Forum: Advice / Secrets PG-13

Boyfriend going through a rough phase, maybe a bit abusive
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jan 19, 2018 02:50 AM

I think my relationship might be affecting my self esteem.

My boyfriend seems a bit obsessed with not doing anything wrong. I'm afraid to tell him that because he would interrupt me and say that it's a lie, even if I tell him it's just an impression I get sometimes. I can't really tell him that certain words of his hurt my feelings; I tried to, but he would say that he did absolutely nothing to deserve such an attack, and that I always blame everyone else for my problems. Then he would sarcastically pretend to be me, put on an exaggerated expression and say "Why is everyone hurting me all the time?" and other things like that.

In the past I tried to explain that no one aside from him thinks I'm an irresponsible person. He says that this means absolutely nothing. When I tell him to stop the sarcastic theatre performances, he tells me that I put poison in my words. When I tell him that I really don't blame him or intend to be poisonous in any way, he won't believe me. Instead, he tells me to choose my words very carefully, but pounces on whatever I say next, usually twisting my intentions into something really bad. I try very hard to remain calm, but sometimes I lose patience and cry, which makes him even more upset, so he says even more hurtful things. Then he tells me that all he wanted was just one night of peace, just one, and that he can't deal with my drama anymore.

I notice that these episodes might happen anytime when he's having a bad time with school. They usually occur after he tells me he feels like a failure. I've tried several times to convince him to get some help, but he takes it as an insult no matter how I say it. Oddly enough, he pressed me to go to counselling, and kept saying it's nothing shameful, and it's not because I'm crazy. But when I ask him the same, he keeps thinking I'm calling him crazy.

When these temper tantrums are over he'd feel guilty, though he's never apologised for them. He'd tell me that all his ex-girlfriends must have had incredible patience to deal with him, admit that he can be terribly unpleasant, and even warned that I might not be able to stand him when exam season starts. He would resolve to work on his temper, but when one of these tantrums begin, he'd act like he's perfect and that I'm trying to create the impression that he's an abusive tyrant.

I actually have a medical condition that makes my nose and ears blocked up. It's been like this for almost a year, and this whole time I've been suffering nausea on and off. This summer I actually hiked 2000m above sea level with a bunch of marathon runners. I only found out afterwards that the medical issue is what makes me feel tired all the time. The doctor says it should get better after an operation. My boyfriend was also on the hike, and on a bad day he'd bring that up as an example of why I'm not fit. This is the first time someone's had an issue with my fitness level, but he called me oversensitive when I pointed out it sounded a bit condescending. It was quite bad; he said that the only moving I do is between the bedroom and living room (I actually spent several hours walking outside just a day ago), that he should just shut up and not say anything to me, and then did that sarcastic mimicking again and accused me of crying even though my eyes were quite dry. Later he did try to hug me, but I didn't respond, so I must have looked really oversensitive. It was because he was saying that he doesn't feel sorry, but regrets that he tried to be honest with my because I can't take any criticism.

I've tried to set boundaries, but he thinks I'm threatening him. If I say I'll be hurt when he acts like this, then that's an example of me not taking responsibility for my own emotions. If I say I can't stay in a relationship with someone who puts on a weird voice and mocks me, then he says I'm threatening him. I still haven't figured out how to set boundaries.

Usually he's a great boyfriend. He's been supportive of my own career goals, splits the housework evenly, compliments me a lot, invites me to all sorts of events with friends, and is generally very kind and reasonable. But I think these fights are having a bad long term effect on both of us. Now I realise I don't talk about my feelings very well, and can't ask for support from friends because I feel like I'm making drama. I can't really tell anyone about his tantrums because then I'll be giving proof that I blame others for my problems and moods. In addition, I have a history of depression; my parents were very abusive, I sometimes have to ask professors for extensions because of my depression, and many friends listened and spent time with me when I was feeling suicidal. So in that sense I have caused drama. My boyfriend says I'm just a fundamentally unhappy person trying to blame everyone around me for my own unhappiness. I don't want to push this impression.

Sometimes I wonder when he bothers to stay with me if he thinks I'm the kind of person his criticism makes me out to be. He says it's because I'm beautiful and charming, but I'm a lot more than that. He would tell me to be confident and not let anyone get me down, but sometimes he's like two different persons; I know he has the best intentions, and I think his criticism against me has more to do with his own insecurity than me, but still I don't know the best way to respond.

Please give me some advice.

1 Replies to Boyfriend going through a rough phase, maybe a bit abusive

re: Boyfriend going through a rough phase, maybe a bit abusive
By foreverlostmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:08 AM
I'm going to preface my advice by stating that I am not a therapist, only someone with a story and an opinion.

I was in a very similar situation with my ex of 4 years. I have a history of severe anxiety and depression. He was experiencing depression for the first time and was trying to hide it- even though it was clear as day to anybody close to him through his actions and words. I was in a very similar situation as you- the relationship had been great. All of a sudden I was being constantly criticized and couldn't do a thing right- even when I would go out of my way to do special things for him.
It went on like this for months before it got physical. Even after it got physical, it was still my fault. I would get the "i'm sorry you stressed me out to that point."

I'm not saying that this will happen to you. I don't know your boyfriend and every person handles things differently. Just please be careful. It sounds like you are in a very tense and stressful situation. It sounds like verbal abuse in some instances described here. My advice would be to talk to your therapist about your situation. Maybe space yourself from him for a bit- even if you don't fully breakup, just to give him some space to work out whatever is causing his behavior. No person deserves to be ridiculed or told that they are not good enough. What he is saying is not coming from a place of love. I don't want to see you get hurt.


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