I have been in a relationship for 17 months and living together 6 months. These past 6-8 weeks have been very difficult. I finally had it. I took the last blow. Intimacy has deteriorated. When it seems as if I initiate sex 2-3 times a week, he refuses or has a headache. The last 2 times he actually threw me off him and when he initiated it at 1:30 AM, I allowed him because it is what bonds us and I enjoy him. His behavior has been distant, I did not understand so I asked. He told me to respect his wishes & he'll respect mine. When I continued to let him know he hurt me he told me to shut the fuck up each time. Excuse my language, for the situation I got so furious I asked him to get out, I threw his clothes on the floor the second time it occurred. This last incident I actually asked him to go to hotel which I drove him to. I felt so rejected, hurt, numb. He pleaded not to take him he can sleep on the sofa. I thought this was best so we don't escalate. Was I in the wrong for telling him it was the last blow and ask him to leave? He came to get his things he expressed it was messed up & low. I felt disrespected in so many ways. I’ve never had a man in my life reject me while initiating sex. I guess I felt entitled for being there for him in the last year. I moved him in because he had a 2nd DUI was in jail for 3 month. Then his uncle threatened to throw him out. I felt I needed to be there for him. He has been sober 10 months and saw progress in his day to day going to work etc.. He even cooked for me. Now he said it’s my fault. I made the decision to kick him out and he will not come back. He said he has no security since if I kick him out again. I understand it is probably better he gets on his own two feet, better for me as well the verbal abuse/physical I know I deserve better. It is like death of a break up. Was I in the wrong?
It sounds like your relationship was pretty unhealthy and so it’s probably a good thing to take a step back, even if it hurts. Breaking up is like a kind of death and sometimes you need to allow yourself to grieve.
I want to address a few things you said, though. First, no one is ever entitled to sex. I’m taking a hard line on this one because sex should be a completely a consensual act and if one person feels they are “owed” sex, it’s likely that there’s going to be a lot of disappointment, resentment and a shift in power that takes sex to an unhealthy place. It sounds like you guys ended up in that place. You felt rejected and angry. He felt that his wishes weren’t being respected. The feelings you were both having were very real and so its not surprising that you hit a wall.
And then there’s the matter of verbal and physical abuse. Respect is a two way street and from what you’ve said, neither one of you was showing much respect to the other. Verbal and physical abuse are not okay under any circumstances, so maybe this breakup is really the best thing for both of you. You DO deserve better and he needs to get his life together so that he’ll be healthy and confident in his relationships. While you may have felt like you had to take him in to support him at one point, that burden may have left you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Maybe once he gets himself worked out, you two can try again. Or maybe it’s a good idea to find a guy who you’re on more even footing with.
Wishing you luck.
I was sexually and physically abused by my stepfather starting at the age of 8. My mother was aware of most of it especially the physical abuse. I'm 47. My mother tells me to get over the past and that it has no bearing on today. Why does she not understand? Feeling small all over again.
I’m sorry that this happened to you and I’m even more sorry that your mother has not only been aware of it but continues to ignore the impact it’s had on your life. Sexual and physical abuse have long lasting effects on the victim including sleep disturbances and nightmares, PTSD, depression and a laundry list of other complications. It’s 100% normal for you to still be dealing with the abuse and its impact on your life so please believe me when I say that yes, it absolutely does bear on today.
I can’t begin to imagine what’s going on in your mother’s life that makes her look at the abuse as irrelevant, but I’m really more concerned with you. Have you been in counseling? There are a lot of support groups for abuse survivors and there are great counselors out there who can help you work on overcoming the abuse you’ve suffered. Many states offer several free counseling sessions for sexual abuse survivors regardless of how long ago it happened or whether it was ever reported. RAINN has an excellent hotline (both phone and online) with advocates who can help you find resources in your area.
Your mother is wrong. You are entitled to your feelings about the abuse. It should never have happened. It was not your fault. And you are not alone. There are a lot of people out there who want to help you and be there for you, even if your mother isn’t. Look to them for strength when you need it and give yourself credit for every step you’ve taken in your life to move forward. You are a survivor and you are amazing.
I'm 42, and was born with a disability, which makes it difficult for me to use the bathroom on my own. I have been with my boyfriend for 11 years now, and we have a child together. My problem is, whenever I ask my boyfriend for help with anything he complains. Tells me how much he hates helping me, making me feel like a burden. I could leave, but who's going to want to be with someone they have to help with simple things like getting on the toilet? He also has an elderly aunt (that he thinks of as a mother) She calls him constantly to run errands for her, and he never complains about it to me or anyone. I'm really tired of feeling so shitty about myself, but I'm not sure what to do.
Ok, let’s start with the basic and simple truth: you are not a burden. Period.
I can relate. I know how it feels to be treated like a burden over something you can’t control. I think it’s difficult for people who’ve never had to deal with a disability to understand and to empathize, but that’s no excuse for treating you badly. I also understand that, being the partner and/or caregiver of a person with a disability isn’t easy. That’s why there are support groups for caregivers. And it’s also why we have to be very careful to watch for abuse of those who cannot take care of themselves (elderly, disabled, children, etc.).
So, back to your boyfriend…his behavior is unacceptable and it needs to stop. This disability isn’t new and he was aware of it when he starting dating you, right? I understand that it may feel overwhelming for him and maybe he needs to seek some support or counseling to work on how he’s feeling. But he needs to treat you with respect and compassion. And if he can’t do that, then you are better off without him.
The bottom line: there are lots of people who will love you and see beyond your disability. You are not your disability. You are a human being deserving of love and respect in all things and if your boyfriend can’t see that, then he doesn’t deserve you.
I don’t know what to do? My boyfriend is an abusive, jealous, drug addict. He has been in and out of jail. I have been dealing with that the whole seven years we have together. He has even cheated on me. We have an open cps case. Our kids got taken away. And can’t get them back till we do our classes we need to do and stay clean. I am staying clean and doing what I need to do. And he has not done anything. And right now he is in jail facing two theft enhancement charges. I don’t know if to leave him or what so I can be happy and get my kids back. Or wait till whenever he gets out to see if he is changed. Right now while he is locked up he is still telling me stuff, and blaming me for everything.
Good for you for doing what you need to do for your kids. You and your kids deserve a happy, safe and stable life and it sounds like your boyfriend hasn’t even figured out how to do that for himself much less provide that kind of environment for you and your kids. There’s always a chance that he may change (though it doesn’t sound like it’s happened yet) but I would suggest not “waiting” to find out. Your kids need you. They need you to have a plan for how you’re going to parent them and for what’s going to happen when their dad is back in their lives. I would suggest talking with a counselor or an advocate (or both) and have them help you come up with a plan. If your boyfriend gets out and is a changed man, then you will have steps to follow on how to integrate him back into your lives. But if he doesn’t, you still have a responsibility to yourself and to your children to create a good, healthy life.
Stay strong and healthy.
I have a 20 year old daughter that is dating a 20 year old male. They have been dating for about 8 months. His childhood was not a good one from what he has told my daughter. I am starting to notice red flags (well in my opinion red flags). It seems over time my daughter is being taken away from us. I feel she is being isolated from us. She still lives at home with us but since dating him, she is with him 24/7. I believe she is also pregnant. I understand being in love and wanting to be together and all that but she is not herself anymore. Just last night we were discussing the holidays with the both of them and he stopped me from talking and said no, my daughter is staying with him at his mom’s (he still lives at home also) Christmas Even and morning and then they will be over for 1 hour Christmas morning. All of her time is with him. If they are not together, he is calling her. If he cannot get a hold of her, he is calling me questioning where she is. He has always been nice to us and our other children. I just feel uneasy about the whole situation. My daughter and I have always been extremely close but since she started dating him, we only talk maybe once or twice a week when she is stopping by to shower and get more clothes to stay with him. (she is not allowed to shower at his house). I am scared for her and the baby if she is pregnant. How do I address this with her? Am I overreacting? What do I do?
I don’t think it’s overreacting to feel concerned at this point. But I want to suggest that you try to stay calm for two reasons. One, because children (of all ages) notoriously are drawn to the things that their parents disapprove of and making a huge scene about this relationship may just strengthen her resolve to be in it. And two, because at 20 years old, it’s entirely possible that they are in that all-consuming relationship phase and that things will mellow out over time.
Ok, so let’s talk about communication and boundaries. The best thing you can do, I think, is to establish open communication with your daughter and boundaries with both your daughter and her boyfriend. Let your daughter know that you are feeling like she’s been distant and that you are really interested in reestablishing your connection. Don’t make it about the boyfriend. Make it about spending time together and bonding. And then draw some clear boundaries. For instance, if she’s going to be living in your house, its not unreasonable to ask her to spend some time with you guys…maybe some shared family meals or something along those lines. This one is tricky because if you push too hard, it may result in her moving out completely. But you’re going to have to accept the fact that she’s an adult and that may happen anyway.
Ok, now with the boyfriend. The next time he calls you to check up on her, let him know that you are not responsible for keeping track of her and that you’d rather he not call you for this reason. Be kind but firm. It’s not appropriate for him to be checking up on her, especially with you. If he had a rough childhood, he may be dealing with all kinds of trust and control issues. These do not make him a bad person but it does make it that much more important for you to maintain firm and loving boundaries with both of them.
If you can get the lines of communication running more smoothly with your daughter, then maybe you can find a way to address some of your concerns in a way that does not make her feel like you’re trying to run her life. You can have healthy relationship discussions in a more general way. The control issues may work themselves out once the intensity of the relationship dies down or they may get worse. Helping to equip your daughter with the tools she needs to recognize unhealthy relationship elements and deal with them is the best thing you can do for her as a mother.
I'm including a diagram from the-lookout.org.uk for your consideration. As you can see, some of the behaviors that you’re noting as red flags do fall into the unhealthy category but that may simply be a signal that there are things that need to be worked out, not that the relationship is ultimately bad or doomed.
Wishing you luck and patience.
My husband and I have been married for 10 years, we have one child together, and I have three children brought into this marriage. I feel I'm at the breaking point, and don't know what to do. He's tired of financially supporting my other 3, yet before we married, he made it clear that he wanted none of their fathers to be connected to them whatsoever. My oldest is 17, and graduating this year. My youngest of my 3, is 12. He knows no one other than my husband. It's become very verbally abusive, and constantly ridiculing me for not financially contributing, yet doesn't want me working outside of the home. I'm confused, tired, beyond stressed and dealing with depression. I also have a single injury requiring surgery soon. I feel like I'm ready to leave, and not turn back. I feel I'm wasting my time. He offers absolutely no support dealing with anything to do with the kids except our child together. My other children see and know his lack of connection with them. Should I consider counseling or move on? He has a very egotistical personality, so I don't have confidence in counseling for him. I have been in counseling for years due to PTSD, from an entire childhood of sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse. It's a mess!
Wow, that’s a lot to deal with and I can understand why you’ve hit your breaking point. Have you talked with your current counselor about your relationship and how it’s affecting you and your children?
I’ve thought long and hard about how to respond to your question. I have many questions of my own and before I start giving you my perspective, I want to recommend that you stay in counseling and that you consider some family counseling, with or without your husband, for you and your kids. They’re going to need help working through this situation regardless of whether you choose to stay or go.
So there were some pretty big red flags for me in your letter starting with the fact that your husband insisted that your children’s fathers had nothing to do with them. Not knowing your background with their fathers, I hesitate. I can understand not wanting to have anything to do with men who have been abusive or have other negative issues that might affect your family. However (and this is a big however), having your kid’s dads involved in supporting them is actually a really important thing. I understand that ego can get in the way sometimes (new husband wants to take care of wife and kids by himself) BUT that neither relieves the other dads from their responsibility NOR does it mean that cutting those people out of their lives is the best thing for your kids. The truth of the matter is that the financial support is not at all about you or your husband, but about your kids…about providing for their needs. So it concerns me a little bit that he was so ready to remove your children’s fathers from their lives.
That, coupled with the verbal abuse that is taking place now makes me very wary of your husband’s intentions. How long have things been like this? Do you have a support system outside your marriage? Why doesn’t he want you working outside the home, especially if financial contribution is an issue for him? These are some of the things I would ask you to consider if we were chatting in person.
Ok, so down to the quick of it. It is absolutely unacceptable for him to be verbally abusive. Period. To you or to your kids. And treating them different than his biological kid is emotionally abusive to them (all of them, including his biological child). The abuse needs to stop. Whether that happens as a result of counseling or you leaving, you have an obligation to yourself and to your children to raise them in a safe and healthy environment. If you want to work on keeping your family together, then yes, I suggest family counseling. If your husband isn’t receptive, that’s one consideration in making a decision to stay or go. If he doesn’t want to make things better than you need to make a decision that’d going to keep your and your kids safe emotionally.
Now, back to you. First, kudos for seeking counseling and working on your issues because abuse stays with us throughout our lives and is present in every decision we make, whether for good or for bad. I would suggest speaking with your counselor about next steps for you and your family. Living in an abusive environment is certainly going to undermine the work you are doing on your own PTSD and abuse recovery. And the hard truth is that your children are learning from what they are seeing around them. Tell your counselor that you need things to change and that you need their help in making that happen. If they recommend family counseling, try it. But have them help you work on boundaries.
The bottom line is that your husband’s behavior is unreasonable and unacceptable. He married you knowing that you had children he would be responsible for. He has an obligation to treat those kids with respect. I’m concerned that his decisions both to have you stay at home and to keep your other children’s fathers out of their lives is a way of isolating you. I don’t want to be an alarmist and maybe I am totally off base here (I’m operating on a very small snapshot of your lives), but there’s not much about this situation that seems functional to me. Find help! See your current counselor or seek out a new one if you need to. Find a family counselor. You may even try contacting your local domestic violence program and see what kind of family services they provide.
Regardless what action you take, please know that you are deserving of love and respect. You do not have to accept a life of verbal abuse and ridicule. Believe me. You and your children deserve more.
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.