Abusive Boyfriend And Potential Mental Illness
Abuse Victim Cycle
I am a 20 year old in college, and my boyfriend and I have known each other for eight years, been together seriously for nearly five years now.
Since the beginning he has always had issues with insecurities and jealousy; however, for the first seven years of knowing him, he was nothing but sweet and loving.
In the past year, since we have gone to college together, he has become mentally and emotionally abusive, starting to call me names and using other forms of verbal abuse in February of this year (It is November now), to showing signs of aggression within the past two months, and to ultimately choking me for some amount of seconds two nights ago.
Not only did he do this, but he has refused to accept that what he did was completely wrong. I truly do believe that in his mind he did not mean to hurt me, but placing his hands on my neck whilst pinning me down onto the bed and clearly choking me (yes, while angry and while telling me to get the f*ck out of his house) is absolutely unacceptable.
In the past, we have discussed the possibilities of him having bipolar disorder, and he went to a therapist who once told him that she believed he did have it and an official screening would be necessary to diagnose him. However, once it became real, he stopped going.
I know this behavior is absolutely unacceptable, and the relationship has become dangerous. Yet, I am still so hopeful that we can find a way to fix this if he gets the help he needs, because he clearly has anger management and a potential mental illness. However, his desire to join the military prevents him from wanting to seek treatment.
We are not together right now but are still in communication, and he wants to fix the relationship. He’s already tried to start acting like everything is normal even only after just 24 hours, although I am working on setting my boundaries and have told him multiple times what he did was awful and that in order for us to ever work again it would take a lot of work and a lot of healing.
I have more conversations I want to have with him, and there are boundaries that I need to set that I have not been able to bring myself to do yet. But these conversations are more for my peace of mind that I didn’t just give up when I know he needs help.
I have this picture in my mind of us remaining loyal to each other while working on ourselves and starting over slowly as we are able to relearn to love each other, but without ever taking a true period of absolute separation (no communication whatsoever, no ties to each other or the relationship whatsoever). And this is merely because I feel as though I am not ready to miss him. He has become like this so abruptly (and during a very difficult time in his life) that I have a hard time believing that this is truly who he is and not the result of anger issues or something that can be managed.
Would striving to make this a reality if he realizes that he needs help and truly does work on himself and get the help that he needs be completely irresponsible?
Feeling stupid and confused.