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.