Cheryl Burke is looking back on the tough path that brought her to finding true love with husband Matthew Lawrence.
The 36-year-old Dancing With the Stars pro shared a powerful video to YouTube on Friday, Dec. 11 entitled “My Experience with Abusive Relationships.” In the video, Cheryl provided fans with an introspective and raw look back on the string of abusive relationships that she endured in her younger years.
“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 explained in the footage. “I also was abusing myself by drinking too much and just really had no respect for myself, which I’ll be talking more about as well in future videos.”
It wasn’t until she started dating eventual husband Matthew in 2007 that she allowed a healthy partner into her life, even if she wasn’t yet ready to fully embrace their connection.
“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 explained. “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.”
Cheryl and the Boy Meets World alum split in 2008. But they rekindled the spark in 2017 before tying the knot in May 2019.
“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,” the dancer continued. “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.”