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    Old 01-16-2004, 09:52 PM   #1
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    emotional abuse that goes both ways...

    i am so relieved i found this board, after doing much online searching for someone to talk to. i really hope someone out there can read through this and offer me some words that will help me find the right path here. i could definitely use it, and i so much appreciate finding this place...

    i have had some lousy, immature relationships, nothing really serious (i'm a 23 year old female). six months ago i got involved with Him, he's a 27 year old who had just gotten out of his only serious relationship which lasted 4 years and involved an engagement. she has spread the word since their breakup that he was emotionally abusive.

    of course he was charming at first. i tend to be neurotic. i have an intense fear of breakups and abandonment. every time we fought it felt like the end and he always came back, and i very quickly loved him for that, thinking of it as acceptance, the fact that he cared enough to come back and work through things and not just dump me like everyone else.

    then he got depressed. lost his jobs, his apartment. lives rent-free with a friend, finally got a job after five months of not having one, but is still BROKE (owes me over fifty dollars and i am NOT rich and can't really spare it), his car doesn't run, etc. he is spiralling downwards.

    multiple breakups. he always came back, apologized, said things would be better. once he told me he didn't love me like he had loved his ex and that it would never work. called three days later to say he'd gotten a job and that was all it took! now we would be fine!

    we are still together but i'm miserable around him. i feel as though he can never give me enough love. some of that is me needing so, so much reassurance, which i know isn't fair and is a form of abuse towards him. but part of that is that he is selfish, wrapped up in what HE needs, to the point where if he doesn't want to sit next to me and i want a hug, it starts a fight.

    some of our issues recently:

    -he called me 'whiny' and 'oversensitive' and continued to yell when i began to cry after he told me he didn't love me as much as he had loved her.

    -i hinted that he didn't appreciate everything i did for him because i loan him money and he asks for more, never pays it back when he says he will, asks for backrubs when he has long days at work, has a key and basically free reign of my apartment but always complains about needing his own place and seeing me too much. i know it's a transfer of guilt and shame; he feels ****** about himself so he blows up at me. but it hurts.

    -once when i bought him some tobacco because he was broke, he made a comment about how he would marry a very rich girl in a second. i got touchy and upset and it escalated into a fight; i apologized for being overly-sensitive to his comment but he walked around the house slamming things, hitting tables, until i locked myself in the bathroom and he left. called the next day to apologize. we've never hit each other but we do throw things, break glasses, etc.

    -a fight today because i was in a bad mood and i sort of hinted that we never have fun together anymore, all we do is watch tv and he won't even sit by me when we do. he blew up about not having money to do anything; i suggested a talk or a walk and he said that he can't talk to me anyways, and left.

    -his biggest complaint is that i always make him feel guilty. i know that i do. i feel as though i'm always being hurt. i want to know how much of this is from me and how much is from him.

    -i made a counseling appointment after the hitting-tables incident. i told him about it and said that it should show him that when i apologize i'm serious about changing my own behavior.

    -i know that he loves me and is trying hard. how to break the cycle, though, when i can't bring anything up without starting a fight about how rough HIS life is??

    i realize this is long and doesn't make much sense, but if anyone has any comments about how this looks to an outsider... they would be much appreciated.

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    Old 01-17-2004, 12:16 AM   #2
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    Re: emotional abuse that goes both ways...

    Hi Lux,

    I am new to the board and have been enjoying all the information out there, its been great. I read your post and just had to reply. You are my daughters age, she just turned 23 in November. I dont want to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. I can only offer you some advice and stuff to think about.

    First you should know that I have been married for 24 years. I got married when I was 2O years old. I was so inlove OMG!! Unlike what your going though things were great between my husband and I thought this will be the perfect marriage. It was so far from the truth!!! It all started on our honey moon can you believe that. It was like night and day and I thought who did I marry. I threaten to divorce him the minute we got back from our honey moon. Oh and then the promises came again and again.He would leave and come back and say I am sorry things will be better !!!!
    So here I sit 24 years later!! Happy ending yet?? hell nooooooo!! If you were my daughter I would tell you run away as fast as you can from that guy!! Yes I know you have your good moments we do too. Lux your not married to this guy, you are so young you have your whole life ahead of you!! If this guy dont make you happy I would say leave him. oh and by the way my husband saids the same thing when I cry!!! Over sensitive and whinny!!

    My daughter was going out with a guy that she thought she was so inlove with too. Dated him for over a year. My daughter would come home with bruses on her, I would hear her on the phone with him and she cried more times then I can tell you, they fought so much, but no way she thought she could change him and he would love her the way she wanted to be loved. Oh and something to think about he also told her he was in an abusive relationship before too but little did my daughter relize he was the abuser not his ex girlfriends. I knew better and so many friends and family around her could see it too. The more I went against him the worst it got with us. It almost ruined my daughters and my relationship. I was scared for her life Lux. So as hard as it was I backed off. Listening night after night to her crying on the phone with him. It broke my heart!!! I cried too. Finally she broke it off with him and that took great courage on her part because her love for him was soo strong.
    The minute she did that she really got to see him for what he was cuz he would call her and call her names and get other friends to call her and say terrible things to her. It was bad really bad.

    I am happy to tell you that she did find someone else and he is the most wonderfull guy. We all just love him. My daughter was in a bad car accident two years ago now and he sat by her side day and night would not leave her. He will do anything for her and you can see it in his eyes by the way he looks at her omg no one else is in the room!! As a mother I can see the love he has for her. He has wonderfull parents and two wonderfull sisters so he had a great up bringing, a very loving family unit. Not in all cases but from what I have been though this is an important equation.

    Lux isnt that what you want? Dont spend the rest of you life trying to change this guy!! Be like my daughter and say to yourself that you deserve better then this. Be strong and dont be afraid of beening alone I am sure you have friends and family that can support you. If not I can be here for you.

    You asked a question on your post. If it is more him then you I would say from what you wrote that it is him and his past. My husband had a terrible up bringing and bad relatioinships and likes to blame everything on me that goes wrong in his life.

    Anyway let me know what you decided , I wish you all the best in what ever you deside. Its only yours and only yours to make. I just hope my storys opened your eyes a bit.

    hugs ruby

    Old 01-17-2004, 12:32 AM   #3
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    Re: emotional abuse that goes both ways...

    Thank you Ruby, this helps so so much. on the outside i see exactly what you are seeing, and what you are saying-- and i'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that this is what my friends and family tell me. my family lives two states away-- they have met this boy, they like him a lot but they do NOT like how he treats me, although of course i tell myself 'they only hear about the bad times', as i call them upset constantly whenever i fight with him. my dad was the first one to use the term 'emotional abuse.' i have always been really close to my dad and now he doesn't know that the boy and i are back together because i know it would hurt him if i told him, and i don't want to worry him.

    i guess i'm having the hardest time deciding how much of this, if any, is 'fixable'... because (and even as i say this i know how much i sound like a cliched abuse victim) i really do know how much he loves me, and i have SEEN him put in so much effort towards keeping things good between us. i've seen the progress we've made. it's just that it never seems to go anywhere. i have very low self-esteem, i have had so many boys just up and leave me that i can't count them, i have an eating disorder, etc... individually i see my own worth, but i have such a hard time feeling that anyone would love me very much that i think i make it very hard for anyone to do so. and i can't help but feel like i am raking him across the coals whenever i ask for love or reassurance. i feel like i should just accept that he loves me, and not need evidence of it all the time. that has got to be hard on him to be constantly having me doubt how he feels and question everything he does.

    so then i begin to think that if i could just STOP needing so much, he would be more willing to give-- wouldn't feel all this guilt and pressure that he says is coming from me-- but i have no guidelines as to how much is too much? what should i really expect? are the feelings of insecurity coming from my own heart or from how he treats me? it's like a vicious cycle. the more love i need the more trapped he feels and the less willing he is to show anything towards me.

    it's also difficult to try and be with someone whose life is such a mess-- it is so, so exhausting and frustrating, being emotional and financial support while he's going through all this job trouble etc... and it's all made worse by the fact that in his own heart he often sees himself as worthless, so any suggestions i make or things i say to him, he takes them and runs with it... "you're always angry at me for this, i know you're constantly thinking this, i can never satisfy you..." etc. of course blowing WAY out of proportion anything i might have really been upset about. sometimes i feel like saying "if i really thought you were the piece of crap you say that i think you are, would i still be here?"

    ultimately i think me going into counseling to try and figure out if i'm asking too much is a good thing... but i can't help wishing this was a mutual effort. i wish he was trying too. i wish all of our arguments didn't turn into ultimatums. i find myself constantly sad or upset and it just shouldn't be that way...

    thank you again for caring!! i need all the help i can get!

    Old 01-17-2004, 01:15 AM   #4
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    Re: emotional abuse that goes both ways...

    Everything you have said mimics my own life and relationship except that I don't financially support my boyfriend, and I have OCD instead of an eating disorder. All I can say is that I wish you the best of luck because I feel the SAME EXACT WAY about everything you said, and I'm also trying to figure out what to do and work through it.
    Hugs and Support,
    Vestibular problems, CFS, adrenal issues.

    Old 01-17-2004, 01:39 AM   #5
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    Re: emotional abuse that goes both ways...

    Hi Katalina,
    That is really good to hear in the sense that it means i'm not alone or completely crazy in this-- and bad to hear in that i wouldn't wish this on anyone!

    Maybe it'll help both of us knowing of someone else with the same sitch?


    Old 01-17-2004, 05:58 AM   #6
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    Re: emotional abuse that goes both ways...

    owes me over fifty dollars

    his car doesn't run

    he told me he didn't love me like he had loved his ex and that it would never work

    he is selfish, wrapped up in what HE needs

    he called me 'whiny' and 'oversensitive' and continued to yell when i began to cry

    he walked around the house slamming things, hitting tables

    he blew up about not having money to do anything

    his biggest complaint is that i always make him feel guilty
    Sister, where is the joy in this guy? See, relationships are supposed to add to your already fulfilled life. This guy, apparently, isn't adding anything.

    The fact that you'd be to embarassed to tell your dad that you're back together is a sign don't ya think?

    I think you have problems of your own that you need to work out before you look for a boyfriend. You need to work out your abandonment issues, eating disorder etc. Until you find out why you'd allow yourself to be treated this way, the pattern of choosing men that are not up to par will continue and per chance, if you did find someone nice, you'd likely chase him away with your issues. Counseling can help you sort through why this is occuring.

    Good luck to you. Dump this dude and work on yourself. You're every bit worth it.

    Old 01-18-2004, 12:18 AM   #7
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    Re: emotional abuse that goes both ways...

    You sound like me a lot. I was in a relationship for three years where I loved my boyfriend unconditionally. I finally left one day without a word.....I reasoned it made him feel worse to be reminded that he even failed love himself while I succeeded, and succeeded although he failed to love me. It's been a year since then, but I still feel like if I were to date someone else it would feel like cheating......I still love him unconditionally....I guess I don't have all the answers....but I know that the ideal of love is not to expect anything in return.

    Old 01-19-2004, 04:50 PM   #8
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    Re: emotional abuse that goes both ways...

    oh my gosh. it means a lot to hear that. i am so conflicted and confused at the moment... sometimes you know the 'strong and right' thing to do... but it FEELS so wrong??

    two days ago, the boy came over and we managed to have a conversation about this, which began by escalating into a fight like it always does, and ended in (relative) peace... i told myself mentally that i was going to let down my guard and thought, 'ok, i'm just going to assume that i know he loves me and then listen to what he says'... and from that POV things went very differently. made me realize how often i close myself off in defensiveness with him. i know i can't be blamed for that w/ all the pain that's been inflicted. but i tried my hardest to just not judge and listen and pray he would do the same...

    but i didn't say much myself, i just let him talk, but i really tried hard to listen, and after he had talked about his own POV for a very long time he began talking about me and my pain and how much the situation being such a mess must hurt me. he's never done that before. we ended with a hug and him telling me to just try and relax, and he was going to try to do better.

    no fights since then. i still have a LOT of thinking to do. still not sure what is good or bad here.

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