Is it normal to hang out with ex?

So, I was with a guy for slightly over a year. He was so sweet for the first several months but started to get a little bit emotionally/verbally abusive, demanding of me for money and favours, etc. It turned physical once (nothing severe, he knocked me down because he wouldn't give me my phone back and I refused to leave until he did) and that was the last I saw him for 3 months. He's been an alcoholic for the last 20+ years so that's a factor.

At the beginning of this month he asked me to come over. I went because he was nice on video chat and I thought maybe he had started to see the errors in his ways. He apologized for everything and said he didn't mean to hurt me. But then he went back to saying I can't control my temper, even though I told him over and over that I love him too much to get mad at him. I got upset often because I felt disrespected and arguing with the love of my life absolutely destroyed me. He kept bringing up what happened then said I brought it up, which I didn't. Then he was nice again so for the past week we've hung out as friends a few times. I know I won't have a romantic relationship with him again; my family and two close friends want nothing to do with him, and I don't get to say hi to his sisters anymore which makes me sad because I always loved them. Anyway he's been nicer to me lately than when we were together. Last night we were vibing to music and had dinner together.

I feel some measure of guilt, like maybe I shouldn't hang out with someone who hurt me that many times and who my loved ones dislike. But it's hard for me to say no. A mutual friend (she's sort of my friend but he's known her a lot longer than I have) told me he has children he's not allowed to see. When we met he told me he had two kids ages 19 and 13. I met the 13 year old once. He said he hasn't seen the oldest since she was very small because her mom is a raging b*tch and took her away from him for no reason. But he has 3 more who are 15, 10 and 8 whom he hasn't seen since they were born, if he has at all. I know it's none of my business but maybe if I knew exactly what happened there it would be easier to completely dismiss any feelings I have left for him. So is this normal?

Is It Normal?
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  • I was friends with my ex after we broke up. He's a great guy I could count on, but also has emotional issues caused by his mental health. He's mean and verbally abusive, but then he apologizes. We stopped being friends but he actually this year came back into my life and I realized he's still the same, quite immature too, and I can see him clearer than I could back then and i'm not willing to keep forgiving him anymore. So I was finally able to let him go once and for all. It was nice for me because even though we hadn't hung out or talked in a few years i've missed and never stopped loving him. Him arrogantly coming back into my life again and showing he hasn't done anything to improve on his mental health, even one of the first things he said to me being that his life is crap, made me realize it's not worth it. Personally i'm trying to better myself whereas he may not be a bad person, but he doesn't do anything to improve and only comes up with excuses. It's only for so long you can keep feeling sorry for someone like that while also exposing yourself to them and letting them treat like you shit over and over whenever they're in the dumps. He may not mean to be an asshole when he is, but if he cared about you at all he'd leave you alone. It's classic abusive behaviour to promise things will get better and then act in hurtful ways again. Your guy there really sounds a lot like my ex and I always forgave and put up with getting disrespected because I loved him and felt sorry for him. Being realistic now that i've matured and grown while he wasn't in my life anymore I can see that he was always using me. Maybe not in the beginning, but later on. He abandonded our friendship as soon as it got serious with a woman he'd been seeing but not told me about, and made up reasons for why we couldn't be friends and he was suddenly sick of me. He's now single again and so he popped back into my life.

    Asking for forgiveness means nothing. It's a manipulation tactic to make you stick around so he has a punching bag when he needs one. You really need to open your eyes, girl. Leave him behind and don't let him get in your head. Only reason a man like that comes back is because he knows you'll put up with anything he does. He doesn't respect nor love or care about you, as if he did he'd seriously get his shit together or leave you alone as to not hurt you further. There has to be a point where you say stop and start standing up for yourself. You're not his mom so stop mothering him, feeling sorry for him taking his crap. Guy needs to man up and get his shit together.

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  • Normal to hang out with an ex. Not normal to hang out with a toxic ahole like you’ve described here. There are so many people in the world you don’t need to waste your time justifying the actions of every jerk you meet. Work on your self respect instead.

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    • Exactly, I don’t understand what OP gains from this situation, with a “friend” like this who needs enemies?

      Also the implication that OP has cut her sisters off for this guy is deeply concerning, he wants her isolated.

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      • I started to wonder if this was that one user who posts regularly about her abusive on and off boyfriends.

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        • "Boyfriends" meaning plural? That's not me. I thought things could be different if we both learned from our mistakes but I see what ur saying and I appreciate the honesty.

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  • Saying hes a good guy then saying hes abusive makes no sense. He cant be both. If hes abusive it doesnt matter if when hes not being actively abusive hes a “sweet” person. This is something i see in my own experiences and feel im mirroring off what youre writing. I would draw a line and not see him.

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  • Many people have casual relationships with their ex's.

    The fact is that the reason they had a relationship is that there was a lot of commonality and joint benefit, even if some aspect did not work out.

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    • Did you read the post? This man is an obvious serial abuser.

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      • I've learned long ago that what is presented by one party is just one side of the story... and the differences can be massive.

        I'd never make the judgment you made based on the post above. I'd need more evidence.

        I might make it based on some other post that I've seen.

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        • I didn't elaborate much because I wanted to keep it as short and to the point as possible...I made mistakes in that relationship too that I learned from, so that's another reason why I thought things could be different now. I was never abusive towards him but I got too upset after arguments and apologized profusely which ended up annoying him.

          I will say Everything that happened with his kids is particularly troubling, even though all of that happened before I knew him. The aforementioned mutual friend says it's because he's a raging alcoholic. But for a long time I believed that story that his daughter's mother kept her away from him just to be evil. He's good at being convincing.

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  • He was an ex for a reason.

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  • Guys who arent in their kids lives get a major red flag from me. If he has that many kids and doesnt see any of them he's a pos. Before you mentioned that I thought maybe you could work it out possibly but the kid thing is too much to look past. If he doesnt even care and step up because of his own kids he never will with you. He only thinks of himself.

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