Should I feel like I need to snoop?
April 22, 2010 8:28 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend and I broke up for a week. The entire time, he insisted he was in love with me and felt like I was the one. He was convinced we could work it out but I needed some space away from him to clear my mind and make a decision. Now, we've decided to work things out but I've come across evidence that he's using online dating websites. Do I call him out on this or what?

Ok, my boyfriend is Bipolar type I, has OCD, ADHD, and suffers from paranoia (possibly paranoid schitzophrenia but never been diagnosed for that). We met online about 8 months ago. Our relationship started out well but we had some issues. His clinginess went from a cute novelty to a serious annoyance. We've had some serious fights (3 main ones). I'm talking screaming, cursing and all of that. In the first he tried to physically restrain me. He would go back and forth between I love yous and cursing me out. The second fight, he slapped me (not anything crazy like wife-beaters do but a slap just the same). I punched him in his face and dumped him 2 hours later after finally convincing him that no amount of apologizing would make me listen to him in that moment. The third fight, he ended up spitting on me and slapping me again (nothing aiming to painful just aiming to be an a**hole). I broke up with him and went about my business for a week.

Since then, he's worked on himself a lot. He's trying to get himself back in college. He's cooperating with his doctors. He's back on medication for his mental issues (which as far as I've heard and seen) appears to be working but it's really too soon to tell for sure). He's getting things right with God (I am a Christian so this is very important to me).

Now, within the last few days, I've seen evidence that he's logged onto dating sites and either created new profiles or activated old ones. I had no reason to think he was doing it before and I don't feel like he was. I wouldn't even have had this idea in my mind if I hadn't seen him on his computer. He'd asked to meet for lunch (first time we'd seen each other since the break up). We ended up going to his house (it was like picking up where we left off). I worked on some homework on my laptop while he was on his computer. I look up and watch him go through at least 10 sites. It's almost like he was doing it on purpose because he kept turning around and looking at me (I'd look back at my computer every time he'd turn around). Two days ago, he called me (this was after we'd officially gotten back together). I was asleep and missed the call. He left a message and 10:43 pm. I check one of his profiles online and the time stamp is for 10:48 pm, same night. So it's like, leave me a message of "I love you, I miss you, talk to you tomorrow, goodnight" and then turn around and log onto a dating site.

I decided yesterday morning to confront him about this. I told him I'd had a conversation with a friend who suggested to me he was doing something inappropriate and that if I found out that it was true, I'd toss him to the curb in a heartbeat. He went through a long list of things he thought I could have been told since I refused (and still do) to tell him outright what this friend told me. He admitted he'd gone back to online dating websites when he felt he no longer had a chance with me. He swore up and down he wouldn't do anything to cheat on me or hurt me etc. We saw each other an hour later (he wanted to make sure things were ok). That afternoon, he changed his status to "in a relationship" on all the sites.

I feel like I now need to check on this periodically. He's not the kind of guy to be looking at porn or having freaky conversations online with strange women. He's very commitment-oriented to the point of obsession. I just don't like feeling like he's looking around. Is this something I should be worried about?
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes to Human Relations (125 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I told him I'd had a conversation with a friend who suggested to me he was doing something inappropriate and that if I found out that it was true, I'd toss him to the curb in a heartbeat.

He was doing inappropriate things long before this. Why isn't he on the curb yet?
posted by amicamentis at 8:30 AM on April 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


This guy sounds like a whole lot of trouble. Trouble you don't need.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:33 AM on April 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


We've had some serious fights (3 main ones). I'm talking screaming, cursing and all of that. In the first he tried to physically restrain me. He would go back and forth between I love yous and cursing me out. The second fight, he slapped me (not anything crazy like wife-beaters do but a slap just the same). I punched him in his face and dumped him 2 hours later after finally convincing him that no amount of apologizing would make me listen to him in that moment. The third fight, he ended up spitting on me and slapping me again (nothing aiming to painful just aiming to be an a**hole).

He's laid hands on you, slapped you, and spit on you and you're worried about him logging onto internet dating sites? These are all crystal clear signs of a serial abuser. Run away now, before it gets any worse.
posted by googly at 8:33 AM on April 22, 2010 [74 favorites]


Too much drama. DTMFA.

My best advice in these situations: If a friend came to you with this story, what would you tell them?
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:34 AM on April 22, 2010


He's logging in to dating websites whilst you're in the room? Errr, yes you should be worried (that's discounting the physical abuse which is really not at all ok).
posted by muteh at 8:35 AM on April 22, 2010


He's laid hands on you, slapped you, and spit on you and you're worried about him logging onto internet dating sites? These are all crystal clear signs of a serial abuser. Run away now, before it gets any worse.

Listen to googly.
posted by Atreides at 8:35 AM on April 22, 2010


Sweetheart, let me give your excited, ready to love, twenty year old cute self a word of advice: you don't ever need to deal with this kind of bullshit.
posted by meerkatty at 8:38 AM on April 22, 2010 [19 favorites]


LEAVE. You can't save him.
posted by stargazer360 at 8:38 AM on April 22, 2010


He's not the kind of guy to be looking at porn or having freaky conversations online with strange women.

Well, apparently he is.

Why are you wasting your time on this guy? You broke up for a week, just got back together and there's ALREADY this much trouble?

Do you enjoy it on some level? No? Then trust me; most relationships don't require this much drama. Or hitting.
posted by Windigo at 8:39 AM on April 22, 2010


RUN AWAY!

This relationship screams TOXIC!!! Get out now. You should never have gone back after he laid a hand on you, just because he was doing it to be an A$$ doesn't mean that it wans't a slap.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:39 AM on April 22, 2010


I knew this rang a bell.

My advice hasn't change. This guy's a mess, and it's only getting worse.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:41 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, dating websites are the least of your worries. Out of all the actions you list, this is the only one that sounds rational.
posted by modernserf at 8:41 AM on April 22, 2010


JUST TO CLARIFY:

He was on the computer while I was in the room, yes. We were not back together. I would not have an issue if he wasn't claiming up and down (still is by the way) that I'm the one, he loves me and was begging me (tears, on his knees, whole nine yards) to work it out the whole week. I seriously doubt he met anyone off those websites since I know his personality very well. He's been off medication and suffers from bipolar depression. He's not a social person and is extremely shiy. He's very worried about what people think of him and his mental issues. So I doubt he was actually already talking to someone else.

Also, "the friend" who told me this does not exist. I just wanted to confront him without making an issue of the fact that I was checking on it. You can't be pissed at an ex talking to someone else; it seems like you can however when they're hellbent on working it out with you.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 8:43 AM on April 22, 2010


Fuck 'im, and feed 'im fish heads. He's talking out of both ends of his alimentary canal. Delet him from your phone contacts; delete his emails, delete [whatever it is kids use these days].
posted by notsnot at 8:45 AM on April 22, 2010


I think that's your answer. If he was really trying to make it work he wouldn't be looking elsewhere, and he sure as hell wouldn't be doing it in front of you. He must have either been deliberately trying to hurt you, or he is completely out of touch with reality. Or both. You don't need this.
posted by muteh at 8:46 AM on April 22, 2010


Yes, MexicanYenta lol, it's about the same guy. I just wanted to adjust the username but I couldn't do that and had to create another profile. I want to believe he's changing (being medicated, cooperating with doctors etc). I'm not ignoring what he's done. And if I come across as a doormat, it's unintentional because I am anything but that. Most of our fights result in me getting piss and sounding off and him crying and apologizing.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 8:47 AM on April 22, 2010


I just don't like feeling like he's looking around. Is this something I should be worried about?

Eff sakes. He hits you and is logging onto online dating sites for reasons only he knows for sure. What evidence could you possibly need on top of this that would tell you to leave?

There is no amount of trying to get back into school, getting on medication or reaching out to God that makes up for hitting your partner and spitting on them. NONE.

You are in an abusive relationship, physically and emotionally. Repeat that as many times as you need for it to sink in. GET OUT!
posted by Hiker at 8:47 AM on April 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Just because someone says they love you and can't live without you doesn't mean that you have to stay with them. So don't.
posted by amicamentis at 8:47 AM on April 22, 2010 [15 favorites]


Seriously, get the hell out of this relationship. (I've been in similar shoes to yours before and I was stupid enough to not see all the warning signs that are basically screaming in your face at the moment.)

The dating sites thing is something that would be worrying in a normal relationship, but that combined with everything else you've written equals whatever acronym will get you out of there.
posted by sperose at 8:48 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most of our fights result in me getting piss and sounding off and him crying and apologizing.

...except when he slaps and spits on you. Sorry, if you are keeping score, you are not winning in the asshole category.
posted by Hiker at 8:48 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember your last question vividly - girl, what are you DOING? Get out, please, I don't know what on earth it is that's keeping you with this hot mess of a man.

No one should suffer violence at the hands of someone that purports to love them, NO ONE, and I don't care if he's mentally ill or just an asshole or what.

What are you getting out of this that you don't just run like the fucking wind??
posted by tristeza at 8:49 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


He's hit you more than once. He's bad news. Ditch him and don't look back. Don't get involved in long "how do we feel?" conversations with him, don't be his friend on Facebook, don't don't don't. Just cut off contact, get therapy if you need it, and move on.
posted by Forktine at 8:50 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you say he's been mentally ill and off his meds, you can't know his personality that well, because the part of his brain that controls his personality is ill and unmedicated. The point of your story that everyone else is picking up on and that you seem to be glossing over is that he is verbally and physically abusive in addition to being disrespectful and mentally ill and off his meds. There's just no good reason that you've mentioned to be in a relationship with this guy. Except for the fact that he begs you to take him back and says you're "the one", which is probably just because he enjoys screwing you around. The dating site thing is the least of your worries, although it is yet another red flag. Regarding that it was probably just another tactic to screw you around and piss you off so you can get into another argument and he can hit you again. Don't fall for it.
posted by amethysts at 8:51 AM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Down the road a few years, you're going to look back at this relationship and think "What the HELL was I thinking?"

I have had men do the whole "You're the one", begging, crying, etc. routine on me on several occasions. It doesn't mean shit. He may truly believe it; he may not. Either way, he's still toxic and you can feel sorry for someone without letting them ruin your life.

If you stay with him, you will essentially lose all the years you spend with him. Because you will be so busy dealing with his drama, you won't have any time for your own life. Then you'll wake up one day and realize that your 20's are GONE, and you can never get them back, and you wasted them all on this guy who promised you over and over again that he would change, but never did.

You can care about someone deeply - you can even love them - and still have them not be the right person for you to share your life with. The reason so many of us are being so emphatic about this is because even though this is all new to you, we have all seen this many, many times before. Yes, he says he needs you. But what he really needs is to quit his pity party and get his shit together. HE needs to do it, alone.

On preview: what amicamentis said. Emphatically, what amicamentis said. Write that on your bathroom mirror, write it on your purse, write it on your forehead. Repeat it to yourself over and over again. It's one of the most important lessons to learn in life.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:55 AM on April 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


This relationship screams TOXIC!!! Get out now. You should never have gone back after he laid a hand on you

And he should never have came back after you punched him. Unless you were legitimately defending yourself, there's plenty of blame to go around here.

Also... are you seriously insinuating that he turned his entire life around, re-worked his medication regimen, prepared to go back to College, and found God in a week?

This relationship is mutually abusive. Get out.
posted by schmod at 8:56 AM on April 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


He's so in love with you, he needs you so much, that when you break up for a week, he's on dating web sites, looking for your replacement. Yeah, he was real heartbroken, wasn't he?

Yeah, I'm sure he'd have an answer for that. Don't fall for it. It's crap.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:58 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know what's keeping you in this relationship, but whatever reason you have, it's not good enough.

Dump him, and then please find someone to talk to about this (therapist, good friend, etc.). You're seriously considering staying in a relationship with someone who slapped you twice, physically restrained you, and spit in your face. Why don't you feel like you deserve better?
posted by shaun uh at 8:58 AM on April 22, 2010


He hit you and spat on you: YOU NEED TO BREAK UP NOW AND STAY BROKEN UP.

He has mental issues, as you know, but they aren't going to get better in a day or a month or even probably a year. This guy sounds really messed up and you deserve to be with a guy who won't ever, ever hurt you. At the very least, give him A FEW YEARS to work things out before giving him another chance.

I think it would be good for you to get some therapy also. It's not your fault, but it sounds like you're pretty messed up too, maybe from something that happened in the past. With help, you can get better and then your relationships will get better too.

One more thing: prisons are full of people who call themselves Christians and swear they are "right with God." Going to church every day and reading your Bible doesn't make you a good person if you hit and spit on women.
posted by callmejay at 9:00 AM on April 22, 2010


I want to believe he's changing

This is what he wants you to believe, too. This is classic, classic abusive behavior; swear up and down that he'll change and he's seen the light and he didn't realize what he had done until he was about to lose you... but it's just to get you back. Know that it doesn't mean he's doing this maliciously, or to be purposefully manipulative; however, he's already seen several times that you're willing to forgive (i.e. overlook) SERIOUS relationship transgressions if he's contrite enough, even if he falls right back into those patterns.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but please realize that, by giving in to his promises that he will change, you're enabling him to NEVER change. If continuing to be a manipulative, abusive jackass with moments of groveling is working, then why would he fix what ain't broke?

Leave him, and don't look back. For your sake, AND for his sake.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 9:02 AM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


This relationship is mutually abusive. Get out.

Yes, seriously.

In general, it is not healthy to completely make up some story about a friend discovering one's boyfriend doing something inappropriate in order to tell said-boyfriend that he is doing something inappropriate but then not telling him what inappropriate thing he did. It is not healthy to have screaming, cussing fights over and over again. It's not healthy to be slapped or to punch one's significant other. In short, you are in a bad situation. You are behaving badly, you are suffering from the bad behavior of another.

It's time to get out. It's time to reconsider why, exactly, you've put up with this for so long, what you want out of a relationship in general, what made you think the correct way to react to online shenanigans was to lie outright and then withhold the actual reason you were upset. You need to realize how very much about this relationship is toxic. And that, usually, is something far easier to do once it is a memory and you're on your own.
posted by Ms. Saint at 9:03 AM on April 22, 2010 [14 favorites]


It sounds as if you are both physically abusive. Him restraining/spitting on/slapping you and you punching him in the face are unacceptable. These are not minor things and they are not things that people do to express love. They are also actions that can not be explained away with guesses as to intent or covered up by memories of better times. You claim to be a Christian and that the values associated with that moniker are important to you... would you say that this abusive relationship holds true to those values? Is it possible to teach someone that physical abuse is wrong when you visit it back upon him or her?

Even if there wasn't the element of repetitious physical abuse one week is not enough for anyone to change his or her life in a permanent way. My advice is to end your romantic relationship and encourage him to get professional help. It might also be a good idea for you to talk to someone. You should not allow yourself to be treated like this to the point where you feel your only course of action is physical retaliation. It is not healthy.

No one is perfect, but hurting the people that mean the most to you is an indication of much larger issues. I wish you both luck.
posted by Gainesvillain at 9:04 AM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want to believe he's changing (being medicated, cooperating with doctors etc).

Bluntly: what you "want to believe" is, frankly, irrelevant when it comes to facing the truth. He is showing you who he is. He is showing you that he is not changing. You can ignore this all you want, but you will do so at your emotional and physical peril.

I'm not ignoring what he's done.

Maybe not, but you are certainly trying to find ways to justify or minimize it -- that is, to find some way to twist and turn the details of each incident in such a way that they can be made to fit the narrative of "he's changing" (which is what you hope) rather than the narrative of "he's not changing/he's an abuser" (which is what you fear).

Being a healthy grown-up means being good to yourself, first and foremost. And being good to yourself sometimes means letting go of the fairy tales we tell ourselves and facing unpleasant truths, no matter how much you fear them and no matter how hurt/angry/sad/disappointed you're going to feel.

Please: leave this guy behind FOR GOOD before his abuse becomes a further pattern in this relationship, AND before you imprint this pattern of abuse on yourself as a template to follow in future relationships. This is toxic, and it is a recipe for lifelong misery, but it is also up to you whether you choose to keep going down that road or whether you choose to go down a new road entirely.
posted by scody at 9:05 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's interesting that people are describing him as the abuser and not you. He slapped you; you "punched him in his face." This isn't excused by the fact that he may have started the cycle of violence, anymore than his subsequent hitting of you is excused by the fact that you had punched him before. (On preview: I'm glad to see that other commenters finally pointed out that the violence was a two-way street.)

Those are much worse relationship problems than whether he logged onto a dating website. Maybe he had used the site when you were broken up in an attempt to get his mind off the situation (and yeah, he said he loved you the whole time -- but come, people have intensely conflicted feelings after a breakup). Maybe he logged on again to remove his photos, or change his status to unavailable, or to politely tell people he had communicated with that he's not available anymore.

But again, there are plenty of problems with the relationship to warrant breaking up even if he had never logged onto a dating website in his life. And I hope both of you get your violence under control before entering another relationship. It has no place in a relationship, ever, and that goes no matter what gender anyone is or who started it.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:07 AM on April 22, 2010


Dump this guy. He's nothing but trouble. And, to be honest, you sound like you have some issues. Get some counselling before you get involved with anyone else.
posted by orange swan at 9:11 AM on April 22, 2010


schmod:

I don't appreciate the insinuation that I'm abusing him. I've a couple physical fights in my whole life and haven't gotten in any since elementary school. I'm not a person who likes to do that. I try to avoid it. I punched him because he slapped and refused to get away from me. I don't like fighting but I'm not going to just sit there and take it. And if you're suggesting I should have, let's see how you sit there and quietly take someone who won't get out of your face when you tell them to.

No I'm not insinuating he's turned his entire life around. I'm saying that he's making attempts at trying to get his life together. As far as getting saved by God; that can happen anytime. The rest of that, not so much. No, he does not have himself together; yes, I do believe he's taking steps in that direction.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 9:11 AM on April 22, 2010


It's wonderful that you stand up for yourself; that you're not just putting up with his crap without calling him on it. But you need to take that inner strength and self respect, and turn it up a notch. I said this last time: you deserve better.

You're obviously intelligent and have a lot of spunk and personality. Your profile pic is really cute. You could have any man you wanted. You can have a man who loves you, respects you, is eternally grateful that you want to be with him. A man who would be incredible angry if he heard what this guy has put you through. A man who will think you're the most wonderful woman who's ever walked the planet, and will thank God for bringing you to him. And a man who will not be so wrapped up in his own self-pity that he doesn't even have time to think of what would make you happy.

Some day you'll meet that man. Do you want to screw up that relationship because you have so much mental baggage left from dealing with this guy?
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:11 AM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


The second fight, he slapped me (not anything crazy like wife-beaters do but a slap just the same).

That is what wife-beaters do. Those women you hear about, the wives who get beaten, the women who end up in hospital with three broken ribs and a black eye claiming they fell down the stairs? Their relationships didn't start out that way. Their relationships probably started out quite normal. And then, maybe, there was yelling, and hey, yelling isn't so bad, and I love him and he's sorry and he's begged me to forgive him, so they stayed... and then maybe there was violently grabbing hold of them during an argument, and sure, that's bad, and he owes me an apology, but he's not actually hit me so it's okay... and then, maybe, a slap, but that's just a slap, it's not like he actually beat me up or anything... and then, and then, and then.

People do not end up in abusive relationships because they get up one morning and think "Hey, I'm going to find a life partner who'll break my arm!" They end up there because it happens step by step by incremental step. That's why so many people will tell you "If he hits you even once, you need to leave." It's not because they think that their standards of a relationship should apply to everybody and you don't get to make your own decisions; it's because once will become twice will become a dozen times will become broken bones and shredded hope and lying to your friends about where that bruise came from, and you need to get off that train ASAP because it is going nowhere good.

There are a lot of misconceptions around about abusive relationships. There's this idea that every abusive relationship out there involves an unredeemable monster and a terrified victim with no self-esteem; and you think, well, that's not me, because I know he shouldn't be treating me this way and I damn well told him so, and that's not him, because he's not evil and he's genuinely sorry and I know he's not faking that. But this is not the case. The best essay I've read on the subject is this one; I'll just quote one bit of it here, but the whole thing is really worth a read:
In my judgment, when abusers say things like: I need you, I'd be lost without you, I'd die if you left, many of them are not just kidding or being manipulative. They are serious, and they are often right. If you love someone who is in genuine distress, you normally don't want to make things worse for them. And that's what leaving looks like, up until the moment when you say to yourself: he will not change, at least not while he's involved with me; this will not get better; and that being the case, I am not helping him by staying.
Your boyfriend has sworn at you. He has slapped you. He has spat at you. You need to leave. You do.
posted by Catseye at 9:15 AM on April 22, 2010 [40 favorites]


Waitaminnit, this is actually the same poster and the SAME GUY? You know I was fucking kidding, right?

That's quite a lot of "lols" you got there, Chucks. I don't get it. Why are you still asking about this? You got your answers the first time around. What answer are you looking for this time?
posted by amanda at 9:19 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm talking screaming, cursing and all of that. In the first he tried to physically restrain me. He would go back and forth between I love yous and cursing me out. The second fight, he slapped me (not anything crazy like wife-beaters do but a slap just the same). I punched him in his face and dumped him 2 hours later after finally convincing him that no amount of apologizing would make me listen to him in that moment. The third fight, he ended up spitting on me and slapping me again (nothing aiming to painful just aiming to be an a**hole).

No, sorry. That is exactly what wife-beaters do. But since you're not his wife, and since he's still young, I suppose I'll lighten up and call him a "wife-beater in training". You're both being abusive and there is no love and no future that can be built on a toxic foundation like that. The whining about reconciliation is just a manic grasp for co-dependency. Get the fuck out now.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 9:19 AM on April 22, 2010


Are you trying to convince all of us that we're in the wrong with our assessment of him and the situation? Or are you really trying to talk yourself into believing that is an OK way to live?

You don't deserve this.

I punched him because he slapped and refused to get away from me.

Listen to yourself. That's not what a relationship should EVER be.
posted by Windigo at 9:20 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh for the love of god why do you keep going back to this loser?

And why do you keep coming back here for advice on how to patch up your relationship with this loser, given that every time you post about him the unanimous response is that you need to DTMFA?

I mean just listen to yourself:

I was actually hoping someone passing us would think WTF and call the police.

I'm already horrifically embarrassed that I gave this a second chance. I mean, I've dropped guys for WAY less.

You know he punched a hole in the wall, choked and cut himself the first serious fight we had? I was sitting on the floor wondering what in flaming hell I got into. I should have left that night, looking back on it.

This is not what people in healthy relationships sound like. I don't care who's abusing who; it doesn't matter. Normal people do not slap, hit, spit on, or punch the people they love. Ever.

End it. Seriously. Just end it. You're not helping him by staying with him. You are not helping him by staying with him. This relationship is incredibly unhealthy for both of you.
posted by ook at 9:21 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


JUST TO CLARIFY: ....

You're not listening. There aren't any extraneous circumstances to validate your continued relationship. Move on, as said before, you can't save him. Find someone healthy and drama free for goodness sake.
posted by qwip at 9:26 AM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, yeah, I should have added - you also beat his ass, which is completely unacceptable behavior on your part. Get out before one of you does some serious damage to the other and ends up in jail.
posted by tristeza at 9:27 AM on April 22, 2010


Wow, this guy has control freak written all over him, which is a pretty bad thing because it's exactly this desire which is at the root of abusive behavior. Not every control freak becomes abusive, but there's no such thing as an abuser that doesn't have a need for control driving the abuse.

YABBUT---this is what you're saying to yourself right now, right, as you're reading the responses calling him abusive? Yabbut, I can take care of myself. Yabbut, he smacked me and I smacked him back hard enough that he won't do it again, I can take care of myself, I'm not an abused girlfriend. I sympathize; it doesn't feel like an abusive relationship to you, because you don't feel cowed by his physical aggression, tentative as it's been until now. (No guarantee it will always stay as tentative as slaps, which I hope you realize.)

Your protestations that it's not an abusive relationship, that he's not abusive, may be true at this point. It sounds like the slapping and spitting hasn't had its intended effect on you, which was to make you act the way he wanted. Quite the opposite, in fact. (You punched him in the face? Yeesh. I can't imagine wanting to be with someone that would bring out the side of my personality that hits.) But here's the thing: he's going to keep testing for the buttons to push that will make you respond. That's what the fucked-up browsing-the-online-personals in front of you was. If hitting doesn't work, then maybe making you jealous will. It's working, isn't it? You say yourself: He's not the kind of guy to be looking at porn or having freaky conversations online with strange women... I just don't like feeling like he's looking around. You don't like it so much that maybe you need to start checking up on this. You think he doesn't realize this? You think he wasn't turning around and looking at you exactly so he could figure out if it bugged you?

So now we're at the point where he's discovered something he can do that will rattle your chain. That's not a good place to be in. Obviously, whatever changes he's made this week haven't really affected his desire to keep pushing different buttons until he found one that got the response he wanted. I think it's a really, really good idea for you to walk away from this before he discovers a button big enough that you feel you can't walk away anymore.
posted by iminurmefi at 9:29 AM on April 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Metatalk.
posted by Hiker at 9:32 AM on April 22, 2010


Mexican Yenta:

Thank you for the compliments on the picture. You know everyone who knows me and people I talk to, especially when it's a conversation about this guy, seem to say that stuff. Everyone's all "you're pretty and smart and there's better guys out there". And, ok, that may be true. Honestly, though, I find it extremely hard to meet anyone. I'm very much an introvert and I don't like bars, clubs etc. Not my style. I think part of the reason I started liking this guy so much is that it seemed (at the beginning) that we had so much in common. Neither one of us fit in well in high school and we both prefer hanging out with a few people as opposed to a roomful of drunk, partying strangers. I think we were both feeling alone. Now, I know damn well that's not a healthy way to start a relationship but I think that's what's making me want to keep it going. I find a lot of people talk about how crazy things can get and how I may end up in a hospital one day etc. I've seen people like that and they are women who's spirits have be crushed. I do not want to be one of those women. In fact, I think I have a bit too much anger where that's concern to put up with that level of stuff.

This is the very reason I have decided not to move in with him. I don't want "home" to be in a place where I can't get away from him if I need to. Until I feel differently, the answer will be no.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 9:35 AM on April 22, 2010


"I told him I'd had a conversation with a friend who suggested to me he was doing something inappropriate and that if I found out that it was true, I'd toss him to the curb in a heartbeat."

You mean like slapping you or spitting on you?

GIRL, LISTEN TO YOURSELF. What the hell?
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


You want to think that he is getting better and that you should be together. OK. This is all very serious advice so please take it that way. I am not attempting to snark. But this is the only good advice I have to give you.

Make sure you have a good emergency plan, hide all of your identification documents (birth certificate, passport, social security card) where he can't get to them, as well as some emergency cash or an emergency credit card. Put some in your bra or shoe, too. That way if you need to leave you can. He might take your purse (like what he did with your phone) so have money elsewhere.

Make sure your health insurance is all set up so that the next time he hits you, you can go to the doc without worrying. Oh and find a doctor if you don't have one already.

Snoop, yes, and don't tell him you're doing so, so that you know when you've been exposed to STDs. You think his personality is such that he wouldn't meet people on sites--HE MET YOU ON A DATING SITE. So just be aware, that way you can get tested right away.

Oh and use condoms. All the time. And be on another backup method in case he gets upset or decides he doesn't need to use a condom, whether you like it or not.

Memorize a domestic violence hotline number, as well as the phone numbers for a few friends. If he takes your phone, you will have someone to call if you find another phone to use.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:41 AM on April 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


No, he does not have himself together; yes, I do believe he's taking steps in that direction.

Then why bother asking us anything?

Honestly, this is not a rhetorical question. Do you actually want advice about how to make your life better -- and you are getting boatloads of very good and very clear advice as to how to do that -- or do you want to have a conversation with strangers about the latest episode in your ongoing relationship drama? They are different things. Either you are serious about making good decisions and using AskMe in good faith as a resource, or you are not. Which is it?
posted by scody at 9:41 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey! We are the same! I'm introverted, don't like bars, clubs, etc., and I've never been with a man that treated me like crap. It's tough being alone but it's better than being spit on. And you won't be alone forever. You have to be in the right frame of mind for that right guy to come along and you're not going to be in the right frame of mind as long as you're wrapped up in this mess.
posted by amethysts at 9:42 AM on April 22, 2010


Imminurmefi:

That was interesting what you said about his browsing personal ads in front of me to be an attempt to make me jealous. Interesting enough, he recently added my best friend (who he KNOWS does not like him and wants him gone) as a friend on a social networking site. She added him, not knowing it was him. She said he emailed her and she felt like he was digging for information as to why she doesn't like him. She told him to piss off basically and stopped talking to him. Now, before I even mentioned ANYTHING about this to him; he assumed my best friend told me about a couple of women he'd added to his friendlist, so he tried to clarify. Did that without me bringing it up. Granted, it's not an issue to me if he's just adding them. It's only a problem if he's keeping his eyes out for something else. It's just interesting that he would mention that out of the blue.

Also, I remember when we first got together, he was oh-so-eager to change the relationship status on the social networking sites. He kept harassing me to update mine (I'm never on the stupid thing half the time). Last time, he even mentioned that I didn't have to change the status if I didn't want to. Hard to tell with him whether he was just seeing if I'd complain or cared at all.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 9:47 AM on April 22, 2010


If you guys are actually physically hitting each other this is bad. I don't think this relationship is saveable. To believe otherwise is deluding yourself. The online dating thing is irrelevant.

For what it's worth, I've been in a relationship for 8 months myself and we have never been physically abusive with each other or cursed each other out. We have had one "fight" and we didn't even raise our voices when it happened.
posted by smoothvirus at 9:47 AM on April 22, 2010


You're going to leave him. It's up to you whether you do that now, after he puts you in the hospital, or when he kills you. Your call.
posted by EarBucket at 9:47 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


What about YOU? Do you like who you get to be with this man? Does he bring out the best in you and your behavior? Especially during moments of passion (sexy or very non-sexy ones)? Do you feel like you're the sexiest, funniest, smartest, kindest best version of yourself around him? I can't tell you the answers to these things, and you haven't made them clear in your FPP (which is all about him). You got lost somewhere in all that. Find you and what you want. Then go find somebody who sees that and knows how to make it dance.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:49 AM on April 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Run. This will not go well for you.

If he is originally from Texas, MeMail me. I wish I was joking.
posted by politikitty at 9:50 AM on April 22, 2010


You keep asking this same question about your abusive relationship and you keep getting the same answers (get out, dtmfa), and you keep posting replies trying to justify outlandishly crappy behavior on both sides (yes, he has been shitty and abusive to you, but you're not exactly a peach yourself).

At this point, I'm pretty sure you're a troll.
posted by palomar at 9:52 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


ChucksNPaintbrushes: "It's just interesting that he would mention that out of the blue."

No, it's really not. It's really boring. It is not special. It is not something he is doing because you are special, either. It is something controlling people do (and a lot of not-controlling people) in order to frame the discussion of something that might look bad.

Nothing you have said about this guy paints him as anything but mediocre and unpleasant.

He might have been looking at the dating sites to make you jealous, but it seems more likely that he was doing it because he's kinda stupid.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:53 AM on April 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm just going to address your actual question:

I feel like I now need to check on this periodically. He's not the kind of guy to be looking at porn or having freaky conversations online with strange women. He's very commitment-oriented to the point of obsession. I just don't like feeling like he's looking around. Is this something I should be worried about?


No. It's not a big deal, he was just looking at people's profiles, not realizing you were snooping on his private browsing. More importantly you should stop spying on him. If your relationship is going to survive you have to trust him, and you both need a mound of therapy. In any event, I'd prefer if you guys broke up for good and got individual therapy, or just dated people who didn't cause you to freak out in one way or another. Couples in love do not get into fistfights. But given that my wishes are unimportant to you, I would advise that you apologize for spying on him, promise to trust him in the future and never do it again.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:56 AM on April 22, 2010


In fact, I think I have a bit too much anger where that's concern to put up with that level of stuff.

Oh come on. You're putting up with this level of stuff when anyone with an ounce of self-respect would get out. You'll still be trying to justify how he's not that bad when things get much worse.
posted by MsMolly at 9:57 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


This guy HIT you. Twice. Why on earth would you be wasting any more time on him? In fact, why would you even give him the opportunity to have hit you a second time? That's your answer right there, regardless of anything else that has happened since, I don't care about his mental issues, nothing gives a person the right to hit their loved one.
posted by nunoidia at 9:57 AM on April 22, 2010


scody:

No, honestly, I am just having a conversation with people who don't know me or him. It seems the general impression people have of me is that I'm some stupid 20 year old silly thing that doesn't know when to get out of something. To people who've never had this type of relationship, you're advice is valued but it's not nearly as easy as you think to kick someone to the curb who needs and seems to want help. I am not in any way validating or condoning his actions. They are wrong and no amount of apologizing for them makes them right or makes them go away. The other thing that makes this hard is that I do love this man. Don't accept some of his behavior but I do love him. I don't pretend to think I can ever fix him; that's not my job even if I knew how (and I don't). He has attached himself to me in a very co-dependent way; I think that is a HUGE factor contributing to my unhappiness in the first place.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 9:57 AM on April 22, 2010


Why the fuck are you asking for advice if you're not willing to listen to it?

DTMFA. You've been told before, you're being told again. LISTEN UP. DUMP HIM. Over.
posted by splice at 9:57 AM on April 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


He hit you. He spit on you. He hit you again.

By staying with him, by getting back together with him, you're implying that it's okay to hit you and spit on you and treat you like total shit.

What's the worst that can happen if you guys break up?

He cries and sobs and makes you feel guilty about it. Afterward, you'll feel a little lonely. But it's nothing you haven't felt before, and in a month or two months or three, you'll start feeling better about it. Eventually, you'll meet someone new and move on with your life.

What's the worst that can happen if you guys don't break up?

Well, I think you already know the answer to that one, and it doesn't end well for you.

Please, please, please do what's best for you here.
posted by too bad you're not me at 9:58 AM on April 22, 2010


Don't accept some of his behavior but I do love him.

By staying with him, that's showing him that his behavior is 100% acceptable.
posted by too bad you're not me at 9:59 AM on April 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


To people who've never had this type of relationship, you're advice is valued but it's not nearly as easy as you think to kick someone to the curb who needs and seems to want help.

I don't think you have to not be his friend, but you need to NOT be in a relationship with someone who has hit you.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:01 AM on April 22, 2010


The fact that he is bipolar and has other issues doesn't give him a right to slap you or spit on you. I think you are trying to make up excuses for everything he does and put it in another light just so you can keep going out with him. All he has to do is say, "Hey, I'm a Christian!" and you think that makes him good relationship potential, after all he's done?

You asked this question before. People told you to dump him. You didn't. Now you are going through all the drama again and you think you will get a different answer the second time? Why?

Either you relish being a victim, despite your refutations about being a strong woman, or you have this mistaken belief that all the drama means he is crazy in love with you--when really he is just plain crazy.

Dump. Him.
posted by misha at 10:02 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


ChucksNPaintbrushes: "This is the very reason I have decided not to move in with him. I don't want "home" to be in a place where I can't get away from him if I need to. Until I feel differently, the answer will be no."

If you already feel like you might need a safe place to "get away from him", then some part of you knows that you WILL need a safe place to get away from him eventually. Do you really want to go down that road?
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 10:05 AM on April 22, 2010


it's not nearly as easy as you think to kick someone to the curb who needs and seems to want help

But that's just the thing: you are not helping him. You're enabling his unacceptable behavior. If you really want to help him -- and I do believe you do -- you need to end the relationship. The guy needs help, obviously, but not the kind you can provide.
posted by ook at 10:06 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


palomar:

Actually, no. See, if I'd continued asking just your opinion, that would make me a troll. However, there are other people commenting besides you whose comments I'm also interested in.

to everyone else:

Being lonely is the least of my troubles. I've been single for years before him and I'm not worried about being by myself. I seriously enjoyed my one week away from him. There was so much wrong with the way our relationship started. This last week has given me a chance to take a moment to get some of myself (and my happiness back). If I'm unhappy in the future, I'll know it's HIM and not ME.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 10:07 AM on April 22, 2010


I am not in any way validating or condoning his actions.

Yes, you absolutely are. By staying with him, you are validating and condoning his actions. By not dumping his ass after he took away your phone and trapped you in his car for a couple of hours as you mentioned in your last question about this same sick, sad parody of a relationship, you let him know that treating you that way is totally acceptable to you. By punching him in the face when he "gently" slapped you (not so hard as to be a wife-beater! just hard enough to be an asshole! i'm quoting you directly here!), you let him know that you, too, enjoy expressing your emotions with your fists. So he probably has the impression that hitting you or spitting on you really isn't a big deal. I mean, sure, you hit him back, but you don't leave him. So most likely he thinks you're okay with all of this. That's the message you are sending him.
posted by palomar at 10:09 AM on April 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


To people who've never had this type of relationship, you're advice is valued but it's not nearly as easy as you think to kick someone to the curb who needs and seems to want help.

Agreed, absolutely. FWIW, ChucksNPaintbrushes, the reason my response was so - uh, emphatic - up there is that I was in a situation very similar to yours in my early 20s. Loved him to pieces, too. And he had problems, and I wanted to be there with him while he fixed them, and we were so close and I wanted to live happily ever after with him.

The first time he hurt me - grabbing my ponytail and yanking my head back because of something I'd said he took offence to - it was totally out of the blue. I was stunned. It was urreal I didn't even say anything - not then, not afterwards - and I didn't say anything about it to anyone, because it seemed so unlike him.

The second time (months later), I slapped him back, hard, and said "If you ever lay a hand on me again, I am gone." He was hugely sorry. He cried. He promised.

And he kept that promise until several years later, when I confronted him about lying to me and he picked me up by the throat and slammed me into a wall. I left that day.

Leaving him was hard, very very hard. It was also the best thing to do.

Feel free to MeMail me if you want to talk; I understand how tough this is.
posted by Catseye at 10:11 AM on April 22, 2010 [16 favorites]


ChucksNPaintbrushes: "To people who've never had this type of relationship, you're advice is valued but it's not nearly as easy as you think to kick someone to the curb who needs and seems to want help. "

Naw, I've dated some messed up people in my time, it's a huge boost to my ego. And they had sex with me, always a bonus. I guess it's hard to let that go and face a life that is more boring, with less sex, and less attention.

Stuff I liked saying and translations:

"You just don't understand!" I'm so special and unique and my life is so dramatic and interesting that I completely reject the idea that anyone else can understand it, when the reality is that shitty relationships are common and dull and easy to find.

"And then...HE DID SOMETHING CRAZY!" Please pay attention to me, feel sorry for me, and therefore prove that you care about me. Oh and reinforce that I'm better than my man, I like being seen as better than other people.

"He has so many issues...I am making him get help" I am strong an in charge of another person, I am generous with my time and energy, I am smart enough to identify and understand mental illnesses, I am open-minded towards people with disabilities...oh, and I'm better than everyone else who has failed him up until now. And better than him.

I could go on and on but IT'S BORING. Really, this is so dull it's not even funny. Your story is commonly woven into soap operas because they have to write a new episode every day and it's really easy to come up with the material.

Oh bonus:
I also love the "how can you put up with it?!!" from other people. It makes me feel saintly and badass at the same time. Oh, I can put up with it because I'm awesome, interesting, more tolerant than you, and my relationship is unique and special just like I am!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:14 AM on April 22, 2010 [46 favorites]


he's making attempts at trying to get his life together.

Great. Terrific. It sounds to me that if you want him to do that, you need to leave for good because he will never do it while you are there.

What you are describing, over and over and over, is the relationship version of mutually assured destruction. You two are NO GOOD for each other. You're both escalating the drama and the craziness and it sure sounds like you're both feeding on it, which is no way, repeat, no way, to have anything resembling a healthy, happy relationship. The well is poisoned. It's all over.

It may seem, right now, in the middle of the wild craziness and the dramatic emotional ups and downs and the throes of the feeling that you and you alone know True Love and Obstacles are Romantic and the World is Trying To Keep You From Your Destined Mate, that you could Never Leave Him. However, that isn't your brain talking. Drama is addictive - like crack - and craziness is exciting - like crack - and relationships like this one are just as good for you in the long run as crack. It really is possible to break up with people, have no contact with them ever again, live through it and emerge on the other side a saner, happier person. It isn't, however, possible to save the relationship you're describing.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:15 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


To people who've never had this type of relationship, you're advice is valued but it's not nearly as easy as you think to kick someone to the curb who needs and seems to want help.

Everyone wants help, when the person they're reaching out to for help is willing to put up with being slapped, spit upon, and treated badly. But, the really sad thing is, "help" in that type of circumstance isn't helpful at all.

I am really sorry. I really am. Please don't think all these answers you're getting are from people who don't get your situation. I get it -- I get it too well, and the reason I can get it is sad and painful. Many others posting here get it for reasons just as sad and painful, if not more. We've been hurt, too. We've had to figure out how to live our lives, given the very sick people around us who wanted to love us but just couldn't do so healthily. We've had others reach out for help, and here's what we had to discover: sometimes, the best way to help another is to not "help" them, to leave them, to make them figure out for themselves how to live.

The crux of the issue seems to be: you want this to get better, and you want the world to provide you with a happy way to make this other person in your life happy too. That is a noble sentiment, but what we're trying to say is that it is unrealistic. Please understand, you are living through a tragedy right now. All of us, we know from experience what you're in the process of learning, and it hurts us to see you go through it and we're desperate to get you to open your eyes quicker than we did: there isn't a happy ending for you and this guy. I'm sorry, but there isn't.
posted by Ms. Saint at 10:17 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


You keep asking this same question about your abusive relationship and you keep getting the same answers (get out, dtmfa), and you keep posting replies trying to justify outlandishly crappy behavior on both sides (yes, he has been shitty and abusive to you, but you're not exactly a peach yourself).

At this point, I'm pretty sure you're a troll.


I don't think ChucksNPaintbrushes is trolling us. She seems to be a wilfully unrealistic person who thinks that if she just keeps doing the same thing enough times she'll get the results she wants — both in her relationship and with us.

ChucksNPaintbrushes, you've posted here twice under two different usernames (and you haven't seemingly made any other contribution to Metafilter) and you've been given the best advice we have to offer, which is that you need to leave this man and get some counselling for your own issues, full stop. It's totally up to you to either take or ignore the advice, but either way please don't post any more AskMe questions about how to work on your relationship with this man. If you want to waste more of your own time with this guy, that's up to you, but you need to respect this community and the time of those who have tried to help you.
posted by orange swan at 10:18 AM on April 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, and I forgot the part where "he just can't help it around me", where an otherwise normal-ish guy goes nuts with love or jealousy. It feeds my self-image as someone who drives men insane. Which is kinda nice. Watch out for that, because it will make you want to get into these relationships over and over again to feed that image of yourself as irresistible, and it can be a very dangerous game to play. There are alternatives, like making guys do stuff that is embarrassing or grandiose but not actually violent or dangerous. I always thought crazy proposals fell into this genre of ego-boost, but they're obviously a lot more healthy than "he can't help hitting me".

Do what you want, but try to stay safe, okay?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:19 AM on April 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Look, what do you want from us? I guarantee you that AskMe is not going to give you the validation or blessing or whatever that it seems you seek. Everyone is right that you need to leave, and leave now. For your sake, for the sake of women in general. You are in an abusive relationship. It even sounds like you have Battered Person Syndrome (IANAD/P/T). Get out. Then seek help. There are services in nearly every community that will help you.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:20 AM on April 22, 2010


It's difficult to throw someone out who you love and risk throwing away something that you once saw potential in. But taking a good hard look at your history, I'm pretty sure you'll realize that was all it was: potential. And that's gone now. It's hard to accept and it's tough to swallow, but none of the "it's hard to throw him out" makes up for the dangerous and horrible experiences you've dealt with and will absolutely, 100% have to deal with in the near future with this guy.

What's the next AskMe going to look like, under a different user name? "My husband is beating me. He is OCD/ADHD. He started by just slapping and spitting on me in arguments but now he beats me when he comes home and I can't get away and I can't make it stop"? You said you won't move into him until... some mystical threshold is cleared or he's some how proven that his deep, fundamental psychological issues are at bay, but you said yourself you don't expect to fix him.

What's the AskMe after that going to look like? "My husband is abusing my child and while I know that should be the limit and I need to call the police, I just can't bring myself to ruin his life. When he's on his meds, he's okay, but..."

At what point does this show up in an entirely different section of the newspaper? When all along, hundreds of strangers could see the writing on the wall. And it's true that we "don't know you or him" but let's be clear: sometimes the facts are cut and dry enough that we don't need to see the forest for the trees: he struck you. he spat on you. This is unacceptable, PERMANENTLY. Not "that one (no wait, two+) time(s) but he's never done it since!" There ARE others out there. I don't care how introverted you are or how hard it is to date again: it's a lot harder to deal with someone who doesn't deserve you and is potentially dangerous.

We're trying to tell you that those are called "red flags" for a reason: we KNOW he's not beating your teeth out of your face. Yet. But that's it: Yet. This is how abusers operate and enough of us know the profile to try to warn you, flailing and screaming and waving and hoping you'll realize what you really need to do. You can do better. You're intelligent and attractive and obviously rather independent. Here's your chance to prove that you know your true worth and value and push past that horrible stomach feeling that comes with breaking up with him and dealing with the crying and begging to take him back.

I'll make it real simple:
To be happy, break up with him, permanently. To be fearful, stressed, and potentially in physical danger, try to make it work. That's it. There isn't another way for it to go. Which do you want to do?
posted by disillusioned at 10:23 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


To people who've never had this type of relationship, you're advice is valued but it's not nearly as easy as you think to kick someone to the curb who needs and seems to want help.

What makes you so sure that people here have never had this type of relationship? That's why we are being so emphatic about this. Lots of us have been there. We're trying to save you from making our mistakes, but it doesn't sound like you really want to get out. It sounds like you're practicing to be a drama queen when you grow up.

Personally, I'm done. You want to stay, then stay.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:23 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Agreeing with everyone else. Break up with him.

There is no black and white here. Break up.

Introverted? Find it hard meeting people? Welcome to our world. Want advice on how to meet people, as an introvert? Great - we can do that. But break up with him.

If you really want to help him - break up with him. Staying with him will only enable him to keep acting like this, to keep treating women badly. [Want the voice of experience? When I was your age, I acted quite a lot like him. Had a girlfriend who tried to stick by me and change me. Didn't work. Only improved when I went through a bad breakup and took a look at myself]. Break up with him.

Just to be clear: break up with him.
posted by Infinite Jest at 10:25 AM on April 22, 2010


Yep, do what you want (be careful about getting pregnant though).

...but ask yourself, "does this man bring out the best in me?"
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:26 AM on April 22, 2010


Ok, let me reiterate this again for those of you that suggest I'm just trying to get the answer I want:

the reason this is the second post was not to try to get new answers. I wanted my username changed and I did not know that I couldn't do that once this was created. No, it's pretty hard to make contributions here when you just started using it, so quite frankly, save it. Don't know how long you've been on here, but I'm sure you didn't become much of a contributor in a few days either.

for those of you who think it's boring and mundane:

It might be to you but it's not to me. Glad you went through it already and have it figured out. Guess what, I currently in the middle of it and just like you had to go through it before you figured it out, I'm currently doing the same. If it's boring to you, you don't need to comment. Go comment on something more interesting.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 10:30 AM on April 22, 2010


I think we were both feeling alone. Now, I know damn well that's not a healthy way to start a relationship but I think that's what's making me want to keep it going. I find a lot of people talk about how crazy things can get and how I may end up in a hospital one day etc. I've seen people like that and they are women who's spirits have be crushed. I do not want to be one of those women. In fact, I think I have a bit too much anger where that's concern to put up with that level of stuff.

Every time he does something and you put up with it, the level of stuff he can get away with is recalibrated. Do you have too much anger to put up with a hospitalization-level of abuse? Maybe. But you clearly have WAAAAAAAY less anger than most people in your situation would have. You might think you're soooooo never going to end up a spirit-crushed woman in a hospital bed, but you're too close to the situation to see how crushed your soul is.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:31 AM on April 22, 2010


ChucksNPaintbrushes, I'm not sure what you want, since 100% of the advice here is break up with him, and you refuse to do it. Either you are trolling, or just a teenager/young 20 year old not mature enough to listen to advice.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:31 AM on April 22, 2010


If I'm unhappy in the future, I'll know it's HIM and not ME.

You already know this.
posted by ook at 10:31 AM on April 22, 2010


[Folks, please take any "troll" arguments and previous-username discussion stuff and other metacommentary to the metatalk thread, thank you.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:32 AM on April 22, 2010


Seriously, just read your own responses. You've said yourself that being in this relationship makes you unhappy, and that you seriously enjoyed the week you had away from him. Isn't that all the information you need? Being with him makes you unhappy. Being without him makes you happy. It's not a huge, mystifying conundrum. Why stay in any relationship that makes you unhappy? Would you tell your sister or your cousin or your best friend to stay with a guy that hits her and makes her unhappy? And if you would, why?
posted by palomar at 10:39 AM on April 22, 2010


Chucks, none of us are, in good faith, going to give you advice on how to make this relationship work, because none of us believe it is possible to make it a good, working relationship. The kind of relationship that you're in is unhealthy.

There is never an excuse for hitting, slapping, punching, spitting on, or otherwise physically harming the person you're in a relationship with (outside consensual, safe SM play, that is).

You say you love this man. You can and will love other people. Because you love him you should leave him. Your staying in this relationship is doing him more harm than good.

He says he loves you, that he can't live without you, that you are "the one." He can and will live without you. Because he loves you, you should leave him. Your staying in this relationship is doing harm to the one he loves.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:46 AM on April 22, 2010


Ok, my boyfriend is Bipolar type I, has OCD, ADHD, and suffers from paranoia (possibly paranoid schitzophrenia but never been diagnosed for that). We met online about 8 months ago. Our relationship started out well but we had some issues. His clinginess went from a cute novelty to a serious annoyance. We've had some serious fights (3 main ones). I'm talking screaming, cursing and all of that. In the first he tried to physically restrain me. He would go back and forth between I love yous and cursing me out. The second fight, he slapped me (not anything crazy like wife-beaters do but a slap just the same). I punched him in his face and dumped him 2 hours later after finally convincing him that no amount of apologizing would make me listen to him in that moment. The third fight, he ended up spitting on me and slapping me again (nothing aiming to painful just aiming to be an a**hole). I broke up with him and went about my business for a week.

The world is full of wonderful people. Why don't you keep going on about your business?
posted by davejay at 10:48 AM on April 22, 2010


palomar:

Honestly, I'd probably be up for telling the guy where to go myself. I honestly just feel trapped right now. Until he told me all this stuff, everything was pretty good. I feel like I'm just holding out for all of that to come back. You know I have an ex who cheated on me non-stop. I loved him and although we were very close, he never loved me and it took me awhile to realize that. It took somebody blurting out to me that he was out fooling around with other women and could care less so why do I. When that didn't hurt, anger or even surprise me, I knew I was beyond over that. He's now engaged to someone else and doing the exact same thing. I'm saying it's not that I'm not listening to advice. It's not that I didn't learn my lesson. It's more like he dropped something huge on me out of nowhere and it's taken me awhile to sort it out. Longer than it should have perhaps but still.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 10:49 AM on April 22, 2010


The consensus is obviously DTMFA, and I agree wholeheartedly, but since you don't seem ready or willing to do that, I'll address the questions you asked assuming that you're going to continue in the relationship.

Your boyfriend is mentally unbalanced. He has been on medication for a few days, but you don't know if the medication is going to work or if he is going to stick with it. His mental issues include "paranoia (possibly paranoid schitzophrenia but never been diagnosed for that)." He has a history of violence and other extreme and unacceptable behavior.

You are not going to help a paranoid person by lying or snooping - you are giving him justification for his paranoia. Particularly since your lie is about someone else talking about him. By being dishonest with him, you are feeding his paranoia. Someone who has reason to feel paranoid is a lot less likely to believe the paranoia is a problem that should be treated.

If you want to continue dating this man (and like everyone else has said, please don't), you have to be honest with him. If you have a fear that he will continue to check online dating sites, tell him that you're not convinced and that you want him to give you permission to check his profiles. If he is as committed to you as he claims he is, he may be willing to be open with you. If he isn't willing, you pretty much have to deal with it or get out.

In most cases I don't have a problem with a limited amount of snooping when you have reason to believe that there's something to snoop about. Sometimes, that's the best or only way to protect yourself in a relationship. But in this case, you're dealing with a paranoid man with a history of violence. Spying on him is a really really bad idea.
posted by Dojie at 10:49 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I honestly just feel trapped right now. (ChucksNPaintbrushes)

Can you explain why? What is trapping you? Do you want to get rid of what's trapping you?
posted by ocherdraco at 10:52 AM on April 22, 2010


You need a therapist, and your so-called boyfriend needs to stay away from you and you from him. If you want out of a situation where you feel trapped, your weapon has to be a clear mind and sharp sense of purpose-- "I want out, and I want to stop being in situations where physical violence is an option for me."

You don't have that right now, but you can get it, and you can start by picking a friend or a teacher or a pastor you trust, telling them what's going on, showing them these two threads, and saying "I don't want to live like this any more. I want to leave this man and never look back, and I need help."

And then you're going to have to follow through on it, get help from a professional, leave that man, and never look back.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:59 AM on April 22, 2010


Honestly, I'd probably be up for telling the guy where to go myself. I honestly just feel trapped right now.

If I understand correctly, you're not living with him right now? So can you tell him you need another week or two, and think about it some more?

I am not an expert on this kind of thing, so I apologize if this doesn't work at all, but maybe a brief change of scenery is in order? At home you might be reminded of him constantly, so perhaps you could hang around somewhere the two of you haven't been. A friend's house, a park several towns over, who knows--just someplace that belongs to only you, to help get rid of that trapped feeling for a while. Might be easier to think about things without that pressure.
posted by equalpants at 11:02 AM on April 22, 2010


I think I've posted about someone close to me who has a related mental illness to this person, but just in case, here's more of the story, and I believe it is relevant because some of this may be a part of your future if you stay with this person.

She was probably exhibiting signs at an earlier age than she was diagnosed, but for a variety of reasons (constantly moving because of her husband's job, a possible later onset of the worst symptoms, and so forth), she wasn't diagnosed until after she had been married and had two children. At various points --- they always lived far away from family ---- relatives started getting some funky phone calls that didn't make any sense. Eventually this led to her getting treatment and doing okay.

Until she went off her meds completely. The children's father put them on a train to relatives when the situation was completely out of control, and in her state, this person thought her husband was kidnapping the children when what he really was trying to do was protect them.

Eventually the couple divorced and the person in question lived in various parts of the country, hitchhiked rides, etc, and ended up in the town where her kids were. She started following her son around. She'd stand outside the gates of the private school the relatives graciously put him in all day. The headmaster and the relatives had a private meeting on how he, the son of this person now stalking him, wanted this handled as far as they could handle it. He wanted nothing to do with her at the moment. He wasn't in a place where he could.

Meanwhile, her daughter went completely ignored because for whatever reason, this person fixated only on her son. One day said daughter went looking for her mother in this little city, and her mother slapped her and didn't appear to recognize her.

There was absolutely no reasoning with this person until she finally did something that landed her in a hospital where she got the treatment and the medication she needed. After a few months --- yes, months -- she was released into the care of her family.

She has been incredibly stable (as much as she's able to be) for the past seven or so years, but there was a lot of damage done in those nearly seven years she was off her meds. Damage to herself. Damage to her children. Damage to her family. And she realizes that to some degree but probably isn't able to realize it fully.

Now, I fully believe that people with diseases like this have every right to as normal a life as possible. They have every right to love and lose that all of us have. Every right to get married and have kids. But entering into a romantic relationship with someone requires the person with the disease to take responsibility for that disease, to continue the prescribed course of action by his/her therapist and psychiatrist, and to be an advocate in their own health. But it's only when stabilized that this can happen, and with stabilization there is always the risk that the honey moon period of being functional and feeling good on the meds will lead to the idea of not needing the meds any more. The person in my life has taken steps to be more proactive in her care. She calls her psychiatrist if she's feeling herself slip up. She had a social worker for awhile. She goes to group therapy. She goes to individual therapy. And she has people around her to support her in being functional.

If you decide to stay or leave, that's fine. But it's really important that you don't gloss over the realities of being in a relationship with someone who has this sort of illness. There are many highly functional, for the most part healthy bipolar people out there who take responsibility for their own health because they know in order to have these relationships they have to be functional people (I know one who is married and in a Ph.D program and doing very, very well), but also because they have the capacity to do so. Not everyone with diseases of this sort do. The person I know, while she is much better, will never have a job again. She's not capable of holding one, and that's fine because a job would get in her way of being as functional as she can be.

How functional or how willing this person in your life will be to do everything he can to stay functional and healthy can only happen once he's stabilized. It's great he's working and cooperating with his doctors, but the reality is, it's a very long road for him, and if you decide to join him on this journey, it will be a long road for you as well. And no one deserves to go through what the children of the person in my life went through. No one, but they went through it. Their mother loves them. This is clear, and they love her. And they got all their shit together so they could have a pretty good relationship with her now as adults. So while it's all well and good for you to figure out things as you go along, you should keep it in the back of your mind that maybe someday there might be more than just yourself to worry about if he goes off his meds.

I know this doesn't answer your question, but I hope it does give you an idea of what a longterm picture could include, not that it necessarily will. But violent behavior of this sort --- bipolar or no --- is incredibly worrisome and while it may be a part of his illness, it's still violent behavior. And if he hasn't done so already or if you haven't done so already, if you stay with him, his psychiatrist and therapist need to have your contact information, and you want them to have your contact information. "A duty to warn" exists for reasons such as this.
posted by zizzle at 11:06 AM on April 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


As has been mentioned above, you are enabling his behavior (unacceptable to many in this thread). Also consider that he might be enabling you.
posted by ericb at 11:09 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay. You're having a lot of trouble with the suggestions here. What do you want from life? If you stay with a partner who has really serious mental illness that is not well-treated or controlled, your own life will continue to be very dramatic. I do not recommend bringing children into this relationship. The things that need to be fixed in this relationship are far beyond the snooping question.

People who hit often continue to hit, and often hit more and more and harder and harder.

People with Bipolar type I, OCD, ADHD, paranoia (possibly paranoid schizophrenia) often don't have the ability to have healthy intimate relationships. They seldom have successful jobs, relying on disability payments and assistance (needed and deserved). They may be unable to accept help.

You can help people without being in an intimate relationship. For instance, you could be his friend.

I don't see any happy future in this scenario, but I wish you the best of luck.
posted by theora55 at 11:18 AM on April 22, 2010


I honestly just feel trapped right now. Until he told me all this stuff, everything was pretty good. I feel like I'm just holding out for all of that to come back.

I've gone over your posts in this thread but I must be missing something, because I'm not sure what "until he told me all this stuff" means. What stuff did he tell you, about his mental health issues? Are you feeling trapped because he told you about his mental health? Or is it something else?

You say that it's not that you don't want to listen to advice. Okay. If you take one piece of advice away from this thread and the previous one, please let it be this: dump this guy, and talk to a therapist. You've probably talked this issue to death with your friends, but they're not really in a position to help you. A therapist, however, is a professionally trained impartial third party who can point out areas where you might be tripping yourself up. Your friends may or may not be as helpful, because they love you and may not want to hurt you by saying, "Yo, you've got crappy taste in boyfriends, get your head right." Friends (and internet strangers, like us here at Metafilter) are usually just sounding boards, and sometimes not terribly helpful. A good therapist can help you develop the tools you need to build a happy life.
posted by palomar at 11:21 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


First, you have every right to ask questions and contribute to this community as little or as much as you want to. I want you to keep asking us for advice whenever you want to. If you want to ask a question anonymously, because people are being haters, then I can show you how or you can ask an administrator.

ChucksNPaintbrushes: "It might be to you but it's not to me. Glad you went through it already and have it figured out. Guess what, I currently in the middle of it and just like you had to go through it before you figured it out, I'm currently doing the same. If it's boring to you, you don't need to comment. Go comment on something more interesting."

Yeah, I know that came off as an asshole thing to say, and I'm sorry. I guess I was just trying to keep you from using your relationship as a tool to keep your life interesting because I want you to stay physically safe and it doesn't seem like those two things are compatible. So I was trying to say "look! it's not really interesting!" in the same way that some people say that drinking isn't that fun (it really can be) because they want people to drink responsibly. It wasn't very respectful of you, in the way that I put it.

This is interesting to talk about and think about. Look, I'm certainly talking about it.

Anyway, if you ever want to visit New York City, mefi mail me, I'm not this pissy and pedantic in person. You can stay on my couch. I will show you some craziness that does not involve the police (I hope)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:22 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. I agree with everyone here who says DTMFA. Because, DTMFA who slaps you and spits at you and says he loves you but is actively scouting out for new girls. This entire thread can be summed up as:

OP: Yeah, he's an abusive jerk, but not really, if you know what I mean. I know he's bad news, but, that's not my question. My question is just on one of the many, many red flags about the relationship. Should I confront my ex about this one small trivial relationship issue, when there's so many other aspects I should be concerned about, including the fact that he's a clingy, physically and emotionally abusive liar?

MeFi: He's a clingy physically and emotionally abusive liar!

OP: Please answer the question.

MeFi: He's a clingy physically and emotionally abusive liar!

OP: I'm not one of those pathetic sniveling women who refuse to leave their abusive boyfriend/ husband because they think that things could get better, and hey, most of the time it's good, because my situation is totally different as I'm a special snowflake. Please answer the question. Oh yeah, I also have another ex that cheated on me.

You can do much, much better, OP. Trust me on this one.
posted by moiraine at 11:23 AM on April 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


zizzle:

Thank you. That helped alot. I'm not ready for children yet but I definitely want them. I can assure you the worry of what sort of father he would be has crossed my mind quite a bit. For someone to act like he does sometimes to also talk about wanting to get married and have a family...it worries me. I want a family but I flat out refuse to knowingly bring children into a messed up situation. My boyfriend's mother is bipolar type I and all the stuff he's told me about that probably helped give him whatever his mental status is today.

You know, my mother and father are divorced. I don't know him at all except for what my mom tells me. He apparently had mental issues and that was a big part of why they got a divorce. All i know is I'm not willing to subject my (future) children to any situation like the one I'm currently in. I'm also not willing to give up having children. That being said, should my current relationship even make it so far as to that discussion, I think that may be the reason it ends. I won't give that up and I don't think he could handle that anyway.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 11:32 AM on April 22, 2010


Dating a guy that looks at porn is much safer and happier than dating a guy that hits you.


Also, noone who is truly right with god abuses others.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:40 AM on April 22, 2010


Hon, I didn't read what everyone else said but I think you need to step away from
this relationship. He needs to work on himself because that's what he needs to do
and not because he wants to keep you in his life. What happened
to you WAS abuse just like wifebeating abuse and if you continue the relationship
there is no reason to believe there would not be other incidents.
He is not healthy enough at the present FOR a relationship.
Please do not put yourself through this.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:41 AM on April 22, 2010


That being said, should my current relationship even make it so far as to that discussion, I think that may be the reason it ends.

Then why not now?

If you won't be having kids with him if the relationship makes it that far, and you won't give up on having kids, why stay in a relationship that contains, for you, such a huge dealbreaker? Many people end relationships over the kids factor, and in those cases, it's a matter of preference and wanting or not wanting kids --- not a matter of abuse or a bad situation. That alone is enough, everything else aside.
posted by zizzle at 11:45 AM on April 22, 2010


You know, my mother and father are divorced. I don't know him at all except for what my mom tells me. He apparently had mental issues and that was a big part of why they got a divorce. All i know is I'm not willing to subject my (future) children to any situation like the one I'm currently in. I'm also not willing to give up having children. That being said, should my current relationship even make it so far as to that discussion, I think that may be the reason it ends. I won't give that up and I don't think he could handle that anyway.

Have you two been having sex? If so, you do not always get to choose when you have children, no matter how safe it is. You could subject a child to him as a father if you take that risk.
posted by Hiker at 11:46 AM on April 22, 2010


I wasn't going to post anything more here, but this sticks out:

I'm not willing to subject my (future) children to any situation like the one I'm currently in.

You don't want this situation for your future children. How do you suppose your mother feels about the fact that you're in this situation? (Or would feel, if she knew?)

I can't even begin to describe how much pain and anguish I would feel if you were my daughter in this situation.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:56 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I jumped on the DTMFA train last time you posted about him. Now, two questions (ok, 4 if you're picky). That's all.

(1) What do you want from a relationship? Is this it?

(2) What would it take for you to leave him? How bad does it have to get?
posted by kestrel251 at 12:03 PM on April 22, 2010


Mexican Yenta:

My mother knows certain things and does not like it. She obviously can't know what it's like 100% since she's not with him nor does she know him very well. She does not like it though and even told me how much happier I seemed during the week he and I were broken up. If she knew all of it, she'd probably go after him herself not to mention have him arrested.

kestrel251:

Those answers are not short ones but in a nutshell:

1) I want to be happy and loved. I don't want there to be trust issues. You could even argue that I want most of the things he's not. I've even told him this numerous times. Is this it currently? No. He's acting different but it could just be a temporary act. I acknowledge that, believe me.

2) For me to leave, it would only take him trying to physically harm me in any way again. The first time was shocking as he is the ONLY boyfriend I've had to attempt such. The second time was my stupidity for trying this again. There hasn't been a third time of hitting yet and I hope there never will be. However, if he does it again, it will be more than enough to make me go. I was already on the verge of leaving it for good, he just found a way to convince me to try it a last time.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 12:15 PM on April 22, 2010


It seems the general impression people have of me is that I'm some stupid 20 year old silly thing that doesn't know when to get out of something. To people who've never had this type of relationship, you're advice is valued but it's not nearly as easy as you think to kick someone to the curb who needs and seems to want help

A lot of the people telling you this HAVE been in this type of relationship. I've been in a drama-filled relationship (not abusive, but with the same looking on dating sites/swearing it's all ok and I was just paranoid type rollercoaster). I've also watched a friend of mine cry over someone who repeatedly cheated on her. Both of us left those relationships devastated. Both of us are now in good, life-enhancing relationships with people who see us as the fabulous beings we really are.

I have had fights with my SO, sometimes very upsetting ones where both of us said things we shouldn't. None of these has ever ended in punching and slapping. This is how relationships are *meant* to work.

Yes, he has mental issues, but these in themselves are difficult to deal with. I know someone with Bipolar I (I am Bipolar II) and though she admits to making mistakes due to her illness, some terrible ones, she does not behave like this to her partner. You can't fix him. God can't fix him.
posted by mippy at 12:19 PM on April 22, 2010


I want to be happy and loved.

You will never be happy and loved in this relationship. Now what?

I don't want there to be trust issues.

There will always be trust issues in this relationship. Now what?

He's acting different but it could just be a temporary act.

It is. Now what?

I acknowledge that, believe me.

Good. Now what? Anyone can acknowledge anything. The only thing that counts is what ACTION are you willing to take -- not here moderating your AskMe thread, but actual action in your actual life -- with this knowledge in order to improve your life.
posted by scody at 12:24 PM on April 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


To be blunt, when this question is considered in light of your earlier question, the fundamental problem seems to be this:

You don't think you have any other dating options-- or, more to the point, you're very fearful of being rejected and abandoned.

Consequently, you've been settling for some crazily needy (Aww! How cute!) guy who hits you and spits on you.

The worse he behaves, the more you feel he's so lousy that he has no other options... and therefore won't abandon you.

You know, objectively, that this guy isn't worth spending thought on, let alone time with.

You should probably begin to consider the fact that, hey, you're cute-- and meeting new guys, even if online, should actually be fairly easy... if you let yourself do it.

So...

A) Cut this guy off.

B) Explore what other kinds of guys, besides the needy, mentally ill, and violent, can satisfy your need for drama and fear of rejection. (Casually dating a couple of different types of guys at the same time might be a useful short-term aid in this regard. Look for variety-- Older Provider plus Adrenaline-Spiking Young Guitarist seems to be a reliable and effective combo.)

C) Get some help with the underlying confidence issues.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:31 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The second time was my stupidity for trying this again.

Do you believe you deserved to be hit the second time?

Because that's what you seem to be saying.
posted by Windigo at 12:46 PM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Windigo:

Good lord, no! I know I didn't deserve that. Nobody does. I was referring to the second time we got back together it was my stupidity for doing so.
posted by ChucksNPaintbrushes at 12:51 PM on April 22, 2010


he just found a way to convince me to try it a last time.

And he'll try again. This strikes me as a fellow who is desperate to be in a relationship, desperate enough to pull all the controlling crap he has already. He is acting like a large baby, one that can inflict physical harm upon you. You might not realize it, but your speech patterns match pretty close to abuse victims in some respect.... I want to be happy and loved. ...it would only take him trying to physically harm me in any way again. He's not the kind of guy to be looking at porn

We all want to be loved, being attacked is not being loved. He wants you because he is afraid of losing you and not having anyone, so he is willing to do anything to keep you. Want that relationship? what happens if you stay with him, and then break up a year or two down the road? It'll be even worse.

Being even mildly assaulted is not kosher, twice? you shouldn't have been there for the second one, waiting for the third time? Yeah, I honestly hope you make it though that ok, you want to be in a relationship where you are always on your guard for that?

Not the kind of guy to be looking at porn? bwhahahah. Yeah. Here is as close to a truism as you can get, the only guys who don't look at porn are those who don't have access to it. There may be exceptions, but this guy's actions indicated he ain't it.

Find a social event/club that you can enjoy, have your friends hook you up with someone, volunteer, expand your pool and for the love of yourself dump the manipulative, abusive, lying, desperate motherfucker already.
posted by edgeways at 1:13 PM on April 22, 2010


OK, here it is again, as usual*:

DTMFA, and get yourself to a therapist.

You aren't in this relationship by accident. It isn't a fluke. You have low self-esteem, and are attracted to lovers who treat you badly. You need to fix that, NOW!

* "As usual", meaning: your problem isn't unique in this world. You have thousands to millions of brothers & sisters in this world, each in the same sort of sinking boat. Save yourself. I did. Be well.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:51 PM on April 22, 2010


I was referring to the second time we got back together it was my stupidity for doing so.

You admit it was a stupid choice to get back together with him.

That's in the past, and you can't change the past. But you can change the present. How is staying with him now any less stupid than getting back together with him was?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:53 PM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Look, ChucksNPaintbrushes, I'd love you in a heartbeat. I'd treat you nice; we'd laugh, we'd play, we'd listen to each other. We'd fill our moments with the things we want to do and make each other feel good. We'd support each other. But you're with some jerk right now. You're not available to me or anybody else. Nobody else can get your attention right now. But you're awesome and if you'd just ask more of yourself and open up to the possibility that I'm in the company of thousands here, offering so much better, you'd see that and believe it and never settle for less. Ditch the misery and join in on the fun. Awesome, kind, loving people are everywhere, just hanging around, waiting for you.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:01 PM on April 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


[A few comments removed. Please cool it a little; if you feel like you need to throw your hands up in frustration, that's fine but just close the browser window instead of making a comment about it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:20 PM on April 22, 2010


Now, I fully believe that people with diseases like this have every right to as normal a life as possible. They have every right to love and lose that all of us have. Every right to get married and have kids. But entering into a romantic relationship with someone requires the person with the disease to take responsibility for that disease, to continue the prescribed course of action by his/her therapist and psychiatrist, and to be an advocate in their own health. But it's only when stabilized that this can happen, and with stabilization there is always the risk that the honey moon period of being functional and feeling good on the meds will lead to the idea of not needing the meds any more. The person in my life has taken steps to be more proactive in her care. She calls her psychiatrist if she's feeling herself slip up. She had a social worker for awhile. She goes to group therapy. She goes to individual therapy. And she has people around her to support her in being functional.

I came in here to say this exactly, except not as eloquently worded and directly on target. I am the crazy person in the relationship I'm in now. I'm depressed, and I have been for the length of this relationship (11+ years). Now, if you were married, had children, had been STABLE in this relationship for more than a year or so, it might be reasonable to give this person another chance to get their shit together. But that's not the case.

It's been this way the whole time you've known each other. It's only been eight months. Forget this shit, forget this drama. You do not owe him anything, despite being in love with him. Sometimes, love is just not enough to make it work. It hurts, but ignoring that fact is going to fuck you up worse in the long term.

Abuse is unacceptable. Sick or healthy, medicated or unmedicated, it's not okay. I have been depressed & unemployed & off my meds and I have had screaming, kick-you-out-of-the-house fights with my SO, but even when I've been at my angriest, the thought of physically harming him has NEVER crossed my mind. Never. It's not something you do to someone you love. And if someone does that to you, OR if someone MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE DOING THAT, there is something very wrong. You need to talk this out with someone impartial.

My SO and I have an agreement: our relationship is stable and he will be my support system as long as:
1. I take my medication, all of it, every single day. I tell him and I call my doctor if the medication stops working or I am having trouble getting refills.
2. I make an effort to work on fighting the crazy. I get out of bed when I feel like crap, I go to work every day, I try to spend pleasant time with him, enjoying our relationship. When these things become difficult, I tell him and we talk about it and I call my doctor if I need to.

It's not a crazy ultimatum; it's so that we can maintain a healthy relationship. He is honoring me by sticking with the "better or worse" part of our vows, and I honor him by doing my best to keep my illness under control. This is how you have a healthy relationship with someone who is mentally ill. If you guys can't do this--if he's not willing to commit to fighting this with all he's got, then it'll never, never, never work. You won't be a bad person for leaving someone who refuses to treat their illness. It's simply not possible to maintain a relationship that way. It's sad, but it's a fact. I am so sorry that you are in this situation; love can be a real bitch. It's not all cupcakes and unicorns; it takes work--work like I described above, not suffering disguised as sacrifice. I sincerely wish you strength and good will in dealing with this situation.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 4:35 PM on April 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


He SLAPPED you and SPIT ON YOU. Spitting on someone is so disrespectful, slapping someone you are in a relationship with is just wrong. Why would you even consider talking to him still? Obviously him saying "he wouldn't do anything to cheat on me or hurt me" is a lie, if he is capable of slapping you and spitting on you.

He logged on to dating sites, which is enough to know he's still looking in case you don't take him back. Don't bother snooping, and make sure you don't take him back, unless you like being slapped around.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 5:00 PM on April 22, 2010


Domestic violence is complicated. The national domestic violence hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) has trained people available 24 hours a day to talk with you-- not at you. They will not tell you what to do. They will help you think through your options and get a handle on your particular situation.

You might also try:
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
P.O. Box 77308
Baton Rouge, LA 70879
(225) 752-1296 Fax: (225) 751-8927
Website: www.lcadv.org


Please, please talk to someone trained to listen to you. You are a good person in a bad situation.

"Battered Person Syndrome" is an outdated way of understanding domestic violence. I am a former domestic violence counselor and the comments in this thread make my blood curdle.
posted by vincele at 6:42 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't read through all the advice, but please dump him. No one has the right to slap you or spit on you. Period. You deserve better than that. Say that out loud -- "I deserve better than this." Keep saying it. Say it over and over and over again until you believe it. YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS.
posted by whatideserve at 6:49 PM on April 22, 2010


"This guy sounds like a whole lot of trouble. Trouble you don't need." -posted by dunkadunc

Not only did I favorite this comment but I would do so a thousand times. When I was just barely 18, I was in this situation (minus the computer dating sites... I'm a bit older than you). Not only did I desperately love this man, but I already had an 8 mo child with him when I finally had to leave after he beat me unconscious for the second time in two weeks. No, truly, it was actually after I had to wrap my body around the baby to keep him from beating her.

I should have left earlier, when the hitting could be characterized as "accidental" or "nothing serious". But, because I stayed, I gave consent for it to escalate.

This man loved both of us with all of his heart (he still does, unfortunately. I've been stalked at times in the past 20 years). He would have moved heaven and earth to do right by the both of us. But he couldn't. He tried and tried to do better. It wasn't until five years after I escaped that he was finally diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.

I'll say this loud, not because I think you don't get it. But because I think you don't WANT* to get it....

YOU CANNOT FIX THIS. YOU CANNOT FIX HIM. YOU CAN ONLY SAVE YOURSELF.

*Because of love, I understand this.

Love him all you want, but from afar - where it's safe.
posted by _paegan_ at 3:39 AM on April 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reading through the other comments, I want to add this...

In my previous comment, I mentioned we had a child together. I spent the next 18 years doing everything in my power (and a few others' powers) to keep her safe from him. It didn't work. He hurt her in a way that doesn't go away with a mother's kiss. His mother left her alone with him despite court sanctions and deep promises. Because his mother wanted to believe the best of him, also. My daughter still has difficulty forgiving the grandmother she adored for the trauma she remembered her whole life. My daughter will have NOTHING to do with her father (except to pass on warning to me from her grandmother about his activities).

And I didn't try to twist things that way, either. I tried her whole life to A) get her to understand he doesn't want to be that way, B) remove her fear that she is tainted because he is her father, and C) help her believe that she will not (necessarily) develop the schizophrenia her father, his father and his father mother did and D) raise her to be able to cope better if she does develop this family illness.

I've barely touched the TIP of the iceberg that has been my challenges ever since accidentally breeding with a man like the one you are now dealing with. I could write books of our "adventures".

FYI, birth control is not 100% effective, so if you are going to stay with this man and continue relations with him, you will get to learn what kind of challenges I'm talking about.
posted by _paegan_ at 3:57 AM on April 23, 2010


I'm not for a four strikes - you're out policy and this is why. When a person hits you, it's because their values say, under certain circumstances, it's okay to use violence. Values don't change overnight. So, even if he says he won't hit you again, it's because you don't want him to, not because he thinks he shouldn't. I would put money on him hitting you again, and I don't gamble. That's the first thing.

Second is, I too am an introvert, and I have always had a lazy eye which puts a lot of people off. My features are not stunning either, okay, so it wasn't like they were lining up. Despite that, I found several men that I spent time with who were willing to value me for who I was, AND not to hit me. I met them through friends of friends, work, even the precursor to internet dating, the singles magazine.

Now, mental illness, I have it, but not to the extent that your boyfriend does. I deal with depression, social anxiety, stuff like that. My guy, who is a laid back sweetheart who I've been with 20 years now, had some terrible times learning to deal with it. I suspect if we hadn't had children to make it worthwhile to make it work, he would have given up, and I would not have blamed him. Living with someone with a chronic illness can be hard work. Hell, being in a relationship is hardwork even if everything is hunky dory. Now, if this guy was a really great guy and the only issue that you guys had to deal with was his mental illness, I'd suggest some counselling, but there is so much more there to try and make work. I think maybe he needs some time to figure how who he is, and what is right before he couples up.

Yeah, you can see I'm siding with all the DTMFA but this is why - it's better to be alone than in a crappy relationship. Also, when you feel happy when you're broken up and you're not crying and eating copious amounts of icecream, watching chickflicks and all that stereotypical stuff (or the equivalent), you got to ask yourself, if the relationship isn't worth grieving, is it worth saving?

Look, I left a 3 year relationship at age 22. i adored him. There was no violence, it just wasn't going to work out. So this is what I did. I took some time to work out what kind of life I wanted, and what kind of man, and I wrote lists. Each time I dated a guy, I usually added something to a list (must have good teeth, should be an orphan or have nice parents, no obsessions like cars). Some of that list was terribly shallow or irrelevant, but it gave me an idea of what I was prepared to settle for, and no girl should settle for a violent partner, ever. Ever! There's too many quiet lonely sweet gorgeous geeks out there waiting for a girl to chat them up on WOW to ever settle for a violent man.

The other list thing I did was what I wanted me to be. Every couple of years or so I'd revisit that list to see how I was doing. 20 years on, I've either done everything on that list (get a degree, quit smoking, have kids) sort of thing, or no longer value it (write a romance novel). It's very satisfying to be able to talk to my youthful self in my imagination and say, hey, I was strong enough. I did what I felt was right, and I like who I am. And I didn't settle.

You don't need him. Walk away and start a brand new life. Think about who you are, and what you want, and move on.
posted by b33j at 3:16 AM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


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