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Do I break up with him?


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Me and my boyfriend have been together since we were 16 (21 now) and have lived together for 3 years. We moved across the province in a new city not knowing anybody for university, so I’ve relied on him a lot in the past 3 years, plus he’s been the only guy I’ve ever been with. We have broken up twice before, both my decision, because he can be nasty to me in fights, really lower my self worth in arguments. He’s not the type to make me feel good about myself, I think if he feels as though I know I’m pretty I’ll leave him, so I never get any “you look good today” ever. He also hasn’t really celebrated my success, he’s never happy when something good happens to me. I think hes almost jealous of me. He is a good guy, he has his own issues, but generally a decent guy. But I don’t know why he enjoys to make me angry or upset. He likes to talk about girls flirting with him because it “gets me mad” and he likes it. And when my mother says a guy was looking at me he says “mhm” as if he doesn’t want me to think I’m anything to look at. I don’t know why he does this, but then at the end of every night we cuddle and watch movies together, and he speaks about how much he loves me. He also doesn’t like when I go out, or have anything to do with guys ever, even tho I found out this week he has been hanging around with a girl, texting her all the time, and sending pictures of them studying together to “his boys”. It’s like he’s showing her off. He also jokes to my best friend about how she’s just his “side hoe” although she has a boyfriend. There’s more to the story even but this is getting too long. I need help... I feel like when I say all of these things the answer is right in front of me, he doesn’t respect me, but why can’t I leave him? Why can I not fathom to think about not having him in my life? What do I do.

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So this is coming from someone who isn't very experienced with relationships but definitely experienced with abuse... it sounds like he's sort of, maybe even accidentally, emotionally abusing you. Treating you like garbage most of the time except for select moments during the day? That's exactly how it starts. I'm especially convinced because you can't fathom to be without him, which is exactly how I was shortly before I ran away from my dad because he tried to kill me - again.


I'm definitely not suggesting he's going to try to kill you but I do think it's a good idea to break up with him, especially since it looks like he's getting a liiiittle bit too close to that other girl he's been studying with.

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Start building your independence and a life for yourself. Figure out how you would do everything from finding a place to live, to being sufficient financially. Basically, give yourself some options. My ex was just like this... when we met I was in a vulnerable position and he was happy with that, but as I got more independent he got more and more insecure, resentful and angry. He did almost exactly the same things as your BF. I took some time to privately research places to live, think about how to do it financially, etc. so that when I finally made the decision I had the confidence to do it.


The reality is that break ups are hard, no one likes pain, however just know that eventually the pain does subside and you will meet someone new.

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Yup. Classic, textbook example of emotional abuse. If you Google "emotional abuse" you will see all the signs. Such as having arguments over stupid things, hinting that you might be cheating, bragging that he might be cheating, saying things that hurt you and ruin your self-esteem. He'll cuddle up to you one minute and tell you he loves you (that's to keep you trapped) and then the next minute he trying to isolate you from friends and family to keep you dependent on him for companionship.


So the reason you can't leave is that he has created an "emotional dependency" within you. (You should Google that too.) He tells you he loves you so that you will overlook his bad qualities


This kind of relationship is toxic and only gets worse. On ENA, we see posts of women who have been in abusive relationships for 5, 8, 10 years or more. Their boyfriends have isolated them. They have no friends or family. They have no money. They might even have some kids and they have no place to go and no way to leave. So you don't want that happening to you.


You know what you need to do. You're an adult now and you don't need to rely on your boyfriend. Get out while you still have your self-esteem and you have the ability to leave.

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I have heard the term “emotional abuse” before when seeking advice from family and friends, and even my therapist but if it were wouldn’t I hate him? If he was emotionally abusive wouldn’t I think he’s the worst thing ever? That he’s an ? At first I thought emotional abuse too but I feel like I would try to avoid him more, and that I wouldn’t love him as much as I do, or want to be around him all the time. He doesn’t isolate me, he just doesn’t want me around boys. Girls he doesn’t care about.

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Emotional abuse doesn't have to be consciously perceived by any of the involved parties to still be emotional abuse. It can be made up of resultant behaviors from subconscious decisions and perceptive adaptation. The bottom line is that it's behavior that makes you emotionally vulnerable/weakened and can keep you trapped in the relationship.


You should have a serious, non-confrontational conversation with him about how the behavior is affecting you emotionally and how you think it's possibly emotionally abusive (you can acknowledge that he might not even be consciously aware of his learned behaviors and how they impact/manipulate you). Tell him breaking up is on the table.


If you guys are in university, you might have counseling options available. Suggest to him that he gets those to get to the root of this behavior -- you could probably use some as well.


If he doesn't respect you enough to introspect, seriously listen to your concerns, and/or try to improve, then you can confirm that he doesn't respect you enough, and you might have to be the one to respect yourself by breaking up.


Good luck.


Just my thoughts/views.

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I have spoke to him about this behaviour before, as I have broken up with him due to his mistreatment towards me. After the second breakup we even went to therapy together so that I could ask him why he treats me this way, but then he stopped going. I’ve told him he is nasty in fights and needs to stop, and that he needs to give me positive attention but he only changes immediately after breaking up and then it goes back to the same thing

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Are you attending the same Uni? Who supports you and him? Move home to your mother or move out and get some roommates. He's too immature to live together. Stop playing house and worrying about his flirting and not complimenting you. Worry about his anger. The rest is immaturity and selfishness.

21 and have lived together for 3 years. my mother says a guy was looking at me
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