I’m torn between my violent ex-boyfriend and caring crush

A couple during an outing. Lasting relationships must avoid any form of manipulation and guile.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • It appears like you left a window open which allowed him entry to abuse you repeatedly.
  • You must be clear on the reasons you have for reconnecting with this new guy.
  • This new guy must know the story behind your pregnancy.

Hello Mr Kitoto,

Two years ago, I dated a man who was very possessive and physically violent. I tried to break up with him severally, but he always convinced me to take him back. 

I finally got the guts to end things with him but later found out l was four weeks pregnant. Within that one month, I befriended an old crush and we had sex. The crush thinks I’m carrying his baby and is okay with it. He has been there for me so far. I concluded that my ex had rejected the pregnancy because we have not spoken in a while. What should l do in the meantime before l get a DNA test?


People who are possessive in relationships tend to be driven by specific vulnerabilities. Others may be controlling, driven by jealousy or fear. For him to turn physically violent is typical, especially when they cannot control their extreme emotions and feelings. In such moments, if we fail to deal early with their expressed feelings of fear and jealousy, we leave a door open that could lead to abuse. It appears like you left a window open which allowed him entry to abuse you repeatedly. Generally, some abusers are good at using persuasive language that keeps the abused trapped under their claws. It is good that you finally realised this and moved out.

It is challenging for me to make a judgment concerning the gentleman you are currently dating. However, it appears as if you hurried into this relationship before you healed from your previous one. Love on the rebound is common and could hurt if those involved don’t take care.

One would argue that “But he was an old-time friend.” Of course, that could be true. If you have to move forward with success, first, you need to ask yourself whether you dealt with your past entirely. If you did not fully heal from that abusive past, it could easily influence your future negatively.

Second, you must be clear on the reasons you have for reconnecting with this new guy. Even though he is an old buddy, there must be a reason why you lost contact, or he resurfaced in your life. You must be able to identify things in him that make you feel like you can have a future together.


Your pregnancy complicates things. This new guy must know the story behind your pregnancy so that you both come clean on the way forward with your relationship. By thinking of a DNA test, one will almost believe that you are not sure of who the father could be. This could question whether you have been intimate with any other man apart from your previous boyfriend. Or is the pregnancy by the current guy. You also referred to benefits. You may need to realise that love must be sincere. His silence must be investigated to understand its cause.

In conclusion, lasting relationships must avoid any form of manipulation and guile.


Hi Kitoto,

Your advice in the relationship column is just amazing, please keep it up!

 I am in a relationship with a “divorced man”. I have used quotation marks because I am not sure if he is really divorced. I have not been to his house though he mentioned he lives with three children. I was married with children and have had this relationship for the past one and half years.

 My reason for seeking help from you is that this man seems to be using me. He hardly calls, only sends me emails.

The emails are mostly sexually oriented, nothing much. I feel like am only there to support him emotionally because we also do not meet often. Kindly advise please.



I pray that you will not only follow your feelings but also your intellect. Many make mistakes particularly where their ‘inner voice’ seems to caution them on issues. For most, the response later would be, “I saw this was coming” … “I wish I did something then.”

However, relationships are very complicated. In fact, they are not as easy as many think.

That said, let’s start from the start. Both of you have some history that needs to be shared.

When you marry someone, you are marrying also their attitudes, behaviour patterns, background. Of course, you may never practice what they practice, but their life is part of yours in many ways.

As a result, your first engagement with this man should have been to walk on a road of disclosure together where you are sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

Most relationships have at their core a desire to be sexually intimate together.

As much as this is may look great in the moment, I believe one needs to be sexually intimate after walking through many issues. For your part, this man is of the opinion that you like what he likes. This is why you could be getting those emails. How about making your voice heard.

You have issues that concern you —issues that are more important to you than just getting to bed with him.

How about living for what you value most for once. Be valued for who you are and for what you can give.

A time comes when our giving may be limited by circumstances. But somehow, life has to move on. In this regard, I suggest that your relationship be founded on what will last.

Keys to a value- added relationship

What most couples fail to realise is that it doesn’t take much to help your partner feel more valued by you every day.

Adding value to your partner makes them feel loved, appreciated and desired, and they are in turn motivated to make you feel more valued and appreciated. I read somewhere that the quality of your life will be largely based on the relationships you nurture along the way.

In addition, if you are consistent in adding value, you will find that you have no shortage of friends and affection. Deeper relationships are built when we are willing to make sacrifices. These sacrifices include:

  • Embracing the bigger picture approach mentality
  • Striving to be the better partner in the relationship
  • Being less controlling and instead giving your partner space to be themselves
  • Allowing your partner to learn from their mistakes.
  • Being generous with your compliments
  • Listening and keeping an eye out for his or her hidden unmet needs
  • Identifying and encouraging your spouse’s dreams
  • Being willing to invest time in your spouse
  • Praising your spouse often, whether he or she is there or not
  • Seeking to understand before pushing to be understood.