Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Who Left Abusive Ex Struggles With Lingering Ties

DEAR ABBY: I was married to a man who ruled my every move. After years of torture and abuse, I finally became frightened enough to leave. Since then I have met a wonderful, caring, loving man who I wouldn't trade for the world. He treats me with kindness, respect and love. He makes me laugh and smile and appreciate life. I am allowed to be myself and function how I will. I am happier than I have ever been.

My question is, sometimes I miss my emotionally and physically abusive ex. I have no desire to be with him, but after all those years, it's hard to adjust some days.

Is something wrong with me? I would never leave my current relationship for my ex. I feel like I have found my soul mate. But these lingering thoughts trouble me. Am I normal? What do I do? I don't have a girlfriend to confide in. -- FOUND MY SOUL MATE

DEAR FOUND: I'm touched that you would confide in me. Yes, you are normal. Time has a way of dulling emotional pain, and with time we tend to gloss over unpleasantness. Your ex may not have been brutal and controlling all the time, and you are remembering the happier times.

I don't think that what you are missing has much to do with him. What you may be missing is the adrenaline rush you got from the drama.

Read more in: Abuse | Marriage & Divorce | Mental Health | Love & Dating