Dear Shan Tell’em,
I have been dating a guy for 10 years off and on. He has been abusive physically and emotionally, and I’ve tried to date other men but he ruins the relationship. What makes matters worse is that he is married with children and he has children with me.
When he is mad at me, he tells our children that he doesn’t care about them. I am constantly being called b**ches when he is the one that sleeps with multiple women. I want my sanity back and I want my life to be filled with love and greatness, but it seems like I can’t because of him.
He goes away sometimes, but comes back months later even though I don’t entertain a relationship with him. It’s World War 3 if I don’t have sex with him and he then calls me whores and accuses me of sleeping with every man in town. Please advise me as I’m drained and need to love again and be loved. I am focused on my children but at times I need that strong presence of a real man. Please help…
Crying for Help
Dear Crying for Help,
There is so much wrong with this situation and frankly, I had to read it several times before responding.
“ I want my sanity back and I want my life to be filled with love and greatness, but it seems like I can’t because of him.”
Here’s where you’re wrong. You are in control of your life, NOT him. He only has the power to wreak havoc on your existence because you’ve given it to him. You’re dealing with a master manipulator. He is selfish and wishes to control everything in his life, including you. This man sounds like he has a lot of demons to deal with, and is not a nice person. All of the signs point to run and I think that you’ve convinced yourself that you have attempted to distance yourself from him.
Let’s be real for a second. Have you really ended things with him? I’m asking because you’re still sleeping with him and allow him to interfere with your personal affairs. Often, we convince ourselves that we are doing “all that we can” to end a situation, but the reality is that we are only doing enough to say that we have. We do this because we are still attached to a degree, and part of us does not want things to end completely. I encourage you to honestly answer whether or not you’re doing this.
When you do not want someone in your life, make it a point to establish CLEAR boundaries. You cannot rid yourself completely of this man as you have created children together, but you can limit your interactions only to dealings related to your kids. Chaotic souls do not know how to exist in arenas of calm, so you have to create your own fortress to repel the negativity.
First, start by telling yourself that you deserve better and work towards believing this to be true. Make a list of all of the great qualities about yourself, and repeat one or two of them to yourself as many times as you need to throughout the day until you start believing. Work your way down the list.
Next, declare to him that you do not wish to deal with him in any way outside of your children. Have your actions back up what you are saying, even if it means having someone at the house or with you when you interact with him. If he is coming to see the children or you are dropping them off at his home, make sure there is either someone with you, or a scheduled event/errand where you cannot stay long. He needs to see that you are not interested in anything other than co-parenting with him.
Finally, I highly suggest that you take time to be alone. Dragging someone else into this mess is a recipe for disaster. As difficult as it may be, you must build up your self esteem to the point where you will not tolerate any type of treatment that rest in disrespect. As long as you keep entertaining chaos, that is what your life will be filled with. So either accept it or work and commit to changing and reshaping the energy that is around you.
Good luck and I wish you the best.
Shantell E. Jamison is a digital editor for EBONY.com and JETmag.com. She’s also a radio personality, and cultural critic. Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.