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I have been dating my girlfriend for almost 11 months, and even though we have issues I see potential.

Early on in our dating she shared with me that she has had losers for husbands (3). Initially the number bothered me more than it does now, however it still concerns me. I have been married once for almost 20 years, I bring my crap into this relationship too. I have trust issues, that must be dealt with.

I have learned that actions speak louder than words and those actions are what I need to affirmation.

In her 2nd marriage she suffered physical abuse, and rape. She is the type of person who shares leading statements with you. So, as we discovered more about each other I learned about her aversion to anything having to do with her anus. I have no interest in anal sex, but my antenna sure did pickup those signals. Early in our relationship she also shared her experiences with her 3 hubbies, and when she elaborated about the physical abuse with #2 (let's call him Jeff M.). I responded by letting her know my feelings about guys that abuse women.

She also went on to say that she was friends with her 2nd ex husband now, and that they get together for coffee, an occasional motorcycle ride. When I found this out, it made me a little wary. We talked about it a few times, but never got a resolution. I always was shutdown.

Now, a few months later and we're in a discussion and she shares with me the fact that Jeff M. raped her. I let a few days go by and I shared with her my needs to continue our relationship. I shared with her my need for her to not see Jeff anymore. I am a "protector" and to have someone that I love put themselves in danger is nothing that I am interested in being a part of. I couldn't understand why she'd befriend him after he'd done all of that to her, and she couldn't explain why, because she herself doesn't know. But, I made it clear that I was not forcing her to do this I just know myself and that falls outside of comfort zone and my boundaries.

She decided that she'd NOT see him, because she felt WE were more important. During the same conversation I asked her if they still talked flirtatiously. She proclaimed NO, I knew this was a lie because I had seen some of their emails. They were very sexual in nature, and one of the areas of concern were the dates that these were being sent. They still call each other by their pet names from when they were married. This is another red flag. The emails were during the time that we started dating, almost 2 months after. She went on to say that Jeff hasn't shared their friendship with his current girlfriend, she knows that current girlfriend would be unhappy.
When I put all these pieces together I get the feeling that she still has significant feelings towards Jeff, and if that's the case I might as well move on.

I consider myself to be pretty understanding, one area that I need help with from her is how you get to a point of befriending your abuser. She hasn't been able to communicate that, and in addition she actually protects him. About a month ago she sent him a note telling him of a fight we had and that I was threatened by him, and that I am forbidding her to see him. Both are untrue, if she wants to see him she sure can I just don't want to be in a relationship like that. After reading that email I felt like she didn't respect me enough to tell him why I had the problems with her seeing him.

I need some outside perspective on our relationship, on her issues with Jeff, and how to approach her about this. We are both seeing counselors separately, and the goal is to have couples counseling hopefully sooner than later. This is something that I suggested, I do want a relationship with her. I am not sure that she has it in her to really be in a healthy relationship.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Why are you so keen to stay in such an unhealthy relationship? She lies to you. She flirts with her ex and is in contact with him behind your back. Do you know for a fact that he actually raped her? She doesn't sound very trustworthy, and she certainly has no respect for you.

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