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Thread: Debating Leaving a 6-year Relationship

  1. #1

    Debating Leaving a 6-year Relationship

    TL;DR: I feel like I need to leave my angry, controlling boyfriend the second I'm able to and spend time repairing myself.

    I'm about 85% sure that I will leave him at this point, but I guess I want to get it off my chest. And maybe knowing I'm not just crazy and other people have left similar situations will help me find more peace and confidence in leaving.

    I have been with my boyfriend for almost 6 years now. He's gorgeous, smart, charming, and I get comments from friends and family when they meet him along the lines of "wow, good job getting him". He can also be very sweet and supportive, and I rarely feel bored spending time with him even though we spend almost all of our free time together since we have so many shared interests. We've also had a lot of discussions about marriage and having children together in the next few years. The thing is, he has a challenging personality and anger issues. And it feels like my energy is constantly being siphoned out by being around him.

    I feel like I'm always walking on egg shells not to upset him, and it's very reminiscent of when I was growing up with an abusive mom (who I have long cut contact with). Every now and then, he gets physical like grabbing my arms, slapping my arm or leg hard, grabbing one of my boobs hard, or making threatening gestures like he's going to slap my face and makes me flinch. I've told him repeatedly that that crosses a line with me. He has drastically cut down on this, but the threatening gestures still happen when discussions get heated. He also frequently resorts to name-calling and insulting my intelligence. I've expressed time and time again that I don't think it's okay and that we shouldn't be calling each other names no matter how bad an argument gets. He's agreed on that, but it still happens. I also get really anxious when I'm with him around friends and while we're out running errands. He will pick at something I do and say and get loud about it in front of other people and it really embarrasses me and makes me feel terrible. At first, being with him really helped my self-esteem. Now, it's at an all-time low.

    In addition to all of this, I feel very isolated and like he pretty much owns my existence. Because we have so many shared interests and skills, all of my friends become his friends. He got a job at the place I was working so all of my co-workers became his (I recently left to pursue another position in the field that was not available there). And because his family demands so much of our time and attention, I rarely get to see my own in general and on holidays. It feels like he speaks for me now any time we're around people. It also feels like he has complete control over my schedule and I don't get time to myself since he constantly wants to socialize. It's like he's consuming everything that I have and everything that I am over time. Even my friends make jokes like "yeah, maybe you should get back in the kitchen where you belong" after hearing him scold me (for clarification, I think they mean it more to point out to him that he's being disrespectful to me rather than poke fun at me). A few of them have straight up told me in private that I should get away from him. I've never felt so alone even though I'm surrounded by more people than ever before.

    I feel like over time he's been bringing out the worst in me. I feel scared, cornered, and like I need to fight back so often now (just verbally of course) so that I'm not just a doormat. Our apartment feels like a war zone and not even a home. I've told him that I couldn't imagine living together for years and raising children in this kind of environment because it would be similar to the one I grew up in. I keep telling myself that counseling between us and trying to improve our communication will magically fix everything, but I don't think it will. Right now, we have frequent talks about our relationship and what we like and don't like about it and things feel better for a short time. But then I'm reminded of how fragile his temper is all over again.

    I'm between jobs to transition into a different career right now, so I can't pack my bags and run off whenever I want right now. But I think that it might be best that I do once I'm settled into a new job. And spend some time remembering what it's like to have control over my own life and get my self-esteem back. But I'm also very scared since it feels late in my life (almost 30) to try and cultivate another relationship to marry and have children. But at this point, I think that I don't have a choice but to start over.

    Sorry it was long and thank you for reading.
    Last edited by PlatinumSad; 02-07-2020 at 01:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry about all this.

    General takeaway? Yes, this sounds very much like a relationship to end, and leave, and I suspect that it's been such a relationship for quite some time. From what you've offered, the only genuinely positive qualities of his are that he is good-looking and charming, a guy who, at least on the surface, looks like quite a catch.

    But past the surface? Yikes. My heart broke for you a few times reading this. While I am all for communication inside relationships, and trying to work through hurdles, there are some things that really, really don't merit discussions so much as just walking away. Like physical abuse. I'm so very sorry you've had to deal with that, and I do hope you can come to see that there is no place for that in love—that someone who grabs you, or makes gestures of the sort that make you flinch, is someone to never talk to again. It's really that simple.

    Sometimes the simplest lessons take a while to learn, particularly for those of us who didn't grow up with the best of models for this thing we humans label love. Been there, a few times over. This relationship, I think, has delivered its fair share of lessons: six years that are valuable in teaching you so much of what you don't want from a man. That is not a loss, but a win, though it's only a win once you act on the lessons, and start living them. That is not "starting over," but stepping forward, growing as you're meant to grow.

    Yes, it is scary to leave things, to step into the unknown. But it's a thing people do and, in the process, they step further into themselves, acting on their strengths and demagnetizing their weaknesses. Heck, you've done it yourself already once, in stepping away from your mother: a human being that did not serve your spirit. Bravo! Few things are harder than that, in accepting that we drew lousy numbers in the parental lottery and going out to make our own fortune instead. Trouble is, it seems you found a replacement rather than a new model. Happens. Those deep thorns take the longest to pluck out.

    You're not even 30. That is young! I'm 40, for instance, and most of my fiends in happy relationships found their people after some questionable relationships in their 20s. So take a moment and picture this: you're 31 or thereabouts, feeling fierce and free in your skin, a woman who got tangled up in a weird relationship in her 20s, as people do, but you don't really think too much about that chapter anymore. You ended it, processed it, grew from it. Was what it was—and, alas, you're now kicking back with an awesome dude that you don't have to break your brain (and heart) to imagine a future with. Ah, you think, this is what it can feel like...

    That is not a lofty dream, but a totally achievable one, one you deserve. It's just not going to be realized with this man, as time as shown you, as your own spirit is telling you, asking you to harness your life experience into a better life. The dream starts with the hard step, in leaving him, regaining control of yourself, as you well articulated. On that note, I'd suggest some time with a therapist, to help with the reflection. In fact, I'd do that right now, to have someone in your corner to help you in stepping away from this and toward what is next.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Lambert's Avatar
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    The first thing I want to say is, YOU ARE NOT TOO LATE IN LIFE TO LEAVE! Even if you're 80, its not too late. Its never too late to leave abuse. I understand the eggshells and trying to diffuse situations (that havent even happened yet.) Its exhausting.

    I hope you decide to leave. You deserve better. You really do.
    Last edited by Lambert; 02-07-2020 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Edited for content

  4. #4
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    For the love of everything on this planet....do not marry this guy and bring children into this abuse. Yes, he will abuse them too.

    What you are describing, all those little physical pins, this dude is sadistic. I know it's not what you normally think of, but sadistic means a person that enjoys inflicting pain on others. This pain can be physical, psychological, or emotional. It can overt and obvious or somewhat covert. The sort of little things that you describe, but if you call him out he kind of stops.....but he can't really, so it surfaces back up again.

    Please leave him asap. This will never get better, but guaranteed to get way way worse with time.

    Google narcissistic abuse. You'll find that you can relate all too well. You were able to cut out an abusive parent and that takes a lot of power on your part. Unfortunately, with this guy you went for what's familiar - more abuse. Regardless, you have the strength and the presence of mind to get out and get away from these kinds of people. As you settle your finances and your exit, do spend some time working out on how to avoid "what's familiar" going forward. Educate yourself a lot on the red flags that are there early on so you know to run. You are more than capable and have plenty of time to find a healthy man and a healthy relationship. Stop wasting your time on a sadistic psycho.

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  6. #5
    Silver Member BecxyRex's Avatar
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    It always baffles me a little when people come on here starting with "my SO is perfect, buuuut he slaps me, grabs my boob hard and verbally abuses me." There's really nothing perfect about that. After the first time of him hinting at hitting me so I flinch, I'd be out.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    I'm sure he's a prince when he's not abusing you.

    You're right, bringing children into this would result in damaged, emotionally unhealthy children. I doubt you want that for them.

    Since you're not working your options are limited. Get some kind of employment so you can afford to rent a room with roommates or in a private home. Then get the heck out before his physical abuse escalates to something that will put you in the hospital.

  8. #7
    Thank you everyone for your responses. I agree that it seems like I went from one abusive situation to the next. The abusive tendencies he has came on slowly after a few years of being together, and it seemed to go over my head until I was in the thick of it. I'd thought that after fleeing my parents' home and cutting ties with my mother I'd be able to tell if someone else was abusive and leave immediately. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

    I've told him plainly many times before that his behavior is abusive and he accuses me of being dramatic or tries to tell me that it's my fault somehow. It breaks my heart that he can't see anything wrong with these behaviors to improve on them. Maybe me making the decision to leave will be the wake up call he needs to turn things around before he's hurtful to anyone else. But I won't stick around and wait for him to decide to change. My trust has already been broken, so it seems moot to stay even if he miraculously changed overnight.

    I'm currently talking through things with my grandma since she's gone through the same thing a couple times around. I want to make a plan that I can carry out and do it smart without jumping the gun. I intend to stick to my guns and leave, but it might be as long as 6-8 months out. I'll definitely post an update once I get there. Thanks, everyone. :)

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Being in this is like being in a cult. A horrible warped world is behind closed doors with smiles and charm to the outside. This becomes a shared delusion. To rectify the pain yet be in this your mind will try to wall it off with cognitive dissonance (google it).

    Listen to your friends. If your family is bad don't go to them. Start getting out more. Classes, courses, a side job, volunteer. Get to a doctor and therapist asap and be honest about what is going on. Isolation and shame are the abuser's tools.

    Sever all financials. Start putting money away secretly. Get a PO box. Start having important mail sent there. As you know there is an uptick in abuse when his possession tries to assert individual thoughts or actions. Change passcodes and reset social media accounts. To him be humdrum and boring. Never reveal your true feelings. Never bother to explain yourself. That's like loading the gun.

    It's easy to say dump the chump, but abusive relationships are like quicksand the longer to stay and try to fight it the more you'll get sucked down. You do not have to keep going for generations.
    Originally Posted by PlatinumSad
    Even my friends make jokes like "yeah, maybe you should get back in the kitchen where you belong" after hearing him scold me (for clarification, I think they mean it more to point out to him that he's being disrespectful to me rather than poke fun at me). A few of them have straight up told me in private that I should get away from him. I've never felt so alone even though I'm surrounded by more people than ever before.

  10. #9
    Originally Posted by BecxyRex
    It always baffles me a little when people come on here starting with "my SO is perfect, buuuut he slaps me, grabs my boob hard and verbally abuses me." There's really nothing perfect about that. After the first time of him hinting at hitting me so I flinch, I'd be out.
    I see you're saying this in third person and not addressing my post. Did you come here to put me down? If so, I'm not sure what you're getting out of it.

    I said this to illustrate how he's seen by others and how I had no idea going in. He didn't do these things day one. Abusers wouldn't succeed in terrorizing others if they showed their cards immediately.

    I sincerely hope that you don't find yourself in a similar situation and understand just how it can happen.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I hope you can pack your bags sooner. However, if you can't plan your exit strategy and sever all times with him completely and permanently. He's scary and dangerous. You need to save your life and prevent risking your safety.

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