I’m currently living in Costa Rica, Central America, but am originally from Toronto, Canada. I have been in a year long relationship with a Costa Rican man who is 10 yrs older than me, but have recently left him. I am still trying to “make it” in Costa Rica if I can.
The main reason I left was because he got drunk and coked up one night and freaked out on me. I wasn’t in that state as all. I’d had a half a beer and I don’t do cocaine. He is an alcoholic that has been trying to take it easy. He has done cocaine, admits to liking it, but claims that he is not an addict.
The reason he ended up freaking out: he became physically aggressive, grabbing me, cornering me into walls, seeming like he was going to hit me, and spitting on me. He also wrapped his hands around my neck and put a little squeeze on it; he claims it was to “calm me down”. He admitted to all these awful things, and begged and cried for my forgiveness amongst other things.
It wasn’t the first incident with him but not to that degree. I knew getting into the relationship with him that he had issues, but thought that old cliche that our love would fix everything. Now I am in a situation where I am in a foreign country where things are just different then what I am used to. I do love it here and want to try and make a life.
The thing is this: I’ve only had email contact with him and 1 phone conversation over the past 2 weeks. He is doing all that classic textbook stuff, liking begging me to come back, he’ll change, he loves me more then anything. etc. etc. He wants to go to counseling and I am somewhat considering it. My question is this: can men who have drinking issues, anger issues, jealousy issues and have also been physically abusive BUT seem genuinely willing to change… can they change? Really?
I do love him but I’m at a crossroads. Do I just move because he really won’t change? Or do I give it a small go and at the very least try and attend one session with a therapist together, so that he can truly understand that what he did was unacceptable and he ever wants happiness in his life he needs to work on these things? I know that I am not perfect but know I deserve a good man, I feel like he could be in the future if he really works on himself but am confused.
Does any of this make sense?
Abused Woman in a Foreign Land
Your man is doing all the classic alcoholic/abuser things and if you go back to him in any capacity, you will be doing all the classic co-dependent/abuse victim things. So is this what you want? I don’t think so. But you need support. Because what you are trying to do is very challenging. And I’ll get to that, but first let me answer your questions…
Yes, it is possible someone can recover from this level of pathology – but I would imagine it might take five years (give or take) of diligent effort consistently applied and the odds this guy is going to do that are virtually ZERO.
You can loop around with him as long as you like. I am sure he will go ’round with you as many times as you will allow but personally, he sounds ultra-dangerous to me. I would urge you not just to stay away from him, but to take any means possible to secure your safety.
Because he’s choking you, okay? And he’s probably in blackout when he does it. Who knows! He’s in an altered state. He’s out of control. And you’re showing up at a session with a therapist is going to do nothing but waste your time. Don’t you have enough problems? I think you do.
We’re talking about a 45 year old man, here. You don’t think he can figure it out? You think it’s your job to figure it out for him? I disagree.
Look. Get yourself hooked up with Al-Anon. Get yourself hooked up with support for battered women. Get yourself this excellent book with a very stupid and misleading title, Getting Them Sober. It’s the best book in the entire world for a woman like you (read the reviews).