Am I being taken advantage of, or does my S.O really love and deserve me?
June 8, 2011 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Am I in a good relationship, or is it time to move on? When do you let someone go, even though you love them? My S.O has chronic pain and I have helped him through alot, are things about to get better for us, or would you say this is a dead-end relationship that could go on like this forever?

My background: I am a 23 year old female living with my 32 year old S.O. We have been together for 2 years and living together for a year and a half. I had only one serious boyfriend before him who treated me horribly; lied and cheated all the time. Then I was single for 2 years, until I met my current partner.
My traits: happy go lucky, Christian, helpful, friendly, quiet, sensitive, not into drugs.

My S.O background: He has been in one relationship after another, and was even once engaged. He suffered a back injury when he was 25 and has been in chronic pain since then, with multiple surgeries. He liked to party his pain away and had a lifetime prescription of morphine from his Doctor.
His traits: easy going, friendly, has lots of friends, helpful towards anybody who asks for anything. He has a good attitude towards getting his life back on track, but it’s hard for him to understand how life is so unfair, that he is in chronic pain for the rest of his life.

Relationship background: We met through friends and turned a hook up into a relationship. I had a falling out with my roommates at the time and moved in with my S.O after a few months. I wasn‘t aware that he was addicted to pills, but after a while I noticed that. He had not been able to work for almost 7 years, was constantly in pain and popping morphine and laying on the couch. No excitement for life.

I took the role of the caretaker- took care of his dogs, cleaned his house, stocked the fridge, stayed home and comforted him, made him realize life was worth living. Eventually I got him off the morphine altogether. We found him a new doctor who prescribed him a marijuana license for his back pain.
He has now gone to school for a year and has his first job, and we are both really happy for this accomplishment. Finally he has his own income and is in charge of his own future.

However, during the first year of our relationship, I settled for less then I deserved. I thought it was a sacrifice I needed to make until he got himself together.

His first girlfriend (from his age of 22-25) and him had a bad break up, but eventually came to be friends again. This girl is a 28 year old sociopath and drug addict now. She liked to mess with our relationship as if it were a game to her. My S.O was always nice to her because he felt responsible for what she had turned into. It was after their break up she turned to drugs. She did lots of horrible things to screw with us. Any excuse she could have to talk or see him, she would use it. She would cry because she hated her life and wanted to see the dogs, she would beg him to drive her around because she never had a licence, she would manipulate him into thinking she liked me, and talk bad about me all around town. She would call him crying in the middle of the night because she was scared and had no one to check around her house for her, so he would go check (for intruders.) She would show up at our house sobbing and we felt bad so we fed her dinner and let her stay the night. She would convince him to spend his Christmas Eve driving her around shopping because she was on a bender and hadn’t shopped yet. The worst part was throughout this whole time she would make rude remarks about him and I, or just him, or just me, in public, on face book, to my friends, to my coworkers, and behind our backs.

Eventually I gave him an ultimatum: Her or me. He chose me, and she moved out of town.
The thing that bothered me- he never gave her an explanation. As far as she knew I had made him do it, and she told everyone she knew he didn’t want to cut off communication, or that I had done it without him knowing. He said he didn’t owe her an explanation, and it would be more fuel to the fire, which would be true… I could see her wanting to play her game even more then.

That was about 6 months ago. Last month, her Grandma died, whom he knew personally, so I gave him permission to call his ex girlfriend with his condolences. Later that week I let him know I needed a few days to think about things, I wasn’t happy anymore. I was out of town when he called, and she happened to be in town for the funeral. She showed up at his house while he and his friends were there, and stayed 10 minutes, but they continued to text for 3 days, and they met up at a friends BBQ one more time before she left. When I returned, I asked him if he had seen her, he said no. I asked him if he had talked to her lots, he said no. I didn’t believe him, and looked through his phone and sure enough I was right. He said he hid it from me because he knew how I would react, and he thought I had broken up with him anyways, and it wasn’t his fault she showed up at our house. I was furious. Since then he has once again cut off communication.

Our relationship has had other problems besides the ex girlfriend and the morphine. As he got off the pills, he began being more active. I felt he only wanted to leave the house to go fishing or hunting with his friends, never to do something with me. He says it’s because he only has a couple years of doing these activities before his back gives out again and he needs more surgery and up to a year of bed rest.

He smokes a lot of marijuana for his pain now, and would rather be sitting on the couch watching TV with me at the end of a long work day because his back is sore. I would like to be outside, walking the dogs, going on dates, etc.

All his past relationships have been dysfunctional. His fiancée stole money from him, his other girlfriend and him cheated on him.
He says he wants to settle down with me, and that I am his angel, who pulled him out of the dark time of his life and he will be thankful forever. He will go to counselling with me to make me happy, and he says he would do anything for me.

Now that he has turned into a more positive person, after all this time and energy my feelings have changed.
I still love him deeply, and I am so happy for him and believe he has great things to come, but I don’t feel lust, I don’t want to sleep with him anymore, I resent any time I walk the dogs alone, grocery shop, do housework, or his friends come over. I feel taken advantage of after all this time. I never get taken on dates, flowers, or anything like that. He says he is too broke.
But- he has been on a low set income for the last 6 years. That could effect him. Once he in charge of his own pay checks he says he will start doing more things with me.

A few months ago, I started talking to another guy. He is my age, has a full time camp job and fishing job. He is very responsible, he doesn’t do drugs, and everyone says he is the nicest guy I would ever meet. He always has a smile on his face. He wants to take me rollerblading, camping, to the fair, etc. He tells me I am beautiful, nice, smart, funny, one of a kind, etc. I have thought about leaving my S.O to be with this person.

I am so confused. I wonder if I stopped talking to this other guy, would my feelings come back for my S.O? Would those feelings come back? Should I cut off contact with this person and once again devote myself to my relationship? Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. Perhaps my S.O will pull through and finally make me happy now that all these circumstances have changed, and maybe I should give it more time. But it seems that's all I've been doing for 2 years now.
Or, have I met a happy, nice person who deserves me and would give what he takes and appreciate me?
Please give me some advice, I don’t even know if I can trust my gut anymore… No idea what to do :(... An outside, un-biased opinion or advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thankyou so much.
posted by amacph10 to Health & Fitness (32 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm so sorry, but your post reads like a litany of Bad Stuff. Addiction? Drama? Loss of sexual interest? Resentment? Wild speculation? Check, check, check, check, check.

I think you know your answer. A HUGE portion of your post is about stuff you can't control...other people and their behaviors. It sounds like your wants and your relationship are fundamentally incompatible and that it's time to move on. Rip off the Band-Aid and walk.
posted by mynameisluka at 3:52 PM on June 8, 2011 [6 favorites]

There are a lot of ways for people who suffer and struggle to make others happy, to be considerate of others, to connect with others. He's used his chronic pain and his addiction and his income as excuses not to, and he's probably not going to start showing up for your relationship just because he has a job and makes more money. He has not really chosen you; he wants to keep you because you do so much for him. He won't pull through. Don't give it more time. You'll only feel more resentful and have lost more years.
posted by liketitanic at 3:54 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Whether or not you want to pursue a relationship with this other guy, I want you to know that you don't have to stay in a relationship you aren't happy in.
posted by Zophi at 3:54 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

I think you are far too young to be in a relationship that sounds like so little fun! It might be very difficult but my advice is to leave. It sounds like more drama than it's worth.
posted by queens86 at 3:55 PM on June 8, 2011 [8 favorites]

There's a lot going on in your post. The best advice I can give you is:

You're 23. There's no timer ticking away on you, you didn't mention any dependents, and you seem interested in going out and doing things and generally expanding your range of activities social circle. You say, basically, that you've had two boyfriends. You might be interested in this other guy. You didn't mention your geographic location, but it seems like you're probably not in an exciting, densely populated area with a lot of other people your age. I think you should break up with your boyfriend, forget about this new guy for a while, and go out and meet people and do things. You'll gain new friends and the field of possible romantic partners will expand greatly. If this involves moving to an area where there are more people your age and there is more going on socially, so be it. It can be a big jump, but you don't need to do everything at once. Start by figuring out how you can maintain your friendships and family connections, and use them to pursue work and play opportunities that look interesting.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:57 PM on June 8, 2011 [10 favorites]

I can only speak to the chronic pain thing:

I was hooked on opiates too, and it changed my personality, my brain, for the bad. Getting off the pills was super duper hard, and there was a blah period where I was having a lot of pain but no opiate crutches and life was sucky.

Marijuana has helped me tremendously. I know people respond differently to it, but I am in no way a watching-TV-24/7 stoner. I have a job, friends, family, and I'm out and interacting with them. With some friends and family, I'm free to smoke weed and do things with them stoned. With the rest of the world, I grin and bear it until I can smoke a bowl and get some relief.

But it sounds like you have so much more stuff going on than just the issue of how your SO is coping with chronic pain.
posted by angrycat at 3:58 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just so you know, while it is always really hard, you can walk away from this relationship guilt free. You are not abandoning a helpless individual; you are leaving him in much, much better shape than you found him. I'm sure there will be tears and guilt and pain all around but just don't forget that part.

And then go find someone you don't have to fix.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:06 PM on June 8, 2011 [7 favorites]

I don't think that happiness and self-sacrifice are such polar opposites. If you feel what you have now would be worth it (sooner rather than later), then stay.

If you feel you are done with this guy, and want to pursue whatever else, then go. You're free to do whatever you want with your life, and be with whoever you want to be with.

There is no wrong answer here except for what will make you unhappy. Self-sacrifice sounds like such a noble and Christian thing, but being unhappy will only make others unhappy in turn, and limit others opportunities to find their own happiness.

If you stay though, a lot of communication is needed to figure out all the existing things. Therapy probably wouldn't hurt either.
posted by everyday_naturalist at 4:08 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Even setting aside (for a minute) the many difficult experiences you've had with your partner, everything about your tone throughout your post says that you want out of this relationship. You're so careful to try and explain objectively everything that happened, but it really comes across that you've had enough. You know the answer. It's time to move on.
posted by medusa at 4:42 PM on June 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

You sound like you need someone to be your equal who you can share a relationship with, not have someone lean hard on you or you lean hard on them. I think you can only get that by moving on.
posted by mleigh at 4:43 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

It sounds like you took on too much of a caretaker role early in this relationship, and that set you up for a dynamic where you were his mommy and he wasn't a real grown-up. That's going to be hard to change at this stage, when you have already lost sexual interest in him as a grown man. You are young, neither of you sounds like you are really happy in the relationship: I'd be moving on.
posted by lollusc at 4:58 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Its somewhat of a mefi cliché but you should listen to what he does not what he says he is going to do. You've spent all this time and energy taking care of him and he doesn't seem to want to take care of your needs.

You wrote that he doesn't do things with you and when you ask him about it he said that "it’s because he only has a couple years of doing these activities before his back gives out again and he needs more surgery and up to a year of bed rest." Why is the person who has taken care of him and helped him change his life not a priority? Do you really want to caretaker for him when he does have the surgery if he won't even walk his dogs with you now? Or who won't cut his awful ex out of picture even after you've threatened to leave?

Its been two years and it doesn't sound like they've been easy or fun and really the beginning of a relationship should be both. I think its really rare that a relationship gets more fun or romantic over time rather than less.

It doesn't sound to me like you're getting anything out of this relationship but work and upset. I'd suggest counseling but I honestly don't think you should bother. I know breaking up with someone is hard but sometimes you have to look out for yourself.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:00 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

From what you've described, you've made a ton of sacrifices for this relationship, with very little in return. He does not make you or your relationship his priority. You just can't sustain a lop-sided relationship like that. Regardless of the other guy, you need to get out of this relationship.
posted by goggie at 5:17 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

This post reads a lot like "Give me permission to break up with my boyfriend without feeling like a jerk." You don't need our permission - just go ahead and break up.
posted by sonika at 5:39 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

You have my permission to break up with him and have fun with your life.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:45 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh, for a time machine to return to 23 and break up with the guy I was with then. I didn't break up with him at 25 ... because I thought I was TOO OLD. At 27 I'd had enough. But I will never, ever get those years back.

To quote Auntie Mame, life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving. Don't you be one of them. The banquet's out there, just waiting for you!
posted by cyndigo at 5:50 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

Yes, go ahead and break up!

Be careful about the "grass is greener" symptom too- go out on some dates with mr fun-camp-nodrug guy, but don't expect him to be perfect, I'm sure he has quirks of his own!
He may turn out to be mr right, he may not. You may have to deal with the accusation of "cheating" if you start going out with mr young camp guy immediately, but people will get over it.

Oh- and you may have heard stories like dude got paralysed and his fiancée was like "I love you anyway and will stick with you forever" - the difference here is that the paralysed guy also loved the girl and the love was mutual. So even through the suckiness they stuck together BUT your situation is different, I think.

Let him go.
posted by titanium_geek at 5:51 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

A good question to ask yourself is, "Am I the person I want to be in this relationship?"

Right now, you are a person who goes through her boyfriend's phone, grills him about his whereabouts, doesn't want to have sex with him, keeps score over every household duty, and is considering cheating on him with a dude who has offered nothing more than to take you Rollerblading (which is fun! once you're single I think you should go with him if you don't up and move to Atlanta or somewhere!).

Move on. You have my permission. It's not poison, neither of you will die.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 5:53 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh god this sounds like a nightmare. Just finish it.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:21 PM on June 8, 2011

Yeah, no. This is not the relationship for you. Totally move on. It may suck a bit, but you'll be ok soon, seriously.
posted by pupstocks at 6:36 PM on June 8, 2011

I think you can see what the consensus is...
I'll add that if you decide to leave this relationship, please leave it so that you can start a relationship with YOURSELF, not with this "new guy who's kind of interesting".

Take some time to learn how to take care of yourself and to focus on your life.
Don't just jump from one relationship into another one.
posted by calgirl at 6:48 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

I was in a relationship that had a lot of similarities to this one (more abuse, but similar in other ways)... and to answer your question: Yes, you are being taken advantage of. No, your SO does not love or deserve you.

You can do so much better. You have no idea. This new guy sounds all right, but he's not the prize -- you are. There is so much more to life than this kind of relationship. You have so much to learn and explore.

Please break up with this man and find yourself.
posted by 3491again at 6:57 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

What a mess. It seems like you have this expectation that because you took care of him, he is now at your beck and call (must go on dates! No fishing trips! Give me your phone so I can look through it!) and now that he's doing better he's finding the things he likes to do are not the things you like to do at all.

I guess I'm sympathetic to his money issues. If you want fancy dates how should he pay if he doesn't have money? What about going on the fishing trips with him?

Anyway, it's clear you've got a lot of resentment and feel robbed about this relationship because it didn't end up how you planned, and you're ready to cheat. I don't think he can give you what you want. I mean shit, you got upset because he met his ex in a situation where someone they both knew died? Should he have pretended it never happened? I just don't understand your perspective here. End it and move on.
posted by schroedinger at 7:07 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't normally add to a pile-on, but truly - I hope you take everyone else's answers here to heart. As you describe it, you're his mother, not his beloved.

It sounds like he's made progress, and that's great. But that doesn't mean the relationship is ever going to become what you want: something more active, egalitarian, respectful and fun than what you currently have. It doesn't make him a bad guy - it just makes your goals/values incompatible.

You are young and the world is your oyster, especially while you have no dependents. You have so little to lose by ending this relationship (kindly) and seeing what else is out there, and so much to gain.

Good luck to you. It's hard, but doable, and 6 months later you won't believe what on earth took you so long.
posted by widdershins at 7:31 AM on June 9, 2011

The old Dear Abby question applies here: Am I better off with him or without him?

I think you know the answer.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:29 PM on June 9, 2011

Wow, thankyou so much everyone. I didn't expect to have this many new answers today. It means so much. I know what I have to do, I guess I am just hoping that if he made little changes (put more effort into spending time with me, etc..) that I would be happy again, and not have to turn to the thought of another guy's attention to be happy, that I would be happy with my SO.

To reply to your reply schroedinger, I don't expect to go on fancy dates. I do expect that I should be given flowers SOMETIMES though, and taken out to eat a meal once in a while, that's something we can do together. I've tried to go fishing with him. He spent TONS of money to take me on a "fishing trip" only to have his friend tag along and to spend all his time with him on the trip and leave me with the dogs. He can spend his money on smokes, pizza for his friends, dinner with his friends, but when I ask him to ever spend any on me (when I buy ALL the groceries, the dog food, etc.) he is "too broke."

But after having typed that, it makes even more sense to me that I am just not a priority to him... Hm :(
posted by amacph10 at 1:34 PM on June 10, 2011

Your life is going to be SO much better in 6 months! Expect that he will try to manipulate you when you announce you're leaving. He's got a good thing going with you, for no effort, and when you leave he's going to have to buy his own groceries, (not) clean his own house and have less money for weed, smokes and beer for his buddies.

Prepare yourself for that. Personally, I'd have a place lined up and ready to move into the day I made the announcement. Can you plan for that? Best of luck, and PLEASE keep us posted.
posted by cyndigo at 3:30 PM on June 10, 2011

Have you actually spoken with him about this? Or are you just expecting him to one day swoop in with flowers and dates and make you happy?

I'm sympathetic to your feelings of resentment. It's very difficult to take care of loved ones with chronic pain, but one would assume when you enter that situation you're prepared for the demands of your role. If you can't handle it or find yourself expecting payback in the future, you should step away. A bad person isn't the one who accepts they are not able to handle that kind of sacrifice and moves on. The bad person is the one who expects their loved on in need better pay them back or else.

However, you seem to have a very "I DESERVE IT" view of relationships--as the sacrificing woman my man should buy me flowers! My man should take me out on dates! Shit, I have never been given flowers and it has never crossed my mind that my relationships were deficient in any way (I am a female).

Rather than think "Why isn't he giving me these things that romantic movies and Cosmo say prove his interest" perhaps think "It is time for the two of us to sit down and talk about our mutual likes and dislikes so we can come up with activities we both find fulfilling and enjoyable and enhance our experience as a couple."

The "self-sacrificing lady catering to the man-boy" is a very real trope, but your situation sounds quite a bit more complex than that. Yeah, he needs extra help, but nowhere do you mention that he demands it from you--in fact, you say that he's exceptionally appreciative and has even offered to go to counseling with you. Why don't you take him up on that offer? He doesn't seem to be throwing fits or offering abuse. You're the one flirting with other people and frantically searching through his phone for proof of imagined infidelities. Recognize that for many people that behavior--not to mention you've done it multiple times--is a sign of profound immaturity, would be a serious dealbreaker, and you'd be out on your ass. It's probably his gratefulness for your help that you're not.

I'm not saying you should stay with him. It's clear you're already checked out because you've found someone "who deserves you" whatever that means (the partners we choose to be with are the partners we deserve). But maybe before entering this new relationship you should re-evaluate your expectations for relationships and why you have them.
posted by schroedinger at 6:04 PM on June 10, 2011

Everyone, thankyou again for all your comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to write read my question and give me advice.

There is a part I did leave out... I wanted to get everyone's advice for my situation- but just to do with his chronic pain and if he was taking advantage of me. The only reason I ask is because there are more details that I did leave out, just because I wanted some un-biased advice towards dealing with someone who has had to overcome so much in the last few years.

Shroedinger- You are right, it is so immature, and usually a deal breaker for anyone, to look through someone else's phone. You are right, usually someone would have to move out for that. He makes it very clear I should be thankful for being able to stay. He says if it were anyone else they would be kicked out by now, and that I should be grateful for the roof he put over my head.
The reason I do that is because of the time I caught him lying about having a 3- day text conversation with his ex girlfriend. It started out about her Grandma, then went back to her missing him, and thankful he is back in her life, and then every day converstation, including making plans to meet up. I would have been okay with that, and very sympathetic to the fact they were both close with this person who died, but there was no apology from her, and no comment from him about anything to do with our relationship and how she needs to respect it. So, no I don't trust what he texts to her and that is why when I have a feeling in my gut, I search his phone. It's NOT okay, I know that.

Anyways, I have started going to councelling- by myself- because I am really confused. I feel like I don't even know what I am thinking or why anymore. I feel like my life is meant to cater to him.
I have tried getting out of the house more (where I met this other guy) and going out for dinner with friends, etc. The only problem is that when I do, and then complain about HIM wanting to spend his free time with his friends (ALL his spare time with them, and none with me) he throws it in my face saying I can go do whatever I want- I can go have dinner, spend money, go on walks with friends, so he can do whatever he wants with whomever he wants whenever he wants. So, I have stopped going for dinner to avoid an argument... especially one about money.

My counceller pointed out that she thinks he manipulates me. The part I didn't mention to anyone is that when we get in an argument of any kind- it's always my fault. Anything he does, or says (calling me a bi*ch, saying f*ck you, f*ck off, shut the f*ck up, etc) is followed by a "I did/said that because you did this," so everything is turned around on me, which makes me so confused right now... If I TRY to talk to him about how I am feeling, like you suggested, he tells me he doesn't care, I can do whatever makes me happy, and tells me it is best if I find somewhere else to live. Then, when I do that, he cries and begs for me back, telling me I helped him through the worst part of his life, and it would be nothing without me, etc, and that he just broke up with me "to get through to me." And the message he says he is trying to get through to me is that when I ask for his time, or get mad at him for calling me those names, etc, it comes off as me being a b*tch and he doesn't like that. He wants the girl he "fell in love with.." Who my counceller said, is a girlfriend who does everything for him, and doesn't voice her opinion or have her own needs.

I know this post doesn't relate to anything anyone (including myself so far) has said. But everyone is right, this is a huge mess... I am just SO confused. And so torn. I feel like I could go either way right now... I feel like I may be the victim of verbal, mental, and emotional abuse. I feel like I can't leave, and that I will never find better (as he reminds me, we have a loving, stable relationship-neither of us are promiscuous in any way. And I KNOW it sounds like I am, but the most I have done with this other guy is meet him randomly out and talk. I tell him very straight-forwardly I have a boyfriend, I won't hang out with him even as friends, it's innapropriate, etc.) But I know he can sense that I do like him, because I feel that way too.
When I don't complain about our relationship (by complain I mean about him not helping out, spending time with me, listening to me, etc.) things can be happy as can be. I can and do have fun when his friends are over, but is that what I want? To be the happy 3rd or 4th or 5th wheel to him and his friends forever? I don't know...

Anyways, I am so sorry this is very un-organized. Let me know if you have any more comments.
posted by amacph10 at 2:48 PM on June 13, 2011

amacph10: "I am just SO confused. And so torn. I feel like I could go either way right now... I feel like I may be the victim of verbal, mental, and emotional abuse. I feel like I can't leave, and that I will never find better

Honey, everyone stuck in a crappy relationship feels this way. It's partly because crappy relationships make you feel crappy about yourself. Please don't be confused: everyone here is telling you that this is a bad deal, this guys is not good news for you, and that you should dump him. You completely and totally will find better, but even if that were not true, you are better off alone than sacrificing the rest of your life to someone who is basically a bully and a manipulator.

You should be grateful he lets you live with him? Fuck that. Move out, pay for your own rent and expenses, and let him pay his own bills.

I can and do have fun when his friends are over, but is that what I want? To be the happy 3rd or 4th or 5th wheel to him and his friends forever? I don't know...

Please read that again. All kinds of people find fulfilling, mutual, happy relationships with people who don't just love them, but love them well. "He loves me" is never, ever a good enough reason to stay with someone. Please don't let 3 million movies, Cosmo and popular culture tell you it is.

People grow upbut they don't fundamentally change who they are. You are 23 years old. You have a lot of living to do. Do you want to parent with this man? Do you want to plan a lifetime of finances with him? Do you want him to be in charge of your last years and dying?

You may love him today, but if you think about it, you don't want that stuff for your tomorrows.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:18 PM on June 13, 2011


Girl, the details you left out are extremely relevant.

The way you wrote your post, the dude could just be your average late-twenties-sort-of-insensitive dopey dude who is fundamentally kind and wants to do the right thing but isn't sure how to do it, and when he tries does it clumsily.

But that dude is not the type to call you a bitch, break up with you to teach you a lesson, blames everything on you, guilt you when you go out with your friends, and says when you voice your feelings you're being a bitch. In fact, your partner should never call you a bitch.

I gave those answers because I didn't see any indication that he was actually abusing you. Your follow-up changes a lot. Looking through his phone is immature. But wanting a partner who is not manipulative and abusive is not. Dump him. Your counselor is right. He's being an asshole to you. Your second description sounds a lot like the ex-boyfriend of a friend of mine. He was charming and manipulative and always needed her help and explained she was the best thing that ever happened to him--except when she was unhappy or wanted things to change or wanted to do things without him or wanted to voice her feelings. Then she was a horrible bitch.

After an agonizingly long time she broke up with him. Two weeks later she met her current guy, who's an angel and 100x better than her ex in every single way and adores her. So there are better dudes out there, go and be happy.
posted by schroedinger at 7:02 AM on June 15, 2011

Thanks everyone... The way I wrote the first post did leave out important information, but that's because I am not sure if he is going through a mid life crisis, or a rough patch, I didn't want that to reflect upon everyone's advice.
I thought maybe his "good intentions" and the fact he is a kind person (I think) would out-weigh the way he does mistreat me sometimes... He says his brain is foggy from all the morphine that the doctor gave him, which is true... it does screw you up.
But I am sure deep down he knows it's not right, but knows all the right things to stay so that I won't leave. When he isn't calling me names or "teaching me lessons" he is starting to plan fun activities for the summer (just like I told him I wanted,) and walking the dogs with me, and has been doing everything lately... but I just can't shake this feeling off.
It does have alot to do with the other person I met too. I would never ever cheat on my SO, but I have more feelings towards another person then him right now (except for the fact I am so scared to leave, he is my security and we are really comfortable together.)
But... I think that if someone really did love you, they wouldn't call you names or do some things to me which he has (for example, all the ex-gf stuff, if he really cared about me.)
Anyways... I won't drag this on anymore- I really appreciate every single person's advice, and if I go back on my decision I will come back to this post and re-read it for support.
Thankyou :)
posted by amacph10 at 9:15 AM on June 15, 2011

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