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Harmful Relationship


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Hello, I'm new here and in desperate need of some support. This is going to be a really long post, because I have a really long story. No one I know seems to understand what I'm going through. I'm told that everything that is happening is all my fault because I'm having a really hard time leaving a harmful/hurtful relationship.


I've been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. I'm 19, and he's 20. When we first got together, I loved to go out and party and so did he. We had a great time together, even if it was just us. We fell in love quick, and he moved in with me (I had my own place at 17) almost right away. We were always together and he became my world. But a short while after turning 18, I decided that I was ready to grow up. I stopped partying, stopped hanging out with our "loser" friends, and started trying to build a life for myself. I guess I expected my boyfriend to move right along that road with me. Of course that's not how it happened.


We started fighting really bad when he'd want to go out every night, and when he'd come home all jacked up on cocaine. He'd get violent, especially when he was drunk, and though he never hit me, he'd put me in head locks, choke me, hold me down, lock me in rooms... there were times when I was scared he was really going to hurt me. It got so bad.. I would have panic attacks. But I could never really believe any of it was happening... this wasn't the person I fell in love with. He'd get me back every time because he'd promise to change and that things would get better. He would cry and tell me that he loved me and that he didn't know what came over him when he'd get so mad... and for awhile, we'd be in love again... everything was ok again until the next weekend.


Here's where it gets complicated. He eventually DID change. He hasn't been violent towards me for about a year. He's learned to manage his temper, and isn't so quick to get mad. This has really amazed me... and this is what drives me to stay with him now, thinking eventually EVERYTHING else will work out.


In October of last year, he cheated on me. He says he doesn't know why he did it, and that he "hates himself for it." I figured that he was at least honest about it, and I could see that it did hurt him. Like an idiot, I took him back about a month later, even after he said he'd been with 2 other women while we were broken up. At that point, I didn't know how to live without him. Being with him hurt, knowing what he had done, but being without him seemed worse. As far as I know (but I think about it and accuse him all the time), he hasn't cheated on me since.


He still does coke. He's addicted. There are times when he'll blow me off, lie to me, disrespect me and my house by bringing it here, steal money from his family, sell his possessions, and disappear for days because he goes on binges. When he comes down four days later, he cries and says he hates the drug and really wants to quit, but he just can't. He even attempted suicide once because he "hated himself for hurting me." Of course every time this happens I break up with him, or tell him that I wont take him back unless he goes to rehab. Everytime he promises he will, but usually about 2 weeks later, he's done nothing and is back to being a jerk.


He doesn't have a job, and has always had a very hard time holding one down. He says he gets depressed and unhappy with himself when he isn't working, and blames that for all our problems. When he does work, and when everything else in life is going ok, then our relationship can be wonderful. He treats me like a queen.. makes me smile and is always there for me. Until, of course, something bad happens and he lets everything get messed up again.


He never keeps promises. I can count dozens of promises he's made that he hasn't kept. He makes me look stupid in front of people, he'd rather go out and drink than support me when I've had a bad day, he never talks about anything anymore, especially not our problems, and he doesn't like hearing about mine. He does nothing to gain any trust from me, and I feel like I have to babysit him all the time just to keep him out of trouble. I hate smothering him, but I feel like there's nothing else I can do. I can't handle sitting up all night, waiting for him to come home, and worrying about what he's done or if he'll end up in jail. Wondering when he'll screw me over next, or if he even really loves me at all.


I realize that I can't do this anymore. I quit my job and quit college for this semester because of all of this. It's like I'm letting this ruin my life, and my whole reason for living is just to help him and try to save our relationship. I find myself in tears at least 3 or 4 times a week, and my social life and health have really suffered too. I see all of this and I wonder why in the hell I keep putting up with it... how I let him do all of this to me.... how I can do this to myself. I know I would be better off without him and all of this pain, and yet I can't bring myself to let go. I'm afraid to be alone, afraid I wont find someone as physically attractive as him (our sex life has never suffered), and I still love the good person inside of him that I know he can be. I keep thinking that he'll change, because he's done it before. I want more than anything for all this effort to amount to something, yet at the same time, I just want to be free from all of this.


Every time I break up with him, I'm strong for a day or two, determined to move on, and then I cave. He says over and over again that he loves me more than anything, and he doesn't know why he hurts me or why he can't just put in the effort to make himself happy, and then try to fix our relationship. Last night he left instead of working out a fight we had the day before. When I talked to him today, he said that he wants a break, but he loves me and wishes we could make things work. He said he doesn't know why this is happening, or why he hurts me. He said he can't handle the stress right now either. I told him that it was over.. that I can't and wont put up with this anymore. This time I'm more determined than ever, but I'm afraid that he'll be back in a day or two, and that I'll give in again.


Can someone please tell me why I keep letting myself go through this? Do you think he'll ever change? Why wont he make any attempts to make things better? Why does he drill it into my head that he loves me and wants to get better? Why is it so hard to let go of someone who is ruining my life? How do I move on? I know I have to... I know I have to take care of myself first... I know I don't want this anymore... believe me, I know. But my own heart is betraying me. No one understands, especially not me.


Thanks for your time,


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Hi Nicole, welcome to eNotAlone. I am also new to this site and like you I am suffering due to a relationship (though mine is already broken). I know the pain. I am sorry for what youre going through. Its tough, and somehow you feel that you are alone and no one can understand you. It is a personal battle, yes, but a lot of people are also going through their own personal hells. Just like you.


Youre not alone in this. Use this forum as an opportunity to let it all out. You have done the right step by takin action and POSTING.


You are in an abusive relationship no doubt. No doubt also that you love this guy... but you can also be in love or addicted to the abuse. The human heart is a funny thing. And it can take a lot of beating and be conditioned to accept poor treatment as long as their if some form of reward in the end. Don't settle. Don't feed on crumbs.


I respect that you have stood by your man. But maybe now its time to stand up for yourself. If it is ruining your life so much, then take action! You say you really want out right? But your resolve weakens in 2 days? Maybe its time to try NC (No Contact). It is your only weapon at this point, if you want to get past day 2. If you STILL want to go ahead with the break-up, then make sure that youre ex knows that you wish to not be contacted AT ALL. You must also fight urges to contact him. Leave town if you have to. Just give it a try, challenge yourself to keep NC for a week. Then challenge yourself to prolong it some more. You may think that you can live without him, but the human spirit is strong! Try to adapt.


Its the only thing I can recommend at this point. You can not help your man if he won't help himself. He must want to change and admit himself to rehab and do a complete change in lifestyle. But he has to want it. You can't want it for him. You can't help yourself completely if you carry around all his baggage for him. You've tried obviously, and it doesn't work. Maybe its really time to break away completely. I am also going through my first break up and don't have enough information under my belt, so I may not be giving you the best advice. Perhaps some of the seasoned members may have more to say.


Till then stay strong.

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It does sound like an abusive relationship. It is physical abuse too - he does not have to hit you for it to be physical abuse. Holding you down and choking you has by far crossed the line. He has periods where he is the charming person you fall for, so you hope to get that person back. However, in an abusive relationship, that charming person never comes back to stay (check out the abuse & violence forums). The story is repeated again and again, and it is very VERY rare that it has a happy ending.


But you are dealing with addiction AND abuse, and that is a dangerous combo. You tell yourself that its not him hurting you, but the addiction. Well, that might be true, but he may never kick the habit either. Can you spend the next five years like this? Ten? The rest of your life?


My advice would be to go into no contact. Tell him that you don't want to be in a relationship with him as long as he is addicted. Tell him that you might be willing to try again (if you actually are) if he is clean for a year. He might realize that things have to change if he wants to keep you and it might be the incentive he needs to quit (ie - hitting rock bottom). Or he might still not be able to quit, in which case, its good that you are getting out now.


No contact is a great way to untangle yourself from a bad relationship, and start sorting through your feelings and wants.

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I cannot be as eloquent as the last posters as they have done such a wonderful job. I can tell you that I can echo the sentiment that you have taken the first step and now it is ...




He HAS abused you and he WILL again. I was addicted to something that I am sure helped ruin my last relationship. I can tell you that he will not change for you...he has to want it for himself.


Please get out, for yourself.

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Thank you all for your replies. I do realize that I need to leave... and the more I think about it, the harder it is to remember WHY I love this person. He's not at all my type... I want someone who has depth and dreams and ambitions... someone who can take care of themselves and their problems.


I guess I just see the "potential" in him. He has overcome some problems (the abuse), and that took time. My forgiveness actually paid off. And I keep thinking that with more time now, he'll change other things. But I'm really starting to see that it's all wishful thinking. You guys are right... he has to want to change for himself.


Today was hard. I talked to him this morning, and I lashed out. I called him names... and I have to admit, it felt good. I went to a friend's house later on and he happened to be there. He came up to my car and asked if he could go through the car to see if any of his belongings were in it. He had an attitude and called ME names this time. I left right away after he looked, and he called a few minutes later to say that he was sorry, and that we need to stop talking trash. I agreed, and we arranged for him to come get the rest of his stuff out of my house. He never came. I wonder if he's just trying to prolong this... or have a reason to keep coming back.


But he's telling everyone that we're over, and he hasn't called trying to get me back. It's different this time around... every other time he would've been back by now. So I don't know what to feel. I'm still so worried that he's doing this because of drugs (though he's staying with someone who'll keep an eye on him, which makes me feel better). I hate him so much at this point for dragging me through all of this for no reason... and now it's like he's actually letting go. Why does that make me so mad? And why do I still want to hold him, just one last time?




I'm just angry and heartbroken and wondering if he loves me or if he even misses me... this sucks.

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