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Differing Points Of View

by K

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years. Due to financial circumstances I had asked him to move into my apartment with me to split the rent. This became a huge problem in our relationship because although he had been saying we should get a place together, he was not willing to do so at the time even though I needed the help.

After a lot of arguing and angry words, he broke up with me. A month later he explained that he had been depressed and needed the time to get himself together. He is now actively seeking counseling and on medication. Although I initially saw many positive changes (he was less angry and much more positive) it seems as if we are falling back into a pattern of continuous arguments.

I am aware that I am often not always the easiest person to get along with but I try to be respectful in an argument. Recently it’s been more and more frequent that during an argument he will curse me off telling me to go f___ myself or calling me nasty names. I find this to be extremely disrespectful, degrading, and unnecessary. When I confronted him about this he said it’s my fault because I got him that angry.

I also was in a physically abusive relationship in the past and that was the same line of logic that my ex used after he hit me. It was somehow “my” fault. I find my current boyfriend and me pulling further and further apart.

He also has this divide that he will not accept me as part of his family. Family should come first, but at what point do I stop being an outsider in his eyes? This is the usual cause of argument as I feel far removed from him because he doesn’t include me in outings with his friends, etc. It’s extremely frustrating because when I ask him he says I expect too much.

We had this problem before and I only agreed that we start our relationship again after our recent break because he had articulated that he wanted the same things from a relationship as me (a true partnership). Whenever I bring up my unhappiness with the relationship it turns into an all out argument (which he says I am aware that I’m instigating), however I have good intentions and just want to talk! Should I stay or go?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello K, and thanks for telling your story on this site. You are obviously a thoughtful person, and you want to do the right thing for yourself in your relationship. It is good that you are paying attention and recognizing patterns in the different relationships you have been in.

These patterns are about you, not the other person. Your job is to deal with the underlying issues behind your patterns, so that you can break them and begin forming healthy relationships.

This is an unhealthy relationship that you are describing here. You deserve respect, and to be included in outings with friends and family. And his anger is never, ever your fault.

You are responsible for what you say and do, and he is responsible for how he reacts--and vice versa.

I suggest you do the journaling exercises on this page, in order to understand your past and how your patterns were formed. Then, when you feel that you have clear picture of your past influences and experiences, practice these imagery processes for emotional healing, in order to fully address your underlying issues.

It is time to shift your focus to yourself, and away from your boyfriend. It's not important what he says, how you think he's changing, or anything about him. The reason I say that is that you have made it clear in your story here that you are in a "battered woman" situation.

Believe in yourself, and make up your mind that you are going to create a happy healthy life for yourself. You can do it.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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