let her know I love her and miss her.

I've had a few friends tell me I should be dating other people right now. They've even said I need to go out and get some strange... But I won't do that. Weather we are taking time apart or not, I am still committed to her and I don't want to be with anyone else.
 

Bliss

Sally Twit
#6
I think you acted out like many people do when they are hurt and angry. You said your room mate is like your brother so it must be horrible to have negative feelings towards him. I'm sure your girlfriend will come around. She'll just need time to herself. Personally I don't think it'd be good for you both to live with your room mate because of his feelings. You could just end up getting pissed off all the time and then your girlfriend isn't gong to want to be around that. I say you stick it out for the next six months seeing as you have no choice and then you either ask your room mate to leave or you find somewhere else with your girlfriend. You should also be able to find a new job in that time for some security.
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
#7
Wow. That is quite the story you have there. I'm sure I don't need to rub this in, but the 3some was a big mistake, considering how close you all are. If it was a complete stranger, I'm sure none of this would have happened. But ok, that is done and that is all there is to it.

I agree with both Jeanie and Elly here. You've been together long enough for her to know who and what you are and what you are and are not capable of. And at the same time, you should have made ground rules after the 3some as to how that would be handled in future. You had no right calling her names because of that (although I am sure there is more to it than what you've told us).

I can tell you this though and I hope it will help you. She does need her space right now and I am pleased to hear you are respecting her decision to spend time thinking. I know how scary it must be in her head right now thinking back of how everything started exactly this way with her abusive ex. My advise though is that she needs to seek help/guidance to help her work through this. Did she ever get that after she left her husband? Obviously you are not the type of person that would ever hurt her and I think she knows that as well. But she is scared seeing the same characteristics in you now that was evident in her husband.

I am rambling. What I am trying to get at is that first she needs to go talk to a professional, work through things herself first. Then the next step I would say would be to go to couples therapy together and work through your issues. With abuse victims it's all about trust and that can be so varied from person to person as to how that trust is (re)built.

Also, if T is as good a friend as you say he is, the three of you should be able to sit and come up with a conclusion on how to handle the next 6 months. Try to get out of your lease by getting other tenants and get your own leases, you and her and T in a different place.

Good luck. I hope everything works out for you both.
 

Zarathushtra

Registered Member
#8
Ok. Sorry for being rude but this story kind of made me vomit.


At first, you need to realize if you really love her. It doesn't matter if you've been together for 5 years ... it could mean nothing.

So, you put her in a threesome and you call her names? And then you regret and you want her back?
Are you kidding me? From the moment you accepted the 3some, you had two choices after it : You should've broken up from her right away, or you should've shut up and not call her names.
You didn't do any of them, so she's right about being upset.

Sounds like you don't know what you want.
Also, I wonder what kind of girlfriend she is ..or what kind of boyfriend you are for accepting such thing IN A RELATIONSHIP.
(I don't want to sound judgmental though)

If you weren't in a relationship together, threesome takes another meaning.

This situation may happen again because you allowed it to happen once and again you might regret ..

You both need to have a serious talk and decide what attitude you both should keep towards T.

Also, welcome to the forum! :)
There's no need to apologize, you're giving your opinion that you're entitled to.

I do think you might have misunderstood something in my original post though. (And it's my fault you misunderstood, because I was trying to shorten the post and I didn't go into as many details as I could have.)

We had the threesome in 2008, the fight we had where I called her names and yelled at her was two weeks ago. I am getting the impression you think those two things happened back to back.

My roommate started crossing a lot of lines with her... And this started happening more and more, and so there was all this anger building up. There was one thing that happened a couple weeks ago that just made me lose it. I yelled at him too. I know that doesn't make it right and I know it's no excuse.

As for what we allowed to happen while being in a relationship... Everyone has different opinions about stuff like that. This thing we had with my roommate wasn't planned in advance or anything. We just all had a good buzz on one night and it happened. And we all had regrets afterwards... even him.

Thank you for welcoming me... I joined a while back but I haven't posted much.
------
Have you apologized to her?
Yes I have, several times.

....................................
 
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#10
Well, then, really all you can do is give her the space she needs and hope for the best. Good luck.
Agree with this. All you can really do is wait and be there for her. There's no real way you can show your true intentions... unless... you show her this thread! Or would she find that a bit strange?