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I just recently left a toxic situation a few days ago. Moved most of my things back to my parents house.

 

He was at a friends place, and I've been feeling unsure about our situation for quite some time. We used to have a beautiful, loving relationship. But this year, things went to crap. He lost his job and was on unemployment. He had to spend more time with me than usual. We fought - a lot. There was a lot of name calling, things getting broken, and things getting thrown around. The thing is, we both know and understand that this is not okay and there needs to be a change. We've always said we're gonna try to make things work - but it never seemed to change. While he was at his friends, I messaged him and asked him if he'd be coming home soon, because I feel like we need to have a conversation. He said let's just have it now. So I told him I was unhappy. That I felt disrespected and unappreciated. Was tired of him choosing his friends over me. I didn't want getting drunk to be his main source of entertainment. He agreed that it wasn't right, and that maybe we should stop what we have going on before more get's broken. He apologized and said he doesn't know why our fights escalate so bad.

 

So I moved out. My family helped me and we cleared most of my things out. I told him I don't want to do it but I think it needs to happen. I said we should spend some time apart and there is no denying that I love him and want to be with him. Which he replied with "I hope you know that I love you too." I also said that until he's ready to make changes for me, I think I should leave. He truly is a wonderful person. I worry that he's been battling depression/sense of uncertainty. Recently, he told me that he isn't sure what he wants. Now that I left, it seems like he's more hurt than ever. We had a very good conversation the night I left. I told him that I cared about him, love him, and want him to be happy. He again told me he loves me. He also made sure to let me know that he didn't go to the bar that night - as that is one thing that has been bothering me.

 

The next day, he heads back home. He sees that I took mostly everything, and then he is angry. Says there is nothing to talk about with me and that I left him to dry. (Most of the kitchenware was mine). I told him I didn't know what to do, and maybe I shouldn't have left things like that. I told him I could bring a few things back to get him by. And he stated no I'll just make a list and go shopping. Eventually he calmed down and I apologized for leaving him that way. He told me I shouldn't be the one apologizing. I told him as far as everything that happened in the past - he is forgiven. What's said is said, what's done is done, there's nothing that can change. And that I just want to move forward and make things better. I asked him if I could come over so we could talk, but he said probably not today, I have a lot things I need to do. Which I said ok, how about next weekend? and he said "probably."

 

I guess my question is, do you think we will be able to get through this rough patch? Does it seem like he would be willing to make changes for us? I know for a fact that I need to make some attitude changes, but I already know that I am willing, and I have made most of those changes the last few months. My family and best friends all think we will end up back together. But I would also like to hear other point of views. I don't plan on running back in a week. I plan to spend at least a few weeks away. I'm struggling really bad today as I've been leaving him alone since yesterday. We both said goodnight to each other and haven't heard from him since. I figured I would let him make the first move.

 

On a side note, we've been together for 6 years. This issues just started this year. Can it be reversed?

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On a side note, we've been together for 6 years. This issues just started this year. Can it be reversed?

 

I don't know. I doubt it though. There has to be some kind of underlying disrespect there in the first place, for things to have gotten so bad. You can't teach someone to respect you if they haven't learned after five years of being with you.

 

My boyfriend and I have been together for 8.5 years. Both of us were laid off as a result of Covid. My boyfriend is still laid off, and the business he worked for is in serious jeopardy. So yes, there is stress, especially on his end. But he would never behave that way towards me. We treat each other with respect.

 

Something better is out there for you. But you'll never find it if you settle for this.

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OP, re-read: the answer lies in your post.

 

" There was a lot of name calling, things getting broken, and things getting thrown around."

 

"I felt disrespected and unappreciated. Was tired of him choosing his friends over me. I didn't want getting drunk to be his main source of entertainment"

 

" I asked him if I could come over so we could talk, but he said probably not today, I have a lot things I need to do. Which I said ok, how about next weekend? and he said "probably."

 

I agree with Jibralta.

 

And the real person comes out under stress. Spending more time with a person doesn't mean turning abusive.

 

And finally you ask:

 

"Does it seem like he would be willing to make changes for us?"

 

I don't think so.

 

Life has many stresses and setbacks. How we handle these shows who we really are, the stuff we are made of.

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You went so far as to move out.

 

That's a pretty strong signal of finality. I don't blame you for leaving but you should not then expect him to be too keen to mend bridges with you. It might have been different if you'd gone to stay with someone for a couple weeks to clear you mind, but moving out is generally going to make the other person think that it's over for good. It isn't really a temporary measure and not the way to provoke someone into changing and later re-kindling the relationship. Don't move out if you don't actually want a permanent end, in other words.

 

It would be best instead to reflect on why you want to keep this alive. I realize there is history between you two but it also sounds like there's a lot of resentment, anger and abusive behaviour. Your desire to get away is perfectly understandable - perhaps you need to listen to your gut and stay gone.

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People can and sometimes do change. However, this can only happen if the person in question actually WANTS to change. It's clear from your post that you really want him to change, it's not so clear that he really wants to.

 

If he has no genuine desire to really change, then change simply won't happen. No matter how badly you want him to. If he doesn't want to change, the important question to ask yourself is the following: can I accept him as he is, flaws and all?

If the answer is "No," then it's best to walk away, this relationship is not a good fit for your wants and needs.

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Wait it out six months to a year and see how you feel. Breaks are never a solution and if you found it bad enough to move out, I think you already know the answer. If he pushed you into moving out, threatened you or made you feel unwelcome in your own home those are also signs that the relationship is completely done. A person doesn't go from lovey dovey and beautiful to disrespectful, drunk, having mental health issues or abusive in one year. There may have been signs of this in earlier years and they were masked or you overlooked them intentionally or unintentionally.

 

You are still cleaning up after his messes even though you probably intended to teach him a lesson by moving out. He's not going to respect you more the more you keep running after him to make sure he's okay.

 

I hope you are able to clear your mind now that you're out and rethink this relationship.

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The short answer is No he will not change. What exactly is he supposed to change? You listed several things that have been going on but what is the root cause? Where are these things coming from? You cannot fix something until you know what is broken.

 

Anything he does he needs to be motivated by saving the relationship but he needs to do it for himself so he can be a better person and bf.

 

Name calling, throwing things, breaking things are all very bad signs and show a lot of pent up anger and frustration. People act out physically when they get frustrated and someone is going to get hurt if it continues. You were right to leave but 3 weeks isn't going to fix anything.

 

When times get hard is when the true character in people comes out and it often shows the weakness in a relationship. It is super easy to be in a relationship with no stressors right?

 

How you both have handled the conflicts is telling.

 

Can it be reversed? Of course but that is not going to happen with time apart. You need someone with experience in couples counseling to help you both identify the core problems and then work towards resolutions.

 

Right now you get into an argument, it escalates, things get thrown and broken and one of you leaves the room or house and you both calm down then rinse and repeat. No resolution, just cease fires. You leaving is just a longer cease fire.

 

Lost

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No, he won't change.

 

Relationships tend to thrive whenever everything is smooth such as covering the basics: Economic stability, morals, honorable characteristic traits and mental / physical health. Whenever something is missing from those basics, fights erupt and relationships go haywire.

 

Your family and friends are giving you wishful thinking and false hope.

 

Both of you had "a beautiful, loving relationship" when life was smooth with steady employment. Once he lost his job, he became miserable and depressed which created anxiety, stress, anger, belligerence, conflict and confrontational behavior. He's unhappy with his unemployment and unhappy people are incompatible especially when his ire is directed at you.

 

When he becomes employed sometime in the future, he'll be happier which in turn makes him easier to get along with. Until then, it's best for you to leave him alone so he can sort his life out. The question is: Are you willing to remain patient and wait for however long it takes? :eek:

 

This can be reversed once he's employed. Until then, he won't change.

 

Either wait until better times arrive for him in the future or move on with your life without him.

 

Also, keep in mind that you witnessed his true colors when life turned sour. Of course, people are in a good mood and treat others well when life is smooth and wonderful. Then when there's economic instability, you observed human weakness and frailties at its worst which is universal.

 

Know that there are conditions to your relationship. Either it's bad due to lack of job and secured finances or it's good with employment and a steady stream of income. You decide whether or not you wish to stay or exit and dissolve the relationship.

 

He's unenthusiastic about having an in person conversation or discussion with you. Take this as a hint that he is too consumed with his unemployment and not concerned about the relationship. Remain realistic.

 

I wouldn't expect anything from him. You will be happier in a relationship with a stable person (gainfully employed, possesses moral character, healthy).

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He is abusive. He will not change.

 

"Wonderful" people do not treat others as he has treated you. Have you considered therapy for the abuse?

 

" Mostly the fights are about living stituations (I told him I don’t want to live in his parents yard forever), having attitudes with one another, him going to the bars with his/our friends (& never inviting me), his friends talking about me, and some other odds and ends. Essentially, almost every fight results in him telling me to leave (move back to my parents). I have packed several times and gotten ready to leave, where he then explodes and says that he doesn’t want me to leave but I’m the one that wants this (yet he always tells me to leave). Trust me, I don’t want that. But he always turns it around on me. Saying that I want to leave, and he has also made comments that I want him dead. This has been going on for almost a year. I’m at wits end. He tells me to leave at least 4-5 times a week."

 

"But now he tells me that I annoy him and that he has a short fuse with me. He has gotten so angry that he has punched a hole in our wall, broken a picture frame that was of me and him, thrown several items at me, etc.

 

I don't see anything that represents love or respect with his behavior.

 

Be done with this relationship!

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This isn't a rough patch, this is someone showing their true colours. When the abuse starts, that should give you an idea they don't have the right coping skills or any motivation to come up with solutions to the crisis. This is a deal breaker.

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He's not going to stop being abusive once he's employed. And his unemployed status didn't cause him to be abusive.

 

Yes, people will absolutely be stressed, anxious and worried, even become depressed, when they are suddenly unemployed. But most people do not abuse their loved ones because they're worried about finding a job. This man does.

 

You go back once he gets a new job and the next time there's a difficult situation he will revert back to the abuser he is. Even more so because he will know you accept his abuse.

 

Add in the disrespect he's also shown you and no, it's highly unlikely he will "change".

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I've known people whether male or female, friends or family. A true test to one's character is how they behave when troubles are not light and they're under major stress. Some people can still exercise self control, remain calm, peaceful, , very kind, selfless and maintain gracious behavior throughout whereas others cannot and will not. This is the time when you have every right to judge whether or not a person is compatible or incompatible especially during times of adversity, struggle and / or hardship.

 

In my experience, whenever I've been on the receiving end of undue harshness from anyone, my compassion for their plight is nonexistent if perpetrators use me as their verbal punching bag. It's not my fault that they haven't triumphed over their battles, internal demons or whatever ails them yet they have no qualms taking their ire out on me. Then when life became rosy and comfortable for them, they finally had brain space to afford kindness and respect bestowed upon me. Well, I say "Too little too late." There is no such thing as let bygones be bygones or it's all water under the bridge. No way. I don't let people off the hook that easy. Trust is dead. There are always harsh consequences in this life.

 

Once bad behavior had been demonstrated and displayed, I say, "One and done." Disappointment in others is either very difficult to recover from or unfortunately, impossible. Betrayal of trust is irreversible and any hope to revert back to "the good old days" had been irrevocably broken. Something inside your spirit got up and left. Your soul died. This is human nature.

 

No, it can't be reversed. You're better off without him.

 

There is no such thing as forgive and forget. Forgive? Forgive doesn't mean condone but you can move on, not hold a grudge nor wish ill will. Forgive means you leave the past behind, start anew and create new enforced, healthy boundaries for yourself and others. Forget? Impossible. There is no such thing as forget. People don't have amnesia.

 

You can never change a man. That's what my mother said. (A leopard cannot change its spots.) He is who he is warts and all.

 

Break free of this guy. You deserve a good life without him.

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I think people can change if they want to change. If he goes to therapy and does what he's asked to do in therapy, if he changes his behaviors (like the drinking), then yes he can change how he reacts to crises we all face unfortunately at one point or another whether unemployment or something else. But often it takes years. Sometimes meds too I guess. I don't think your ex wants to change that badly. And I wouldn't wait around to see what happens. No you do not ever go back to an abusive relationship with very rare exception. The rare exception are those people who on their own see the light, do the work, demonstrate over time that they have done the work and changed -demonstrate with actions. Still even then you might not be the right person for him even if he becomes "the right person".

 

I've changed over the last dozen years or so . I know I have. Was I abusive? Absolutely not. Nor did I have any addictions or any other disorders - but I grew and changed - I grew within my marriage and as a parent, and as "co-parents" with my husband. Have I ever in my life acted in a harsh way to someone because I was hangry or cranky or upset? Sure. And that has happened to me too . To me it's a matter of degree, a matter of apology -is the apology genuine, what is done to show the apology, etc. "I am sorry I overreacted" said in a genuine way goes a long way. As does showing your partner you don't repeat the behavior or repeat it as often -some sort of progress. Abuse? No that's a line drawing thing. But losing your cool, not always being calm, cool and collected - to me that's normal -it happens, people are human.

 

In fact I wonder about someone who is never ruffled - because so often they are holding back and explode later or quietly drinking their resentment away when they think no one is looking. I'd much rather be around someone who shows irritation or crankiness even though it's not "my fault" whatever happened - again without abuse - than someone who is eerily calm no matter what - I do know people like that, often though I find them emotionless overall - so that they also don't show enthusiasm or laugh uproariously when there's a reason to do so. Too buttoned up isn't good (or fun actually) either.

 

I think your SO crossed the line. A lot. So I would move on -end it - and know that there is only a rare, remote chance that he on his own wants to do intense, long term work to change and then after years of that comes and finds you to see if you are still interested.

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There's a difference between normal quibbles and ire and then there's the other extreme of drinking, shouting, yelling, habitual foul language, shallow apologies and repeated chronic fights.

 

Only you can determine how much you are willing to take and how much patience you have left in the tank for unreasonable behavior and its duration.

 

Whenever arguing and fighting or out of whack behavior is extreme, there is only so much you will endure and tolerate. At that point, you decide whether you can prolong this current situation as is or if you want to end it because you can't take it anymore. Either have the patience of a saint or remain realistic and know what type of character and his habits you are dealing with.

 

Change requires seriousness, sincerity and emotional intelligence. Google "emotional intelligence." Actions speak louder than words as words and false or wishful promises are cheap.

 

6 years is a long time to get to know someone. Ask if you can imagine yourself with him for 6 more years? If your answer is "yes," then stay with him. If your answer is "no," you will know what your final choices and decisions are.

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There's a difference between normal quibbles and ire and then there's the other extreme of drinking, shouting, yelling, habitual foul language, shallow apologies and repeated chronic fights.

 

Only you can determine how much you are willing to take and how much patience you have left in the tank for unreasonable behavior and its duration.

 

Whenever arguing and fighting or out of whack behavior is extreme, there is only so much you will endure and tolerate. At that point, you decide whether you can prolong this current situation as is or if you want to end it because you can't take it anymore. Either have the patience of a saint or remain realistic and know what type of character and his habits you are dealing with.

 

Change requires seriousness, sincerity and emotional intelligence. Google "emotional intelligence." Actions speak louder than words as words and false or wishful promises are cheap.

 

6 years is a long time to get to know someone. Ask if you can imagine yourself with him for 6 more years? If your answer is "yes," then stay with him. If your answer is "no," you will know what your final choices and decisions are.

 

Yes I agree. And yes he can change and yes if he really wanted to, it would take years. And a lot of effort and maybe meds on his part. I don't think the OP should wait around at all.

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Yes I agree. And yes he can change and yes if he really wanted to, it would take years. And a lot of effort and maybe meds on his part. I don't think the OP should wait around at all.

 

I agree, too, Batya33. Only time will tell.

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This isn't a rough patch, this is someone showing their true colours. When the abuse starts, that should give you an idea they don't have the right coping skills or any motivation to come up with solutions to the crisis. This is a deal breaker.

I second this post. This is who he is.

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Absolutely Cher.

 

"No, it can't be reversed. You're better off without him."

 

And what Smackie said:

 

"This isn't a rough patch, this is someone showing their true colours. When the abuse starts, that should give you an idea they don't have the right coping skills or any motivation to come up with solutions to the crisis. This is a deal breaker."

 

Why on earth would such an individual want to change. Far more fun being abusive (I hear that the "fix" is terrific even if short lived), than becoming even half-way civilized.

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Yep, abusers get off on seeing their spouse or SO cower, cry, beg and declare their undying love. I mean, what's to dislike about that, right?

 

OP, he won't "change" because he doesn't want to. It's like trying to get a Starbucks junkie to give up their coffee (although a coffee addiction generally doesn't harm others). They like it, it gives them pleasure and they don't want to give it up.

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Totally agree Bolt.

 

"Yep, abusers get off on seeing their spouse or SO cower, cry, beg and declare their undying love. I mean, what's to dislike about that, right?"

 

It's a very unpleasant truth and many prefer to shy away from it. The notion is abhorrent, but there is no escaping the fact that such individuals exist.

 

The bare and nasty truth is that what they do is quite deliberate.

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Do you think we will be able to get through this rough patch?

Does it seem like he would be willing to make changes for us?

 

Nope an never. He's was great doing the good times. This is who he is during the bad times - selfish, selfish, selfish. You are dodging a bullet.

 

And instead of trying to work things out, he chooses to break up. He's not the one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is painfully familiar to me- this sounds a lot like the dynamic between myself and my soon to be ex-husband. When things were good, of course they were SO good. But it came with a lot of heartache when things were bad. Unpredictable, unforgiving, bullying, threatening- and shaky acknowledgement of how much it impacted me and my mental health. I took time apart and it took me six to eight weeks to realize I'm better off without him in my life. Sure, sometimes people change if they truly want to and put in the work. But the only way to find out is to take a risk and go back... and you have to decide if it's worth the risk. In my opinion it is not. There are people out there that don't behave this way, so you have to decide for yourself what you're able to tolerate and if this type of behaviour is compatible with you and your needs. Are you okay with it potentially happening again and again in your lifetime?

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