Help me identify abusive relationship
June 15, 2011 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Please help me learn how to identify an emotionally/mentally abusive relationship. I am not sure if myne has always been one, or is slowly turning into one, or is not one.

Hello everyone. I wrote a question about my relationship a week ago, here is another one if you don’t mind reading…

My first post addressed the fact that my SO of 2 years is:
-10 years older then me
-in chronic pain due to breaking his back, and has been off work for 6 years, just getting back into it.
-We have lived together for almost our whole relationship.
I am:
-23 years old
-In my 2nd relationship ever.
-Breaching our trust in the relationship, have admitted to him that I’ve looked through his phone (only to find evidence of him talking to his ex gf) and have been talking to a guy I have developed feelings for (but only as friends, and have made that clear to him.)

My first post was asking if I am being taken advantage of in the relationship…
This one is asking about advice for emotional/mental/verbal abuse in general.

I have started to see my own therapist, and she is the one who first pointed it out.
What are the signs that you are in a mentally/emotionally/verbally abusive relationship?
Are these types of relationships worth working on, or should you cut your losses and get out before it’s too late? If anyone has any past experience stories they would like to share I would love to read them.

Signs from my relationship that may be abusive:
When we argue (every week or so) and my opinion on anything is different then his, he:
-calls me a b*tch, a cow, a miserable person, a princess (in a snaky way,) immature, etc.
-tells me to shut the f*ck up, f*ck off, f*ck you, etc.
Sometimes he blames his language on “that’s the way my parents are,” but I don’t see that as an excuse.

For example,
-Recently I had come home from work and cleaned the house before his family was coming to visit. He was walking in and out of the house with his dirty shoes on and I asked him if he could take them off politely. His response was rolling his eyes at me and saying “Would you shut up already?”
I am not sure if they heard, but they were in the kitchen beside him
-Earlier this month, we were walking downtown with friends and he kept spitting on the sidewalk. He was doing it every few seconds and I was telling him to stop, that it was embarrassing. His response (in front of our friends) was “Will you shut the f*ck up!”

Besides the verbal abuse, he may be controlling…
-He makes me feel that I can’t go out with my friends. In the last 3 months I have been to the bar twice for a friend’s birthday (He doesn’t want to go out.) I also try to do dinner with my girlfriends about once a week.
Whether I am out drinking, or out for dinner, he throws it in my face when we argue about money, quality time (usually it is me asking for quality time together without his friends,) so now I feel like no matter what I do, it will be used against me in the future.
-He knew I was experiencing doubts about our relationship, so he broke up with me for 2 days. I had started to pack up my things and even took the day off work because I was so upset, and when he got home he told me wasn’t serious and was just doing this to get through to me, to show me that unless I stop being a “b*tch” I am going to have to leave. Of course, that made me second guess myself and stay.
I know this sounds really bad, but I keep thinking that (as he points out) I will never find better, yes he has a few flaws (talking down to me, etc.) but he IS working on them and he is in it for the long run. He wants to marry me and he says we have our whole lives to work on this, and that he will be there forever for me.
Even though he is 32, I feel like he missed a big part of his life (25-32) while he spent it in bed rest due to his back, or just waiting to be able to get back on track. Maybe he does not have the maturity of a 32 year old and if I give him time, things will get better.

I am not sure what the other signs of abuse in relationships are. He has never hit me, he has punched a few holes in the wall throughout the 2 years, and thrown a drink on the wall, but that was a long time ago.
We argue about once a week, we used to argue more but I tend to watch what I say around him, just to avoid an argument. When we are not arguing things seem good. We usually watch TV after work, cook dinner, or his friends come over and hang out. He says he loves me multiple times a day, and kisses me in the morning and before bed, he takes care of me in other ways. He even bought me a new car for Christmas. He says he loves me but doesn’t know how to “express” his love.

To his credit: He says “words are just words” and he tells me I am too sensitive and need to toughen up. He has cut it down incredibly. He is way better then he used to be, and when he does talk down to me he now catches himself and spends the rest of the night apologizing profusely. But he has only been apologizing since I pointed out that I (now) understand that is verbal abuse and it needs to stop, before that he had no problem with it. I always wonder if it could be that all his previous relationships were with a girl who talked that way right back to him, but I am not like that.

Anyways, thank you for reading. I really appreciate it. Sorry to post again so soon… I am just really trying to figure my relationship out before it’s too late, and the last post with everyone’s opinions was so helpful.
posted by amacph10 to Human Relations (135 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
To his credit: He says “words are just words” and he tells me I am too sensitive and need to toughen up.

There is nothing in that entire post that is to his credit. He sounds absolutely awful, and you're 23 years old and you should run far away and never look back.

posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:58 PM on June 15, 2011 [58 favorites]

Also, don't blame yourself.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:59 PM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: ***I forgot to mention***
About 3 months ago, I told him I wasn't happy and was thinking of leaving him. I took a week away from him with no communication to think about things. He said it was completely out of the blue, he thought things were fine, and I crushed him. Since then, our fighting has been worse. He holds it against me that I told him "Our relationship was good-but not great." I really regret saying that because obviously that was a poor choice of words. But I keep telling him, even if was "good" I was not happy. I felt like his last priority, and his last choice of people to spend time with or talk to. So... he acts almost as if he has a right to act this way, because I hurt him.
-I just threw this comment in, because I am always finding a way that it might be okay for him to blame me for everything, as he usually does. Or maybe I am brain-washed now. No clue!
posted by amacph10 at 4:00 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thankyou, sometimes I do blame myself (like I just posted,) but I am trying to see it from a different perspective and not blame myself, though it's hard because I am so used to it.
posted by amacph10 at 4:00 PM on June 15, 2011

I just want to point out that you are perfectly within your rights to be unhappy with a relationship and walk away from it even if it is NOT abusive.

And for what it's worth, this is a relationship I would walk away from. Respect from my partner is a cornerstone of acceptable relationships, not a nice perk that you can try to "work on."
posted by ohsnapdragon at 4:01 PM on June 15, 2011 [15 favorites]

You will get a lot of great responses addressing everything else, so I will just say:

Maybe he does not have the maturity of a 32 year old and if I give him time, things will get better.

My brother is college-aged and is probably one of the least mature people I know, yet I would be stunned if I witnessed him doing any of the awful things you describe your boyfriend doing. Immature is playing video games all day instead of holding a job, not calling your girlfriend a bitch and a cow. It's not that you're boyfriend's immature, it's that he's abusive.
posted by Ashley801 at 4:02 PM on June 15, 2011 [45 favorites]

Please begin the process of safely leaving this relationship as soon as you can. It is not okay, it's not a healthy relationship, you are being heavily manipulated.

Good luck. I promise you will eventually feel better.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:02 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: And, even if this post makes him sound horrible, I keep justifying his actions because the other 5 nights a week/weekends if we don't fight, we have a nice house together, 3 healthy dogs, mutual friends and we seem to have all the ingredients for a relationship to be able to work. We do have fun together during the other times, and I know if I ever needed anything he would be there for me.
posted by amacph10 at 4:02 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, every one of those things is wrong and bad, and he should be called out on them so he doesn't do those again.

If he did one or maybe two of those things, I'd call that a slip up or a bad day, and, if everything else were fine and dandy in the relationship, keep him. But it sounds like this is a long standing pattern and that everything else isn't ok.

His faux kicking you out was not ok.

My advice is to leave him.
posted by Garm at 4:03 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I am beginning to realize that I am SO used to this type of behavior, and it's just unnacceptable. But still, I always, always second guess myself and justify it.
posted by amacph10 at 4:03 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, that sounds abusive. The name-calling, talking down, etc is bad enough.

But this: " (as he points out) I will never find better" is straight up manipulative/controlling, as is the "breakup" and controlling who you can see. He wants you to feel bad every time you do something to "hurt" him, but he doesn't seem ot excpect that to work the other way around. Basically, it's all about him, and he's convinced you that you're somehow the problem, despite the fact that he clearly does not respect you (the language alone is proof of this, as is the idea that he is the best you can do).

On top of all that, you don't get married and then "work" on the relationship. If the relationship needs that level of work _before_ you get married it will only get worse. The right answer in that kind of situation is to break up, not to make a stronger commitment. Things like marriage and having kids never fix problems (as people often hope), they add stress and thus make problems worse.

Age or maturity or whatever is not even the real issue --- the people I knew who pulled htis crap at 16 still pull it as adults, and vice-versa (with few exceptions). Its about whether he respects you and other people, and he does not. DTMFA.

From your update -- just because there are some good times doesn't justify the obvious pain this is causing you. I mean, if your relationship was great 6 days a week but then he broke your arm one day a week, would that be OK? Extreme example but verbal/emotional abuse can be just as bad as physical.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:04 PM on June 15, 2011 [10 favorites]

Response by poster: If anyone else has any similar experiences I would love to hear about them on here or through a message.
posted by amacph10 at 4:05 PM on June 15, 2011

More food for thought: Do you plan to have kids?* Do you relish the idea of telling them, "Before you were born, Daddy used to tell me to "fuck off" and called me a bitch and a cow." I'm of the opinion that if you need to keep secrets about the relationship/your partner in order to not feel ashamed and embarrassed, it is not a good relationship.

*If you don't, just imagine telling a niece, friend, etc. Whoever.
posted by ohsnapdragon at 4:05 PM on June 15, 2011 [16 favorites]

If you have to ask if your relationship is abusive, it's not a good relationship.

No matter his good qualities, you shouldn't ever have to put up with the manipulative crap he's throwing at you. Please get out.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:06 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

It sounds like he is at the very least verbally and emotionally abusive. Leave him. You have your whole life ahead of you.
posted by Andrhia at 4:06 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thankyou... I have to get back to work, but I look forward to reading everyone's comments after. Thanks again, VERY grateful! :)
posted by amacph10 at 4:06 PM on June 15, 2011

but I tend to watch what I say around him, just to avoid an argument.
he tells me I am too sensitive and need to toughen up.

When you have to censor your thoughts and feelings just to keep the peace, it's not a healthy relationship. Whether you want to call it abusive or not, he is not treating you with care or respect. Take it from someone who was once in your shoes, leave now. It does not get better.
posted by goggie at 4:06 PM on June 15, 2011 [15 favorites]

i wish i had more than one favorite to give ohsnapdragon. you don't need a reason to leave, you don't need to define it as abusive. i would also walk away from this relationship.

work with your therapist on identifying how to have a better relationship next time. don't waste your time trying to fix this. as an old 90s r&b song said "you can do bad all by yourself." no reason to stay with someone who treats you like this, even if there are nice times in between.
posted by nadawi at 4:06 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

You are brave for sharing your story in a public forum (even if we do not know "who" you are.

The majority of domestic violence abuse is NOT physical violence. That is a myth that many people believe. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, signs to look for are:

Am I Being Abused?
Does your partner:

* Embarrass you with put-downs?
* Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
* Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
* Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
* Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
* Make all of the decisions?
* Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
* Prevent you from working or attending school?
* Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
* Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
* Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
* Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
* Force you to try and drop charges?
* Threaten to commit suicide?
* Threaten to kill you?

If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions,
you may be in an abusive relationship.

For support and more information please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.

A different perspective with some great comparisons between healthy love and potentially abusive (or unhealthy - the two are different - a relationship can be unhealthy but not abusive) love (it is a website focused on lgbtq folks but the principles apply to all of us):


* letting me express my opinion without fear
* sharing decision making with me
* taking responsibility for your own actions
* respecting me
* encouraging me
* having great, consensual sex with me
* surprising me with affection
* making my life bigger

Don’t show me UNHEALTHY LOVE by…

* isolating me from my friends and family
* trying to control me
* insulting or humiliating me
* threatening to out me
* keeping me from my friends
* controlling how I spend money
* insulting me
* hurting me physically or emotionally
* forcing me to have sex unprotected or when I don’t want to
* making my life smaller

I can't tell you if what you're in is an abusive relationship. You're the only person who can decide that. But what you have shared definitely does not seem healthy and loving, which is what every person should deserve. If you want to talk to people in confidence about this, especially if you choose to end your relationship, I would recommend speaking to a domestic violence advocate or at least a therapist or social worker with domestic violence/dating violence experience. When someone leaves a relationship that is unhealthy, the other person frequently does not respond "well" and there may be a threat of violence. This violence or threat may not occur, but it's always better to be prepared to stay safe. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can refer you to someone in your area.

Trust yourself in this process, please, as many people will have a million opinions on the matter, but ultimately only you can know what is safest and best for you.
posted by anya32 at 4:08 PM on June 15, 2011 [26 favorites]

if we don't fight, we have a nice house together, 3 healthy dogs, mutual friends and we seem to have all the ingredients for a relationship to be able to work.

No. You don't. You have a controlling, angry man who belittles you. A man who respects you and treats you with the respect you deserve is the primary ingredient without which you don't have a relationship. You have an "arrangement," which doesn't work in your favor.
If you were my daughter I'd be helping you move out tonight.
posted by Floydd at 4:08 PM on June 15, 2011 [31 favorites]

Best answer: amacph10, you are in an abusive relationship. I've read two posts from you about this, and just from reading those posts, I can check off for you virtually every item on this list: Am I Being Abused? Abuse doesn't have to mean he's hitting you, and yes, yes you are being abused.

Just so you have a yardstick for reality, I can't tick off a single one of those things for my relationship. Not one. And while my partner is all kinds of awesome, he's not some unobtainable Prince Charming or a superhero or something; he's just an all-around decent human being.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:09 PM on June 15, 2011 [39 favorites]

Some people might disagree with me here, but because everyone has different life experiences I'd almost say that abuse is what you say it is.

Oh, there are clear boundaries that no one should cross in a relationship... and, unfortunately, it sounds like he's "gone there" again and again. Not okay. But there are so many ways for someone to cross another person's comfort threshold, wherever that might be.

Aside from the clear examples of abuse that are instantly recognizable, I'd say that abuse consists of any pattern of behavior in which someone with whom you have a relationship deliberately makes you feel uncomfortable, unstable and/or unsafe. The boundaries for those conditions are up to you, but if your gut tells you that something is wrong, you're probably right.
posted by Madamina at 4:11 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

-calls me a b*tch, a cow, a miserable person, a princess (in a snaky way,) immature, etc.
-tells me to shut the f*ck up, f*ck off, f*ck you, etc.
Sometimes he blames his language on “that’s the way my parents are,” but I don’t see that as an excuse.

It's not. By mentioning his parents, he isn't apologizing, he's making excuses -- and excusing future abuses.

he has punched a few holes in the wall throughout the 2 years, and thrown a drink on the wall, but that was a long time ago.

He will hit you. Or he will make you so afraid that he'll hit you that you'll avoid conflict just to keep him from acting out. In fact, you said you're already starting to do this, so the intimidation strategy is already fully underway.

Just so you have a yardstick for reality, I can't tick off a single one of those things for my relationship. Not one. And while my partner is all kinds of awesome, he's not some unobtainable Prince Charming or a superhero or something; he's just an all-around decent human being.

Just wanted to reinforce this comment. I've never been in a relationship with anyone who acted this way. The people I've known who have been in relationships with people who did these things aren't in them anymore.
posted by hermitosis at 4:14 PM on June 15, 2011 [7 favorites]

(as he points out) I will never find better

Consider the source -- he has a vested interest in you thinking this. Someone who truly loves and respects you would never even think this, let alone say it.
posted by hermitosis at 4:18 PM on June 15, 2011 [26 favorites]

I used to be in a controlling, abusive relationship. After I got out, it was clear as day to me that it was controlling and manipulative, but while I was in it, all I could feel was constant doubt and questioning whether it was a bad relationship. And that's part of the cycle of control in abusive relationships! You are told that you're worthless by your partner who wants to be sure you never feel like you're so worthwhile that you decide to stop putting up with the abuse.

Now I have been in a strong and healthy relationship for almost a year, with a person who never puts me down or yells at me (not once, not even in a 'joking' way, not ever), never tells me what to do, never manipulates me into feeling guilty for having a life outside of him (is excited to hear about the things I do and am passionate about), and shows respect for my thoughts and feelings. These things are not fairytales; they are the way that people who really love and respect you will treat you.
posted by so_gracefully at 4:18 PM on June 15, 2011 [12 favorites]

Bottom line, this man does not act in a way that indicates he respects you as a person. He goes out of his way to make you feel like shit.

You say that he has said he wants to marry you one day. Please don't talk yourself into using that as proof to yourself that he cares about you, and above all do not trap yourself in a life of abuse and misery by marrying this man.
posted by DeusExMegana at 4:19 PM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

He is abusing and manipulating you, and one of the most significant lies he has told you -- whether directly or indirectly -- is that this is just how relationships are.

As others have said, there are millions (literally, millions) of men out there who do not treat their partners this way under any circumstances, ever.

He tells you that you can't do better because he knows you can.
posted by scody at 4:22 PM on June 15, 2011 [35 favorites]

Regardless of whether it's technically abusive, it is not okay. I think you can do better and should try with someone else.
posted by theredpen at 4:26 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, this sounds completely abusive to me.
posted by queens86 at 4:26 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

He's not there for you day-to-day! He's not treating you with respect and kindness, and that is unacceptable. Words may be 'just words' but what you're describing isn't about words, it's about someone deliberately and repeatedly treating you poorly, and doing so knowing that it hurts and upsets you. His words and his actions are demonstrating that he's willing to belittle, intimidate, and manipulate you into staying with him and accepting that his appalling behavior is something that you somehow deserve. This is 100% untrue.

My first serious relationship was with a guy who regularly told me during fights that I was not only wrong (to disagree with him) but stupid, and would 'helpfully' point out my flaws and reasons why it was so generous of him to put up with me, and how, if I just tried a little harder, I could have more friends and be a better person. You know why? Not because he was a bad guy, but because he was insecure, and by manipulating and belittling me he thought he could guarantee that I wouldn't leave him. As scody says on preview, he knows you're too good for him, and he's doing all this to scare you into never finding that out.

And it worked for a while... and I (very, very foolishly) married him, thinking that he'd have to respect me once I was his wife. And what I found out, from doing that, is that if someone tells you (and shows you), repeatedly, that they don't respect you, nothing will change that. Marriage doesn't create respect, it just makes it harder for you to leave.

But! I left, and found out that I actually had a lot of friends, and no one else thought I was stupid or oversensitive or unreasonable or a bitch. I found out that I could do better, and that I could go weeks at a time without crying or having someone tell me I was stupid! I found out what it was like not to be afraid to say what I thought or be myself! And it's much, much, much better.

You don't need to put up with this, you don't deserve it, and you can (and will) be better off out of this relationship.

The behavior that you're describing is abuse. It won't get better until you leave. The sooner you leave, the less long-term damage will be done to you and your mental health. Leave now.
posted by Kpele at 4:27 PM on June 15, 2011 [8 favorites]

Yeah, he's a fucker. Get the hell out of there. (to be blunt).

It will not get better.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:28 PM on June 15, 2011 [7 favorites]

one more way to figure out :
imagine that question here was posted not by you . Someone else wrote it .
Now , read it again . Think about that woman who tell her story . Do you think that because of something all this is her fault , and "she asked for it" ?
posted by Oli D. at 4:29 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Let's say you spend the next 40 years together, assuming normal lifespans for you both. That's 262,800 hours, and you can expect to spend about 65,700 of them awake and at home or at leisure with your significant other. Are you really interested in spending 28% of that time (2 out of 7 days) dealing with this kind of behavior? That's 18,771 hours.

I personally would put my foot down before the first hour was up, but I have a low tolerance for this kind of not-fun.
posted by SMPA at 4:29 PM on June 15, 2011 [6 favorites]

I am about the same age as you, getting married in 2 months. It just breaks my heart that you think you might never find better, or that the ways your boyfriend treats you are normal or even expected. You deserve - and can have - so, so much better.

My fiance has never - not a SINGLE TIME - ever called me any nasty names. He has NEVER insulted me as a person. Like any couple, we occasionally have arguments, but even when we're upset with each other, we reference each others' behavior ("you're being defensive"), never each others' being ("you're a bitch"). Neither of us ever tells the other to shut up or fuck off.

My fiance has never used force or violence to demonstrate anger. He has never threatened to hurt me or leave me for any reason. He never talks down to me. He never makes me feel as though I can't follow my own interests or meet with my friends.

He has NEVER done any of these things in 10 years. NEVER. That's how it is in a healthy relationship.

Your boyfriend is doing many of these things weekly.

Your boyfriend has made you believe that your relationship is normal. He has manipulated you in to thinking that your intuitions are incorrect and your desire for a healthy relationship is inappropriate. He is making you think that because you are young, you can't possibly understand what you want or need. Please, please do not believe him.
posted by Cygnet at 4:32 PM on June 15, 2011 [10 favorites]

The stuff he does to you is chilling. What a despicable piece of shit. For some reason the fact that he's laid up with a broken back while he's abusing you, makes it even more awful. Move on from this low-life ... you can do so much better.
posted by jayder at 4:36 PM on June 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Without a doubt, absolutely, 100%, this is abuse. This man is an abuser and WILL NOT get better. The sooner you can get out, the better. I speak from a lot of experience in abusive relationships (memail me if you want to talk more about it). No matter what else you might think could possibly justify or excuse his behavior, or somehow make it partly your fault, or any thoughts you might have in the hope that you can make him not be an abusive asshole, anyone who does these things is abusive. Period. Things will never get better, I promise you. They will only get worse. Trust your instincts.
posted by Dilemma at 4:36 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

My SO has a back injury that won't heal. On rainy days like today, I expect a little bit of trouble.

She has never done any of the things you describe.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:39 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Blerg. Move on. I can't say I'd personally have any desire to be around a person like that let alone be in a relationship with them.
posted by mleigh at 4:41 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I keep thinking that (as he points out) I will never find better

My verbally abusive ex used to say the same thing. And I believed him, for awhile. But guess what? Once I got up the courage to split with him and after I'd spent some time alone, I found someone way, WAY, WAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY better.
posted by medeine at 4:48 PM on June 15, 2011 [6 favorites]

Not having the maturity of a 32-year-old isn't an excuse for his behavior. So he hurt his back at 25? So what, at 25 you're perfectly capable of being a good, nice person and having a decent relationship.

Being in a relationship and hoping someone will change (even if it's hope of stopping abusive behavior) is unrealistic. He is not going to change. He is not going to stop. Imagine yourself in this position a year from now, 5 years from now, a decade from now. Is that where you want to be? Because if not, you need to get out. Now.

And get your friends to help because you should not be in that house alone with him if he finds out you are leaving.
posted by daysocks at 4:52 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I keep thinking that (as he points out) I will never find better

You're right. You won't find better, unless you do as every one is suggesting, and dump him. Please do it before it's too late. You have everyone's support here.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 4:55 PM on June 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

3 years ago I finally left the most charming and manipulative asshole I'd ever met. If you hadn't put the age there, I might have thought they were one and the same. My heart breaks reading your posts when I see myself in them. I want to scream and beg and plead with you to not make my mistakes. I knew after 2 years with him that he wasn't treating me well and I married him anyhow because I believed him when he told me I couldn't do better. 2 years after that I believed no one would ever want me, I'd lost all of my friends, and I had to completely start my life over, this time $20,000 in debt.

To this day, leaving him is the best decision I've ever made. The person I met after him treats me with respect at all times. More importantly, i know now that I am worthy of respect. You are too.

I understand, it is a scary prospect to start over. It's hard to get the outside perspective when you are in the middle of it. It took me 2 years to get up the nerve to leave and I wish I'd known how much better it could be. Please feel free to memail me if you need to talk to someone who has been there.
posted by Zophi at 4:57 PM on June 15, 2011 [9 favorites]

He holds it against me that I told him "Our relationship was good-but not great." I really regret saying that because obviously that was a poor choice of words.

He talks down to you, calls you names, and is contemptuous of you when the two of you disagree about something--but this is a poor choice of words? Calling you a bitch or a cow, telling you to fuck off or to shut the fuck up--those represent a poor choice of words and are abusive. Saying, "I'm having mixed feelings about our relationship, I feel like it's good but not great," is honest communication and not something a partner should hold against you.

The appropriate response to your saying you were unhappy and thought that the relationship wasn't great would be to have an honest discussion about what was making you unhappy, talk about strategies for improving the relationship, consider whether it was time to end the relationship, talk about whether he's happy in the relationship, etc. That's what happens in a healthy relationship when one person says, "I'm not satisfied." It doesn't matter if you didn't phrase it perfectly.
posted by Meg_Murry at 4:58 PM on June 15, 2011 [9 favorites]

I've been in an unhealthy relationship. If I ever tried (in a respectful, constructive way) to discuss a problem I had with that guy's treatment of me (expressing contempt towards me, comparing me disfavorably to other women, putting me down, making selfish sexual demands, making me his last priority) he would always, ALWAYS make the conversation about me: my feelings were the problems, I was a bitch, I was being mean to him, I was overreacting, I "should have known" that he meant something other than what I had understood him to mean, etc.

This is an unacceptable dynamic. Whether the problem in your relationship is big (abuse) or small, you need to know that you're with a partner who will not attack you when you come to him with a problem. The image you should have is you and your partner, hand in hand, facing the world together. Pain is going to come into your life. Illness, death, economic struggles, fights with friends, no one escapes these. You want the certainty that when trouble comes, your partner will support you. Not use you as a punching bag. Not attack you for expressing difficult feelings or opinions. Not undermine you. Not make you feel more alone. Not make you doubt yourself.

Don't get hung up on words. Is this abuse? Is that abuse? Ultimately, it doesn't matter. This is what matters:

You deserve, and you can find, a partner who will not let go of your hand no matter what comes. You deserve, and you can, feel safe and loved every single day.
posted by prefpara at 4:58 PM on June 15, 2011 [18 favorites]

You could stay with him while he 'works on his issues'. I tried that, for 7 long years. The final straw was when our toddler was sitting on my lap, her father had a bad day at work and needed to take it out on someone. He stalked in, screamed abuse at me about what a bad mother I am, and then fractured my wrist by bending it back to make me let go of our daughter. He still denies inflicting physical abuse on me, claiming that "I made him do it". I tiptoed around on eggshells for years, terrified that something would set him off in a rage.

Don't take this shit. You don't deserve it. It's far better to be happily single than in a fucked-up relationship, believe me.

Leave. Now. Today.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:02 PM on June 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

You are wasting your youth and vitality on an emotional parasite. Parasites eventually will kill or do irreparable damage to their host. Leave.
posted by jadepearl at 5:03 PM on June 15, 2011 [17 favorites]

I was in a nasty relationship & have posted about it before. So first I want to say, been there, done that and this guy is treating you like shit. You deserve better.

But, ho! He says you can't do better! And I want to address that too because I am currently single. In fact, I may be single a long while yet (because now I know to wait for something worth having. I'm patient.) And you know what? Being alone is still a zillion times better! You know what my single ass did last weekend? Hung out at chic restaurants and groovy bars with my pals in Vegas (really). IT ROCKED. And you will have more fun , meet more cool people, and grow and change into an even better person than you are now if you get rid of this crap relationship.

Last, I want to address your point about there being good times. Well, yeah. If he was an ass 100% of time there would be no relationship. You'd have left already. Abusive relationships are so insidious because abusive jerks yank your chain by mixing in the fun & sweet with the unacceptable bullshit. And he is giving you loads of BS.

Work with your therapist; be string; and get on with your fabulous life!
posted by pointystick at 5:07 PM on June 15, 2011 [12 favorites]

God, he's awful. DTMFA. And yes, you will find better -- and the sooner you get away from this jerk, the sooner you will find someone better.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:08 PM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

What I see is a laundry-list of deal-breakers that seem more likely to get worse, not better, with time.
posted by bunji at 5:08 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

My husband has a history of temper. There's a hole in one of our interior doors where he punched it after it rebounded off a bouncy ball into his foot, for example. And once or twice, in the drama-filled early days of our relationship, he did say something along the lines of "Why are you being such a fucking bitch?"

Never once has he called me a cow or a princess, or deployed hostile and violent language in the horrifyingly casual way you describe. And when I told him that I didn't like being in a relationship like this, he said "Yeah, me either," and went to counseling with me for two years. He didn't tell me I'd never find anyone better and fake-break up with me to teach me a lesson.

So, from someone who saw a relationship through the resolution of some dealbreaker issues and ended up married to the perfect man for me. . . what you describe doesn't really give me the warm fuzzies. In your description of your partner, I see someone who is more interested in being right than in making you happy and treating you with respect. That's not someone you want to be with when the chips come down; that's not someone you want to grow old with or raise children with. If you really love him and think he really loves you, then it might, MIGHT, be worth it to move out and pursue couples counseling while living apart. But if he doesn't react well to that idea? I hate to say this, but DTMFA.
posted by KathrynT at 5:14 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Some couples can withstand name calling in fights and stuff like that. I don't, so for me, that would be abusive.

he got home he told me wasn’t serious and was just doing this to get through to me, to show me that unless I stop being a “b*tch” I am going to have to leave

This is completely manipulative. I also remember your last post, and the part where he twists your snooping against you is very manipulative too. Yes, you did wrong, but he's blaming you for his behavior to the point that you ended up as the bad guy, when he was the one breaking a compromise you both had agreed on.

Even if you don't consider that as abusive behavior, it's sounds like a pretty crappy relationship. Life is too short for that.
posted by clearlydemon at 5:16 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Abusive? Yeah. He's in the running for Asshole of the Year. (And that's saying something with Muammar Gadaffi as competition.)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 5:23 PM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Please LEAVE HIM NOW. Every time you've had a concern or an impulse to leave, YOU WERE RIGHT. He is an abuser: it's only been verbal/emotional abuse so far, but if you stay, he WILL hit you, I guarentee it.

You are not a bitch, not stupid, not a cow, not miserable, and not immature; "words are only words" if he had only said any of those insults ONCE in the two years you've been together, but his repetion is one of the prime signs of a controlling abuser. Heck, he hits EVERY SINGLE ITEM on the 'is this an abuser?' checklists!

Please, leave immediately. Don't warn him, just call in three or four of your friends to help you and get out of there now.
posted by easily confused at 5:25 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh, and his bit about "you can't do better" than him?!? Hah! You can EASILY do better!
posted by easily confused at 5:26 PM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Ive read your past posts and most people have pointed out you have a shitty relationship and don't deserve this.

You need to Get The Fuck Out! Seriously, this is not normal nor healthy and you deserve better.

Also do you and your therapist a favor and print up/bring these questions you've posted.
posted by handbanana at 5:29 PM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

Just nthing everyone else: this relationship is certainly verbally and mentally abusive. (Some people would even consider him punching the wall as physical abuse.)

I very much hope you end the relationship, and end it cleanly.

If you need someone to talk to, bounce ideas off of, or need practical support, please memaill me. I've been there.
posted by Specklet at 5:29 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am: -Breaching our trust in the relationship, have admitted to him that I’ve looked through his phone (only to find evidence of him talking to his ex gf) and have been talking to a guy I have developed feelings for (but only as friends, and have made that clear to him.)

amacph10, I want to address this because I brought it up in my comment to your first post. I should have been clearer about what I meant. I don't think going through his phone and developing feelings for another guy, even if they were romantic feelings, makes you a bad person.

I do think that if you were in a relationship that was positive for you, you wouldn't feel the need to do those things. You wouldn't be worried about who your partner was texting or thinking that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. You would be happy and fulfilled.

You sound like a great person, who has her shit together and wants to grow and develop as a person in her romantic relationships and wants her partner to grow and develop as a person. This guy doesn't deserve you, and you absolutely can do better.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 5:30 PM on June 15, 2011 [6 favorites]

I don't know you, or know anything about you besides what you wrote above, but I am horrified that this man is treating you this way. This is an unacceptable way for one human being to treat another human being, let alone his significant other.

It sounds like this guy has really been successful in his attempts to lower your confidence to keep you with him. What a douche. I really liked Oli D's idea of reading this as if someone else wrote it. Your sister. Your friend. Your daughter. Can you imagine anyone you know deserving this kind of guy? Would you tell anyone you know that this can be worked on and that it could possibly get better?

You don't need this guy. Like others have said, being single would be "better off" than being with someone who is going to continue chipping away at your self-worth. You don't need to fix him, and you don't need to spend one single second more thinking about whether or not the relationship is worth it in the long haul or whether or not his behavior will change.

What will happen if you leave him? I guess it's possible that you'll never find true love and you'll be single and miserable forever, like this d-bag wants you to think. It's much, MUCH more likely (trust me, I am super good at math!) that you will have the same sense of relief that others have described, and with time, will move on to some way better relationships.
posted by violetish at 5:33 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sorry, that sounds terrible. The name-calling during arguments is bad enough. His trying to keep you from spending time with your friends, and making you think for two days that he was breaking up with you, are especially bad.

He really sounds like a miserable person. You are just there to be a verbal punching bag for him when he feels like lashing out at somebody, whether he realizes this or not. I wouldn't be surprised if his back injury plays a part in it, but that is no excuse for treating you like shit. If he wants to stop being awful to you and really wants that to change, he should see a therapist who will help him work on the problem.

But, you are 23. You are still young and in a great position to get out and focus on making a life for yourself without this guy dragging you down. The age gap isn't a red flag in and of itself, but until you've experienced what a non-abusive relationship is like, you will never know the feeling. It's an amazing difference. You will be amazed at how smoothly things go, that you can discuss things without the other person flipping out on you, that, even when you do something that upsets them, they don't call you names. Yes, you can do better than this.
posted by wondermouse at 5:36 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Think of the best girlfriend you have, or of a beloved sister, or of your imaginary twin. Now think of him doing and saying these things to her.

What do you think she should do?

(In case you are having trouble, let me put it this way. Why do you think YOU should have to put up with this stuff? Don't you deserve better? )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:36 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Run, run like the wind. Pack your stuff and go. Change your phone number, because he will come after you, bad back or not. Go to a woman's shelter if you have nowhere else to go.
Yes, he's abusive. His back is not your fault. His temper or lack of control thereof is not your fault.
Go now, don't chat about it, just go.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:45 PM on June 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Please leave. Please please leave.
posted by Space Kitty at 5:53 PM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

I hope you don't need another person to tell you to leave, but I think you should. Your last post made me really sad.

Its really hard to leave a relationship, no matter how bad it is, and when you do you may feel sad or miss him and that is ok. Breaking up is always hard and its ok to feel bad about leaving the good parts of this relationship - that's normal. What isn't normal is being treated like this.

A person who respects you and doesn't call you names who wants to spend time with you and wants you to be happy is the baseline for a good relationship. If you don't have those things no matter how great things are its not a relationship you should be in.

You sound like a really nice, caring person and I hope you get out and find someone better so you know this isn't how a relationship should be.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 6:06 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

All I can do is add to the chorus saying to leave now. It's clearly a bad situation and you should get out sooner rather than later.
posted by Forktine at 6:18 PM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

He treats you this way because he doesn't really like you, but he's too much of a coward to just leave. He resents you and his decisions and probably doesn't like his life very much. This is why he lashes out and abuses you. You are the only thing in his life on which he can take out this anger because no boss or friend would put up with it for more than six hours.

You know it is abusive, and you know you should leave him sooner or later.

Talk to your therapist, and tell her that you are in an abusive relationship, but you aren't sure how to be on your own yet.
posted by General Tonic at 6:28 PM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

OK, now I've had a bit of a cry I can hopefully be a bit more help.

Why did this make me cry? Because relationships don't have to be like this. All that hateful, hurtful shit some people do and then try to call love isn't normal, healthy or the way most people treat each other.

Your boyfriend has tried to make you think it's your fault he acts this way. Please realize there's nothing you could do differently to make him treat you better. He deliberately does these awful things to manipulate you. It's not your fault, you don't deserve this and it's not anything you can control. (Other than controlling your exposure to it.)

You have to believe there is better out there. And yes, sometimes better means alone but if that's what it takes to keep you* from ever having to live through this again - alone is pretty fucking awesome.


Somebody who should have listened at 23

*Or your daughter. Ask me how much that sucks.
posted by Space Kitty at 6:29 PM on June 15, 2011 [15 favorites]

Just to add to the crowd:

I'm a regular guy. My male friends are regular guys. Not one of us (in public for certain, and I'd bet my life the same goes for in private as well) has ever done any of the things your boyfriend does. We'd never call a girlfriend a bitch or cow, we'd never tell her to shut up, we'd never tell her she can't do any better, and we'd never tell her to fuck off.

We're not unique. You can absolutely expect to be treated with respect and love in a relationship, and you absolutely deserve it.
posted by twirlypen at 6:43 PM on June 15, 2011 [16 favorites]

You've gotten lots of good advice already, but I just wanted to add that "he says we have the rest of our lives to work on this" gave me the chills. The rest of your life to be called names, kept from your friends, made to feel like shit in general? Think about it, is that what you really want? Call your brother, get him to help you move out tomorrow.
posted by yarly at 6:57 PM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

This is abusive, DTMFA

To his credit: He says “words are just words” and he tells me I am too sensitive and need to toughen up.

This is not to his credit! Words are powerful. They get inside your head. He's already got you unsure if clearly abusive things he says are OK or not. They're not OK.

I don't really understand why being alone is worse than being around this person. It seems like being around this person frankly just sucks. I don't get it. You're 23. Don't waste your 20's being in a relationship with someone who is mean to you. Not being in a relationship is not that bad. Better than being called names and told to f*ck off. If someone talks to me like that, I don't care who it is, they can f*ck right off out of my life forever and good riddance! Why would you want him to be in it for the long run? That sounds like a living hell! If I were you I wouldn't want him to be in it for one more day.

My experience has been, if someone is nice 9/10 of the time and the other 1/10, mean, abusive, unpredictable, and say nasty things to you.. as time goes on, it sucks to be around the person 10/10 of the time because you have to be on your guard constantly, never knowing when Mr/Mrs Hyde will show up. Luckily, it's a free country and you are free not to be in a relationship with someone who behaves this way.
posted by citron at 7:02 PM on June 15, 2011 [9 favorites]

My friend was married to a guy like this. He'd be awesome for 4 or 5 days, then they'd argue and he'd call her names and be a jerk, then he'd apologize profusely... and she thought this was how relationships went.

Until he threw her cat at the wall.
posted by desjardins at 7:15 PM on June 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Other things to think about:

Do you feel comfortable asserting yourself and speaking your mind in this relationship? It doesn't sound like it to me. You sound like a smart and thoughtful person, and it's a shame he doesn't let you display that because he has caused you to be afraid of angering him. It's very easy for people to end up wrapped up in relationships that are not particularly healthy. Often it's because they're afraid of being alone, and other times it's because they feel like the good outweighs the bad. Do you really feel like the good outweighs the bad here?

I've said this before in relationship threads here - only you can decide what you're willing to put up with. It does not sound to me like you are happy in this relationship. This is not one of those cases where your feelings are just a bad state of mind that you should work on fixing so you can be a better girlfriend to him, which I'm getting the impression you wonder about sometimes, if it's your fault he treats you the way he does.

It's pretty easy to get defensive when people who don't know him tell you to leave him, to feel bad for the person you're with even though you know he's hurting you (physically or emotionally), and to not want to cause him pain. It's easy to hear everyone screaming at you to break up with him and to automatically recoil and try to keep putting up with him because most of the time it isn't that bad, even though you can't see your friends without worrying he's going to throw it in your face later, or you can't clean his freaking house without worrying he's going to berate you in front of his parents when you request that he try to help you keep it clean.

Realize that when he tells you you couldn't do better, it's because HE is afraid of being alone, of not having anyone to take his anger out on and to have to deal with the shame and pain of being dumped and being alone again. He manipulates you into staying with him by making you feel worthless. It is not because he truly believes you could not find a man who would treat you better.
posted by wondermouse at 7:20 PM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

Here are the three questions that helped me see the light when I was in an abusive relationship:

1. How do you feel about yourself right now?
2. How did you feel about yourself before this relationship?
3. What changed?
posted by burntflowers at 7:36 PM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

RUN. Everything said above.
I married a guy like that (actually, not quite as bad ... at first) when I was 23. He was 35. We had three kids. I didn't have much of a life. He broke my back. Hurt my kids. They begged me to leave. I froze and couldn't. Finally I got in therapy, had supportive online friends, and 15 years later, got out. He got what should have/could have been the best years of my life. That was 15 years ago. I spent half of that single, now am with the most wonderful, caring, absolutely non-abusing in every way, man.
Don't be me. Listen to the warnings and see those red flags waving for what they are. You will be happier. And your future children will be too.
posted by batikrose at 8:21 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

This is textbook abusive; that question is easy.

I don't have much to add to this long thread in terms of advice, but you asked for past experience stories, so I'll link to a few that I've shared. If you have any questions or just want to chat, feel free to memail. Here is one comment where I linked to most of the personal stories I've shared on AskMe about my own relationship. I talk a little more about what it took for me to leave it here (you might check out the AskMe that that MeTa was about). And here is, I don't know, I guess a description of how I'd protect myself during an abusive event. All those threads have a lot of good comments from others.

It's not easy to get out of these situations. You're really smart and headed in the right direction by getting yourself in therapy. This is the kind of situation where professional advice is well worth it. Good luck. Let us know how we can help.
posted by salvia at 11:08 PM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was in a relationship that, although it didn't look exactly like yours, was abusive. It was a long slow process getting to a point where I was ready to leave. We had been together for 15 years, have two kids. But getting to the decision was the hard part. Once I saw what needed to be done and then found the strength to do it, the rest was much easier. Not easy. Just easier.

Now I'm in a relationship with a man who is kind, supportive, loving, and well, he's the opposite of abusive. Had I known that it was possible for love to feel this way, I never would have stayed in my marriage for as long as I did. I thought the abuse was normal. THERAPY WAS A GODSEND!

You can do this. You can get out. One day this guy will be far away from you and you will wonder why you stayed as long as you did. You will be free. You will be happy. You will be loved.
posted by madred at 12:08 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Please leave. Please.

I've been in this relationship too. I was in it for 8 years. 7 and a half years in, I thought just like you did; that my boyfriend had never hit me. He'd done everything yours has done so far (really, it's eery reading it, but as others have said, this is textbook abuse).

Then, one day, we were at the supermarket. Like you, most of the time he was okay. He'd been okay for a few days. I picked up some ketchup. "You fat cow!" he told 5'11", 130-pound me (I was pretty thin then, because he made me ask for money, criticized my receipts line-by-line, and scoffed at every stinking thing I cooked. That was also the reason I ended up telling him to just come shopping with me so our food choices would be mutual). I put the ketchup in the cart. "You are NOT buying ketchup!! It will make you fatter!!" I looked at him and sighed, then said, "come on, I use ketchup all the time." He slapped me. In public. People witnessed it.

I left him not long after. It was the best thing I've ever done, despite losing everything but the clothes on my back (I've told the story before on MeFi, that part's less pertinent aside from the VERY important advice to plan better than I did... do what you can to get your things out of the place before breaking up). I was single and poor, very poor for 2 years, then single and financially safe for another 4 years, until finally meeting a great guy this last December. Those 6 years single were like heaven. Even when I was poor. At the beginning I got tears in my eyes when I'd go shopping for food because I could pick things and know that no one would belittle me for it. Now I've owned my own place for a few years, and I still have times when I just come home, pick up my purring furball and look at my home, and am immensely grateful for the peace and love (kitty is a sweetheart).

I slowly regained my confidence, sense of humor, creativity (it had been squashed out of me by the erosive insults and constant effort of trying to figure out how to please my ex), energy, and love for life. I wish I'd left him earlier.

Please leave. He won't get better. My ex also did the thing where he toned down a bit, but it only made his outbursts increasingly violent. But that too is part of the cycle of abuse.
posted by fraula at 1:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]

Even if this isn't 'abusive' - which many feel it very much is, myself included - the point is that YOU ARE NOT HAPPY. You sound, frankly, miserable. And you don't need to be.
posted by mippy at 3:42 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

Even though he is 32, I feel like he missed a big part of his life (25-32)

If you stay with him you are going to be missing a large chunk of your life too.
posted by futz at 5:31 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I started to highlight the things he does that are emotionally / verbally abusive....but sweetie, I'd have had to repost your entire question.

Run, don't walk. Don't tell him, don't justify it, don't promise to be friends and be there for him. Just get out.
posted by motsque at 5:50 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

Other people have covered the abuse topic and I'm just going to add that when you're in a relationship if you don't feel good most of the time, it's not right. Relationships are work and sometimes you go through rough patches, but strong, healthy relationships help you feel like a better person. They make you stronger, not weaker. They contribute to your sense of well-being, they don't take away from it.

Leave. Grieve. Figure out who you are. Learn how to not settle for anything less than someone who appreciates you for who you are. Decide that being alone is better than being treated like crap.
posted by Kimberly at 6:51 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

This man does not respect you as a human being and does not deserve your companionship, let alone your hard work or care.

Relationships do not have to be this way and you are too young to throw your life away on someone who does not value it.

Please leave. You deserve better.
posted by noxetlux at 7:38 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

His behavior is disgusting and abusive. It's also the sort of abuse that gets worse over time. As everyone above has said you should get out. Do you have family or friends nearby that you can stay with? Do you need help getting out? Probably every mefite near you would be willing to help - I see that your profile doesn't list a location. No one should live with being belittled, sworn at and treated with such disrespect and unkindness. Think forward - is this someone you'd want to have kids with? To live with for years of this kind of abuse? From your previous post you've done a lot for this guy and he certainly doesn't seem to appreciate any of it. Leave now before you get further entwined and it's harder to get out.
posted by leslies at 7:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I got about a quarter of the way through your post before concluding that you need to leave your apartment today, and never speak to your boyfriend again.

Find a friend with a couch to sleep on tonight, pack all of your stuff up in boxes, change your phone number, and never talk to this guy ever again. Run, and don't look back. Life is too short to waste on creeps like this.
posted by schmod at 7:49 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, honey. I know that it seems like a huge, impossible amount of painful work, to extract yourself from this relationship in which your lives are enmeshed. It seems like it would be easier to just stay put and try to make it work. But trust me, and everyone else telling you to leave: It is not impossible, and it will never be easier than it is now. You can do the work of leaving now, or in 5 years when you're even more miserable and have lost touch with even more of your friends. Do it now. You CAN do it. People do it every day. It sucks, but once you're back on your own, living YOUR life and taking care of yourself, you'll see just how much it was worth it.
posted by chowflap at 7:54 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have been married for 11 1/2 years and been with the man for 19 years. My husband by no means walks on water or has sunshine and rainbows falling from his ass and we have had crises in our marriage throughout the years including MAJOR injuries and major depression but it would be over in a hot second if he ever:

1. Called me any name at all as an insult
2. Told me to fuck off
3. Told me I'd never find better
4. Made me feel like something I said to him in trust would be used against me in the future.

You can find a person who treats you with the respect and kindness you deserve. This isn't love, it's manipulation.

posted by Sophie1 at 8:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

One question:

If your (imaginary) daughter came to you with this description of her relationship, what would you tell her?

Follow your own advice.

Nthing all of the above answers. He will WILL WILL start to hit you. Don't be there for that.

posted by Ginesthoi at 8:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Do it NOW and do not wait.

I was married...I did not find the courage to leave until I had a medical issue come about. This was after years of emotional abuse and some physical. I realized that there was no way I wanted to take care of that asshole when he got old, which really, I would do for almost anyone decent. He had been so hateful and abusive over the years, but it took that incident to make me get out.

Now our divorce is almost final, you have to wait a year where I live. And the lawyers have cost me a fortune, but it doesn't matter. I am absolutely GIDDY with happiness most days. I did not even realize how miserable I was, day to day. I would retreat from him as soon as I could, to keep from arguing with him. At one point, a therapist said I had PTSD from dealing with him. Do not let that happen to you!

Love yourself, get OUT!
posted by allpaws at 8:34 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Abusive or not, why would you stay when you are unhappy, and have been for some time? This guy is taking advantage of the fact that you are kind-hearted and young. There are many people with chronic pain and/or crummy family dynamics that do not use it as an excuse to belittle other people. Being single is far better than being with this guy. I absolutely mean it- just imagine not having to take care of someone who treats you like crap, but instead getting the freedom to do all the things you'd like to do for yourself, with no judgment.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Hi everyone... WOW. Thankyou so much for your comments, I've read them all twice and took them all to heart. I had my last straw last night (after reading all your comments.) I came home after work, asked him if he wanted dinner- no he just wanted to sleep on the couch because his back hurt from work. I left him there all night, come 12:30 AM he gets up and makes such a racket and wakes me up. I told him he has no respect for my sleep (because he always does this,) and how I have to wake up for work in the morning too. Well he told me I needed to learn when to shut up, and that I am being a b*tch, and all I do is b*tch,b*tch,b*tch, and wouldn't talk to me this morning still... I told him I was done last night, and I plan on moving out tomorrow night after work.
I will post on how that goes. To answer your the question about my location, yes I come from a small town on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
Luckily, I haven't isolated myself from my friends yet, I still text them everyday, and they are very supportive. I have the best close friends anyone could ask for and I'm very lucky, I know any of them would drop what they were doing to help me move.
I saved this page of the internet on my Iphone, and when I have doubts, or begin to feel maniuplated again- I am just going to read this! Over and over and over again.
I stumbled upon this site through google, and knew immediatly I had to join. I sat on my situation for a week (until I could post my first question) and the answers I received have been the most helpful ones of my whole life.
Thanks so much everyone, I will message those of you who said I could if I need any more guidance. I do feel guilty about leaving him, but I am almost giddy to be able to enjoy my summer and to focus on me.
I will post soon to update everyone. I am going to be sleeping at my Mum's until I can find a place of my own.
posted by amacph10 at 10:32 AM on June 16, 2011 [43 favorites]

I am almost giddy to be able to enjoy my summer and to focus on me.

It almost makes me giddy just to read about it and it's not even my summer :D
posted by Ashley801 at 11:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [11 favorites]

Late to the post but VERY happy to hear you are leaving. Please be careful when you move out and get someone (hopefully large and burly) to accompany you. Abusers tend to escalate their abuse when their partners are ex escalated to physical abuse when he knew I was leaving. Prior to that, it was mostly emotional and verbal abuse (and as bad as it was, it was not as bad as what you have described).

But I am very relieved to hear you are regaining your life is wonderful to be able to live without walking on eggshells all of the time. Enjoy your freedom from chaos, antagonism, uncertainty, craziness and pain. You will one day wonder how you put up with even an hour of his crap....seriously.

And FWIW, I am now married to a wonderful man and have a lovely son together. Like all of the posters above, he hasn't even remotely done anything like what you have described even once in our long relationship. There are lots of gems out there if you are open to finding one...good luck and be careful.
posted by murrey at 11:36 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

I am having a horrid week but your update made it better. I'm so glad you are choosing happiness.
posted by desjardins at 11:54 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I hadn't responded yet, but I've been thinking about you, and I kept wanting to say something that hadn't been said a hundred times before. I'm so happy for your update.

Please do have your friends with you when you move.

Welcome back to your own life.
posted by endless_forms at 2:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

You marvelous woman! Hang in there and remember to pull in every friend resource you can find (especially tomorrow night when you leave).
posted by prettypretty at 3:25 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm so glad to hear this. Yes, do have your friends with you to help you move out, the more men the better. He may not take you seriously, he might cuss you out the whole time, he may become threatening, or he may suddenly get all apologetic and beg you to stay. No matter how he responds, stay strong, you can get through this. :) You will feel so much better once you're out of there and you see how much of the world opens up to you.
posted by wondermouse at 4:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

That's wonderful!

(In my comment above, I mentioned having three or four friends helping you move out: please do, they'll help you remove your stuff AND will help run interference when he tries (physically or emotionally) to block your leaving. It's best if, once he knows you're leaving, that you do NOT spend any time alone with him.)
posted by easily confused at 4:56 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am SUPER PROUD of you!

Please update us and let us know how moving out went, but mostly please let us know you are safe at your mom's.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Hugs! Put me on your memail list. I wish you the best and am rooting for you! Be safe.
posted by futz at 8:31 PM on June 16, 2011

I just checked back to see if there was an update and was thrilled to see your post. I'm so happy that you've made this decision! You are obviously a thoughtful, caring, smart woman and I know that there are wonderful things ahead for you. You should be so proud of yourself for making this decision and for doing what's best for you and for those who truly do care about you (a bunch of us on this and your last thread would fall in that category). Keep safe and don't be shy about relying on others for a while. It's so hard to leave any relationship, let alone one that shakes your own self-confidence. Stay safe and keep taking gentle care of yourself. We're all pulling for you.
posted by goggie at 5:58 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Good for you for seeing through the BS. :)
posted by oneirodynia at 7:59 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Well done you. Your life will be immeasurably better without that wanker in it.
posted by dmt at 10:54 AM on June 17, 2011

First off, good for you for leaving. I don't know you, but I'm so proud of you.

Secondly, if you don't have someone large and burly to accompany you when you move out, as murrey suggested, please know that you can request an officer from your local police station to accompany you to "keep the peace".

Don't feel requesting this service is an imposition. I have friends in the VPD and they told me, when I was in a similar situation, that they'd rather be there from the start to keep the peace while you move out than be called there to stop an assault in progress if things go sideways.
posted by burntflowers at 4:28 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hi everyone. I just wanted to give an update: Last night (Friday,) I was prepared to move out. I had packed up a bit of my things after work and he had no idea. He came home with 12 red roses, my favorite ice-cream, and my favorite dinner. He told me that he just got paid and it lifted alot of stress for him, and that he was sorry for how he had been acting and was going to keep working on it. I hung out with him last night and watched tv. Then, this morning, I broke up with him. I've never felt so bad in my entire life. I hadn't told him I was planning on moving out, so when he woke up he was going to take me to our local farmers market (I always ask him to go,) well.. I just feel horrible. He had tears in his eyes and told me he would always be there for me and despite the fact that he is trying he told me I had an open invitation to come back anytime and that he's always there to talk to. I'm now at my mums house with all of my things here, this is the hardest thing Ive ever done. I feel like he is really going to change but I still made myself move out and I'm completely freaking out and doubting myself. I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for days. Am I supposed to feel this way? Did I do the right thing?
posted by amacph10 at 11:22 AM on June 18, 2011

Yes, you did the right thing.

Giving yourself some time will really help. You'll get to remember what it's like not to have to censor yourself, not to have to walk on eggshells to avoid his temper.

You'll get to remember what it's like not to have someone belittling you.

This is the perfect time to take really good care of yourself and treat yourself to time with people who respect you. Having some down time by yourself may be really healing, but lots of time with friends who treat you well and make you feel good about yourself is important, too.

Can you talk to your therapist this weekend?

Like everyone else on this thread, I am so proud of you for moving yourself to a safer place. We're sending you hugs and reassurance.

You will be FINE - and please take a moment to re-read the answers from people who broke up with emotionally abusive people. Really take in their comments about how much better their lives are.

Imagine yourself feeling wonderful, secure, self-assured, HAPPY.

That's where you're heading now, because you were brave and because you were strong enough to do the right thing for yourself.
posted by kristi at 11:42 AM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Also, while you're processing things today - make a list of all the things you've been wanting to do, but haven't done: like going to the farmer's market. Can you still get to the farmer's market today or tomorrow?

Do things you've been wanting to do. Take some time to think about what's important to you, what's fun for you, what makes you feel good. Identify nice things you can do every day (a hot bath or a strong cup of tea or a walk to the park). Do at least one or two of those things EVERY DAY.

And don't hesitate to lean on your mom and your friends for support. They know this is hard for you, and they want to help.
posted by kristi at 11:47 AM on June 18, 2011

Good for you! You definitely did the right thing. A couple of gestures after you told him it was over can't change who he's been (someone who treated you very badly) throughout the course of your relationship.
posted by J. Wilson at 11:51 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

He came home with 12 red roses, my favorite ice-cream, and my favorite dinner.

Ugh. Seriously, it is one of the biggest manipulative abuser cliches ever to do something like that. Take a look at the Cycle of Abuse:

- The cycle of episodic abuse begins with a major abusive behavior such as loud verbal abuse, screaming and/or verbal harassment and even a threat of physical assault.
- A period of remorse follows. The abusive individual will go to great lengths to seek forgiveness and offer assurances that the abusive behavior will never occur again. An abusive spouse may bring flowers or expensive gifts. “Oh honey, you know that I would never hurt you. I am so sorry. You know how much I need you." An abusive husband may seek reassurance from his wife that she will never leave him.

Also, just look at what he said. He DIDN'T say: "I have been severely verbally and emotionally abusive to you, I accept 100% responsibility for it, I am entering an abuser program today to ensure that I NEVER abuse anyone else again, and you never deserved any of it. I don't blame you if you leave.

He said:

He told me that he just got paid and it lifted alot of stress for him,

"It's not my fault or responsibility. I can't/shouldn't be held responsible for my actions because I was stressed, and low on money." This also implies that you should expect him to be abusive again the next time he's stressed and lacks money.

and that he was sorry for how he had been acting... That's cheap and empty without acknowledging the severity of his actions, taking 100% responsibility for them vs 0% like he did, and making a serious plan to change them. So he's not REALLY sorry for what he did, he just wants you to get over this.

... and was going to keep working on it. Lots of abusers promise to "never do it again," and he's not even promising that!!! "I'll work on it" means "you should expect that it'll happen again, and again, except then you will need to be even more understanding since I'm "working on it.""

He had tears in his eyes Wow, he had tears in his eyes when he was losing what HE wanted. Where were the tears when he was causing a ton of pain and anguish to you? Oh right, that was the time when you needed to "learn when to shut up."

He seriously disgusts me. Stay strong and don't fall for the games.
posted by Ashley801 at 11:51 AM on June 18, 2011 [20 favorites]

And you know, I think it's also really telling that with the farmer's market thing -- he never went with you when it was just your desires not being met. It's only when one of his desires is at stake that he suddenly places importance on going.
posted by Ashley801 at 11:55 AM on June 18, 2011

WOOOOOHOOOOO! You kick ass! You totally did it!! You created a good plan, and then -- even with all these new surprises -- you carried it out! You should feel so proud of yourself! You deserve every ounce of freedom and fun you have this summer!
posted by salvia at 12:11 PM on June 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Aw honey... yeah, you feel miserable right now, and that's totally normal. What isn't normal is the way he's treated you for two years, and that --- I guarentee it! --- would never improve unless & until he admits how terribly he's treated you, and had gotten intensive therapy for. Which he certainly did not and will not, because to him, nothing is his fault.

Please do not fall for his lies: as Ashles801 says, he had tears in his eyes when he was losing what HE wanted. Where were the tears when he was causing a ton of pain and anquish to you? Oh right, that was the time when you needed to "learn to shut up."

Stay strong! You're already through the hardest parts: living under his abuse and walking out with your head up, and you've made us all proud!
posted by easily confused at 12:14 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hey, I'm really proud of you. This brought tears to my eyes. You did the right thing and you will realize that some day.
posted by desjardins at 12:38 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

OMG you did it. You didn't fall for his manipulation! I know it's hard, but I'm so happy for you. Look how strong you are!

Here's the thing to keep in mind when you feel guilty and awful for 'hurting' him: He knew all along the things you wanted and that would make you happy. (flowers, dinner, ice cream, apologies, promises to do better, SIMPLE HUMAN DECENCY, etc.)

What did he do with that information? Did he remember to take you to the farmer's market when you had a bad day? No - he deliberately withheld all these things from you until he thought it would get him something he wanted. Does that sound like love and kindness and genuine regret for hurting someone you love or does it sound like bullshit self-serving maneuvering?

Please stay strong and know you're doing the right thing. You're even doing the right thing for him, because he needs to learn his shitty, abusive behavior does not and will not work on you anymore.

Now take some time to heal from this and learn what healthy relationships are like (starting with yourself!) and when you look back you'll see this is the best thing you could have done. From the bottom of my heart, congratulations.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:39 PM on June 18, 2011 [7 favorites]

Please know that one day you'll find someone who will come home with 12 red roses, your favorite ice-cream, and your favorite dinner. Only it won't be a pseudo-apology for mentally beating the shit out of you for two years, it'll be because he loves you and genuinely wants to see you happy. Hold out for that, ok?
posted by Space Kitty at 12:43 PM on June 18, 2011 [10 favorites]

Also, everything Ashley801 and Space Kitty just said is exactly right: the Cycle of Abuse, blaming his actions on the lack of money (as if he couldn't choose; whereas I think most of us here have been flat broke and not treated people that way), the "working on it" as a foreshadowing of not succeeding (getting back in shape requires "working on it," but not cursing out your partner just takes deciding "I'm never going to do that again"), knowingly not giving you the things you want. Also, nobody mentioned the fact that even if he didn't know you were wanting to break up, he might've sensed your resolve growing, so even that nice gesture might've been primarily manipulative. In fact, in the face of an impending breakup, that gesture was kind of weak. Anyway, the book Why Does He Do That? is a good source for debunking things, if you're preoccupied about it anyway. The basic message is, abuse comes out of some fundamental beliefs that the abuser has the right to talk to someone that way, so they will do it again, and changing those beliefs is really difficult and not very likely at all.

I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for days. Am I supposed to feel this way?

Yes, pretty much. It's naturally really hard, and it takes time, so just hang in there. Even if the relationship didn't work, there were good parts. And it was a fundamental piece of your life. The best book on being kind to yourself during a breakup is Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart.

The one thing to avoid is thinking "if only I did this" that it would be different. There's pretty much nothing you or anyone can do that will change him. (Heard this song? Gender stereotypes aside, it can be a good one to have running through your head... :) ) But if you start to seriously think that you should go back to try harder, that's kind of an emergency call-your-therapist-and-friends kind of thing.

The only other thing you might notice is feeling the tiniest bit liberated. And victorious. And strong. And more trusting in yourself. It's hard, but you'll get through it. (Have you listened to this song recently?) I also think kristi's idea is great -- do things you wouldn't have done when with him (or not without getting criticized). It's a great way to really see your new freedom and understand what a difference it makes not to have his criticism hanging over you anymore. Get your friends to go out to dinner and dancing?
posted by salvia at 1:01 PM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Am I supposed to feel this way? Did I do the right thing?

To echo others: YES and YES.

Breaking up is pretty much always painful and confusing, even when you are leaving an abusive situation and even when the breakup is the right thing to do. It is perfectly normal to go through ups and downs -- sometimes really dramatic ones! -- in the immediate aftermath of a breakup, and for months or even longer thereafter. It's also normal to second-guess yourself, and to miss the person you broke up with, and to wonder if things could get better with one more chance.

All of this is normal, and at the same time it doesn't mean you made a mistake. Sometimes the right thing to do is also the hardest thing to do. You have already shown yourself you have the strength and self-respect and courage to break up with someone who abuses you -- those are wonderful qualities that you can use to help yourself mourn and heal in the coming weeks and months as you move on.

You did the right thing! I know it's painful -- you may be feeling sadness or anxiety or fear or any other host of feelings. This is normal. But keep in mind that feelings come and go. The fear of an emotion lasting forever does not actually mean it will last forever. I know the shock of a breakup can make you feel like you'll never be happy again. But this is just fear -- it's not reality. You'll have ups and downs, yes -- but it will also get better as time passes. I promise.

Hang in there. Don't be afraid to rely on your friends and family for support. You are worth it.
posted by scody at 1:19 PM on June 18, 2011 [5 favorites]

I'm quoting this, from Ashley801, for emphasis:

Wow, he had tears in his eyes when he was losing what HE wanted. Where were the tears when he was causing a ton of pain and anguish to you? Oh right, that was the time when you needed to "learn when to shut up."

This is a man who is very good at, and very used to, getting what he wants. Stay strong.
posted by KathrynT at 1:38 PM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

YES, pretty much all breakups suck. The first time you breakup from a longterm domestic relationship sucks particularly hard because you don't have previous experience to know you will survive this kind of breathtaking pain. Please know that the fact that it hurts does not mean it was the wrong choice. It was the right choice. Everyone else is doing a great job covering the particulars of how the flowers and dinners is a whitewash, but I just want to state: it's too little, too late. What is broken in this relationship is him, and that will not be fixed with a dozen roses.

You're going to feel bad for a few months but not as bad as the years and years you'd hurt for if you had stayed. I swear to God.

Also, I don't know how internet literate your ex is, but consider that he may have read this thread and/or know this was coming from your computer history.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:03 PM on June 18, 2011 [6 favorites]

This is a man who is very good at, and very used to, getting what he wants. Stay strong.

This is good to keep in mind. Don't be surprised if he contacts you in the coming days/weeks (or even months down the road) with promises that he's changed, pleas for "one more" chance, and/or disparaging remarks that he's the only person who will ever want you. Anything he says will be solely about him trying to get what he wants, and not about what you need and deserve in your life.
posted by scody at 4:15 PM on June 18, 2011 [5 favorites]

Like desjardins, I'm having an awful week, but reading your update - knowing that a brave strong woman is out of an abusive relationship - has made my fucking day!

Go forth, live the fabulous life that you deserve, and leave this abusive control-freak loser arsehole behind for good.

posted by malibustacey9999 at 8:42 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're going to feel bad for a little while longer. But then one day you won't. It's two years after I left my relationship and I still have days where I doubt whether I did the right thing. And then I remember these 3 incidents... the 3 that were the worst. The moments where he showed hate rather than love, and I am renewed with a sense of having done the RIGHT thing. My habit is to forget. To wipe my memory clean of the bad stuff. But with this one, I remember those three moments like they happened last night.

Choose three of the worst moments. Hang on to them like little mementos, little hateful, sorry, pathetic charms. When you're feeling bad, like you made the wrong decision, try really really hard to remember every detail of those moments. The look on his face, the way you felt. And then open your eyes and look around you and realize that you are no longer there. There is no longer anyone in your life who makes you feel that way. You will feel a great sense of relief. Of pride. Of joy.

You'll remember that, one day, you decided to love yourself enough to get away from someone who doesn't love you at all.
posted by madred at 8:55 PM on June 18, 2011

^ Really good advice. I held onto two of those mementos too. You sound like a naturally happy, forgiving person who believes the best in people. And that's great. Just tuck away a few clear snapshots (or sound recordings) in your mind so that you can remember why it was so bad.
posted by salvia at 9:34 PM on June 18, 2011

...I don't know how internet literate your ex is, but consider that he may have read this thread and/or know this was coming from your computer history.
posted by DarlingBri

This was my thinking as well.
Congratulations on getting out!
posted by blueberry at 2:50 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

It must have been so very tempting to fold. Well done you for not doing it. We are all very proud of you!
posted by dmt at 8:06 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm now at my mums house with all of my things here, this is the hardest thing Ive ever done. I feel like he is really going to change but I still made myself move out and I'm completely freaking out and doubting myself. I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for days. Am I supposed to feel this way? Did I do the right thing?

When I left my emotionally abusive ex, I felt exactly the same way. I spent a lot of time grieving. But I wasn't grieving the loss of the relationship, because it was probably the worst experience of my life, but the idea of what that relationship was supposed to be. He was supposed to be "the one". We were supposed to get married and have children and buy a nice house and have a perfect life together. Instead, he belittled and berated me, shaking my self-confidence and isolating me from my friends and family, telling me that no one else could possibly love me. I was also grieving the loss of "me". Fortunately the "me" I knew came back pretty quickly once I was out of his suffocating grasp.

What helped me was to make a list of which behaviours are deal breakers for me, and which behaviours are must-haves. I'd never really thought about it before. Do yourself a favour and make a list like this. Carry it around in your wallet and every time you doubt your decision to leave, read the list.

This may be the hardest thing you've ever done, but it's also one of the best things. Spend some time being kind to yourself. Don't answer his calls or emails. Don't even listen to or read them. You'll feel better faster than you think. I promise.
posted by burntflowers at 1:20 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Am I supposed to feel this way? Did I do the right thing?

Yes. And clearly there were reasons why you got into a relationship with this man in the first place. I'm sure he was not a complete monster all the time, and he probably didn't even show that side of himself to you until you two got comfortable with each other, which is a really confusing thing to go through. It leads to all sorts of mixed feelings because all you want is that nice boyfriend back that you had before, and you figure he still has to be in there somewhere.

You have learned valuable lessons from this relationship, and, after a few days, when the fog in your head clears, you will begin to truly appreciate that that stage of your life has come to an end. And if he tries contacting you, it is OK not to respond to him in order for you to be able to move on.
posted by wondermouse at 3:15 PM on June 19, 2011

Breaking up feels horrible.

Remember when he fake-broke up with you? He did that so you would feel horrible, so you would stop "being a bitch".

Remember that all these terrible things you're feeling are things that he will willingly make you feel, so that he can keep you in line.

In other words, going back to him is not only not a guarantee that you'll stop feeling bad, but a way to extend exactly the kinds of horrible feelings you are feeling right now.

You did the right thing.
posted by endless_forms at 7:07 AM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Hey everyone. Thanks so much for all the love and support :) You are all truly amazing... this post and all these comments have been a life-saver for me. I am hanging in there... still in communication but he doesn't even want to take me back, he's so mad I left so that's a good thing I guess. I still feel really guilty and sad but I'm doing okay. The weekend was just hard but hopefully work this week will distract me. Ugh... breaking up sucks :( Well, I'd better get a start to the work day, I am just exhausted from the weekend and all the stress and crying. I hope everyone here has a good day. Thanks a million... I don't know how I could ever thank everyone enough for checking up on me, thinking about me, and supporting me. And all the comments... they are SO true- it's just very hard to realize how one sided my relationship was in, while I was in it.

Since I am new here, just checking... do posts expire after a certain amount of time? If it does I will print this whole thing off just so I have it to keep reading!
posted by amacph10 at 9:04 AM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

No, amacph, the thread will "close to new comments" after one year, but it will always be archived here. :) You can continue to post to this thread, and people who look at their recent activity tab will see it.

There will be ups and downs for you, that's really normal. So is feeling guilty. Like everyone above has said, you still did the right thing. Be prepared for him to continue to try to manipulate you into feeling conflicted, and see it for what it is: an attempt to control you. Try to go out and have some time with friends- the farmer's market sounds like a great idea. Even when I had crappy jobs that I didn't particularly like, they have served as great distractions when I was in bad shape after a breakup.

Yay for you!
posted by oneirodynia at 10:32 AM on June 20, 2011

I only skimmed this, and I'm going to take a break from pointing out abusive things that are happening in your relationship. Others have that covered.

What I will point out is that you seem to hate him and I don't blame you. I'd hate someone too if they talked to me like that.

If you needed to build a case for dumping him, you certainly succeeded.
posted by tel3path at 8:17 AM on June 21, 2011

Just wanted to to add my voice to the chorus that you did the right thing.

Speaking from experience, you will likely feel pretty bad for a while, and I would really really really recommend that you cut off contact - he will likely change his tune eventually and start asking you to come back pretty soon and it's easier to cut off contact while he's mad.

Feel free to send me a message if you want. My experience in hearing about other peoples' experiences is that abusers follow a creepily textbook script, and it's a cycle that may not be over (both your emotions and his potential overtures).

You have done a really hard thing that many women take years and years to find the strength to do. I hope you can find a bit of comfort in that.
posted by Pax at 4:52 PM on June 21, 2011 [5 favorites]

I'm coming in late here to tell you that you did the right thing. Cut off all contact with him. A year from now (probably less), you're going to look back and not be able to believe what yu were willing to tolerate.
posted by Ragged Richard at 6:03 PM on June 28, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I'm feeling better now. My friends even say I look happier when they hang out with me. Of course he is "changing" and willing to do whatever it takes now, but I'm happy on my own. I miss him alot, and I like hearing him beg for me back and tell me how much I mean to him and that he loves me... I'm scared to completely let go. But I am interested in getting to know someone else already, so that is kind of making me stay broken up from him also. I've been doing "me" lately and it feels amazing :)!
posted by amacph10 at 5:11 PM on June 30, 2011 [6 favorites]

amacph10, how's it going? We're still thinking about you.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:08 PM on July 21, 2011

Response by poster: Hi everyone. Thanks so much for all your support. I am sorry I haven't been on here. I just wanted to let everyone know I am doing great. I always think of my friends on here who have sent me kind words and gave me support, and how rude it is of me to not come back online and thank you all and update you! So finally here I am. So sorry it took me so long but I don't have my own computer. I printed off everyone's responses and I read them still to find strength and to remind me of what I deserve. Thanks a MILLION everyone I love you all !! :) xo
posted by amacph10 at 3:31 PM on January 30, 2012 [10 favorites]

I'm grinning my head off. Thanks for the great update (and no apologies for not being around -- it just means you've been busy with life). I know I'm not the only one delighted to hear that you're doing so well! Good for you, woman.
posted by scody at 7:15 PM on January 30, 2012

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