Is my boyfriend abusive? Should I leave?
Hi everyone. Sorry in advance, this is a bit long. I would really appreciate some advice about my situation with my boyfriend. I think he may be emotionally abusive to me. We have been together for over four years. I am 25 and he is 29. We’ve always had a long distance relationship only seeing each other on weekends. He recently quit his job and works from home on his own business. I’m doing a Masters degree. We usually get on really well. I feel like we understand each other. We have the same sort of moods and opinions. He’s sweet, affectionate, and very loving. I trust him completely and know that he would never cheat on me. He’s always been supportive and encouraging of my education and my goals. He can cook, clean, iron, and look after himself. He always says he loves me and that his feelings haven’t changed.
During the last year I’ve been feeling like something’s wrong in our relationship. We have been constantly arguing, and he has also become really angry and loses his temper easily. During arguments he swears a lot, mostly the F word. At the beginning of our relationship he used to swear occasionally. I have told him lots of times that it bothers me and I used to feel that he respected my feelings on the issue and that he tried to limit his swearing in front of me. Once he even stopped swearing completely for a few months.
Lately, there have been a few incidents in which he will shout at me and swear repeatedly during an argument and he often reduces me to tears. He often blames me for him losing his temper. He gets angry about the silliest things. At the weekend he became angry because he said I’d been scowling at him all Saturday night. I think I was just a bit sad about something and I hadn’t even realised that I’d been scowling. Anyway, he was so angry that he screamed and swore at me.
On Sunday we had an argument because he asked me to promise that I wouldn’t make him wait at the train station. I said I would try, but it wasn’t up to me. I’ll give a bit of background here. Trains leave from his station every half an hour and sometimes if I’ve just missed the last train I have to wait for the next one. I know thirty minutes is a long time, but we’re not going to see each other for a whole week and we always want a bit more time to kiss and say goodbye because we’ll miss each other. Also, I can understand him not wanting to wait on the platform, in the cold, but we always sit and wait in the locked car, with the heating on and just cuddle and kiss and the time seems to go faster because we’re talking. Before, my boyfriend never seemed to have a problem with this and actually enjoyed our last minutes together. He sometimes even asked me to stay a bit longer and he didn’t want me to leave. He always says he loves me and misses me but now it seems he can’t wait for me to leave.
During Sunday afternoon he was asking me repeatedly what time it was and when’s your train? I got the impression that he just couldn’t wait until I left so he could get back onto his computer and work. When I said that I couldn’t make the next train and would have to get the one after, he got really angry. He shouted that I was going back on my promise, that he hated waiting and that he got bored. He then started screaming at me and swearing repeatedly. When I asked him to calm down and keep a civil tongue he swore even more and started mocking me in a really derisive way. I felt that he was attacking me and blaming me over something I had no control over. I don’t make the timetable. I also felt like he was saying that he was bored with me (he later explained that he just got bored waiting).
At the station I was about to go and just started crying in the car because I was so upset. I didn’t want to part on bad terms and tried to solve things but he blamed me for the whole argument, saying that he was sorry I was crying, but I brought it on myself because I “broke my promise” and that it was my fault. I told him that nothing could justify the way he spoke to me, his contemptuous tone of voice, the screaming, and the swearing. He apologised a few times but it seemed to me like he felt he was justified in his behavior. He also got upset when I didn’t kiss him goodbye. I felt that if I did kiss him it would give the impression that everything was fine. He started saying that was his “punishment”. I felt that he was acting immaturely and treating me as if I was a parent.
I still feel so hurt by the way he treated me. I didn’t deserve that. I make an effort to go and see my boyfriend almost every weekend (sometimes we take a break) and I travel nearly two hours each way to see him. He just seems eager for me to leave as early as possible on the Sunday. I know he wants to work and I support that. I totally support his business and his goals. I also give him his space and do my own thing. However, because I usually come at four on Saturday and leave at about the same time on Sunday, he has the majority of Saturday and late Sunday afternoon and evening as well as the whole week to do whatever he wants. I feel like he finds spending time with me to be a chore and we only really spend one day together. I just feel taken for granted and like he doesn’t want me around.
I also feel that my boyfriend dismisses my feelings. When I try to tell him how I feel or explain my actions, he becomes really condescending. He acts like I’m being silly and says things like “mmm-hmm” or “yeah right” in a scornful tone of voice. When I’m crying and upset he becomes really insensitive saying things like “are we done now?” or “can I read my book now?” Sometimes, when he knows I’m upset because of something he’s done, he asks me if everything is ok. When I say I’m upset he dismisses it as me being silly and doesn’t want to talk.
I just don’t know what to do. Is my boyfriend trying to tell me something ie. he wants me to break up with him? I have heard that guys act like this because they want the girl to break up with them. Almost every time we argue my boyfriend says something like "I'm done" or "Let’s break up". He always assumes that just because we've had an argument we should break up. The whole thing is really getting me down - I don't want to break up but it seems like he's always thinking about it. My boyfriend is usually so affectionate and loving, but when we argue he becomes so mean to me. Can this behavior be considered emotionally/verbally abusive? I have actually tried to convince myself that this behaviour is normal because swearing is everywhere now, but on the other hand my boyfriend knows that it upsets and hurts me and he keeps doing it. He always apologises and then he does it again. I really love him and want to make it work, but I just don’t know if I can cope anymore. Is there any hope for our relationship? Can my boyfriend change or is this a sign of worse things to come?
Thank you everyone for reading.
Last edited by Lilynula; 02-13-2012 at 05:18 PM.
You knew well in advance what time it was leaving and presumably you know how long it takes to get to the station. I'd be very frustrated too with you acting like this is outside of your control - it seems 100% within your control to me. To me, being late is 99% of the time the is the same as being selfish.
He does sound like a jerk though. Losing your temper is just immature. Dismissing your feelings is unacceptable and more than enough reason to end it with him. Has he always been like this?
Be careful darling.
I know this scenario far too well. It seems to me that your boyfriend is starting to use you for granted and is starting a circle of abuse. Do NOT let him treat you like this. Even if you are sad, don't cry in front of him and show authority over the limits he shouldn't cross.
I will give you some background of my past relationship.
My boyfriend and I were very much in love. He was tender, loving, caring... He used to cry when I'd be gone for more than 2 days.
Then one day. I asked him for a lighter which was right next to him. And he threw it right in my face with do much strength and anger that it bruised me. I was utterly shocked.
"Why did you do that?"
"There was a lighter right next to you and you asked me for mine because you knew it would piss me off!"
There was indeed a lighter next to me which I didn't see. I explained I didnt see it and there was no point getting do angry about something so petty. But all of a sudden I was a monster. It was so absurd.
The rest if the time it was fine. But then he started to do it more and more. The slightest little thing was my fault.
Guess how bad it got at the end? He used to strangle me in bed, drunk, and tried raping me.
I used to cry and he used to laugh at me a d take a pathetic voice going "Boohoo poor you, you're such a victim".
He would say that while I was in tears two seconds after I was strangled.
I'm not saying he will get like this but these are the signs of the beginning of an abusive relationship.
He's starting to take you for granted. Stand for yourself. Don't let him destroy you. It starts by petty things like trains timetable and it can go horribly wrong in a few months time.
DM me if you need to x
Yes, this is emotional abuse. The anger, profanity, and blaming, all of it.
Your words are not reaching him anymore to stop because he's taking you for granted. And that's not going to change easily, as it seems like it's part of his character now.
You need to do something big to make him change, something that will probably be very difficult for both you and him. And even then there's no guarantee that he will change.
I knew what time the train was leaving and I always check the timetable. When we are going to the station from his house, we always leave thirty minutes before and it takes ten, fifteen minutes to get to the station so we are never late. It's outside of my control when we go out. For example on Sunday we went out to eat. After, we left well in advance to make the train, but got held up by traffic and were late meaning we had to wait about thirty minutes.
Originally Posted by pl3asehelp
Another time we went to the cinema in a town an hour away. The film finished at 5.30 and the next train was at 6.15, but as it takes an hour to get to the station from that town we didn't arrive until 6.30 and had to wait fifteen minutes. Also, these scenarios don't happen often, usually we make the train and only have to wait for about fifteen minutes.
Also, I think it's a bit hypocritical of my bf to get angry about waiting because I've waited for him dozens of times; when he comes up to see me in London, i always go to the station which is half an hour away to meet him and sometimes I've waited there for up to an hour because he's missed the train. We also used to have this problem where we'd arrange to meet in London and he'd be late. He wouldn't call to let me know, I didn't know what was happening and waited for him for ages. When he has to go home I always go with him to the station and wait until he gets on the train. I just feel that I make so much effort when he visits me and he doesn't at all anymore. It's like he expects me to wait standing on the platform in the cold or sitting in a cafe by myself when we could spend our last few minutes together. I don't think there's much difference between waiting fifteen minutes or waiting thirty minutes and also we won't see each other all week.
To answer your question my bf wasn't always like this. He used to be so respectful of me and loving. He has always cursed and sworn but only occasionally and never at me or in conversation with me. He also used to always apologise after swearing, now he seems to think it's okay. He has dismissed my feelings before, but then always apologised and tried to understand me. Lately it's got worse because he acts like I'm wrong to feel the way I do and thinks I'm being too sensitive.
Thanks to everyone for replying. FrenchNatasha, your boyfriend sounds horrible. I hope he's your ex now?
I am seriously reconsidering my relationship with my bf. It's so hard though to think about breaking up because I love him so much but lately I have just been so unhappy and wondering if I'm better off single. This weekend was the final straw for me. I feel like something has broken inside me and I just can't look at him in the same way anymore. I think I will give him an ultimatum: change or I'm leaving.
He might change for a while. A few weeks or months even. Then the abuse will come back and you'll wonder what happened. It will be a cycle. It's a manipulative tactic to keep you from leaving, keep you under his control, because you'll keep hoping for that sweet guy to come back. You'll rationalize with "we've been together so long and have such a history, I can't just give up" and "It's not so bad all the time" and he knows it.
Originally Posted by Lilynula
Don't fall in to that cycle. It's up to you to break it. There are plenty of guys out there who won't just sometimes treat you well.
I fell out of my stream of self-consciousness
And I've got welts on my mind to signify all my accomplishments.
This made me sick to my stomach reading this. Made me sad when I saw nothing u did as a justification of his reaction. in fact a loving man wouldnt curse u out and continue being vile.I don't think any normal person would resort to this behavior.This is scary to me and smells of "Anger issues/lack of respect". Hes not only takin u for granted but he is cruel. As u cry he pokes.When u love someone and they are hurt u almost freeze in ur tracks like "oh no" not "oh well" right? So somethings truly wrong here!
This is right. When a person begins to act a certain way habitually, it becomes part of their character. Extremely difficult to change without something drastic happening. And if he does change, it very likely won't be permanent. It's really almost the way a sociopath thinks. Act a certain way long enough to fool people, then do as you please.
Originally Posted by DrKitten
Maybe you were the ocean
And I was just a stone
From what you're saying, I'd agree with the idea that he might be done with the relationship and is trying to force you to end it by dealing out this shabby behaviour. He's really not being respectful to you and seems like he's picking faults.
Do you always go to visit him, or could he come to you?
I would suggest backing off a little bit and not always going to visit him. See if he cares and wants to make plans to see you. If not, you might have to accept that he wants to end it but lacks the cojones....which really is grossly unfair of him to make you feel like you're always at fault and can't do anything right. If you surmise that your infrequent visits don't bother him much at all, then I'd say your relationship has run its course.
I can't imagine that it's very pleasant being around him when you know you will probably be anticipating this crappy treatment at the end of your visit. Who needs THAT? Not you!
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