Allegations of abuse are never to be taken lightly. Domestic abuse is depressingly common in our society. One third of women and one quarter of men in the United States have been victims of violence at the hands of an intimate partner during their life. So what do you do if the man you are seeing has an ex-girlfriend who claims that he was abusive towards her? Is she being sincere in her warning? Or does she have an ulterior motive?
Unfortunately, for all the women who have genuine feelings of concern for the new girlfriend, there does exist a group of women who will distort reality to satisfy their own need for revenge against their ex partners. She may not want him back, but it still may be too big a blow to her ego to see him move on, especially when she’s been actively conspiring to make him undatable with misinformation and flat-out lies.
The best things one can do in a situation like this are to (1) observe the man’s behavior carefully and (2) Take into account how the ex-girlfriend has gone about relying this information to you. The manner in which she chooses to warn you can speak volumes about whether her motives are selfless or selfish.
He Said, She Said…
I found myself in this situation over two years ago. Naturally my fiancé told me his version of what happened with his ex, much of it he could back up with physical evidence via texts and Facebook messages between the two. I saw plainly how she threatened self-harm and suicide whenever he tried to leave her. Last time I checked, emotional extortion was abuse. I could not presume to know all of what transpired during their relationship, but I can speak with authority about his ex’s behavior in the aftermath, which has been nothing short of appalling.
She accused him of physical, mental, and emotional abuse as well as clinical narcissism. She did not do this through mature, ethical means. She laid out these allegations in a public online smear campaign that has grown to be so extensive I will never fathom her level of obsession. Out of all the stuff she’s done to go public with her “story,” only 10% of it was done in what most would agree to be an appropriate manner. All the rest has been done in a way that reeks of revenge instead of justice. Because of this, her credibility with me and others has suffered massively.
In the beginning I would discuss the matter with my therapist, but even my therapist had difficulty maintaining her façade of neutrality when I described to her the increasingly ridiculous things his ex was saying and doing to demonize my fiancé I remember her eyes widening to the size of saucers when I told her the extreme measures to which his ex had gone when she found out that my fiancé and I were romantically involved.
While I do not believe that people cannot change, they do not change that quickly. There were only a few months between the break-up with his ex and the beginning of my relationship with him. If my fiancé did indeed suffer from the anger issues his ex described, then they would have showed up with me as well, especially given the immense pressure he was under at the time with his ex holding his possessions hostage at her residence and trying to pursue a protective order against her.
The Mask Slowly Slides Away
As I started to spend more and more time with my fiancé, observing his mannerisms, watching how he handled stress, I had to concede that far from having a controlling demeanor, his passive behavior actually suggested that he had been the victim of an extremely abusive relationship. Of course, his ex was desperate to portray my fiancé’s good behavior towards me as merely a show of “love-bombing” that would not last. He is still the same, fabulous man.
She had begun demonizing him online as soon as they broke up, but the smear campaign increased dramatically when she discovered he was dating me. I knew that us dating only two months afterward did nothing to help nurse her wounded pride. I could only imagine how angry someone would be if they put so much energy into destroying someone else’s reputation, only to discover that the target in question was still able to date and generally move on with his life.
She never once approached me like a genuine person to discuss her “worries” with me, whether in person or via private messaging. Instead, she resorted to calling me “new girl” online in a very belittling and patronizing fashion and dragged me unceremoniously into her smear campaign against my fiancé. She had no excuse whatsoever for doing this. While she never insulted me directly, her warnings to me about him were done in such an insincere manner that I very quickly realized that this woman had no interest in my well-being, just her own agenda of exacting revenge against my fiancé by taking away anything and anyone he held dear to him.
She Doesn’t Care About Me
What she has done to try to portray me as a meek, voiceless victim of abuse when I’m in a perfectly healthy relationship is so offensive to me. She thought that she could manipulate me and that I would believe her blindly just because she is a woman, completely ignoring my fiancé’s evidence and her own vindictive behavior.
She dragged me into the whole mess because she wanted to shame me into leaving my fiancé. She wanted to show me that if I stayed with him, I would suffer his “punishment” along with him. She hoped that if she increased the pressure, even if I knew my fiancé to be correct about her true nature, then I would still not be able to cope with the conflict.
If I were purely relying on my fiancé’s version of events, then there would have always been that seed of doubt that he was exaggerating to gain my sympathy. However, she has proved all on her own that she is exactly who my fiancé described. The only “nicer” Facebook post she addressed to me (still publicly as new girl) came only after she realized my fiancé was serious in involving the higher authorities to stop her harassment of us.
That context killed all credibility the letter could have had. She wrote it to save herself and once again play the victim. She should have sent it privately back when she first realized we were dating to get the desired results. There was a good three to four week period where she knew about me, but I had yet to block her. Instead, she chose the cyber equivalent of screaming her head off like a banshee with toothache for months on end, only quieting down slightly when she was scared that she might actually be held accountable for her actions.
There Are No Vicious Victims
His ex-girlfriend is operating under the false belief that if she can just portray my fiancé as evil enough, then her own poor behavior throughout this entire affair will be excused. Sadly, that’s not how real life works. She has allowed her hatred and her bloodlust for revenge to bleed into the lives of people who have done nothing to her. This was deliberate, of course. She wanted us to blame him for her behavior and abandon him.
Unfortunately for her, we can see perfectly well who has the vendetta and who has continued it, even as we’ve passed two years since their breakup. She doesn’t care who else she hurts as long as she gets her cheap catharsis. To this day my fiancé and I still receive unsolicited messages from people who assert that she is completely crazy and they send us their condolences.
There are no such things as vicious victims. No genuine victim of domestic abuse would treat a fellow woman the way she has treated me. The last thing a true victim would want would be for me to be implicated in her smear campaign against her abuser. If she was telling the truth that he was this horrible person and that she cared, she would have presented her concerns to me in a much more gentler and private fashion. Her public displays on social media showed that she was more interested in showing others that she was the victim. She claimed to want to save me from abuse, but she is the only one who has abused me.