Hi Emily!

My girlfriend and I have known each other for 10 years. She was in an abusive relationship for 6 years. She was separated from him for 9 months, after the 10th month we started dating. After 4 months in, we said I love you and moved to being in a relationship. It's now been 5 months total together and, last night, she said, "I'm not ready to be in a relationship.  I'm still emotionally attached to him, I love you and didn't want to hurt you." What can I do now? Are we done?

----------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------

I can't say if you're done for good, but be grateful she was honest with you. It's a sad situation when someone is still attached to an abusive relationship, but that's who she is, and you can't really help. She needs to tackle this on her own -- like the alcoholic. I get many letters from women who are in, or have been in abusive relationships, and one thing I've learned is that they have little insight into why and how it happens. It's often  repeated to their detriment. It's a sad time for you.  But it's better to know the truth than to be dragged into a situation that only causes more emotional harm.  If you can, maintain your friendship but set boundaries.  Don't let her use you as her "go-to" guy if she gets back with the jerk and wants to use you as her sounding board. She'll need to seek professional counseling for that, and it's best for you to stay above the fray.