What is this mess?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Sunnygal 3 days, 10 hours ago.

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  • #48327


    I’m sick to my stomach, and I feel so confused about everything.

    I have previously had mostly all abusive boyfriends, some who just weren’t pleasant (controlling, cheaters, manipulative) and I left them, but struggled hugely with abandonment issues. I got therapy, as a result of a partner who became physically violent and cheated on me with transsexual escorts. That was very traumatic but I thought I understood my issues a bit better…

    Fast forward, and I’ve tried very hard to rebuild my life; I attend university and achieve very highly; I’ve had a number of corporate internships and have hobbies…no friends close by, to my great sadness. But I really just want my independence back, that’s my end goal, and to have a comfortable life with people who I care about…I would love to have some friends. I feel so isolated at university.

    My current partner found me just after the aftermath of the abusive one. I know I shouldn’t have jumped into a relationship so early on, but he pursued me endlessly, and although I went into it, I didn’t go in blind; I knew he was quite flawed, (no real job, made up lies to look better, very intense early on) but I thought I had a handle on it and I thought it was just some company.

    He escalated the dating very quickly – wanted to get very serious very quickly despite living at home well into his thirties, and not having a very clear direction. I let it happen, like an idiot. I am in my twenties, have a clear direction, and initially I was a good influence on him, but he became very critical of me when I started attending university. I think he preferred me when I more emotionally dependent on him. I liked to party, but always took my studies incredibly seriously, and planned internships and professional development things – taking advantage of opportunities I would never have again in my life and what was denied to me by a previous partner – and thought our lives would progress together, but his didn’t seem to. He said all of this was selfish of me…but he didn’t really do anything at home, so I can understand why it seemed selfish because he didn’t have much to do…

    He now works for his father and earns a lot of money, but recently we had a big falling out. He has cottoned on to the fact that I have a huge fear of abandonment; I don’t display it during the relationship, but when he’s losing a fight or feels put out by my decisions, he threatens to end it with me and I feel like the world is ending.

    Over Christmas, I felt we’d been growing distant so I read the book on Love Addiction by Pia Mellody, and tried to explain some of the points I’d read how we should have better boundaries with each other…me leaning on him less, emotionally, and him not involving me with his financial issues…because he spends a lot, for no reason, and frequently involves me in these scary shopping sprees. He also doesn’t like to do much…just gaming and lying in bed, and blames me for not being more forward in arranging activities. But I sometimes just want to go to the pub or do cheap things, and he complains about it, and often I don’t say anything for fear of him bottling up his annoyance as ammunition for a later argument. Like he’ll attend something with me, say it’s fine and then when we argue later, he’ll say I force him to do things and he doesn’t say at the time because he feels he can’t speak to me.

    Either way, I was talking to him about how things could be improved, on both our sides. I mentioned that I thought his spending was indicative of a problem, and I said I didn’t want to get involved with it unless he wanted to fix it, rather than have it enabled. He completely snapped and said he didn’t love me and I was toxic and selfish, and broke up with me after this conversation. He said he wanted to be friends, but knew it couldn’t happen, all sorts of weird things. He knows I have really bad issues with abandonment and get intensely panicked. (Weirdly, it’s gotten worse as time has gone on with him. I didn’t used to be so dependent on him) I respected what he said though and stayed away; I spent all night worried (because he’s done this before, and then hasn’t left me alone as he said he would). I contacted him the next day asking if he meant it…we then got into a conversation, where he proceeded to berate me as childish, hugely selfish, overemotional and a vampire and how things had to change. He said university was selfish, my summer of internships had been selfish, and he was a man with lots of real life experience who was richer in that than most other men were in anything. He just didn’t have the qualifications, and deserved more than he got. He said I had to take him into consideration if I wanted a relationship.

    I used to be pretty confident, and I don’t agree with what he says deep down. But I can’t get over this bullshit breaking up with me business. It feels like he chooses the worst times and never means it sincerely. Surely if he really wanted to split up, he’d choose a time to do it and then cut contact, as he knows I would reach out. Surely??!!!

    I’m going crazy, as I can’t figure out if I am really toxic (I am getting therapy starting next week because I want to be better, for me and for everyone) or if what he’s saying is wrong. I feel compelled to be with him, on pain of this awful crippling panic at the breakup, but I feel like I’m in bed with a monster who doesn’t want the best for me and just wants me on his terms…

    And if that’s true, then what the hell do I do?
    Please help!!!!

  • #48328


    When I confront him about whether his breaking up stuff has an ulterior motive, he says:

    “It’s only natural to think you’re being manipulated. You’re thinking that to protect yourself, from feeling like a bad person.”

    And he said I convinced him to take me back, because I “made a compelling argument”

    On what planet is this a thing? Am I going insane?! I feel insane. It’s driving me to think of suicide. I feel like a shadow.

  • #48345


    You have a lot of confusing thoughts and need a lot of therapy ASAP. Concentrate on YOURSELF and don’t try to untangle issues that you are not able to at this moment. You need to grow with the help of a professional, and it may take a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. Good luck.

  • #48349


    bw400, this is not a good guy for you to be entangled with. Although I’d hesitate to label him with any of the usual personality disorders, it’s obvious he’s got big issues and he’s trying to blame them all on you. You’ve had a string of abusive boyfriends before, and it looks as if you’ve just landed one more. If you have abandonment problems, it’s likely that you’ve been making do with the first partner who comes along, no matter how unsuitable, instead of holding out for someone worthy of you.

    Where is there any future for you in this relationship? You can’t cure this guy of his issues. He sounds like a loser for a start. He’s got no direction in life, as you said, and while he might be making good money working for his father right now, I don’t suppose that will always be true. If you married him, with the “scary” shopping sprees he indulges in, you’d be constantly worrying, you’d have no financial security, and you’d probably end up bankrupt! And that’s just the money angle.

    As for the rest of it, he thinks it’s your job to keep him happy, which is something you can never hope to do—especially with his moodiness and apparent dysphoria—and any time you fail at this impossible task he blames you! This is a common trait of many abusers.

    He doesn’t seem to have the same values that you do, and as for his calling you “selfish” for focusing on your academic work and internships, that’s utterly ridiculous! Of course you need to make the best of those opportunities while they’re there! That’s not “selfishness”; that’s just intelligent self-interest and plain common sense! I gather he thinks you ought to give up your life ambitions just to keep him entertained! In reality he’s the one who’s being selfish. It’s entirely his own fault that he didn’t do the same and has no qualifications now. Again, he calls you a “vampire,” but his incessant demands on you make him sound more like the vampire.

    I don’t doubt you’re right that he objected to your going to university in part because he preferred you to be more dependent on him. However, I dare say he’s also just plain jealous of your achievements. You mentioned that he tells lies to make himself look (and feel) better. I imagine he has self esteem problems. If you stuck with this guy I think he’d always try to hold you back, drag you down and sabotage your progress so he wasn’t left feeling inferior to you.

    I don’t think it’s possible to say what behavior can be expected of someone who’s breaking up with you. People can be so different. He might be manipulating you with these breakup threats, or he might simply be ambivalent and inconsistent in his moods and attitudes. He could possibly have some borderline traits. But this kind of stormy relationship will never make you happy, and I’d encourage you to do the breaking up yourself. Meanwhile, it’s good to hear you’re starting therapy, and I trust it will help you work through your own issues as well as giving you the strength to get out of this relationship. Good luck!

  • #48357


    With all due respect to others’ opinions, in my 40 yrs trying to resolve my parents’ psycopathies, I’ve learned that concentrating in the “bad guy”‘s behavior, rationalizing it, analyzing it, studying his/her reactions to one’s actions, hypothesizing, diagnosing disorders that professionals still cannot decipher….is not the best course of action for ONE’S recovery. If the other is a problem, it’s not worth our limited energies, unless s/he willingly co-joins therapy at his/her share expenses. Life gets shorter every day that passes. Most abusers don’t change, but we can make a life better for ourselves and ours, if we still have anybody around. Get the best therapy your pocket can afford, and have an open mind, which I did not have at the beginning, to my chagrin.

  • #48472

    Donna Andersen

    bw400 – The guy is disordered. He is pulling all of the usual sociopathic tricks. He is trying to drag you down and keep control over you. Get rid of him.

    BTW, these relationships are highly addictive, and what you feel for him is addiction, not love. Type “addicted to a sociopath” in the Google search bar at the top of this column and read the articles. You might also want to check out our webinars – we explain all of this.

    It makes total sense that you feel more dependent on him now that previously. That’s because of how he is manipulating you.

  • #48498


    Dear BW400,

    Must confess I’ve had abandonment issues, and I am still working on it. How I address abandonment issues is to work hard on my spirituality by prayer and meditation, trying to put my dependence on my Higher Power rather than on people.

    The other way I address abandonment issues is to try to work on having a circle of healthy friends through a variety of sources, such as work, volunteer work, meetups, Blogs, and Forums, etc.

    Realize these relationships are HIGHLY ADDICTIVE, and they can be difficult to extricate yourself from. My last involvement took TWO close friends giving me daily support until I got out. They never saw anything like it before–they told me it was like trying to help a drug addict give up drugs or helping someone to get out of a cult! It was like I was a very different person in the relationship than I was before the relationship.

    Please read everything Donna Andersen writes and check in with her Blog often.

    It does get better!

    Yours truly,


  • #48555


    Good luck with your journey.

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