I was going to write a rabid response to this bozo who wrote into “Since You Asked” at Salon, whining that it’s unfair that he should have to worry about his current girlfriend’s response to discovering that he — on more than one occasion — abused his former wife:
On half a dozen occasions, during the first few years of my decades-long marriage, I physically abused my wife. This abuse, and the years we went without discussing it, was one of the factors that led to our recent divorce. The divorce itself led me into therapy where I was able to understand my reasons for the abuse, and the effect it had on both my wife and our relationship …
Currently, I’ve started seeing someone else and this woman means a lot to me. Our relationship is at a point where we’ve started talking about sharing a future together; however, I haven’t told her about the abuse in my previous relationship. I want her to know because it’s part of my past — albeit a very painful, unflattering part — but I believe that she may leave me once I tell her. To complicate matters, my ex-wife, in a bit of uncharacteristic malice, has announced her intentions to tell any woman I might be in a relationship with about the abuse at their first meeting.
So, I’m scared and confused. I want to tell my girlfriend about my past, but also want her to understand that she’s not at risk of being abused. And ideally, she would choose not to dump me.
But when I discovered that Heartless Doll had posted such a good response, I figured I should save my efforts for an issue/occasion when I’m more needed. You should go read her entire post, but here are her much applauded highlights:
- Anyone with a history of abuse who thinks they are an “ex” abuser is a holy-cow-you’re-pretty-much-about-to-do-this-again-abuser, not dissimilar to the “ex” alcoholic who believes she can have “just one.”
- Not disclosing a violent (and probably controlling) past to someone who has a vested interest in knowing whether or not you’re violent and controlling is … violent and controlling.
- Not wanting to “get dumped” is a bad reason not to tell someone the truth about a history of abuse. Because she will find out, and then you will definitely be dumped.
- An ex-wife who refuses to stay silent about your abuse is not exercising “malice.” She’s “refusing to continue be a victim” so that you can “bone some girl.”