I'm Acting Just Like My Mother

by Anonymous



First off, I would like to say how grateful I am to see websites like these that are offering help. That alone brings me hope.

So my relationship with my partner has been for about 3 years. We met in high school and were friends for a while and eventually become a couple. The first year was great. I literally felt the love we both had for each other. It was strong and uplifting.

However, it wasn't until I went off to college and he stayed home that it started to go downhill. He cheated and I broke up with him and I went through this entire depression as to how someone could do that. A year later I realized, he'd come a long way and had proven himself and we eventually moved in together during my junior year in college with two other roommates.

My experience there was good but not great, and as my roommates moved on with their lives. We eventually got a place of our own my senior year of college. That's when our relationship was really tested. This was when I noticed a shift in the way we communicated.

We were always arguing (mostly my fault), and the reasons were so obvious. Every time we argued I would hash over every little thing he’s failed to do. I was always bickering at him about all the hurtful things he's done in the past which was cheat, lie, and broken promises.

This was going on along with the stressors of being a college student and him working a dead end job. Our disputes were so bad that I would slap him and scratch him after he tried to hold me down to calm me. We would kick each other out of the apartment and scream at each other.

I am fully responsible for my actions and wish I could take them back but I know I can't. The weird thing about it all was that I know he and I were fighting because we were both hurt.

After I graduated college, we moved back to our hometown and are now living with my parents. Things have not been easy because of the lack of privacy, money and resources. The fighting continued along with being physical with each other. He held me down or would grab my arm for me not to leave and I once again scratched him because he wouldn't let me go. He's done the same to me.

We both know that this is wrong and both want to recover from this. I personally feel so horrible for what I've done to him and basically how we both destroyed our relationship that I feel sad that our relationship doesn't have what it takes.

We are currently seeking counseling but I just want reassurance whether we’re doing the right thing or wrong thing by staying with each other. One last very important thing: I grew up watching my parents fight so much, and I feel like I've been greatly affected by it.

My mother has severely emotionally abused my dad by putting him down, and she would also throw things at him. It still continues as she has recently scratched my dad on his face and I had to see this huge mark she made on his face.


What's worse is that I and my boyfriend knew what was going on, but they told my little sister they were just playing around, and that she scratched my dad by "accident." I'm still currently grieving over that and I feel like this environment doesn't help me or my relationship with my partner.

I can't help but feel that I am exactly like my mom and that she's to blame for all of this. I hate myself for mirroring her actions and I do want to change. I just don't know how or whether this involves me being with my current partner. How do I figure this out? How do I know were supposed to give it another shot? Are we wrong for staying with each other?

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Mar 11, 2016
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You're Doing The Right Thing With Counseling
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story on this site, where others might benefit. It's good that you and your boyfriend want to get help, and that you're seeking counseling. That is the best course of action for you.

That said, I will say that it doesn't sound like your relationship has much of a chance, with your background together and your family influence. You might want to strongly consider not living together while you both get help and try to heal from your emotional pain and confusion.

Abusive patterns like you describe are hard to break, but it can be done with a lot of consistent, committed effort.

You will find it helpful to follow the guidelines on this page, and do all of the exercises until you experience some benefit. The only way to get lasting results, however, is to get some good anger management counseling.

You can do this. Just don't give up, and believe in yourself as you seek the healing and learning you need.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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