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Was my ex abusive?


sirius
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About four months ago my boyfriend broke up with me. I've talked to some friends about it, but they're all still close friends with my ex despite saying how "what he did to you was bad" and "you deserve better", so I don't know if they actually think those things or they're just saying it to humor me. I definitely don't feel like they would react well if I suggested my ex was possibly abusive. I was hoping to get a more unbiased opinion here.

Things were really good for the first few months. We had been close friends before we started dating too, and there were never any problems. But now that it's been a while since the breakup I've been thinking over things and it seems like there were a lot of red flags later on in our relationship that I ignored.

  • He used to do or say things he knew would upset me in purpose just to get attention. And then he refused to apologize because "that means admitting I did something wrong and I don't ever want to be wrong." Even if I asked him to stop he would keep going, often to the point where I started crying or had anxiety attacks.
  • It was long distance, so our communication was mainly through texting instead of in person. He ignored me a lot. I was lucky if he contacted me once a week. He used to talk to me every day, but suddenly he didn't have time for me and kept telling me he was busy even though I could see him talking to friends on social media. I didn't want to be too clingy so I tried not to bother him by messaging first too often. When he did talk to me it was usually just to upset me like I mentioned before, or to vent to me.
  •  If I said something made me uncomfortable, he would ignore me and do what he wanted anyway. I would end up getting pushed into doing or going along with things I didn't like, so the last few months of our relationship was spent with me feeling stressed constantly because of this. He wouldn't ever respect my feelings or boundaries, and if he came and said he wanted to "talk about something" it wasn't a talk. He didn't want to hear how I felt about what he was doing, he was just telling me and expecting me to accept it. The breakup actually happened because I finally decided to be firm about setting my boundaries, and he didn't like that.
  • He kept falling in love with other people. He would talk about having crushes on others and he wanted to be able to date anyone he decided he had feelings for, even though it was not an open relationship. This is one of the things I told him I was uncomfortable with - but for a while I let it happen just to make him happy, and because even if I told him no he'd do it anyway.
  • He also outright told me he didn't respect me multiple times, and when our mutual friends were disrespectful towards me (all of my friends tend to bully me a lot), he would defend them and say I was overreacting if I got upset and that "that is just how friends treat each other".

This was my first relationship, so I'm not sure if this is all normal behavior? Do you think I'm just being too sensitive about things?

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42 minutes ago, sirius said:

This was my first relationship, so I'm not sure if this is all normal behavior? Do you think I'm just being too sensitive about things?

No, nothing 'normal' about it. Trust your sensitivity, and honor it. That's the only way to fix your partner-picking skills, because if you tolerate being gaslighted into submission in order to 'keep' a lousy BF, you'll find that his mistreatment will only become amplified over time.

Nobody respects a doormat.

This is not to say that you ARE a doormat, but you have allowed someone to treat you like one.

Would I attach the word 'abuse' to it? Depends on how loosely you want to use that word, and whether thinking of yourself as having been abused could create a storyline that might cement itself into a pattern in your life. Avoid feeding the kind of rumination that can drill you into a deeper hole to climb out of, and instead, speak to yourself with the voice of an encouraging coach and take pride in learning

When I think of past mistreatments in relationships, I prefer to frame those as learning experiences that built my resilience and taught me what I will NEVER position myself to accept ever again--from anyone. Not a lover, not a boss, not some neighborhood bully.

Envision yourself walking away from mistreatment with straightened shoulders, on your way to bouncing back with pride in your resilience to create a fabulous future for yourself.

From there, you'll meet people with an eye toward exploring whether they resonate with you and offer you kindness, support and simpatico. That's what to hold out for while you grasp that most people are NOT our match and do NOT own the capacity to view us through the right lens.

That's true for everyone, so rejection or rejecting is a reflection of human limits rather than of your value--or theirs. We each hold unique and intrinsic value, and the goal is to keep meeting people until you strike the RIGHT match as opposed to tap-dancing 'around' mistreatment just to interest or hold onto anyone who will have you.

Head high, write more if it helps, and trust your intuitive powers that recognize mistreatment for what it is--as waste of your time that you can never get back to re-live over again.

Edited by catfeeder
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Yea, your ex is a jerk. Nothing is healthy nor desired in his behaviour. And I recommend you stop ldr to be able to better assess people more quickly.

I read nowhere how he romanced you, listened to you, respected you, surprised you, and went out of his way to please you. Add to that, he's manipulative as hell.

Good on you for staying away from him and seeing the relationship for what is was. Love is not enough to have a good relationship. There's care, loyalty, generosity, romance, in-person chemistry, compatibility, ect. You learn these with time. Keep moving forward to better local options and keep an eye on red flags to pause and out on.

And your friends are right. So listen more to them. Yes, you deserve a good balanced romantic relationship. Go girl!

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2 hours ago, sirius said:

  I started crying or had anxiety attacks.

  • It was long distance, so our communication was mainly through texting instead of in person. 

Sorry this is happening. How old is he? Do you work? Go to school? 

Delete and block him and all his people from ALL your social media and messaging apps. His friends are not your therapists.

The biggest red flag is that you continued chasing this guy, even though it was obvious he didn't want to talk or date.

See a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Discuss the anxiety and depression. Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist.

Do not get into long distance  cyber-situationships. Don't hide behind your phone.

Join some groups and clubs, volunteer, get involved in sports and fitness take some classes, make some friends.

Once you get yourself figured out, start talking to and meeting local decent respectful guys who are interested in you and want to date.

Remember, dating is not therapy.

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None of what you've listed would be classed as abuse in my book.  It smacks instead of someone who just doesn't care enough for you or how you feel.  A lot of relationships end up like yours did.  People behave like that because they know you allow them to.  I think they hope that you'll do their dirty work and end things. 

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Is it normal? No. You shouldnt take it as "normal" as it will hinder you for future relationships. Your partner disrespecting you and treating you badly isnt normal.

Is it abusive? No. Some people are just lousy partners who dont care about you. And you should learn to get away from them.

Same with friends. You should learn to get away from people who dont treat you in a good way.

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He's a selfish jerk. But abusive? I don't think so.

Did you two spend a lot of time together in person or was all of this insensitive, callous treatment from someone you only knew online?

Be glad you're away from him, in any event. He doesn't seem like someone you'd want to be emotionally attached to.

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