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Was he wrong or was i actually emotionally abusive?


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I'd got out of a bad relationship which i was completely heartbroken by and 6 months later met my recent ex. He was completely different, quite quiet and shy and he treated me perfectly for the first 4 months. He told me he loved me and we began having a sex.. he was a virgin so it meant a lot to both of us and i completely fell for him too. Around a month later he suddenly began acting differently.. he'd make sarcastic comments, roll his eyes or just completely blank me until i said something sometimes. If i confronted him he'd get quite angry and defensive. Sometimes we'd have great days like in the beginning and others he'd just act distant.. One time we were walking down a main street and he stood on something on the floor. I laughed and he pushed my head towards his shoe in public and stormed off walking in front of me. I shamefully followed asking what he did it for and demanding an apology. He said he "didn't like people laughing at him" and gave me a half ass apology. When we got back to his he started blaring music, a song that pretty much said "if you don't stop arguing i'm going to leave you" and throwing darts hard at his dartboard. It was downplayed and wasn't a big deal at the time but writing it out i have no idea why i didn't leave but i didn't.. just sat there feeling intimidated and numb. I asked him if he still even liked me and he said he wanted more space, i gave it him and thought i must have been too clingy for him to act like he was.


I must have had a moment of clarity realizing he didn't care about me and i left him not long after that. He was very sympathetic and said he didn't know what he was doing wrong and he did love me.. some days we had together made it easy to believe too and i started to believe he might actually not know what he was doing. He rang me later that week sounding understanding and asking if we could take a break instead. I ended up going back to him which knocked my confidence i'd gained by leaving. After this he didn't really treat me badly but was just emotionally not there. After a while on holding it in i'd tell him i felt like this and he said he didn't know what he was doing wrong and i'd end up feeling like i was just needy and starting arguments. Once he invited me to a party and talked more to girl friend in swedish, whilst pretty much ignoring me. When we moved he told me he'd be back soon and went to talk to her some more whilst leaving me with some other people. When i was upset i'd be blamed for being jealous or possessive and not allowing him to see his friends. I'd often cry myself to sleep from feeling neglected from things like this, wondering if i was being out of order. I'd also feel neglected that he didn't want to have sex with me very often and when he did he sometimes wouldn't return the favour because "i took to long to orgasm". He'd sometimes say "are you going to get emotional again?" or "why do you switch to a different person?" making me feel like i was unstable and having irrational outbursts. I'd just hold it in so long trying not to nag until i had to say something.. come away feeling guilty that i kept nagging him about it and doubting myself that i was feeling this way. I'd often end up apologizing to him to him afterwards thinking he was right and making me seem even more unstable. Eg. I'd tell him i felt like we never went on dates just the two of us anymore. He'd bring up a time we did months ago. I'd apologize. A week later we'd plan a date to the cinema and the day before he suggests i bring all my friends. I bring up the same argument saying i feel like he doesn't want to be seen with me alone. He'd make out like i was crazy and say he thought it'd be nice for me to see my friends too. I'd feel guilty and end up apologizing again. I'd come away feeling like i was constantly having a go at him and that i was irrational.


A year later he went to uni where he was living with 4 other girls. I had told him i was feeling uneasy about it and he'd say that nothing was going to happen and i shouldn't worry but i was feeling very insecure by this point. Just before he left he put a box on condoms in his pocket and said he was binning them.. when he returned i playfully went to feel in his pockets and he got defensive. I then got wary and said "let me see" and he refused, making me out to be controlling that i wanted to check through his pockets and i understood where he was coming from and thought it was out of order of me. He ask why i was so paranoid. He ended up going 5 minutes after this incident and felt even more insecure. We'd set aside times to talk every night but he'd always drop me for his new friends. He'd be living with these girls and going out clubbing with them all night and he'd still drop me if they wanted something during our time talking. If i confronted him he'd say "it's a busy week! i'm here talking to you now when i don't have to be." or "am i even allowed to go out? do you want me to stay in my room all day?" and he starting calling me "boss". I never said he couldn't go out, i just felt constantly on the back burner. He also took a long time replying to me and sounded blunt.. he'd say "it sounds like you want to be talking to me all the time?" which made me get even more clingy and upset. Other girls would come in his room whilst i was on webcam and he was out and sit at his computer. He also borrowed another girls ipod and when i said it had hurt me he'd answer in one word like it was a chore listening to me nag which made me even more hurt and frustrated. He was also so distant that he would never start an argument with me, making me feel like i was the one always losing it and never gave me a straight answer. He'd say "possibly" when he knew the answer, when i asked why he said it was to "see me go crazy" I constantly asked whether it was working and whether we should break up during these times and he always said he didn't want to. I broke up with him the week after, ironically during our break up he showed the most emotion he ever has towards me, he cried a little and shouted he loved me as i walked away.


Writing this out i have no idea why i stayed in this relationship but it all seemed a blur at the time and like i wasn't thinking logically. I constantly felt to blame for problems in the relationship and was always trying to redeem myself thinking it would go back to normal and sometimes felt thankful that he put up with me. I got very depressed and would have rather had him with me than be alone. There were good times few and far between that kept me clinging on also. Since then i always felt like he might have been right and i had been controlling, unstable or crazy which led him to act like he did, and ruin our relationship. I've looked at signs of emotional abuse on the internet and thought some could be applied to me (e.g having outbursts or constantly arguing with him) I've even been struggling feeling guilty that i was emotionally abusive to him and haven't dated since, worried i might actually have these qualities. How do i get out of this mindset and move on?

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"Since then i always felt like he might have been right and i had been controlling, unstable or crazy which led him to act like he did, and ruin our relationship."

It doesn't matter whether you were wrong or not, the fact he treated you in a disrespecting manner is the bottom line, if he felt that you were emotionally abusive he should talk to you about it and try to reach a conclusion not push your head towards his foot, roll his eyes at you and doing other various disrespectful things.


You did the right thing in leaving him in the first place, hes as you say emotionally absent from the relationship.


"I got very depressed and would have rather had him with me than be alone."

Understand that this is a temporary feeling, you are used to being a couple and need time to adjust to single life, just because you feel that NOW doesn't mean you will feel that in the future, invest by having him out of your life now and feel bad but then get over him and feel a lot better later is a worthy investment, no pain no gain.


"I've looked at signs of emotional abuse on the internet and thought some could be applied to me"

If you are doing that and comparing every negative quality to yourself and expecting yourself to have none then do you think that you are perfect? Everyone has qualities, some good some bad, the internet filter shows the IDEAL not the realistic. While you are at it why don't you also compare that list with his behavior and see which one of you is really the abusive one? It's fine to refine yourself and work on your weaknesses but you will always have some because you are human, don't put yourself so low.

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From reading your post I have no idea why you think that you were the abusive controlling one in the relationship. Its one of the tricks emotionally abusive persons have up their sleeves. They never think anything is their fault and somehow they manage to convince their victims that they are the ones with the problem. Its the same with domestic violence when the abuser tells you that you made them hit you.


I understand your concern. Right now your confidence and self esteem have taken a bruising from this guy who you thought was quiet, shy and sweet who turned out to be passive aggressive, actually aggressive, thoughtless and ruthless. If this man loved you he certainly didn't know how to act like he did. Love is only part of the equation of a good relationship. It also takes mutual respect, communication and a lot of other things that he wasn't giving or doing.


You made the first step ... you left. Some people never do. Secondly, there are things you could have handled better ... but that is true of all of us. There are many things in my life I wish I had done differently. It is pointless to constantly go over this in your mind. No matter how often you think about the past it doesn't change. In the future, however is a different story. I think there were instances where you were jealous and insecure when you perhaps didn't need to be. It could be your persona or it could be the guy you were with. It won't get better if you avoid relationships altogether. Think about why you were acting the way you were. Is it because you are generally insecure (which is a problem you should work on) or because this guy's behaviour was not consistent with what he was saying?


To me it sounds like after he had sex with you he didn't need to keep up appearances unless there was a problem in the relationship ... like shouting I love you AFTER you already left him. He's super nice to get what he wants, which is true of most people. It happens to the best of us, we fall for the persona they project and then find out later its not what it appears to be. Give yourself a break though. None of us are perfect

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