Stuck In A Cycle Of Negativity and Stress
I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 2 and 1/2 years. We have been friends for over 7 years. I admit when we first started dating I was a bit hesitant because I knew he had emotional baggage and had in the past some serious mental problems that at one point he was hospitalized for but I knew he had worked hard on self-improvement and was trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
So the first few months were amazing. About the 4 month mark, he admitted to sleeping with another woman in the first month we were dating. We were not exclusive at that point, but it had bothered me he waited so long to tell me. At that point I told him for us to continue we may as well decide if we have similar values and see if it is worth continuing. So I told him I hoped to someday have kids and get married and that was essential for my partner to feel the same way. He agreed but in hindsight I think he agreed because he was afraid to lose me.
So he spent the next few months as the most perfect boyfriend. He suggested we spend the summer in my hometown (we were both living away from our different hometowns) so we did just that. We had a great summer but then when fall came around we moved back to the city where he was finishing his studies.
I started becoming co-dependent and losing myself in his life. We had made a plan to move somewhere and start a life together once he graduated that spring but the closer he got to graduating he suddenly became really distant and at times nasty to me. He was constantly going from the most loving partner to the most dreadful partner. Telling me he wasn't sure he wanted a future with me, he didn't want kids or marriage. But then on some days he would get excited about the idea of us building a house together and getting pregnant etc. I am not sure if he is bipolar but I think he may be.
Anyway, we spent the spring/summer traveling and fighting most of it. I was forever hoping for him to give me love and I was becoming this gross desperate person. He would often put me down and tell me I had nothing to show for my life and that I was tagging along to his life. There would be days where he would barely make eye contact with me and then days where he would tell me I kept him sane and that I was the love of his life. There was also one occasion where he hit me really hard and when I look back on it I don't think I deserved it.
Immediately after it happened he felt really bad and begged me to forgive him and of course was really nice for a few days, but since then it has only been mentioned once and he blames me for it (or at least that is what he says, I think deep down he feels it was a crazy part of him coming out). I never knew which personality to expect from him.
He couldn't decide where he wanted to move or if he wanted me to move with him, so after months of this indecision, I decided to move home without him and now I am back finishing my education but we are still in this long-distance relationship. It was still a lot of fighting at first and I was sure we would just break-up but he really wanted to keep trying and hopefully at some point geographically be together again.
We have had several visits since then and for the most part have been getting along great and showing our love for each other until recently. He kept toying with the idea of moving and spending the summer with me but of course he is indecisive so he has been back and forth. He has a job now that is in his line of work but he hates it and forever complains about so he decided 3 weeks ago he was coming to be with me for sure next month. I told him to please be certain and not get my hopes up, but he assured me he missed me too much and it would be worth it.
Since then I have not spoken much to him on the phone as I had been busy but he kept emailing me about choosing a date to come, what he was going to pack, he gave his notice at work and contacted his old work where I am living to get a job there, gave his landlord notice and seemed sincerely excited. When we talked the other night he was a complete jerk to me. He was going on about how much he didn't want to come and all he was leaving behind and he wasn't sure I was worth it and that I am forcing him into all of this. He brought up marriage and kids and how he doesn't want that either. The next day I talked to him he said he was still coming and did want to get married some day (which really we are not in a good place to think of that presently anyway) but he still has been very distant and won't say anything nice to me.
All he thinks about is having sex with me and I am starting to think that is the only thing he wants from me and that is why he was thinking of coming for the summer in the first place. He is not contacting me like he usually does and this has me in a tailspin. I am obsessing over why he hasn't called or wrote and I want to be indifferent as that usually has an effect on him, but I can't seem to do it.
It is hard to tell the full story of our relationship but to sum it up he puts me down a lot especially in areas he knows I am already sensitive about. He rarely pays attention to anything I say or how my life is going. It is usually centered around him. I think he may be hypersexual which at times makes me feel like an object which feels gross.
But then he can be the sweetest guy ever at times which has me addicted to that part of him and I am forever trying to get more of that part. I know he is bad news for me. My self-respect is at an all time low and if it wasn't I am sure I would not put up with his crap, but I keep playing the role of the pitiful beggar and I hate myself for it. But even though I know this, I still keep hoping and putting so much into this relationship when I know he is not doing the same. I need help to get out. I don't think he will ever change. Even if we were to have kids I worry he would be up and down around them which is horrible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. You already know all of the answers. You have expressed yourself well here. You know you're addicted, you know he won't change, and you know the relationship is not going to get better--even though you still hold out hope that it will. That is your addiction.
I strongly encourage you to read all of the following pages, which were written specifically to help people in your situation. It is time for you to shift your focus from him to yourself and your own well being. Follow all of the recommendations on these pages, and I think you will find it easier to make the right decision.
battered wife syndrome
how to deal with abusive relationships
Do this for you. Believe in yourself and your internal goodness and well being. That is your treasure and your responsibility.
My very best to you,
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