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I think my girlfriend is being really abusive and manipulative. Need help


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It really tears my heart apart. Please, help me! I'm in so much pain because of this.

 

Morning, everyone.

 

Disclaimer: since English is not my native language, I apologise for mind-blowing collocations and horrible mistakes

 

I'll try to be brief. We've been dating for four years, I'm (25y.o.)kinda chill guy who doesn't like arguments and is a really open-minded person. I always try to listen to those who argue with me and can change my point of view if I got convinced. She's (25y.o.) a great girl, a really nice one; really caring and courteous, yet she comes from a pretty tough background just as I am. I think it is important to tell a bit about it.

 

Her father is an abuser, both emotional and physical. Despite she made her way and learned how to deal with him in an effective manner, he still abused her mother. He had frequent temper tantrums after some minor things, and would rarely hit her mother, who is his complete opposite. She is calm af and really caring for other people. They are divorcing right now.

 

As for me, my parents have always been really distant with me. My mom worked her ass off and could easily come home at like 9PM, while my father was drinking heavily and, basically, not being a father to me and my elder brother. He also cheated a lot on my mum, so cheating is a taboo for me as I detest lots of thing about him adn think we should be honest with our partners. Parents said they loved us, but they never did anything to really show this. I think I may have fear of abandonment because of this.

 

Long story short, my girlfriend is both caring and assertive when she wants to push something. She is not easily messed with, and I really like it about her, but sometimes it gets too complicated. Basically, that's why we are not still married and we still do not live together. She still lives with her mother right now. We've been looking for an apartment lease last few months until yesterday.

 

The number and fierceness of her temper tantrums was insane during our first three years. I think it's because that is the way she communicated with her first man in her life, namely her father. She could easily throw one and yell at me till, like 5AM, because I didn't give her flowers or some other stuff. She could easily call me at 2AM and start arguing even she knew I had an important exam next day. When I tried to tell her that I need to rest, she would tell me that I'm being an egoist since I don't care for her emotions. It seems that she developed some kind of exhausting tactics with me. I'm not saying I didn't make mistakes, I surely did, but I couldn't understand why one would do this to the partner, so I told her it's not okay. It took me three tiresome years to convince her she needs help with her anger control. She went to therapy and done pretty good job with that. Or maybe it is just I who has become a lot more agreable?...

 

I, in my turn, was diagnosed with a minor mental condition (depresonalization and derealization syndrome) as a result of these fallouts.

 

So, it all boils down to a pretty tough situation we are having right now. I got a female friend. She has done a lot for me, and I really like having her around. My girlfriend is really jealous and she wants me to stop communicating with her since she is rather promiscuous type (which she really is). For the record, I have always been loyal to my girlfriend and would never cheat on her.

 

Last year I was suddenly faced with a situation when I had no to place to stay and no money to pay the rent, so this friend of mine suggested that I live for a couple of weeks at her place. I knew it was really strange and to all surprise my girlfriend said it would be completely OK. I was ashamed of that, but still did it cause I had no other option. However, my girlfriend turned 180 degrees on this when I lived there. Needless to say, it was a complete nightmare for both of us until I finally moved in to another place. I almost cut my contact with this friend out of respect to my girlfriend's feelings, we are just chatting right now and see each other like once or twice a year.

 

So, she is really sensitive about my realtions with this female friend of mine. It was her birthday last week, so I thought it would be respectful of my girlfriend to ask her if it would be ok if I go to her house and congratulate her. Had she told me about her feelings in a calm manner, I would have done what she expected. But that was again another temper tantrum. She yelled at me so hard and was swearing a lot I had to take a break and write it all to calm down. It really felt like she wanted me to become like her father and yell like mad and throw things to prove I'm right.

 

- I feel pain. You must stop doing this because I feel pain and I don't need to explain to you why you must stop doing this. This is a complete disregard to me!

 

- Your father is a cheater! Every time you tell me about this friend of yours I remember it and it tears my heart!

 

- It is me or her. You must stop communicating with her all together.

 

- You say I don't trust you? Are you stupid? How dare you be so disrespectful of me and my feelings?

 

- So what? You mean, if a girl trusts her man, he can go to a whorehouse and expect her to eat that?

 

How does it work actually? It really blows my mind. I understand that she is really into me, that she is hurt for reason, but... Is she abusing and manipulating me? I really love her, but I mean... If your partner asks you not to do this or that because she or he says it hurts their feelings and not caring to properly explain it, you are expected to stop doing this? Maybe I'm too vigilant and it is I who has trust issues and abuses her? I really want to stop her feeling pain, but... My gut says something is really wrong here.

 

It almost always coincides with especially hard periods of life for me when she tries to throw a temper tantrum. Despite the fact she has done pretty amazing job with that and we had like only two incidents during last half a year I feel like it is still not enough. I can barely hold my mind together after them. I had to sleep like for seven hours straight just to get in touch with reality. She also sent me a couple of text messages after that saying that she is sorry, but the damage has already been done and I know that when I call her she will still push me and ask if I decided to cut ties with this friend of mine or not.

 

I also went to therapy and counseling, but it didn't really help. I started to be more assertive, but... There's so much good in our relationship (she is so kind, sweet and smart and 95% of time is amazing with her), but the bad is so bad it sometimes makes me wonder if I should really go with it. I'm also not into labelling people cause we all need to have second chances, but in this case I sometimes believe she is a lot like her father in such a destructive way that will make me really unhappy in the long run.

 

I would be really happy if you could help me, guys.

Edited by elmariachi93
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She's nuts and unstable. You tolerate it and let her treat you this way. You willingly stick your face in the flame and wonder why it hurts? You need to break up with her. It seriously boggles my mind why you are still with her. She treats you like crap but YOU'RE the one taking it.

 

 

Let this bs go once and for all.

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She's nuts and unstable. You tolerate it and let her treat you this way. You willingly stick your face in the flame and wonder why it hurts? You need to break up with her. It seriously boggles my mind why you are still with her. She treats you like crap but YOU'RE the one taking it.

 

 

Let this bs go once and for all.

 

Thanks for this insighful reply. I think I just got myself into this constant loop of doubting myself.

- What if it is me who spoils it? In what ways I actually mess this up?

These questions are always hijacking my mind and I just find it hard to get out of this labyrinth of thoughts.

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Regardless of her past, we as adults are responsible for whom we are and our actions.. It is not enough to say yes this happened to me and that's probably why I'm like xyz. We all have our own trauma that we carry but as Adults we have to be accountable!!!

 

She definitley needs individual therapy once again.. Sadly someone cannot be stable in a relationship until they ground themselves. Until and if she sorts herself out or genuinely shows an interest in changing, your relationship will not work and couples counselling will be useless. If the relationship has you questioning your own mental health and is not making you a better or happier person maybe that is your sign.

 

There is a partner out there who will bring you peace more than they bring you sorrow and stress. That is what we should aim for in a relationship :)

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Some guy at another forum told me she might have BPD. Wonderful

 

Was that guy a medical professional who had examined her in person?

 

Beware of "diagnosing " people. That usually ends up being used as a crutch to either stay in a bad relationship or as a way to avoid your own personal responsibility.

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elmariachi, she is acting like she is your prisoner warden. That's what you're feeling is wrong. She is watching what you do, who you talk to, if she approves of it or not.

She is controlling what goes on in your life and she has no right to do that.

 

You have told her over and over that you are not cheating and will not cheat. She either trusts you or she does not. But this is HER problem, not yours.

 

How can you feel happy or comfortable knowing that she is always on the verge of a temper tantrum or always making sure you do as she thinks is right?

 

You cannot and should not live as a prisoner. This is not how a healthy relationship should be.

She either trusts you or she does not. It can be no other way.

 

She does not get to control you or force to do as she says or to fight with her over what she feels is right or wrong.

If she does not like something, then she does not need to be in this relationship.

 

I agree that partners have to cooperate and listen to their partners, but this has gone way over the top now. You have done your part on explaining and being patient and trying to understand.

It is now getting to a point where she is becoming toxic and far far too controlling to you.

It would make anyone miserable.

 

You should be allowed to tell your friend Happy Birthday without getting permission or explaining yourself.

This is exactly what's wrong with your relationship. It is now prisoner and warden.

 

If you want to continue this at all, you need to stand your ground and tell her that you are done with being controlled, done with her telling you what to do and she either trusts you or she doesn't and if she doesn't, then it's time to say goodbye...and MEAN IT!!!

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Was that guy a medical professional who had examined her in person?

 

Beware of "diagnosing " people. That usually ends up being used as a crutch to either stay in a bad relationship or as a way to avoid your own personal responsibility.

 

I can't second this enough ...For a BPD diagnosis one needs to fit a criteria to start with ! It can take months , sometimes years to diagnose something like this , it is a horrible mental health issue to have and it gets thrown around on forums from all these would be doctors on a daily basis . As soon as someone shows they have a temper , then calms down then flares up ..that's it ..bpd or bi polar ....it is an insult to the mental health community to have such ignorant people hopping around on forums diagnosing something they read on google .

 

Don't fall into that trap ...you will go through your life thinking everyone has a mental illness ....when the reality is they are just asses ...and everytime someone has a temper tantrum you will then be thinking ..ahh its ok they are mentally ill !!!!

 

As for the * wonderful * after your comment ....People suffering with mental health for the rest of their lives don't think it's so great either !!!!!

Edited by pippy longstocking
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Sorry this is happening. It seems you've tried everything to make it work including therapy and dealing with her for 3 years. It's a good choice not to move in or go further. She may be fine "95%" of the time but the rest of the time was, is and will be destructive, painful and heartbreaking.

 

Keep in mind part of who she is is not only her horrible and fixed learned upbringing, but whatever genetics come with that (obviously untreated serious mood, personality disorders and probably a host of psychopathology).

 

A few rounds of therapy is not going to change her that much. Pick your partner wisely. Do not sign up for a life of misery with someone this damaged. Someone who feels compelled to chew you up ranting and raving at all hours is not someone who is stable or worthwhile to be with. Your patience will not be rewarded. Like her defective horrible parents, this will only give her the green light to chose you as her prime victim. You will never fix her with all the love, patience, etc in the world.

 

Think long and hard about needing therapy yourself simply to deal with her untreated hostile chaotic abusive personality. You can chose this or you can chose happiness.

Her father is an abuser, both emotional and physical. He had frequent temper tantrums after some minor things, and would rarely hit her mother

sometimes it gets too complicated. Basically, that's why we are not still married and we still do not live together.

The number and fierceness of her temper tantrums was insane during our first three years.

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Not all people who have abusive parents or a bad childhood end up abusers themselves and that should not be an excuse to abuse people. She has responsibility, accountably and agency in her choices and the way she treats you. This is who she is. In 3 years no matter what you did, it never changed. It probably never will because she doesn't even take responsibility for her wrong doings.

 

So you have two choices: you either stay and be her punching bag and live a life of being controlled and miserable, or you leave and aim for healthier and stable relationships in the future, because this ain't it.

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One of the things which really struck me about your original post was how much of it was taken up with other people, their behaviours and backgrounds. What you really need to be looking at is your own situation, minus the psychiatric labelling and the amateur versions thereof.

 

All you need to know is that your girlfriend is abusive and manipulative, and that while you stay with her, you will be on the receiving end of that. Period. The responsibility for staying with her, and the potential to leave this abusive situation, rest solely with you. She is responsible for her own words and actions - but you are responsible for yours.

 

In other words - run, don't walk, to the nearest exit. Whatever you do, don't get involved on any level which will take a load of legal process to undo!

 

Good luck!

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My parents have issues, my dad esp. I didn't turn out emotionally messed up and out of control-her dad being the way he is isn't reason for her to treat you the way she does. You enable her bad behaviour and it must be something in your childhood that makes you stick around and blame yourself. She is unable to have a healthy relationship and you're just destroying yourself and wasting away.

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First of all, dear all, thanks a lot for your support and insightful anwers. Things are starting to clear up in my mind.

 

Was that guy a medical professional who had examined her in person?

 

Beware of "diagnosing " people. That usually ends up being used as a crutch to either stay in a bad relationship or as a way to avoid your own personal responsibility.

 

Yes, of course I understand that. I was just so desperate in the middle on the night that found this really unpleasant to even think of.

 

elmariachi, she is acting like she is your prisoner warden. That's what you're feeling is wrong. She is watching what you do, who you talk to, if she approves of it or not.

She is controlling what goes on in your life and she has no right to do that.

 

If you want to continue this at all, you need to stand your ground and tell her that you are done with being controlled, done with her telling you what to do and she either trusts you or she doesn't and if she doesn't, then it's time to say goodbye...and MEAN IT!!!

 

Thank you for this long reply Sherry, but the thing is that she is ususally not like that, and it makes me wonder if I really messed up somewhere. I can easily go to the bar with my buddies or even to a night club or whatever and she doesn't freak out about that at all. So do I because I trust her.

 

 

Don't fall into that trap ...you will go through your life thinking everyone has a mental illness ....when the reality is they are just asses ...and everytime someone has a temper tantrum you will then be thinking ..ahh its ok they are mentally ill !!!!

 

As for the * wonderful * after your comment ....People suffering with mental health for the rest of their lives don't think it's so great either !!!!!

 

I appreciate your concern and just want to say that I'm also wary of this kind of people. Maybe they meant good by saying that it is not normal and you should go see a specialist. I actually wrote that *wonderful* remark just to show that as if this situation wasn't bad enough, now there is a slight possibility in might be a mental condition. Again, I'm not trying to label people here, I was just shocked and feeling desperate, that's why I used this kind of language. I can't really imagine how life is with this kind of condition.

 

Not excusing any of the behaviour, but just checking that your girlfriend has been introduced to this friend and that you sometimes go places together?

 

Yes, in fact it is my girlfriend who introduced me to this friend of mine. We went to restaurants and movies a dozen of times together.

 

Sorry this is happening. It seems you've tried everything to make it work including therapy and dealing with her for 3 years. It's a good choice not to move in or go further. She may be fine "95%" of the time but the rest of the time was, is and will be destructive, painful and heartbreaking.

 

Keep in mind part of who she is is not only her horrible and fixed learned upbringing, but whatever genetics come with that (obviously untreated serious mood, personality disorders and probably a host of psychopathology).

 

Think long and hard about needing therapy yourself simply to deal with her untreated hostile chaotic abusive personality. You can chose this or you can chose happiness.

 

I'm actually considering going to councelling again I went to a psychoanalyst about a month ago and she found out that I value people around me a lot more than myself, we even went through a hypnosis session. She was rather hesitant if I should break up or not though. She just said go with the flow and don't do anything deliberately.

 

Not all people who have abusive parents or a bad childhood end up abusers themselves and that should not be an excuse to abuse people. She has responsibility, accountably and agency in her choices and the way she treats you. This is who she is. In 3 years no matter what you did, it never changed. It probably never will because she doesn't even take responsibility for her wrong doings.

 

So you have two choices: you either stay and be her punching bag and live a life of being controlled and miserable, or you leave and aim for healthier and stable relationships in the future, because this ain't it.

 

Many thanks, Annia! I also went trough pretty bad parenting and now I try my best not to be like the bad side of my parents. She fully understands she hurt me a lot, and she even cried saying sorry about a year ago and promising she will be better. And she made huge progress on that, she really showed how she cares about is all. But last one got me really confused and worried if it is her job or just mine carefully walking on eggshells.

 

One of the things which really struck me about your original post was how much of it was taken up with other people, their behaviours and backgrounds. What you really need to be looking at is your own situation, minus the psychiatric labelling and the amateur versions thereof.

 

All you need to know is that your girlfriend is abusive and manipulative, and that while you stay with her, you will be on the receiving end of that. Period. The responsibility for staying with her, and the potential to leave this abusive situation, rest solely with you. She is responsible for her own words and actions - but you are responsible for yours.

 

In other words - run, don't walk, to the nearest exit. Whatever you do, don't get involved on any level which will take a load of legal process to undo!

 

Good luck!

 

Wow, I never actually noticed that all I wrote about was other people, not me. Thanks for pointing out.

 

My parents have issues, my dad esp. I didn't turn out emotionally messed up and out of control-her dad being the way he is isn't reason for her to treat you the way she does. You enable her bad behaviour and it must be something in your childhood that makes you stick around and blame yourself. She is unable to have a healthy relationship and you're just destroying yourself and wasting away.

 

I think that the biggest thing that stops me from taking a final desicion is how heartful and warm our relations are outside these quarrels. She is very caring and I love her a lot and I'm always aware of job she is doing on herself. But you actually hit a bull's eye since I was brought up in such a way that I blame myself too much, even my psychoanalyst confirmed that. I'm working on it.

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True unless you fix yourself you can't fix anything or anyone. Perhaps it's a translation error but a therapist what promotes inertia and indecision does not sound helpful.

 

It's hard to tell if you are keeping her because you feel damaged and sick or keeping her is making you damaged and sick.

 

As long as you limp along as a martyr and she beats you up mentally, you'll never know what a good life is.

I'm actually considering going to councelling again I went to a psychoanalyst about a month ago and she found out that I value people around me a lot more than myself, we even went through a hypnosis session.

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It's hard to tell if you are keeping her because you feel damaged and sick or keeping her is making you damaged and sick.

 

I would guess it's a bit of both. People tend to get into toxic cycles without even realizing it.

 

Beware of staying with the hopes that she will change and then trying to do everything to change her or wait for her to change, when the fact is, this is who she just might be.

She has the genetic dispositions for it, she grew up with it, it's "normal" to her. I can't see it changing a whole lot no matter how badly you want it to.

 

Though you do well on self blame, and that's gotta stop too.

Edited by SherrySher
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True unless you fix yourself you can't fix anything or anyone. Perhaps it's a translation error but a therapist what promotes inertia and indecision does not sound helpful.

 

It's hard to tell if you are keeping her because you feel damaged and sick or keeping her is making you damaged and sick.

 

As long as you limp along as a martyr and she beats you up mentally, you'll never know what a good life is.

 

No error, that's actually what she told me. "Don't do anything on purpose, I will work it all through with your subconsciousness when you'll be in hypnosis, and it will sort itself out".

That's so terrible a realisation to hear all that since I have never spoken to anyone about this except for my therapist.

 

I would guess it's a bit of both. People tend to get into toxic cycles without even realizing it.

 

Beware of staying with the hopes that she will change and then trying to do everything to change her or wait for her to change, when the fact is, this is who she just might be.

She has the genetic depositions for it, she grew up with it, it's "normal" to her. I can't see it changing a whole lot no matter how badly you want it to.

 

Though you do well on self blame, and that's gotta stop too.

 

 

She actually did admit that and said sorry like a couple of hours ago. But I don't know... First time she admitted she mistreated me in this way was like a year ago, and the frequency of these outbursts plummeted, but they still happen and in a way thas is clearly uncontrolled by her

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Make sure the therapist is actually helping you improve your life and not a quack selling you mumbo-jumbo. It's fine to relax and do nothing/think nothing in a yoga or meditation class, but if you are facing serious life problems, do nothing/think nothing may not be the best option, since it seems to have you paralyzed and accepting abuse.

No error, that's actually what she told me. "Don't do anything on purpose, I will work it all through with your subconsciousness when you'll be in hypnosis, and it will sort itself out". That's so terrible a realisation to hear all that since I have never spoken to anyone about this except for my therapist.
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Yes, but that still doesn't mean she isn't accountable for her behaviors. She is a grown woman, she can choose to control her emotions far better than this. It really does come down to choosing to trust you or not.

 

It does sound like she could do with more counselling as well. But part of it is temper tantrums and controlling, neither of which is justifiable or okay.

 

You can't keep making excuses for her.

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This should have been over, years ago. She is abusive and WILL NOT CHANGE! Why do you continue with this?

 

This woman would be a horrible mother. You need to get out of this mess, and seek therapy, to understand why you chose this lunatic!

Edited by Hollyj
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Not all people who have abusive parents or a bad childhood end up abusers themselves and that should not be an excuse to abuse people. She has responsibility, accountably and agency in her choices and the way she treats you. This is who she is. In 3 years no matter what you did, it never changed. It probably never will because she doesn't even take responsibility for her wrong doings.

 

So you have two choices: you either stay and be her punching bag and live a life of being controlled and miserable, or you leave and aim for healthier and stable relationships in the future, because this ain't it.

I agree. Her background is not an excuse.

 

I suggest you reread the title of your thread.

Edited by Hollyj
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OP, your gf isn't the way she is because of her background or her father, she IS her father. Meaning that things will never get better with her.

 

She is abusing you, manipulating and gasslighting you to an extreme extent. I think it's concerning that you put up with it as long as you have, but at the same time, it's common. Google codependent and I think you'll see yourself in the description. Always trying to help, fix, smooth over, hanging on to a bad relationship for dear life, trying to keep the peace. Blaming yourself, thinking that you can control what the abuser does or that you are responsible for their outbursts is also common.

 

Thing is you are not responsible for her behavior and you can't fix it or control it or change it. Yes, abusers can also be very very good to you. It's why it's called a cycle of abuse, it's why people keep staying for years with abusive partners, and why overall these relationships can be so confusing. It goes like this:

 

Abusive outburst ---->apologies and promises to change from abuser. Victim becomes very hopeful that things will be good going forward-----> happy period where abuser is very nice and victim is very happy----->tension building, where the victim is often not even aware that the abuser is getting ready to attack again, the need to abuse is internal within the abuser completely independent of the victim, but the victim gets blamed during the incoming outburst------>abusive attack/outburst---->...... round and round you go

 

This cycle doesn't stop until the victim, you OP, finally decide that you've had enough of this and leave the abuser. Also, when you do so, be sure to cut all contact, because abusers will go to great lengths to get their victim back under control. Lies, tears, promises, even some action - whatever will give you hope and make you return back to that cycle of abuse. IT NEVER STOPS UNTIL YOU LEAVE FOR GOOD AND CUT OFF ALL CONTACT WITH ABUSER.

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OP, your gf isn't the way she is because of her background or her father, she IS her father. Meaning that things will never get better with her.

 

She is abusing you, manipulating and gasslighting you to an extreme extent. I think it's concerning that you put up with it as long as you have, but at the same time, it's common. Google codependent and I think you'll see yourself in the description. Always trying to help, fix, smooth over, hanging on to a bad relationship for dear life, trying to keep the peace. Blaming yourself, thinking that you can control what the abuser does or that you are responsible for their outbursts is also common.

 

Thing is you are not responsible for her behavior and you can't fix it or control it or change it. Yes, abusers can also be very very good to you. It's why it's called a cycle of abuse, it's why people keep staying for years with abusive partners, and why overall these relationships can be so confusing. It goes like this:

 

Abusive outburst ---->apologies and promises to change from abuser. Victim becomes very hopeful that things will be good going forward-----> happy period where abuser is very nice and victim is very happy----->tension building, where the victim is often not even aware that the abuser is getting ready to attack again, the need to abuse is internal within the abuser completely independent of the victim, but the victim gets blamed during the incoming outburst------>abusive attack/outburst---->...... round and round you go

 

This cycle doesn't stop until the victim, you OP, finally decide that you've had enough of this and leave the abuser. Also, when you do so, be sure to cut all contact, because abusers will go to great lengths to get their victim back under control. Lies, tears, promises, even some action - whatever will give you hope and make you return back to that cycle of abuse. IT NEVER STOPS UNTIL YOU LEAVE FOR GOOD AND CUT OFF ALL CONTACT WITH ABUSER.

Stellar advice!

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OP, your gf isn't the way she is because of her background or her father, she IS her father. Meaning that things will never get better with her.

 

She is abusing you, manipulating and gasslighting you to an extreme extent. I think it's concerning that you put up with it as long as you have, but at the same time, it's common. Google codependent and I think you'll see yourself in the description. Always trying to help, fix, smooth over, hanging on to a bad relationship for dear life, trying to keep the peace. Blaming yourself, thinking that you can control what the abuser does or that you are responsible for their outbursts is also common.

 

Thing is you are not responsible for her behavior and you can't fix it or control it or change it. Yes, abusers can also be very very good to you. It's why it's called a cycle of abuse, it's why people keep staying for years with abusive partners, and why overall these relationships can be so confusing. It goes like this:

 

Abusive outburst ---->apologies and promises to change from abuser. Victim becomes very hopeful that things will be good going forward-----> happy period where abuser is very nice and victim is very happy----->tension building, where the victim is often not even aware that the abuser is getting ready to attack again, the need to abuse is internal within the abuser completely independent of the victim, but the victim gets blamed during the incoming outburst------>abusive attack/outburst---->...... round and round you go

 

This cycle doesn't stop until the victim, you OP, finally decide that you've had enough of this and leave the abuser. Also, when you do so, be sure to cut all contact, because abusers will go to great lengths to get their victim back under control. Lies, tears, promises, even some action - whatever will give you hope and make you return back to that cycle of abuse. IT NEVER STOPS UNTIL YOU LEAVE FOR GOOD AND CUT OFF ALL CONTACT WITH ABUSER.

 

This should be copied and pasted in all threads on ENA about abusive relationships!

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