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Emotionally Abusive Relationship


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Hi everyone,


I found this website while doing a search for people who have stories like me, in hopes that it will somehow help me through my difficult time. I normally would write in my journal about how I feel, but maybe by posting this thread it will encourage me to do what needs to be done. So my story is kinda long, but I will try to talk about the important stuff.


My boyfriend and I met about 4 years ago, and at the time I was 23 and didn't know much about emotionally abusive relationships because all my other relationships were healthy. We started to hang out alot and even though there were a ton of red flags about him I still pursued him, and to this day I regret my decision. My Boyfriend had a drinking problem when we met and because I am caring a always wanting to help people by nature, I thought that I could somehow be his "savior" and make him better. (big mistake) We started dating and only after 4 months we moved into together, and I was still oblivious to what was going on in our relationship. He drank everyday for the first 2.5 years of our relationship and went out almost every night with his friends to bars and would come home at 6 AM, he would ignore my calls and come home drunk and he would always say something nasty to me and pass out. I did this for a long long time, and I am not sure why I put myself through it, but I am still with him and I feel like I am slowly loosing apart of myself each day. Things got worse, after we had been dating for 2 years, my mother unexpectedly passed away and that left a huge hole in my heart. I was gone for about two weeks and my boyfriend wasn't supportive at all. I came back home after my mom passed away, and he was suddenly charming and wanted to be there for me even though before he was out partying every night. It lasted about a week and the emotional abuse started again, he kept going out and doing the same routine. Over the passed couple of years till now, he has been an emotional wreck, his mood is always flip flopping back and forth from loving me to hating me. He used to call me a lot of degrading names which stopped recently, but he still calls me things like stupid or annoying when he's mad. Over the years I have been battling the loss of my mother and trying to figure out why I am still with this person who makes me feel so bad about myself. How can someone tell you they love you then the next day hate you and ignore you. I don't know what I am afraid of, but he tells me all the time that he wants a normal girlfriend who isn't psycho, and someone who is able to hang out with out fighting. It really hurts me that he tells me that I am a horrible GF and that he can get better because I have given so much to him and he doesn't deserve it. I lost my mother, and to this day he still thinks he was supportive and there for me through it all. ( I am crying right now just writing this) I guess I'm seeking guidance, and some inspirational words to help me through this. I am a good person, and I have a good heart..I work with special needs kids everyday and I just don't know how I ended up being in such a abusive relationship. This isn't me, and I know I deserve better but I just feel like when I try to leave he tells me he is sorry and I always go back to him. (knowing nothing will last) When I;m not around him I am a different person, I am smiling all the time and I am always happy. But when I am around him he is always putting me down or making me feel like I am ugly..Does anyone have any thoughts for me? Thanks


- Mila

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When I;m not around him I am a different person, I am smiling all the time and I am always happy. But when I am around him he is always putting me down or making me feel like I am ugly..Does anyone have any thoughts for me? Thanks


- Mila


That right there - read it a few times. You already know it, but sometimes you need to hear it from other people. There is not a single person in this world that has the right to make you feel that way. You are already aware that you can't fix him, you can't change him or help him. He needs to come to that realisation himself. You are putting yourself in a situation where you're being abused, which may very well be detrimental to your future relationships and your own mental health. You need to remove yourself from this situation, and I would start doing that as soon as possible - by staying there and allowing him to continue, it's not helping him either. By staying there and taking his crap, what message is that sending him?


You're a beautiful person and you deserve much, much better than this. There is better than this out there, I promise you. Get out of there while you can and don't worry about him. Take control over your happiness and he will find his way eventually.

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I can speak from experience as I was in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic which ended 9 months ago. From the start he was loving and caring, always complimenting me. The problems started when he showed he had jealousy issues - he didn't agree with me speaking to male friends or even his friends as he was threatened by them, thinking I'd leave him for them.


After a few drinks he would insult me and degrade me, I think he is insecure and wants to put others down to make himself feel better. He picks out everyones flaws but when he is sober he seems to forget what he has said. I always ended up forgiving him and thinking 'he's not always like that' so looking at his nice side too much. We were in an on off relationship because of the emotional abuse but I would always go back - it's just too hard to walk away from someone you love.


He still continues to insult me everytime he is drunk and refuses to speak to me when he is sober. The relationshp was far from healthy and I know I am best off out of it but I still do love and miss him even after all he has said and done to me.


If your partner is not willing to admit he has problems or get professional help then you will not be able to change him. As hard as it is, you are best off out of this relationship. No one deserves to be treated like this, you deserve so much better even though he may have made you feel like you are not worthy of another man and his treatment is what you deserve. He should be treating you with respect.


I am still having a very difficult time moving on from the abusive relationship. He has left me depressed and feeling parnoid through all the awful names he called me. I have read up on emotional & physical abuse as well as insecurity and jealousy issues - It is like it is wrote about my ex. Google emotional abuse and you will find a lot of different websites to read up and help you understand why he is treating you the way he is.

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You have two separate issues here, your grief at losing your mother and a nasty lump of a BF. I think though that your grief is causing you to hang onto someone who is totally negative/wrong for you, because you are feeling your mother's loss and want a warm body in the room, even if he is a nasty person, you are afraid to break up with him for fear of feeling more loss.


So you are dealing with your sense of loss for your mother by hanging onto someone who is actually making it worse. Nothing is more lonely/miserable than being with someone who constantly makes you feel bad. You truly are better off alone, but you just don't know that.


I think you need to try to join a bereavement group or call a grief counselor to help you get past the loss of your mother and get you emotionally healthy enough to feel strong enough to leave your BF who is obviously really bad for you. You need to get other people/friends to fill your life and provide a sense of connection rather than trying to relying on someone who is undependable and mean to you... he is probably actually HEIGHTENING your grief rather than helping it, making you feel isolated and bereft most of the time and experinece a sense of loss every time he disappoints you or doesn't come home or says some nasty to you.


If you are free of him, you are also free to meet new people and spend your time with people who build you up rather than run you down. As long as you're clinging to him like a leaky life raft, you're going down with the ship rather than swimming to shore.

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I went through a similar experience a while back and I really empathize with you. My exbf and I were together for almost four years, from 2004-2008. It only took about 3 months to realize that he was not as he seemed, but it felt like it was already too late to leave him.


I hope you don't mind if I share my experience with you. I just started typing, because I didn't really know where to begin and it is longer that I expected.


The ex was very manipulative. He was a compulsive liar. He pinned me against my friends and his with misinformation. I felt so alone. He often raged (verbally) at me. It took very little to set him off. I have very vivid memories of him sitting next to me, screaming, turning red, balling his fists and hitting them against his knees. I once described this to someone, not even thinking much of it and calling it one of his temper tantrums, and they had pointed out that this was his way of physically threatening me. And it's like, *lightbulb* "Duh, why didn't I see this before?" Sometimes we were in a car and speeding down a highway, which was almost always a terrifying experience.


The phone call issue really resonated with me, as I had that exact problem. Also, my ex and I did not live together. So, he would say that he wanted to spend time with me, I would go to him, and then he would send me away the moment I walked through the door. After our first year together, even sooner than that, he stopped being physically affectionate (hugs, cuddling, kissing) for long bouts of time. He witheld sex from me, but had no problem asking me to do things to him and then asking me to go home. For about three years, this went on. I felt used in every way.


I noticed a pattern of major affection around late Spring-early Summer of each year. He would bring up the idea of marriage (which is something that we had discussed early in our relationship, but then he acted like he didn't care for a long time.), he would start making promises... and then, he would pick a fight one day, turn it into something bigger than it was, threaten to break up with me, allow me to completely break down, and then he would change his mind.


The last time that it happened was in late June 2008, less than a week before one of my sisters was getting married (again, he broke up with me- which will probably piss me off until the day that I find peace, because it was one of the most degrading experiences of my life). My mom had a stroke in March (she survived it) and they were saying that she wasn't going to make it. In total, I was in and out of the hospital for 1 1/2 months (I didn't miss a day of that) and then to a nursing home. The exbf was kind of supportive while she was in the hospital. Visited her a few times while she was still out, but never got to see her when she was awake. I wasn't seeing him as much and he still found ways to rage at me over the phone. I was putting a lot into perspective, realizing that I couldn't do it for much longer, and I was pretty fed up with that treatment (especially in that situation, where your the stress is already at an all-time high). One of our family dogs died soon after my mom went into the nursing home, still very little support on his end.


And then, I remember it was the day after my mom's birthday in late May, one of his friends passed away. I wanted to be there for him, but I wanted to be there for my mom more. And he didn't like that at all. It took about another month. My mom went back into the hospital on a Friday because they thought that she had a seizure. I call him, nothing. Call again, leave a message and let him know what's going on. He didn't get back to me until Tuesday (through an e-mail) and basically it was pages and pages of insults, him pointing out mistakes that I had made in the beginning of our relationship, him saying that I didn't act that way that he wanted after his friend died, and him telling me that I wasn't allowed to respond. But I did. And I regret it, because that's what he wanted.


Anyway. We don't speak anymore, which is definitely for the best. I never really mourned the loss of the relationship until my mom came home to us, because it was too much to deal with at the time. About two years ago, I started having nightmares about him. The first nightmare was about something that really happened between us. Something that I considered to be a traumatic sexual experience between us (but I hesitate to call it rape of assault). I had completely blocked out, but after that night I remembered a little here a little there.


I still occasionally have dreams of him looking at me in threatening ways, screaming at me, attacking me, trying to murder me. It's very unnerving.


It's been a few years for me, but it doesn't just go away. I'm sure that it's so much more than just my experiences with the ex, but I go through long bouts of depression and I have panic attacks often. I don't like it when people raise their voices and I worry about their judgements. I don't like to socialize (I have one good friend- I grew up with her, but she lives in a different state now). I worry that I'm becoming agoraphobic.


I'm so sorry that you're going through everything that you're going through.

If I were to give you any advice, it would be to get away from him with your dignity still in tact and don't look back. Remember that he wants control and he'll toy with your emotions to gain it. Don't give in! And find someone to talk with you, continuing online or in person.


I thought that Poppa's response was very informative and I can relate to a lot of it. For a long time, I was

wondering if my ex was bipolar. I didn't know too much about BPD. Poppa, are they related at all?


Best wishes.

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Thanks for all the good advice, it was hard for me to read some of these postings just because I almost feel embarrassed to be in this situation that I am in. I wanted to add more to my story..



So, I forgot to mentioned that we actually do not live together anymore. After the 2nd year or so he moved out and I got a place of my own. However, of all my attempts to let go and break up with him he would either A: Guilt trip me into thinking it was my fault or B: Tell me things will change if I give him another chance. It's been that way for awhile, but the last few months have been different. He now focuses on school and work and he does not drink nearly as close as he used too. But, when he does drink once in awhile, he can drink all day (usually weekends) It still bothers me because I am scarred by the many nights he would come home drunk and I've told him that I can't be around him when he drinks that much. My point is that things have shifted a bit in our relationship..


I was so used to him partying all night long for years, and now he is studying and going to school. But I can't help but feel resentment and anger when he wants to go out for a drink or hang out with his friends...I don't care that if he does, but it triggers a painful memory for me and it brings back all the horrible times he would go out and drink and hang out with his friends. he doesn't understand the turmoil I go through and when we get in a fight he will call me psycho or tell me he wants a "normal girlfriend who is chill and can hang out with friends" It really frustrates me because he treats me like I am easily replaceable and makes me look like I am a crazy girlfriend when really, I'm just so angry and heartbroken about everything that has happened. For him, it's so easy to say get over it and move on but for me, i feel as if it's never going to go away. I am just stuck, and I know it shouldn't bother me when he says he can find better but honestly it does really break me down when he says those things to me. I just want a new start to life, and I I pray everyday to my mom and God that I will get what I deserve in life. I was seeing a therapist for awhile and she did mention as well that maybe I am really afraid because I am really afraid to feel the loss of my mother. And I do feel that way most of the times, but I want to be stronger and overcome all of this. It's been helpful to have such positive coworkers who I see everyday, I look at their lives and how happy they are with their husbands and I try to tell myself that I could have that too. I hope all this makes sense, thanks for all your support.


Mila (Gardenia was my moms fav. flower, its why I chose it as my screen name)

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I'm sorry for the loss of your mother.


What do you think about Poppa's assessment of codependency?


When I was reading your original post, my first thought was to write you and tell you to get a book on codependency, is why I ask.


I don't know if your BF is Borderline, Bipolar, Narcissistic, or Antisocial. But it is very apparent from your post that he is emotionally abusing you and that he has a drinking problem. I know it's scary to think about leaving him, and if Poppa has it right, it goes against everything you believe in, because you want to help him. How would you feel about just taking a small step for right now?


By small step I mean, educate yourself about these issues. Poppa already did a fantastic job educating you on BPD and gave you a lot of info about codependency. I think if you continue to read about codependency it could only help you understand yourself better, and that's always a good thing. I think learning about emotional abuse is also something that would be worth your time. I highly recommend "The Emotionally Abused Woman" by Beverly Engel.


So. Don't leave him now if you're not ready. Just read some. Baby steps.


Good luck, virtual hugs.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,


Just sending out an update, I haven't spoken to my BF in a week now. I think it is finally "over" I put that in quotations because I always seem to be in this position where we get in a fight and he wants me back after I ignore him, but I think this time I'm finally getting the courage to walk away. So the other day I was really upset because I didn't spend anytime with him all weekend. All I wanted to do was see him and he ended up getting mad over something stupid and we started text fighting. I know really dumb but this is what happened. I admit I did say some harsh words, but it's because I am sick of being alone on the weekends. So what I mean is that, I am gone half the week because I work 1.5hours away, so when I am gone he complains about me not being there with him and then on the weekends I am always home in the area. But on the weekends, it's hard to hang out with him because he wants to watch football and relax and then I end up sitting home alone. This weekend I was sick of it, and I started texting him about how upset I was and things got really chaotic and he ended up calling me something that he knows really hurts me. I quit texting him after he called me this degrading name and I immediately put in my 30 day notice to move out.I want a better life for myself, but what I am afraid of is, is it ok to walk away and not say another word? I just feel like I've said everything I could possibly say over the past 5 years and he knows how I feel and it won't do me any good to send him a goodbye email. But will that tear me apart not having any closure? Any thoughts? But yes, I am moving out and wanting a better life for myself, and new start.

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Hey Gardenia!


I don't think there is anything at all wrong with walking away without saying a word right now. You gotta do what's best for you, darlin. If you want to send him an email in a couple weeks, when you're feeling stronger and won't get sucked back in by him, then do it. If you don't feel strong enough to not get sucked back in and you know you need to leave, then don't contact him or answer his attempts at all. Just do what's best for you - you're the only person who's gonna.


Stay strong!



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Gardenia, the secret of an abuser is that he always keeps moving the bar. If he says you do ABC too much, you stop doing ABC to please him. He can't let you believe you've pleased him - because then he loses control over you. So he moves the bar. Now you don't do ABC ENOUGH! So you do it more; then you're doing it too much. He gets you frustrated, so you speak up; then you're being a nag, so you shut up. Then you're cold, so you try to be more receptive; then you're needy. So you step back...


I hope you see now that you will NEVER find the right combination of decisions - he won't let you.


I'm glad you're being strong. There are TOO MANY wonderful men out there who just want a good partner; you'll find one. But do me a favor and take some time off from men, ok? Learn to love yourself first.

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I guess what I am trying to say is how do I move forward? How do I move on knowing that I will never get the closure that I need? It breaks my heart that I gave my heart and everything that I could to this person who takes me for granted. How do I deal with the resentment and anger that he's left behind? I'm so angry that I didn't leave him sooner, but at the same time I am sad because he does not care about me the way I would want him too. Why though? Why do I feel heart broken by someone who treated me like I was easily replaceable? I know I have to go through this pain to get to the other side, but I don't understand why I had to meet someone so hurtful. And it kills me that he doesn't realize the pain he put me through. In a way I wish that he would understand how great of a person I am, but I know that I have to move on knowing that one day he'll realize it. I may not know when that might happen, but my therapist said that I have to accept that I'm not going to get the closure and answers I need right now. I'm doing the right thing though, I am moving out and I am surrounding myself with positive people who care about me, but when I am alone it's so hard to contain my tears and my pain. Thanks for all the helpful letters, they are really helping me through this difficult time. I'm planning on visiting my mom tomorrow at the cemetery to talk to her about this. Thank you again, for all the support.

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Why though? Why do I feel heart broken by someone who treated me like I was easily replaceable?


The why is the most basic question. We always want to know why, it's the basic part of being a human being. We want to know the causes of events. But there is no good answer this time. The fact is that you are a lovable, good person. He should have loved you and respected you but he couldn't. Whatever the reason, the reason was inside him. Whether it's BPD or something that happened to him as a child or the changes in his personality due to his drinking, I don't know. But the problem was him. He was unable to love you like you needed and deserved.


I second the suggestion to read up on codependency. Being with someone who abuses us and who drinks heavily can change our own behavior, and in the end, we don't understand why we stayed. Reading about codependency can help you. But it's still not the reason he abused you. It's only the reason why it was hard for you to leave earlier.


Well done for looking out for your best interest! I know from experience how hard it is to leave, and you did it! Kudos! And a good idea to talk to your Mom about it. I am sure she's very proud of you too, where ever she is right now.

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So, It's bee 9 days since I heard from him and today he started calling me all day...Last I heard from him he was telling me that he didn't want to be together anymore, that I was not the person he would want to marry, and that he was done with me. ;( He always says those things to me, and I told him that he should only say it if he means it. So if thats what he told me over a week ago, then why is he still calling me? This happens all the time where I ignore him then he begs for me back...I didn't answer his calls, but what do I do from here? I know I shouldn't engage at all, because in the past I always get sucked back in...But can I really just walk away? I mean, he said he didn't want to be together and other mean things so what should I do? Should I just tell him that I am leaving and I do not want him to contact me anymore or should I just walk away with my pride and dignity in tact?



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I already replied to you on your other thread about this. Stay strong! We know you're doing the right thing here!


I can't even begin to tell you how many times I got sucked back in, after talking just about anything. It always ended badly, invariably! Maybe not always on the same day but eventually he'd do or say something highly abusive again and I would feel so stupid for having had allowed him to talk to me. There's no point, really, in even saying you're leaving. He knows it very well.


Besides, he's calling to see if he can still manipulate you very easily. If you give in and pick up, he'll have his answer - yes, he still has his hold on you. If you don't, he'll get the point - you are not so weak any more. He'll try to contact you even more actively then, but if you stay away, eventually he'll let go.

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