DEAR ZZINA POWER: WHEN we met, my partner told me all about her abusive relationship with her ex.

If she occasionally texts him, she still calls him sweetheart despite all he put her through.

She is 29, I am 28. We met on a dating site 18 months ago.

She told me she’d been divorced for ten years, but they still lived together for the sake of their kids, who are now grown up.

He had multiple flings after their divorce but I’m her first partner since him.

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A year ago, she moved in with me. I read the message she sent her ex when he had an operation and I was shocked to read her using affectionate terms with him.

We are happy and maybe I should just let it go. But I can’t help wondering why she contradicts herself over him.

ZZINA POWER SAYS: Abusive relationships are complex.

Victims often blame themselves, believing that if they love someone enough, they will stop abusing.

Showing her ex affection when he is vulnerable may be a familiar dance between them and her words were spoken out of habit.

Remind yourself she prefers to be with you.

Don’t let her past ruin your happy relationship.