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Just Left My Abusive Boyfriend

Question:

I have just left my abusive boyfriend who I was living with. I truly believe he is abusive due to a chemical imbalance or some other related mental health issue. Is this possible? What is the recovery rate should he agree to go for help? I believe if he does agree to go for help we should not live together for approx six months. Am I correct? I am hurting and I am scared and I am lonely. Any advice for me? Thank you for any information and help you can give me.

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Answer:

Congratulations on finding the strength to escape a bad situation. Contrary to popular stereotypes, there is not a whole lot of relationship between violence and mental illness. Some mentally ill persons do become violent, but many more non-mentally ill persons are violent just the same. At any rate, there is no medication or therapy that I know of that is guaranteed to stop an abusive person from being abusive again in the future. It would be great if your ex decided to go for help. He might indeed find some help, if he is sincere in his desire to change his ways. But that is his business. Your business is to protect yourself from future abuse. One of the best ways to do that will be to open yourself up to other, less violent men. It’s quite natural to be lonely and scared when you’ve exited a relationship. You’ve just left a known way of handling your social life, and you haven’t invented a new social life for yourself yet. It can be lonely. The thing to do is to move forward, finding new social opportunities for yourself. Given a little time, a new life will grow up around you and you likely won’t feel so lonely. Good luck, and again, good for you!

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