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Thread: First love was abusive

  1. #1

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    First love was abusive

    When I was 14 I had my first love, i was with him for 4 years. During our relationship he would consistently abuse me both mentally and physically. Every argument we had he would punch/kick/strangle me. I was so young, and I believed that this is what love was. I put up with it for so long, forgave him everytime after he put an emotional show on saying how sorry he was and how he was going to change. At the end of the day, he broke up with me, after everything I had put up with and it really broke me. I would have done anything for him, I lost all my friends and a lot of family because of him. I seaked approval from him so badly even after we had broken up and everything I did was to impress him. I always believed that he would come back to me in the end but it never happened. I went to university that year, 5 hours away from him but I still struggled dating, i would never let anyone in and was constantly comparing people to him. Until i met another guy, who i finally let in. I have now been with him for 2 years and I do love him but I have a real issue with intimacy. Anything like kissing, hugging etc I feel very uncomfortable and i really struggle with expressing my feelings. I feel terrible because he has been nothing but good to me but I just cant do the intimate things I used to do with my ex. I dont know if this is a defensive mechanism or if I dont love him like my ex? I also struggle with intimacy with my friends, cant stand hugging friends or talking about my emotions and feel almost sick when I have to do these things. No matter what my ex did to me, i could never hate him but I wish I could because maybe that could help me move on. Has anyone else been in this situation? How did you overcome it?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I can relate to your story, but I want you to take a moment and consider your family dynamic. Was your family an attached, warm fuzzy family or otherwise?

    It's great you hold the ex bf accountable for his behavior and recognize the impact it has on you. But you were drawn to him at a young age for a reason and tolerated it for 4 years.
    It kind of suggests that something could have been going on at home as well.
    Is there any truth to that?

    What helped me was therapy.
    You were very young and impressionable. It's not easy to just get over something that you just described.
    How old are you now?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry this happened. Therapy would help you unpack, sort and redirect your thoughts and feelings. No friend or bf or family can do that. In the mean time, keep doing confidence building activities such as getting good grades, focusing on your career goals, join some clubs, groups, activities and learn to make friends and acquaintances. Read up on the dynamics of abusive relationships. Educate yourself. Read up on Stockholm Syndrome and learn the difference between attachment and love.

    You don't have to let everyone "in", but you do need people around you can feel normal about. You also do not have to constantly talk about your feelings. You can be close to people having shared interests and activities. Try not to make your bf your entire world again. Pace yourself. You don't have to be closer to anyone than you want to be. In fact healthy boundaries are about knowing where you end and others begin.
    Originally Posted by Katysure
    I have now been with him for 2 years and I do love him but I have a real issue with intimacy. Anything like kissing, hugging etc I feel very uncomfortable and i really struggle with expressing my feelings.
    I also struggle with intimacy with my friends, cant stand hugging friends or talking about my emotions and feel almost sick when I have to do these things.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Rebuild your relationships with your friends and family and recover what you have lost in that time during the relationship. You started attending university so obviously you're doing something right (you are working towards a larger goal). In order to complete what you've started it'll take focus and some coordination on your part for a number of things. Be prepared for what's coming ahead of you.

    Don't lose sight of your goals and get sidetracked by your love business and romantic relationships on the side. If you feel yourself slipping back into an unhealthy emotional dependent type of role, resist that.

    Practice self love and engaging with your thoughts and check in with yourself every now and then. YOU are a full time job and what you learned in your previous relationship is all the ways how not to care for yourself adequately. Unlearn those ways and start caring for yourself and staying focused.

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  6. #5

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    Me and my dad used to fight a lot, physically. But I would give it back to him, i was a problem child and acted out a lot but my dad had a shorter temper with me than my brothers. One of my friends also told my mum how my ex was abusing me, and my mum never said anything to me about it, she just let it happen in a way and I think that's why I put up with it for so long.
    I am 21 now and I would never let that sort of abuse happen again, and I know that for a fact but I think because I was so young, it has really distorted my view of relationships.

  7. #6

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    Originally Posted by Katysure
    When I was 14 I had my first love, i was with him for 4 years. During our relationship he would consistently abuse me both mentally and physically. Every argument we had he would punch/kick/strangle me. I was so young, and I believed that this is what love was. I put up with it for so long, forgave him everytime after he put an emotional show on saying how sorry he was and how he was going to change. At the end of the day, he broke up with me, after everything I had put up with and it really broke me. I would have done anything for him, I lost all my friends and a lot of family because of him. I seaked approval from him so badly even after we had broken up and everything I did was to impress him. I always believed that he would come back to me in the end but it never happened. I went to university that year, 5 hours away from him but I still struggled dating, i would never let anyone in and was constantly comparing people to him. Until i met another guy, who i finally let in. I have now been with him for 2 years and I do love him but I have a real issue with intimacy. Anything like kissing, hugging etc I feel very uncomfortable and i really struggle with expressing my feelings. I feel terrible because he has been nothing but good to me but I just cant do the intimate things I used to do with my ex. I dont know if this is a defensive mechanism or if I dont love him like my ex? I also struggle with intimacy with my friends, cant stand hugging friends or talking about my emotions and feel almost sick when I have to do these things. No matter what my ex did to me, i could never hate him but I wish I could because maybe that could help me move on. Has anyone else been in this situation? How did you overcome it?
    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    I can relate to your story, but I want you to take a moment and consider your family dynamic. Was your family an attached, warm fuzzy family or otherwise?

    It's great you hold the ex bf accountable for his behavior and recognize the impact it has on you. But you were drawn to him at a young age for a reason and tolerated it for 4 years.
    It kind of suggests that something could have been going on at home as well.
    Is there any truth to that?

    What helped me was therapy.
    You were very young and impressionable. It's not easy to just get over something that you just described.
    How old are you now?
    Me and my dad used to fight a lot, physically. But I would give it back to him, i was a problem child and acted out a lot but my dad had a shorter temper with me than my brothers. One of my friends also told my mum how my ex was abusing me, and my mum never said anything to me about it, she just let it happen in a way and I think that's why I put up with it for so long.
    I am 21 now and I would never let that sort of abuse happen again, and I know that for a fact but I think because I was so young, it has really distorted my view of relationships.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Therapy can help you break the cycle of violence. If you don't address this, it will go on.
    Originally Posted by Katysure
    Me and my dad used to fight a lot, physically. But I would give it back to him, i was a problem child and acted out a lot but my dad had a shorter temper with me than my brothers.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Therapy can help you break the cycle of violence. If you don't address this, it will go on.
    I echo this. I am sorry Katy, but your upbringing combined with your experiences are really toxic. I'd advice you get some therapy to help sort this out and ultimately find yourself in a better place and better equipped for a healthy relationship.
    I don't know how you overcome all of this fully, on your own.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Yes, therapy and if you are in Uni still your tuition should cover the cost of that therapy so look into it with your University's psychology department.

    You deserve to be able to enjoy physical and romantic intimacy WITHOUT the violence. Work with a professional to help you get past the trauma your first boyfriend left you in.

    Good luck... Love yourself enough to get that therapy. Believe you deserve more than the post traumatic symptoms you are enduring presently.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Gosh, so much turmoil in such a short life. Iím really sorry. Where were your parents during this time? How is your relationship with them?

    I ask because he wouldnít have gotten in to begin with had you learned a healthy sense of self, you sound fully aware what he did was abuse yet you accepted it and begged for his love, that goes very deep, so where did all this start?

    The blame canít be places completely on him because even if you take him out the equation somethings not connecting emotionally.

    Iím sorry you went through that and it may not seem like it but he did you a huge favor, you are so so much better off.

    You now have to learn what healthy looks like because as of now it sounds like healthy is not appealing to you.

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