Dear Dr. Romance:
I just recently dated a man with a violent past. I didn't know that he was like that until I found out he was wanted by the police and arrested for assault and battery with a deadly weapon. He lied to me about his name and his past. We write to each other every now and then. I know its time for me to let go but I'm having trouble deciding on how to tell him to stop writing me. I also made the mistake of sending him my picture and now that my rational side is taking over I now realize my folly. Do you have any ideas? He knows where I currently live so I need to be careful on how I end things. I already told him that I would not be there romantically for him when he gets released and that all I could offer him is friendship. He also knows that I will be working at Mass General so I could be easily found even though I plan on moving from my current living situation.
You did make a dangerous mistake, especially with a man who has transgressed enough to wind up in prison. Your best bet is to tell him you've met someone else, and hope he moves on to someone else. Say that your new boyfriend is the jealous type, and you can not be friends with him. You can set this up over a couple of letters, if you think he'll believe it more. When you move, do not leave a forwarding address, or forward your mail to a P.O. Box. Change your phone number, and don't make it easy to trace you. If he shows up at your work, or calls you there, you'll have to tell your superiors about the problem, and get a restraining order. Don't mess around with this, don't worry about hurting his feelings. Just end it cleanly. A violent men will not understand that you just don't want to hurt his feelings. Anything less than a very clear "you must not contact me" will seem like an invitation to him. If you met him online, re-think what you're doing to meet men. "Family Violence Q&A; " "Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence;" and "How to Keep Yourself Out of a Violent Relationship" will help you change your idea of what a relationship should be. It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction will help you understand why you feel powerless about him, and how to change that.
For low-cost counseling, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org