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How can I deal with this relationship?


KShaun
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I have been in a relationship for 4 years and a half. Prior to this relationship I went through a lot and at the time when my current boyfriend came along, I didn't feel like I was ready for a relationship because of my previous heartbreak. I was still trying to find myself at this point and I made it clear to him but of course he persisted for months and I decided to give it a try because I knew I really liked him. I tried my best to not bring any baggage over, so that I was able to give him a fair chance and that I did.

We started out pretty nicely until some red flags started to raise themselves and I tried to be very careful of ignoring them. But each time something came up we go through our phase of disappointment and be all good again.

The first thing I noticed or I tried to figure out was if he is controlling. He is very possessive and jealous when it comes on to me. There were times when he would get upset if he sees me talking to anyone (male) very closely which is just casually or even texting. He would search my phone and things like that. We had our quarrels over those kind of things until I felt like it got better. I wouldn't say the jealousy is gone but I haven't really had any occurrences of such in a little while.

He is a person who it is very difficult to have a conversation with. He only sees things his way and no other way. There have been times when I would communicate something to him or raise an issue and he things I mean one thing when I really mean something else. And even when I try to explain myself he keeps dwelling on what he is thinking I am saying. It's either that or he just ignores or he responds with things that has nothing to do with what I was trying to say and this can be very frustrating.

We are on two different sides of the spectrum where education is concerned. I am a university graduate while he has not completed.

This doesn't make me look at him as less than in any way. I love him. I fell in love with the kind, helpful, dependable, hard working, thoughtful person who he is. He truly takes care of me in different ways. We do not live together and will not until we are settled and married; we are still living with our families in separate homes because we are Christians. 

Another issue is that I have found where he has lied to me before. He has not been open and truthful about somethings because of fear of what I might think. He thinks if I see him talking with a female, I am going to get upset and so he will do everything to hide it. And when I press that is when he will admit that he was actually trying to do that. I notice that he doesn't keep conversations in his phone (I am not a person who searches phones) but I know because when he opens whatsapp it's always empty. As soon as he has a conversation with anyone it is deleted. This scares me a bit.

I admire how in tuned he is in ensuring that his mom and sibling are well taken care of. His parents are married but he doesn't have the perfect relationship with his dad. His dad no longer live with them. He is kinda like a "mamas boy". I am not saying he shouldn't love his mom because the way he loves and care for her reflect in the way he will love and care for me. But it is like he cannot function without her. He runs to her for everything. He hardly allows me to give him advice without having to go back to her. Sometimes I feel like he puts her and his sibling over me. 

The great thing in all of this though is that both our families are on one accord. We truly mesh. His family loves me. My family love him just the same. But at the end of the day I feel a bit doubtful because of some behaviour I have noticed. 

I really love this man, truly. He has been good to me in many ways but I wouldn't want to settle for something where I am going to have a lifetime of unhappiness.

A few weeks ago he did the worst thing to me. I have never felt so hurt before. He just got up one day and decided that he was going to leave me. At first he was acting strange then I noticed was that he removed all our couple photos from social media. I felt so terrible because I didn't think anything was wrong between us. I went to find out what was happening and he was finding all kind of excuses why he cannot deal with me anymore. One of such is that I am "too emotional". I could not understand what I was hearing, what was happening. It was the most confused I have ever been. I do not deny being emotional but I am a woman and there are times when my hormones get the best of me. He also started bringing up things from the past where he thought I was saying one thing but the truth is I was saying something else. I had a horrible time. He kept asking me things and being the caring person who he is trying to ensure I am ok and such and I am saying you left me, so why do all this matter?

I left but I knew I wouldn't be ok until I knew what the final say was and he confirmed that we were no longer together. I then felt a peace come over me and I decided that I wouldn't cry any more. I had to be strong. His mom and my mom were very supportive during all this. 

Late that night he came to visit me, breaking down that he cannot be without me. He could only say it but couldn't actually do it. I decided that I will never allow him to hurt me like that again so I needed time to think about and process everything.

Days passed, conversations happened with different persons and I came to find out that he was having an issue accepting that I am in a "better job" and earning more than him. So basically he was trying to take himself out of that situation because he didn't know what people were thinking of me being with someone like him. I didn't know this before we actually decided to have a conversation with a counsellor.

I had to make it clear that money was never an issue for me. He means more to me than that. I just need to know that we are comfortable. This is an issue that we can put behind as I will continuing giving him that reassurance but we are still yet to go into most the other issues I mentioned early. I thought those were the major culprit but I have come to realise where the problem really was that caused him to act out like that. He was trying to run. He doesn't want to feel like a failure.

We are thinking about getting married soon. But I am on a rocky road right now with all this happening.

We are in love with each other. We do care for each other. We are loved by many. There are many looking forward to us making that big step. But I still wonder if I should be worried about those issues or if they are issues we are likely to overcome. I don't want to set myself up. I know that it is not possible for someone to change unless they make that conscious decision to change themself. But is it possible that those behaviours can be changed? We are in our late 20s.

What are the chances of these things continuing to happen?

This is what worry me.

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Unfortunately love is not enough. And in this relationship you’re treating yourself like you’re not enough. Is there someone you trust at your church who you can speak to about what a healthy relationship looks like ?  Because you love him and you’re in an unhealthy relationship.  Both are true.  It’s nice your families are supportive but they don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Good luck. I’m sorry you’re struggling 

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Everything is wrong, but it pales in comparison to him leaving you the way he did.  He is not trustworthy.   He will do that to you over and over if you stay together.  It's part of his controlling behaviors.  I'm very sorry but you will be signing up for a life of deep unhappiness if you marry this guy. 

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I'm sorry you're going through this.

Just because he has some good qualities (like all people), doesn't mean you need to brush those major red flags under the rug.

A red flag is a sign for you to STOP. It's not to a sign for you to see how red is the red flag. He has way too many red flags and you shouldn't proceed in this anymore. If you love yourself and care about your happiness, you should end this asap. And, it's totally okay to end a relationship when you have feelings for someone. Loving someone doesn't mean you need to stay with them regardless of red flags or incompatibilities. What grown responsible adults do is break up with someone despite their feelings for them because they know this situation is not sustainable in the long term. And that's why healthy people go no contact after break up. It's to allow themselves to process things and learn to find a better match and what they want in a match.

Add to that, your bf has no reason to change. Why would he? He found a woman who puts up with his controlling behaviour and so that'll be the same loop you'll be stuck in if you marry him.

My advice for you is to take a breather and reflect on this. Put love aside and think logically. Your future happiness is at risk. Maybe take some time away from him and stay with a trusted friend or family member. Write your feelings and thought process down and decided for yourself whether it's worth living in a controlled misery with this manipulative man-child just because you have feelings for this man or whether you would rather set yourself free, find happiness, and then find a better match with whom there are no red flags at all. You need be with a man who is honest, responsible, kind, loyal and loves you for who you are... Just to start with. These are the minimum standards to write down in what you want in a partner. And, I'm afraid because you didn't have too much time between your relationships, you didn't get to that part of self love and reflective work. Your bf knows that too. He knew you were in a vulnerable position back then and he stuck around because it's good for him. A lot of men like to prey on vulnerable women fresh out of break ups, but that's another topic.

It's time to clean your glasses, see things for what they are and take care of you 💚 You got this.

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No, no, no. 

Do not marry this guy. I think you are blindly in love and can't see the forest for the trees. There are far too many signficiant red flags, and you are trying very hard to minimize them to yourself. But girl. 

5 hours ago, KShaun said:

We are in love with each other.

I hate to tell you, but he is not in love with you. Men in love don't behave like this or suddenly dump you. And I can tell you, that was not about your job. All the conversations he deletes and how he hides the fact that he talks to other women? That was the reason. I would bet any money he met someone else and wanted to test drive her. She wasn't interested so he invented an excuse so you would take him back. It's time to wake up and realize that all the jealousy and possessiveness is almost surely because he is misbehaving behind your back. Class projection of a dishonest, unfaithful person. 

This is not a good relationship, OP. You can't trust this guy, and with good reason, it seems. He doesn't treat you right. He will break your heart again if you decide to stay. Because one day, he will pull the plug for good. 

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6 hours ago, KShaun said:

he confirmed that we were no longer together. I then felt a peace come over me and I decided that I wouldn't cry any more. I had to be strong.

See, you know on some level he's not good for you. What's the point of being with someone if you have to walk on eggshells all the time and not feel safe around them? What he's done to you before, he can do again to break your psyche and make you more dependent on him. He's a pr!ck. He thinks you're so desperate and have such low self-worth that you'll stay no matter what he does to you. And sadly, you exactly proved that to him.

Please honour your feelings and think of breaking up with him. When you break up, cut contact (block him, yes), tell his family and friends that you don't want to hear about him anymore. Tell your mom the same. Learn to put some healthy boundaries and break your codependency with him.

You are worthy of much better. You can do much better.

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9 hours ago, KShaun said:

  But is it possible that those behaviours can be changed? We are in our late 20s.

What are the chances of these things continuing to happen?.

Sorry this is happening. The controlling and possessive behaviors will get worse. Don't be so desperate to marry that you overlook all these major issues, red flags and character flaws.

Perhaps on the surface you would like to believe the "we're a great couple, everyone loves us" facade, but you need to reflect and be true to yourself.

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11 hours ago, KShaun said:

What are the chances of these things continuing to happen?

 

First of all he is cheating on you or at least he did. Deleting his conversations, getting posessive and projecting on you that you are the one that is talking to other people(not to mention even looking at your phone) and leave him, it all adds up very good. That man aint faithful. Nore he would ever be probably. 

Second of all, yes, those things would continue happening. Cheaters stay cheaters. They may pretend otherwise, may even get married in the process, but the pattern never stops. Its just who they are. He may leave again, have sex with somebody and then come back with "I realized you are the love of my life" BS. But he would still stay the cheater who would do such things at least from time to time.

Plus, all the insecurities. He left you because you make more money? So what? He does know that if you live together its better to have more money for household? Oh, but then he couldnt control you so much as you would have a steady income and he wouldnt be a primary "breadwinner" so lots of stuff would depend on you and not on him. 

That guy is a communist China red flag incarnate. Get away from him pronto and dont get married to somebody like that.

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12 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Unfortunately love is not enough. And in this relationship you’re treating yourself like you’re not enough. Is there someone you trust at your church who you can speak to about what a healthy relationship looks like ?  Because you love him and you’re in an unhealthy relationship.  Both are true.  It’s nice your families are supportive but they don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Good luck. I’m sorry you’re struggling 

Yes. Since that last incident, we had a conversation with our pastor. We however did not touch on many topics so I believe we will need to have further conversations.

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Just now, KShaun said:

 

 

1 minute ago, KShaun said:

Is there someone you trust at your church who you can speak to about what a healthy relationship looks like ?

Yes. Since that last incident, we had a conversation with our pastor. We however did not touch on many topics so I believe we will need to have further conversations.

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47 minutes ago, KShaun said:

Since that last incident, we had a conversation with our pastor

A pastor cannot fix your guy. No one can.

He may act differently after visiting a pastor, but it will be short lived. It's like when someone holds a gun next to you and asks you to behave in certain way. You will do whatever they want until the guy is away, and then you'll fall back in your habits. Same thing.

Honey, what are you fearing? You can be single and happy. You don't need that guy. He can't give you what you want.

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He’s jealous, insecure, controlling and immature. That is who he is, regardless of what your feelings are for him. You need to look inside yourself and honestly ask yourself if these qualities of his are things you want to live with or if you are even capable of handling them should you marry him. You know how they make you feel now, and you know they make you unhappy. Over the long term it will take a toll on you and it will make staying with him difficult. Be very careful about what you decide to commit to. Your happiness and mental health need to take precedence over your feelings of love for him. 

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2 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

A pastor cannot fix your guy. No one can.

He may act differently after visiting a pastor, but it will be short lived. It's like when someone holds a gun next to you and asks you to behave in certain way. You will do whatever they want until the guy is away, and then you'll fall back in your habits. Same thing.

Honey, what are you fearing? You can be single and happy. You don't need that guy. He can't give you what you want.

You are right. It is not worth it.

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52 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Do you think if you don't marry him you'll never find anyone to marry?

Is it super important to you that other people "love" the two of you together?

Well if I don't marry him, I don't think I will have any interest in any future relationship with anyone else. I will just remain single because I don't have the capacity for any more heartbreak. It is the worst feeling. So chances are I will turn down anyone who decides to approach me in that way.

What other people think is not the most important thing to me. I would prefer to put my happiness before that.

It is just a very difficult situation for me.

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Controlling means insecurity/lacks coping skills which is troubling. This type of behaviour leads to arguments and mental abuse like lying/gaslighting/manipulation. Insane jealousy, searching through your phone is called projection. People who are accusatory do it because they feel if they cheat every one must be cheating too. He's lying about why he deletes his messages. If they were innocent there would be no need to delete right? He's lying. This is your reality check girl. This is not good.

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10 minutes ago, KShaun said:

Well if I don't marry him, I don't think I will have any interest in any future relationship with anyone else. I will just remain single because I don't have the capacity for any more heartbreak. It is the worst feeling. So chances are I will turn down anyone who decides to approach me in that way.

What other people think is not the most important thing to me. I would prefer to put my happiness before that.

It is just a very difficult situation for me.

You have incredibly low confidence if you think this badly. Heartbreak can be avoided by NOT ignoring the red flags and kicking them to the curb promptly. You should have ditched him a long time ago. Happiness is found in your own self worth. You have self worth you make better choices.

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16 minutes ago, KShaun said:

Well if I don't marry him, I don't think I will have any interest in any future relationship with anyone else. I will just remain single because I don't have the capacity for any more heartbreak. It is the worst feeling. So chances are I will turn down anyone who decides to approach me in that way.

What other people think is not the most important thing to me. I would prefer to put my happiness before that.

It is just a very difficult situation for me.

But you can change the outcome by deciding NOT to ignore red flags.  That is why you're in this difficult situation. "But I love him!" is an excuse, not a reason to stay in a bad situation.

Remember if you CHOOSE to marry him you are signing up for a lifetime of how he treats you now.  And perhaps your faith will not allow or accept divorce, so keep that in mind before you shackle yourself to this man for life.

You are certainly young enough to change how you approach relationships.  You can talk to your pastor about what's important to you in a relationship and how to go about finding the right man for you.

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51 minutes ago, KShaun said:

Well if I don't marry him, I don't think I will have any interest in any future relationship with anyone else. I will just remain single because I don't have the capacity for any more heartbreak. It is the worst feeling. So chances are I will turn down anyone who decides to approach me in that way.

 

What? 

You dont think you would have an interest in dating because you have fallen for some lame posessive man that probably cheats you with somebody else? So every other man you date would do the same?

The signs were there. You chose to ignore them and waste 4,5 years with the man like that. That doesnt mean every man would hurt you, that just means that you maybe should look better and not ignore the signs next time.

I am guessing that you are still young since you live with parents. You still have more then enough time to get over this, heal, and get back to dating. Thinking that this is the end of the road for you in terms of dating is a very bad mindset to have. No wonder you are ready to forgive him anything even though he is far from ideal partner.

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From someone who is twice married and both times I picked wounded people. Do not marry this guy he is very very wounded and he will never change. Expect the problems will multiply 5 times when you live together especially with children. Everyone has nice qualities and bad qualities but he has too many major red flags. You also need to look internally why you have been in chaotic relationships. Two makes a trend. For me, I have low self-esteem and very anxious in relationships because I grew up with my grandma who was very mean to me since I was 4 year old. Work on improving yourself and you will pick better partners.

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2 hours ago, KShaun said:

Well if I don't marry him, I don't think I will have any interest in any future relationship with anyone else. I will just remain single because I don't have the capacity for any more heartbreak. It is the worst feeling. So chances are I will turn down anyone who decides to approach me in that way.

Let's start with breaking up with him first, healing and then you will consider whether you are ready to date.

Baby steps.

For now, you need to put your big girl pants on and break up with his sorry a$$.

When you do so, don't allow for any discussions with him. He knows exactly what to do/sell you to manipulate you into staying, so don't even let him get the chance to do so. This might include guilt tripping you, gaslighting, getting angry, fake promises or tears. You gotta be strong and stick to it regardless.

If you can break up over the phone and block him immediately afterwards, you would be doing yourself a favour. Tell him and his family that you are laying low for a while and would not like to receive his news.

In that time, process the break up, start new hobbies, make new friends, learn to have some healthy adult boundaries and get some therapy if possible to assist you in rebuilding your self-esteem. Work on being single and happy.

You can do it. You just gotta push through the excuses you're giving yourself for whatever reasons they are. He might have been your security blanket, but it's time to throw it away and put your happiness first. Life's too short.

Please take care and love YOU 💚

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5 hours ago, KShaun said:

Since that last incident, we had a conversation with our pastor. We however did not touch on many topics so I believe we will need to have further conversations.

Can you talk to some from your church in private about your concerns? "We" means he can put on a façade, but your concerns are swept under the rug.

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2 hours ago, KShaun said:

Well if I don't marry him, I don't think I will have any interest in any future relationship with anyone else. I will just remain single because I don't have the capacity for any more heartbreak. It is the worst feeling. So chances are I will turn down anyone who decides to approach me in that way.

What other people think is not the most important thing to me. I would prefer to put my happiness before that.

It is just a very difficult situation for me.

Heartbreak sucks. It hurts and it takes time to get over, but in time it does heal. When it does, you’ll be open to being with someone again. A relationship that ends is an opportunity to learn about yourself, heal, and move forward stronger and wiser. 

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3 hours ago, boltnrun said:

You can talk to your pastor about what's important to you in a relationship and how to go about finding the right man for you

I wouldn't necessarily recommend that. A lot of pastors are corrupt or will tell each couple to stick it out the longest to sort of prove they (the pastors) can do a good job in the community.

OP just needs to trust and believe in herself when making this decision.

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