Cheryl Burke Discusses Past Abusive Relationships -- and How Matthew Lawrence Broke the Pattern
By Jennifer Drysdale
Cheryl Burke got open and honest on her YouTube channel on Friday, discussing her past abusive relationships. As the Dancing With the Stars pro shared, she considers her husband Matthew Lawrence the "first relationship I ever had that did not fit this abusive pattern."
In the lengthy video, Burke -- who previously revealed she was sexually abused as a child -- said she was "addicted" to dating toxic men.
She said she lost her virginity to her first boyfriend at age 13, which set her into "a pattern of moving just way too fast." "It was something that I did because I felt like I had to, in a way, just to keep a boyfriend," Burke said of her idea of sex throughout her teens and early 20s.
In addition to abusive relationships, Burke said she was also abusing herself through alcohol. It wasn't until she met Lawrence and started dating him around 2007 that these patterns changed, she shared.
"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," she 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."
The couple broke up in 2008, but eventually got back together in 2017. They tied the knot last year.
"He is the complete opposite of everything bad about my past relationships," she raved of Lawrence. "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."
Burke said she wanted to share her story in the hopes that it could help others. "I want to share my experience with all of you, because I hope in turn it could help anyone who may have experienced something similar to know there is hope on the other side," she said.
"I am living proof that where you are in life does not need to be where you are forever," Burke added.