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I ruined my relationship - Need perspective - abuse - OCD(14 Posts)
My boyfriend ran off from me over a misunderstanding but that was just the straw that broke the camels back I guess and I don’t blame him. He’s now moved all his stuff out and is away in another city planning to move there and won’t speak to me. He just said that he doesn’t believe things will change, he’s tired of being hurt and doesn’t trust me. He says I’m a bully and I abused him and also he thinks I have Borderline Personality Disorder and need help for that. I should have got help sooner. I wanted to but I couldn’t find a therapist I liked enough in the area and also I stupidly thought I could get better by myself. I could have done if I’d done things differently and tried harder but I didn’t I guess because I couldn’t get better in time.
My issue is that I can’t forgive myself for the way I treated him and making the person I love feel like that and get to the point where he had to leave me. I just feel like a horrible person and can’t believe I did those things and acted like that. I need some perspective on what I did please. And also on the relationship. Not really advice about what to do as I know all that already as I don’t even have a choice but to move on.
I tried to control him to go along with my OCD rituals. Constantly criticising him, asking him to do things like washing his hands and mentioning things to do with my contamination OCD. It’s like I can’t believe that was me. But it was. And I take responsibility. I don’t really care about things and don’t want to act that or let it affect him like I did. I have obsessive thoughts about past mistakes too so I’m really beating myself up about it all.
At the beginning of our relationship I let him become an element in trauma for me as I put up with his alcoholism and him living in this horrible house share where anyone could move in (it was like a step up from living on the streets). I actually ended up moving in there because I had low self esteem when I met him and deluded myself into thinking whatever he thought was ok was ok when it really wasn’t. I just wanted to be with him and to go along with whatever he wanted. Obviously that’s not his fault at all it was mine for being like that. So after something happened at this horrible accommodation which bothered both of us but that I was actually traumatised by I then realised it was all wrong and needed to move out. He wanted to move out too but also had low esteem which manifested in a different way. I think he was scared of living in a nice place because he thought the nice normal people wouldn’t accept him or something. So he wouldn’t bother looking for places to move out and I had to do all the work looking for individual places just for me and places for both of us and kept nagging him and convincing him to help me look for both of us and help him self by looking just for himself too. He’d also miss some viewings because of his drinking. All this caused me to have the extreme OCD related to being trapped in that place with scary people etc.and it wasn’t his fault at all that we were in that situation because I chose to move in there when he kindly offered but at that point where we both realised how horrible it was and I was being traumatised he kept making it go on for longer and making it worse by being drunk a lot.
So that is why I have still tried to control him related to my OCD because although I have tried to forgive and forget I guess my OCD subconsciously could not forget. It’s not an excuse just a reason. There are no excuses for what I’ve done in my mind. I just feel so bad about it. He’s since changed and not drinking for a year yet I still let my OCD fears about the past effect him by trying to control him which is so horrible and unfair. He goes along with these things a lot which have been really hard and made him miserable. I don’t care about those OCD things really I just wanted to move on and be nice to him and happy. I know for sure I could be. We also have natural communication issues between us would be there anyway. So I can be realky bad in arguments too but also He bottles things up then gets really angry and says things he doesn’t really mean (I don’t if he means them or not but he doesn’t normally say those things), calls me names (I have done that too) etc. He says normally he lies to me about things so that I won’t get mad at him and start an argument. So he says it was all lies and what he says in an argument is the truth. Then when he clams down again he says that he didn’t actually mean those things and what he says normally is the truth. But I’d be willing to deal with that and be the bigger person in those situations and just let it go rather than engaging in defending myself against his false accusations etc. I know I can do it. He’d be worth it. But he doesn’t want to be with which obviously I accept so I’d just be like that and learn to be nice if I have another realtionship in the future. Also, I lose my temper and get frustrated and angry in arguments too maybe worse than him and raise my voice. Usually what I’m saying is correct and what I think but I say it horribly and raise my voice. Raising my voice/probably shouting m is the thing I definitely do sometimes when we get in a heated argument and also I won’t drop the argument and get caught up over details instead of just letting it go and knowing he doesn’t mean it and it doesn’t matter. I hate it so much and I’m going to make I never behave like that with anyone again.
Also, I’m so ashamed but one time I threw a champagne bottle on the floor between us over something stupid OCD thing I was going internally crazy over and he was ignoring me. I can’t believe I did that and there is no excuse I feel terrible. He must have been scared. I mean I was scared by it and I was the one who threw it. However, he doesn’t believe me that I was aiming for the floor where it landed (but it was really near him – makes me sick to think about it) and thinks I tried to threw it at him but missed. I tried to explain that I know its still bad but that’s not true but he won’t hear it. Also, he thinks I do other things which I never do like he accuses me of lying etc. I think because of the bottle throwing incident he has it in his mind that I’m an abuser and that I do things which classic abusers do or something which he read about. Like isolating him from friends and family (we moved to another city so we could afford a place together), lying and ‘trying to make it so he can’t live without me’. None of those things are true (although I’m starting to think maybe they are?) So I know I’ve mistreated him and I feel like a bad person but on top of what’s actually happened he thinks I’m worse than I am. He probably wouldn’t want to get back with me anyway though so I guess it’s besides the point.
I feel like this horrible abuser and I just need some perspective on how bad it was and the situation because I know in the past my obsessive thoughts cloud my judgement. However I know it’s bad so I really don’t know. I’m really not looking for someone to tell it’s ok etc. at all. I’m just looking for the truth of what my perspective really is and how bad it really was whatever that may be. So then I can know how to come to terms with that. I know my behaviour was abusive because I have read the definition of abuse. However, I don’t know how bad it was or know my perspective on behaviour and the whole situation. Partly because of Obsessive thoughts about past mistakes but honestly talking it through and hearing others perspective is what helps me when I get like this. I can’t move forward unless I can know my perspective on the situation and my behaviour so I can come to terms with it and move forward.
Imagine your friend came to you and said they’d done the things I’ve done to their partner behaved that way. What would your honest reaction be?
Now imagine someone you care about came to you and told you that their partner had treated them and behaved the way I have to my boyfriend. What would your honest reaction be?
I really need help knowing what everyone’s perspective and preferably why so I can help know my own. Thanks.
And I’m also seeing a therapist now and I’m on anti anxiety meds. Don’t know how much that is helping, though. I'm so depressed.
Also, the way he just ran off from me and then I acted like a crazy stalker calling him all the time and waited outside the place I thought he'd be staying just so I could know what he was thinking as the last time I saw him he ran off over a misunderstand I was apologising for and he was accusing me of a lying when I wasn't and said he'd only consider being with me if I admitted I was lying but I ironically I didn't want to lie to him to say that and then he literally just ran off from me. So the whole thing about stalking him and the way he broke up with me with no break up talk or explanation but running off and then I felt even worse for having to track him down. Like I must have done something really bad for him to just run off from me like that (which I did but it makes it seem even worse) I don't blame him though he's just trying to protect himself. Also, when I finally got to speak to him after a couple of days of not even knowing what was going on really he said he doesn't want to be with me but also mentioned that he wouldn't be able to face going back to our apartment now as too many bad memories or too painful I assume. So now I hate it here as he said that and I want to move but I don't really want to move. I'm just so depressed about it and feel terrible.
I couldnt read and run, you sound so upset. I'm up v late with a porly child and I couldn't concentrate to read all the detail you included in your post. I do think.though, that the length and detail of your post shows how anxious and obsessive your thinking patterns are. Maybe neither of you are mentally well.enough to be good for each other or help.each other right now. I hope you feel.better for getting your thoughts written down. Maybe you could try to get some rest now and re read what you've written down tomorrow. Things seem less overwhelming in the daytime. You could try to.let it go for now. I doubt you're abusive - you seem to care too.much about your partners feeling s. I will keep you in my thoughts tonight
Thank you for your response. You're very kind.
I didn't think about posting it late, guess I'd get more replied if I'd waited till morning oh well. I can't sleep tonight.
Up again with sick.kid. Thought of you after a hectic day. I hope you had some sleep and a better day.
Hi op, I saw your post last night but was too sleepy to reply - just come across it again. I would say your behaviour is fairly typical for someone who's lived with / been in a relationship with an alcoholic. It messes with your head and you can end up really damaged. Even when they have stopped drinking. A lot of the things you say sound really familiar to me. I suggest you try Al Anon which is for anyone affected by someone else's drinking. You can share your story with people who understand and get some help www.al-anonuk.org.uk/
It was recommended to me initially by a counsellor for ongoing support when my counselling finished and it has been a lifeline for me
Oh and alcoholics are past masters at twisting things so it looks like you're in the wrong - really don't worry about whether you're abusive. You're damaged, you don't like the way you've been behaving and you are trying to sort yourself out. You're doing the best you can so don't be hard on yourself.
Hi, thank you for both for your responses.
I just feel so guilty and terrible about it. I hate living in the apartment still (we've moved into a nice one together a year ago) because it reminds me of the broken relationship/dream. Also, when he had broken up with me he said he doesn't want to be with me anyway/anywhere but that he wouldn't be able to face going back to the apartment. So it makes me hate being here even more. It's like bad vibes/memories. Also I stupidly spoke to my aunt when she called about my grandad being hospital. My grandad is the only member of my family who I like or speak to. And i ended up answering her call and meeting with her even though I know what she's like. She was so horrible. She just constantly guilt trips me about cutting out my mother and grandmother after they abused and traumatised me/betrayed me. She tries to make me feel bad about my feelings/decisions and tries to make me feel guilty for accepting money from my grandad. She kept touching me and hugging me and it was so horrible. I kept speaking to her though because I just felt so guilty and was desperate using her for someone to talk to about how I treated my boyfriend. It was so stupid and bad. It's because I don't have any friends and the one 'friend' I do have was making me feel guilty about not calling her back about my grandad. I was planning on just waiting for her to text back the hospital details. Then when I called her back I got sucked back into the horrible madness again. Everything is just so horrible. my aunt kept comparing me to my mother too and saying i owe her something because i wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for her. well I didn't choose her as my mother. my aunt is so controlling and manipulative and spiteful. so as soon as I start to feel a tiny bit better about my guilt about my boyfriend I then get intrusive thoughts about my horrible 'family' and wishing i hadn't met with my aunt. it has made me feel like I don't matter again like how I felt when I was a child. like they have some control or ownership over me and like i owe them something.
anyway sorry for rambling/ranting about that. it's unrelated anyway. I'm just so miserable even if i start to feel a bit better about the main thing i'm sad about (i.e. my boyfriend).
Thank you MegTheCat for your response. I've just been feeling like a bad person for not getting over how he was before and then becoming worse in my behaviour once he's better. And no one seems to understand what it was like being with an alcoholic because he wasn't actually abusive to me or anything but it was;t exactly fun. So I've been feeling bad for not being more supportive and it is great that he didn't even have one drink for a year all that time I was making him miserable by mistreating him. What sort of behaviours do you recognise as someone who's been with an alcoholic? And I've heard people say that even when someone stops drinking they are still an alcoholic but I never understood or believed it and still don't. But are alcoholics in general good at getting you to think things are your fault? Is it something to do with them being used to denying their drinking problems so you think maybe my boyfriend is more likely to deny his other problems even after stopping drinking and place blame else where? Like out of habit? Thank you I will check out the alcoholics anonymous I've never thought of it before. I just feel like I don't want to make excuses for my behaviour or play the victim.
Sorry not to get back to you earlier. It's the dynamics of the relationship that struck a chord with me - your description of how he would bottle things up and then get angry, criticise you and call you names - etc - I've had the exact same thing. Also I would ask him not to do something that annoyed me and he would keep on doing it - on its own each incident seems minor but it's a whole pattern of lack of respect. My partner would also ascribe motives to me I didn't have and I would feel like I had to make him understand. It seemed like he always thought the worst of me - and I started to believe him. I have done the nagging, trying to control things and criticising. Like you I have raised my voice, argued back - and listened to myself and thought that is not how I want to be.
I don't know why but alcoholics often get even harder to live with when they stop drinking - I guess they still have whatever problems made them drink, and they're not anaesthetised by the alcohol any more.
Do try Al-anon (not the same as alcoholics anonymous by the way - that is for the alcoholics, al-anon is for families &friends of alcoholics). Like you say, you need help or you could end up taking this into another relationship.
Thank you. That actually makes a lot of sense. I really appreciate you saying that and it has opened my eyes a bit to what was going on. I think I was just guilted into thinking it was all me and to ignore what he was doing even though I felt it. He made me think everything he did wrong was either nothing wrong or was just a reaction to my bad behaviour. When I'm starting to see that was not the case. Hardly anyone seems to understand what it was like for me or how I lost trust in him and has been making me scared ever since. Yes he won't really take any criticism or talk about our problems and it's been difficult. I always just made excuses for him and I never saw it as being connected to him being an ex alcoholic. But what you makes sense and I actually understand what people mean now when they say someone is still an alcoholic once they stopped drinking. He wouldn't even admit he was an alcoholic. He knew he had a problem and stopped which is good but he still could never say the word. I think part of the reason it made it harder for me after he stopped and changed his attitudes towards what is an acceptable place to live etc. is that I always felt like he wasn't understanding what he but me through and wasn't being honest that he was sorry and had changed. So I still had resentment from that obviously which made getting over PTSD from it and rebuilding trust even harder.
Before he broke up with me he was annoyed that I wouldn't speak to him after he brought something traumatising for me in an argument. Then to react to me not talking to him for two days (which I regret by the way) he then starts saying really horrible things. He says that I manipulated/controlled him to move somewhere nice and that he doesn't want to be with someone who was traumatised by something 'trivial' like living that scary place. And kept repeating the scary man's name at me which he knew would upset in order I guess to get me to see it wasn't so bad. And he kept saying that it was fine. Even though I know he actually hated it too because of how he was when we were there and the things he'd say just wasn't. Just that he wasn't traumatised by it like me. Then after that I had to calm down, put that aside even thought it hurt me and I had to beg for him to take me back. Then he gave me one last chance. Then he never apologised and when I brought it up the next day to clarify how he really felt about it (because I knew that wasn't how he really felt all those horrible things he said but wanted to clarify) we ended up in another little argument. Then other tiny misunderstandings or little debates etc. and he literally runs off from me over a misunderstanding where he thought I didn't want to get the train because I was rejecting him. But it was because I wanted to walk instead because my OCD anxiety was strong because of the things he'd said the day before. And he kept calling me a liar. I apologised for a misunderstanding we had but said I wasn't lying and then he just suddenly says 'that's it isn't it? I don't want to be with you anymore and runs off and then blocks my number and doesn't contact me.
I know it's his decision but I do feel some annoyance about that because I chosen to ignore all those things he said basically and was willing to try to get better for him obviously and then it's like he didn't even care and expected me to behave absolutely perfectly without apologising to me.
I just called the al-anon helpline and she said that it was all my fault and that his drinking has nothing to do with it because he's stopped for a year. And that was the womsn on the helpline.
I feel so disgusted with myself for even calling and trying to play the victim when I'm the abuser
She said I should go to a company called Relate instead and go to their group
I'm surprised you got that reaction from the helpline (although I've never rung them myself so what do I know) You would certainly be welcomed at any of the al-anon meetings I go to, and it would be your choice whether it's right for you. So long as you can behave appropriately in the meeting, treat other people with respect etc I can't see there would be any problem. From your story, you have lived with a problem drinker, it has affected you, so you qualify.
Have you heard of co-dependency? There is a book by Melody Beatty called Co-dependent no more which is worth a read just to see if you recognise the signs in yourself.
Don't be disgusted with yourself - it's ok to look for help. And it's not helpful to label yourself either victim or abuser. You have been in an unhealthy relationship and you're damaged, and you're concerned about your own behaviour. I hope you can find the help you need.
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