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Why Do I Fall For Abusive Military Guys?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

It appears that I have a serious history with men. I’ve been married twice already, and I’m 30 years old. I’m currently dating Insane. No, seriously his name is Insane; well, it’s his nickname since middle school.

Insane is 33 and recently got out of the Army because he did not want to re-enlist. In my opinion, the Army gave him stability and structure, so I didn’t want him to get out.

Insane has moods and behavior that change like the weather. I keep telling him that I think he has some type of mood disorder. On his good days, he drinks like a fish. Really, Ms. Vicki, I’ve seen him put down a case of beer in one night!

When he drinks, he is very fun to be around. He’s the life of the party. After the alcohol wears off, he screams, yells, grabs me, and has even pushed my head into walls, leaving a huge welt on my face.

This caused problems on my job. I work as an RN, and I had to be assessed by the Employee Assistance Program for the hospital that I work for. I said it was an accident.

I wonder why I’m putting up with this behavior from Insane? My first husband was in the Army, and my second husband was a Marine. They were both abusive to me too. Each time I found the strength to leave, but I end up in another relationship with an abusive jerk again. It’s like I have a sign on my forehead that says, “Hey, come and abuse me!”

I want a happy marriage, children and a house with a white picket fence. I’ve been dating since I was 16, and I never have to go more than two or three weeks before I’m in another relationship So it’s not that I can’t get a man, but my relationships with them don’t last.

My question is: Should I try to make my relationship work with Insane or should I just move on? I could really help him in so many ways if he would just grow up and let me help him. I’m grasping for straws, I know, but I’m just baffled at another relationship gone down the tube. Ms. Vicki, maybe it’s me.

Sincerely,
Maybe I’m The One Who Is Insane

Dear The One,

Quick question: What do you think you will get from a man who was nicknamed Insane in middle school? Were you expecting good behavior? I don’t think so.

Seriously, I think there are a lot of things going on with you. I think I could put you in a room with 500 men and 499 of them are healthy, happy, sane, loving and ready for a commitment, and you would find the one guy in the group who is bad for you. You choose the dirtbag.

What I don’t understand is how you expect to have good results when you are messing around with craziness? Listen to me, I think you need some therapy. You are looking for love and acceptance from other people, but it must start with you first. You have a long history of jumping from bed to bed, both in and out of marriage. But each guy is the same.

You need to dump Insane. He really sounds like he is a dangerous guy. Maybe he didn’t re-enlist because he wasn’t allowed to. Or maybe he was put out of the Army unbeknownst to you.

You think you can restore and revive him into this great, mature guy. Honestly, I can tell you that it won’t work. You will end up losing your career over this guy. You are a licensed professional. Why would you want to risk all of your hard work to date someone like this?

Listen, it’s time for you to take a U-turn. Please make another appointment with your employer EAP. It will be a great place to start for counseling. This will give you the chance to check on your behavioral health/mental health benefits for more long-term therapy. Let me know how you are doing.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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