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i don't know how to leave him


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I've been consistantly dating my bf for 5 years. Before me, he dated a girl off and on for 4 years. Once we started dating, his ex would call once and a while, and he never told her to stop calling. Just a week ago, she called when I was in the room. He at first said he didn't recognize the number, but when confronted about it, he admitted it was her and he just didn't want me to get upset. A week later, on his birthday I dropped him off at his night class. (He was drunk by the way) He forgot his cell phone, which was left on the seat in my car. I am extremely nosy, so of course I had to check his texts. So while I was driving home, I saw that he had his ex under a friend's name, with about 30 texts, including 3 pics of her, one was her in a suggestive pose, wearing underwear. And his response? "beautiful".


So imagine how I feel, finding this on his birthday. I knew I had every right to bring it up as soon as I picked him up, but I also knew that it would ruin his day and mine, and he wouldn't let me forget if I did. Guess what happened? Once we got back to my place, I was getting irritated with him because he passed out for a minute on the couch, when I was trying to make him a steak. He said things to piss me off, and before you know it the cat was out of the bag. I told him what I found and what I thought about it.


And basically, he turned it all around into my fault, I shouldn't be snooping, I lied, and he said I am freaking out over a girl that calls just once or twice a year. But there were so many flirty texts that I read. Him promising her he will call her back, and calling her "Ms. Gray". I've never felt so sick. He thinks its ok to be friends with an ex. He said he would never touch her, and also believes its a small price for ME to pay, because he is tortured "everyday" by things I've done. He's referring to the decent amount of guys I slept with, one night stands, etc. He also said that there's a difference between us, he said that he actually has someone who still cares about him enough to call 4 years later, whereas I don't. I was just a ho run and nobody else cares about me. Wow, right? And here's the kicker... He said he set me up. He knew I would see the texts which is why he didn't delete them. He said they were there for days, but I just saw it that day, which happened to be his birthday. So far all that, I ruined his day. He was drunk already, we had planned that night to drink together, but he started before he went to class. I know it was probably dumb to bring the crap up when he wasn't even fully there.


It gets worse. So he starts getting clothes on and says that he wants to go, since I ruined the night. And there I was, crying, begging him to stay. Telling him I'm sorry. I should have kicked him to the curb, but I just couldn't. So he left, and I took a minute to collect myself. I went outside and started looking for him. He was nowhere to be seen. I called him, asking where he was, he said "not close" and i said ttyl, and then saw my bedroom light was on. I walked in my house and there he was, in the basement. I started crying again and hugged him, and then he said he just came back for the weed he left. I said "Oh..." and started walking away, then he said "actually, I just wanted to come back". I think because he was drunk and its not the shortest walk to his house. At that point, he went to bed.


I've shared this episode with several people. They all say the same thing. He treats me badly and I should have dumped him long ago. I just can't let go. I feel like one of those girls who can't leave their abusive bf. He's never laid a hand on me, but there is verbal abuse. He has called me a * * * * * before. Says all the friends he USED to have, knew what I had done and whatnot, and said its very embarrassing for him and people think he's a joke for being with me. I love him, but lately things have been getting pretty stressful. How do I cut him off for good, when I have convinced myself that I cannot do better and have to stay with him no matter what?

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A lot of people have a hard time ending a toxic relationship. I think what you need to do is to get yourself a plan and get really serious about this.


1. Get friend support and advice. Don't use them as just a place to vent - ask them for some practical ways to solve your issues. And also ask them to be available to you more post-break up since you will need the support.


2. Distance yourself from him. I know this isn't easy, but you need to wean yourself off of him in the next couple of weeks. Start focusing your interest and energy on something else, more fulfilling.


3. Talk to him about how you feel. If you can, this is the hardest thing to do. You need to let him know in plain terms that you feel his actions were unacceptable and that you deserve an apology. This is the hardest thing to do and many people would rather leave than do this. As long as he's sober, you should be able to have a reasonable conversation with someone you've dated for five years. If you think he'll be emotionally abusive, then you can skip this in favor of more distance.


4. Ask for a break. This is the time for you to really break up with him, but if you can't then think about asking for a break. Now, I say this knowing that breaks usually end in break ups, but since there is an emotional abuse component here, you may need that space while you get some therapy and get clarity on what you need for the future.


5. Set future relationship goals. Think about what you want in a partner in the future and write it down. Compare him to what you want in a relationship. It can help you see how little you are getting now.


How old are you by the way? Were you looking to marry this guy?

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If you've convinced yourself you cannot do better, and you must stay with him no matter what - he is free and clear to treat you however he wants, and you're letting him with open arms.


Unless you change your mindset, nothing will happen.


Excerpt from my writing:

"respect isn't learned. it isn't some 'difficult' thing to start taking baby-steps towards becoming a respectful man towards their women. it's not a habit. it's a personality trait. a man who can't respect you isn't just going to switch one day, and if he is the type of man to disrespect you in the first place then that only reflects that he's not holding you in high-regard; he doesn't think you're anything special, and he believes he can get away with it.


people are the way they are with you because you are the way you are with them..."

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I'm 23.... He just turned 24. We've talked about marriage. He jokes about it. I know in the back of my mind that marriage is probably not a good idea any time soon. I can't marry a man who literally says to my face that he can't respect me, and has to give any attention to his ex.

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