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Real life stories: Why I took back my bad boy ex

Emily Payne
Yahoo Lifestyle
30 November 2012

Speculation over whether Rihanna has rekindled her relationship with ex Chris Brown, who assaulted the star the night before the Grammy Awards in 2009, has reached fever-pitch in recent weeks.

And as Twitter pictures of the pair continue to file in - sending column inches about the pair's reported reconciliation racking up - many are wondering just why she'd consider taking back her violent ex.

Yet many of us find ourselves rekindling a romance with past lovers.

Here, one woman shares her experiences as to why she went back her bad-boy ex...

“I met Michael in a difficult time of my life,” says Sophia Husbands.

“My dad had had a brain haemorrhage and was in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Michael turned up at the point where dad was the big, strong man in my life  - and I felt like I was losing him.

[Related: The five worst relationship mistakes]

“Sometimes my dad was lucid, others it was like he was between living and dead, he was there one minute and gone the next. It was hard. I began seeing a bereavement counsellor. Michael came along and was really charming and supportive.

Sophia, 33, who owns a training company, had met her boyfriend online back in 2004. “We started talking in a  chatroom and he seemed like an interesting guy,” she explains.

“So we arranged to meet in Richmond for our first date. I was so nervous I took a wrong turn and ended up in Chiswick! It wasn't lust at first sight but I felt a connection, like we'd met for a reason.

Alarm bells

“Early on there were warning signs. He told me that one of his weak points was his feisty temper. But I didn't take it literally to start with, I just thought he must meant he was very passionate.

“Michael wasn't physically violent, a lot of it was emotional. He had his own self-esteem issues and would say negative things to me to bring my confidence down. He felt threatened by it, so he would try to slam down my ideas for progression.

“He could be inconsiderate and selfish, but he would try to turn it around by saying that he was supporting me financially due to my debt situation. There was an imbalance of power. He was angry, had commitment issues and played the "victim" a lot. We saw a counsellor, but only lasted two sessions.
“When I confided in my friends and family, they said he shouldn't be behaving like that. One of my friends asked me if he had changed for the better in the time we had been together. He hadn't. For me, though, love was blind.”

Trying to change him

“You have this natural thing where you want to fix a person. Obviously he had issues, but I had this ideal man in my mind, I knew he had a good heart. I thought he was a good person, I perceived that he could change into an "ideal".

“We broke up and got back together several times. He was my first love and we had a special bond. We'd argue and then he would call me later when all dust had settled and seem really calm, positive, promising me things.

[Related: Is the Fifty Shades phenomenon leading us to fall for emotionally abusive men?]

“He'd start saying 'let's get married' and talking about the future. Maybe he was reading into my desires, what I wanted from the relationship, so that I'd give him a chance.  'I'm not the perfect person, but I have a good heart,' he used to tell me. I thought I should give him a chance because nobody's perfect.

“One weekend we went to a shopping centre and he started looking at wedding rings. I got really excited, so I told my sister and my mum. But then suddenly he said he couldn't do it. It really hurt me.

“The last straw came in 2010. He was meant to come and see me. I waited for hours but he just didn't turn up. I got really upset and just thought why am I doing this? Something just clicked. I thought I could fix the relationship, but six years is a long time.

Moving on

“When we finally split, my friends couldn't believe it. It was so on and off they thought I would just go back to him.  He tried to get back with me and burst into tears when I turned him away.

“But I was gradually coming back to myself.  I became more confident. It took me a while but I realised I am happy being single. I launched a website and started blogging (http://sophiaworld.co.uk/) and now I am writing a book about dating.

[Related: Rihanna and Chris Brown spark reports they're back together with Twitter photo]

“When I look back on it, he wasn't a very good guy, but I have to take some responsibility. Why did I let that happen? You have to tell yourself that you deserve more. You cannot fix another person, they need to accept that they have a problem and decide to fix it. Once you are happy with you, you are strong and can move on to better things.”

Expert advice

Relationship Coach Candy Janetta (howtomeetyourperfectmatch.com/media/) says: “There are several reasons why women return to their exes, even if they know they are not right for them. The most common being that as a human beings we have a preference for sticking with things we know rather than things which would make us happy but are unfamiliar to us.

“The classic example of this is the woman who stays with an abusive partner, she doesn’t like
the abuse or the way it makes her feel but an abusive relationship is what she knows best and warped as it may sound, this familiarity can feel comforting and the prospect of starting a new relationship, frightening.

“Low self-esteem can also keep a woman returning to an ex who is not right for them. A lot of my clients get back together with their exes because they don’t believe that they deserve anyone better.

“Hard as it may seem, I would always recommend taking an honest look at your relationship if a majority of friends and family don’t like your partner. Your friends and family are a reflection of who you are and what you stand for in terms of your personal values.

“If they don’t get along with your partner, it is more than likely that you won’t be getting on with that partner once the honeymoon period is over.”

Sophia's book The love series, clueless in love comes out next year.

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