Am I turning into an emotional abuser?
February 23, 2012 10:12 AM Subscribe
Am I repeating my abusive relationship? I had an extremely triggering fight with my boyfriend tonight, but he was the one describing me as "violent."
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (28 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
First off, the particulars. Five year relationship with bf after 14 year extremely emotionally abusive relationship/marriage. Tons of therapy for me. Relationship with the bf has had it's ups and downs, but on the whole solid. We both quit smoking three weeks ago, which has led to a lot more fighting and nastiness than is typical for us. Until tonight, we had both agreed that we would understand that that was part of quitting and apologize and make up and let it go.
Tonight he did something very inconsiderate which he has done several times before, and which we have talked about several times before. The thing he did affects my work life, which I am extremely protective of. Not like a "Get me fired" type thing, but a "Mess up my entire day" thing.
When I found out, late tonight, after a long and stressful day, that he had done this thing, I was very angry. I said "That was extremely inconsiderate" and "That fucks with my world" in what he described as a very belligerent tone of voice. To be clear, these are the worst things I did during the fight.
He described my reaction as "violent" and extremely out of line. This set off all kinds of abuse triggers for me, as my ex-husband was often really violently emotionally abusive and unreasonably angry at the smallest thing.
I immediately apologized and said it didn't matter what justifications I had for my anger (quitting smoking, that the things I said were true, that we had talked about this issue several times before, that it would have taken the push of a button from him for it not to happen) were of no matter, that the fact that he had that reaction were all that mattered. I said it was an extremely serious thing for him to say to me as a victim of emotional abuse, and that I was taking it extremely seriously, and that it would never happen again.
Now he's sound asleep and I'm up really late triggering and writing this question. Was I emotionally abusive in my behavior? If so, one time is the only time, and I need to get more therapy immediately. Or is he overreacting and using my triggers of emotional abuse as a rhetorical tactic against me?