Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke has been honest about her trauma, sharing details of childhood sexual abuse and substance abuse. Since taking part in the TLC special Breaking the Silence, Burke has been open about her past abuse incidents. With her latest Instagram post and YouTube video, Burke discussed her experience with abusive relationships.
Burke dove deep into some emotional territory but made sure to add a silver lining in the form of her husband, Matthew Lawrence. The Boy Meets World alum has been with Burke since 2007 and according to the Dancing With the Stars pro, he is the first healthy relationship she's encountered.
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"Looking back, I honestly think that the first relationship I ever had that did not fit this abusive pattern was when my now-husband Matt and I dated the first time around, back in 2007," Burke said. "I honestly think at the time when we first dated, I didn't clearly love myself enough to think that I deserved to be with someone who was actually nice to me. And I was just wrapped up in this new get-out-of-jail-free card, L.A.-party lifestyle, whereas he had already kind of been there and done that, since he grew up in this industry."
Burke and Lawrence did break up in 2008, but reconnected in 2017 before their marriage in 2019. Before this, Burke described an unhealthy pattern in relationships and the abusive treatment she encountered.
"Even after I graduated high school and into my professional dancing career, I was still into those types of bad-boy relationships, and I continued on the pattern of dating abusive men," she said in the video. "I also was abusing myself by drinking too much and just really had no respect for myself."
The pro dancer teased more discussion her past in future videos. She also made it clear that her return to Lawrence was a blessing from the universe.
"So I'm just so grateful and happy that the universe really brought him back into my life when I was ready and had grown into the person I am now because he is the complete opposite of everything bad about my past relationships," she said "I think when I look back on this time in my life, I could sit here and say that I wish these things had never happened to me, but I look at it now as every part of my story has helped me to become the woman I am today."