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Is what I am experiencing verbal and mental abuse?


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My BF and I have been together for over 16 yrs. Both have been married before. Both have adult children. He practically raised mine.


For the past 4-5 years, we have been off and on. I moved out twice. The second time, I stayed out on my own because I saw our relationship as unhealthy and basically weighed the good with the bad and unfortunately the bad has outweighed the good. However, we are having a hard time breaking it off for good. I have asked him to see a counselor with me but he has refused. The reason he refuses is because he already sees a psychologist (has been seeing him for several years, almost 10 yrs) for other issues in his life. He was both physically and mentally abused as a child by his stepfather. All the while his mother never did anything to stop the abuse. He also has anxiety and adult ADHD. Currently, he is a great successful business man and is cordial towards his parents but he is not close to his parents nor to any of his siblings at all. He is very close to my family (i.e. my parents, my brothers and my children). I think because he never had a family like I have and we have taken him in as being a part of our family.


I was wondering if maybe what he has experienced in his childhood affects how he acts today. When we talk, he does not seem to fully listen, always preoccupied so I tend to not want to talk to him much for that reason. When we argue, he cusses incessantly and tends to try to break me down by calling me a "Cougar", a * * * * * , etc etc. Then almost always, when we argue I would rather not speak to him so I do not answer the phone and he will call me non-stop. Even sometimes until 4-5AM calling and calling, leaving seldom v-mail messages with nasty remarks. The weird part about it is that he will call me the next day with a nice demeanor as if nothing occurred the night before.


I know he loves me and cares about me. But sometimes, I cannot take the way he behaves. To me, it seems to be very immature for his age. To my detriment, I think I have taken it for so long that I am so used to it...that I have just succumbed to his behavior. Am I just weak and just plain stupid?


I have seen the good part of him and how big his heart is....I just want so much more from our relationship at my age. I have tried to let him know how I feel but he just doesn't seem to get it.


Should I just accept him for who he is?

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Hi Makaroni and welcome to ENA! Lots of great folks here.


My ex, that I was married to for 7 years and we dated off and on for 5 years before that, was mentally and verbally abusive. It is extremely tough to deal with someone that does this, but even harder to realize and accept that you are in this situation. I always knew something was a little "off" with the ex, but adopted that `ol "if I just love him enough I can fix him" attitude. I'm here to say that doesn't work. A person has to WANT to change themselves and nothing you can do or say will influence that decision.


You don't give a ton of details of what he says or does specifically, so it's kind of tough to determine. He does sound quite abrasive and has the hallmark of switching between the abuser at home and in private, and then being the charming man when out in public or when he needs to be charming to maintain his control over you. Here is a link to a site that has a list of 10 signs of relationship abuse:


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I would look at the list and see if those signs fit your situation. I am so sorry you find yourself in this situation, it is terribly hard to admit to yourself you are being abused and then take the step to do something about it. Victims of mental and verbal abuse generally have been belittled so much that this seems like it is OUR fault and not the fault of the abuser.


Please take care of yourself and take a look at the list and see if anything rings true for your situation. Good luck!

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Is what I am experiencing verbal and mental abuse?


I am afraid so, Makaroni.


Here is proof, if proof were needed, of the nefarious effects and outcome of abuse of children. It carries over into adulthood and affects relationships.


He was both physically and mentally abused as a child by his stepfather. All the while his mother never did anything to stop the abuse


Could you possibly go now and then with him to the psychologist he is already seeing. ?


Meantime, have a look at this:


This book is about understanding that growing up in a dysfunctional family can block you from understanding and using some of your finest natural gifts. It Ends With You will teach you, through exercises and information, how to open up, confront and understand what has been hidden in you.
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He was both physically and mentally abused as a child by his stepfather. All the while his mother never did anything to stop the abuse


Aside from the physical abuse, it sounds to me like he learned how to treat his partner from his step-father. He is following in his footsteps. You have been with him for 16 years...has he always treated you this way? What about your children, how did he treat them?

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Well, to be honest, we have had a somewhat rocky relationship from the get go. When it seemed to get better, something always happened where we would end up in square one. Like a cycle of sorts. We have had alot of ups and downs. One stressor was that we moved a total of 18 times before I moved out. He was never happy where we lived, whether it was the home or the neighborhood. He is very obsessive compulsive (another issue he is dealing with) and tends to make life difficult for himself and those around him sometimes.


As to my children, he raised them with alot of love and raised them well. Though, he tends to complain when they run to him for everything because he cannot say NO to them. He however has had problems with his own children but as they get older it seems to be less of an issue. He gets along better with his children now since they are older.

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