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We're toxic to each other... please help me think straight

(25 Posts)
NinnaW Fri 21-Nov-14 21:30:35

NC. I am desperate and I need help to save my relationship.
I've thrashed his self esteem and he thrashed mine.
I make him feel stupid and useless.
He makes me feel undesired and ugly.
I don't even know where to start with examples. I am so scared we've gone beyond repair. Absolutely awful things have been said. I can't deal with the pain anymore, it's tearing me apart. I'm an intelligent, rational and educated woman but today after he left and I've crashed on the floor in tears I've thought about self harming. I've never done such a thing, I've never thought about it even but just for a moment I thought the only thing that's going to take the pain away is a knife in my flesh.
He won't touch me. At the beginning he blamed lack of sex drive, tiredness, we used to talk about it and things would get better for a while. We;ve been having sex once a month for the past year or so, every time if I initiate it. Feels like it's a chore for him. In the past 2 months I've given up, I found it too humiliating. I couldn't possibly talk about it with him anymore, I've tried so many times, I can't bear the humiliation again. Today I walked in the bathroom, he was naked - I couldn't bear it, I walked out and started crying. The frustration, the embarassment. At my own DP.
I know he doesn't fancy me. It doesn't make any easier. He says things like "size 14?!!" (I was buying a coat for my DSis) - yes you guessed I'm a size 14 too. Or "oh dear you're giving me style tips" - it's meant to be funny but it stings. In normal circumstances, I'd laugh but now I can't. And then I become the oversensitive grumpy one.
I have a better job and earn more money. I think I suffer from superiority complex. I find it very hard to understand why can't he "get" things as quick as I do, why can't he do things as quick/good. I got no patience. I haven't got much tact either. I'm nasty to him, very nasty. Sometimes he's nasty back, most times he takes it and lowers his head.
I suspect is one of the reasons why he doesn't fancy me (this sounds simplistic but I can't think of a better word). We lost respect for each other and we lost the passion. I want to, but I'd find it very hard if not impossible to kiss him. Like a proper kiss. Him - I don't think he'd want to.
He doesn't believe in counseling and even if I'd force him to go, he wouldn't open up.
I'm not LTB. And he's not LTBitch either.

Antsypantsy Fri 21-Nov-14 21:39:15

Why aren't any of you prepared to leave? Have you discussed it? Perhaps he is. It sounds like one of you needs to.

overslept Fri 21-Nov-14 22:49:52

You honestly want to stay together? You want to spend the rest of your life in a loveless, sexless relationship where you can't look at him naked without crying and have had thoughts of self harm? You say he doesn't find you attractive and you couldn't even stand to kiss him?! confused Most people view total strangers with less contempt!
Things won't change. Well they possibly could but that won't happen unless you both wanted them to and were both willing to go to considerable effort to modify your behaviour and the way you view each other. I can't see that happening. Can you?

How long have you been together?

Life is too short to waste your time and emotions in this cycle of causing each other pain and suffering.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Nov-14 05:37:41

No relationship should be this traumatic. Incompatibility so bad that you want to self harm is not something you're going to smooth over with counselling. I don't know what is binding you together or how long you've been a couple but surely you're at the point where it's time to call it a day?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 22-Nov-14 08:01:03

You want help to save your relationship and seem determined not to LTB to boot?!.

If someone else was writing this what would your own advice be?.

There is nothing to save here and your love for each other is more likely than not to be co-dependency. He was never your project to rescue and or save either.

Why are you together at all, you both seem intent on destroying each other so you would be better off apart.

holeinmyheart Sat 22-Nov-14 08:22:50

What you are asking for is help to save your relationship, not for people just to say 'give up'
To be honest what you have written does sound horrendous. However, here goes.
First check with your GP that you are not depressed. If you are, sort that out first. Any talk of Self-Harming is scary.
Sit down and have a hard look at yourself and your DP and decide is your relationship worth saving?
If the answer is yes, then remember it is going to be HARD WORK. And accept that it will be.
Secondly give your self a time scale to do something about the situation, say six months.
You CAN do something about your physical appearance . If you don't like being a size 14 , then diet and ask someone who you trust to look at your clothing. Do anything necessary that makes you look and feel better about yourself. They say a change is as good as rest and I think it is true.

Stop being horrible to your husband. Every time you feel like giving him a slap across the face with nasty words, think about the effect you are having on yourself. Take some deep breaths and stop.
Resolve to react to any mean actions or words from him with NO reaction.

Make a list of his good points ( he must have some) and concentrate on them. After all you loved this man once, so you must have seen something in him.
YOU don't like being hurt with words and neither does he. And being verbally abused is not usually used as sexual foreplay. It puts most people off.

Do something nice and kind for him every day from now on. Make him toast or something, etc. and do something kind for yourself. One treat a day to reward yourself for being you.

MNetters are going to say, about what I have written, what is he going to do?

My reply is that you can only change yourself. Start with yourself first.
I think you have got yourselves into a bad place and now you need to get yourself out of it , before you tackle your relationship woes.

It is difficult to be horrible to someone who is being nice. It is also good to be around someone who is happy.
When I am in the kitchen I put on my fav CDs and sing along whilst I am cooking.So do something that cheers you up and makes you laugh. You must have fav music. If you have, listen to it, instead of giving him a mouthful.

Go and do something silly together such as Go-Carting or find an interesting film. I saw Gone Girl recently and enjoyed it. Hold his hand in the cinema or walking along. Smile at him instead of glaring.

To help you, I suggest you go on a Mindfulness course. They are worth every penny. You can download meditation instructions from the web, but attending a course is better. The philosophy helps you think about what you are doing. It will also help you to relax.
Fury and anger have a bodily reaction. Your body feels mad and it is not good for your heart or blood pressure. You owe it to yourself to remain calm and as your mind controls your body, you can do it.

Your DP is going to be a bit staggered at first by your being so nice. Let's hope he responds in kind and you can start rebuilding some trust towards one another.
It took awhile to get into the state your relationship is in so don't expect miracles over night. There is a lot of hurt to undo.
Best of luck xx

HelloItsMeFell Sat 22-Nov-14 08:31:50

Do you have children together?

I'm not sure why you are so intent on saving the relationship tbh. It sounds as though it ran its course a long time ago and once that level of contempt has set in there is no going back. Why don't you do one another a favour and set one another free? It's not a sign of failure you know. It's grown up to both recognise and admit that it's time to move on with no hard feelings.

It sounds like that's what you both need. Even if you can learn to be nicer to one another he doesn't feel any urge whatsoever to have a sexual relationship with you and that's pretty tough to live with if you still want to have regular sex with him. If you are married with children then I can understand why you'd put up with that in the hope that is might get better, or just sacrifice that part of yourself for the greater good, but if you are not married and don't have children together then why would you want to live half a life like this?

arseyfarcey Sat 22-Nov-14 09:18:55

Sounds really stressful. Do you want to save the relationship because you love him, or because you're scared of change? Or maybe scared your behaviour won't change in a new relationship either?

If its the former, the I think Holes advice is brilliant. Going to steal myself some tips there

Hatespiders Sat 22-Nov-14 09:34:11

This sounds indeed like a very toxic relationship. You're both desperately unhappy and existing in a living hell from what you describe.

Sometimes you can get 'hooked' into misery and despair. It almost feels 'normal' and any thoughts of leaving or getting away cause internal panic.
I've been in that situation myself a long time ago with a bf. I was almost 'addicted' to the ghastly feelings of hopelessness.

Could you perhaps try a separation for a time, just to think calmly and 'find yourself'? I would imagine being on your own for a period would be better than this dreadful situation.
And if you feel like self-harming or worse, please talk to the Samaritans. They're absolutely wonderful, and on call 24/7.

Twinklestein Sat 22-Nov-14 09:50:35

Can you articulate why you want to stay in this relationship OP?

SelfLoathing Sat 22-Nov-14 10:05:52

I need help to save my relationship.

Reading your post, it sounds like the seventh circle of hell.

This is not good for you or for him. Why do you want to "save" it? It doesn't sound actually like any kind of relationship at all. And certainly not one that's good for you.

If you read that post about another person or a friend of yours said all of that, you'd be advising "out the door asap" do not pass go, do not collect £500.

Do you have children together? Why do you think he hasn't left if its as bad as you say? Why haven't you left?

If you feel like self-harming, this is way beyond something you should be clinging to out of a fear of being alone. For your own sanity, at least try a trial separation as Hatespiders says.

Seriouslyffs Sat 22-Nov-14 10:10:49

As others have said, why do you wan to stay together? How old is the relationship? How old are you both? Unless there are 'ties'- children, property, one moved to be near the other, you can be free today.

alongcamespiders Sat 22-Nov-14 10:13:15

Oh goodness it sounds so painful. I was involved in something similar (more than once) it sounds trite but 'two wrongs don't make a right'.
Apparently we only get one shot at life, do you really want this to be your story?
There is a lot of resources online and you can go to meetings re codependency, just have a read of some of the traits of codependency and you might find that helpful.
Who knows , maybe you will find a way between you but whatever happens, something has to change now, no time like the present to start the shift.
There are chemicals released when you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, your body becomes addicted to these chemicals, I don't know the technical terms but apparently something to do with peptides, do some research.
A counsellor you can trust will help you to see that there is more to you than this and that you deserve better and of course your 'partner' deserves better too. If your partner isn't wiling to change then you will have to think about whether you want to start off on a new journey alone.

Your situation sounds so dark but it doesn't have to be. I escaped these kind of devastating relationships, they are nothing but destructive, you do not need to destroy each other and you will be able to live quite happily without each other.

SelfLoathing Sat 22-Nov-14 10:20:12

There are chemicals released when you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, your body becomes addicted to these chemicals, I don't know the technical terms but apparently something to do with peptides, do some research.

Really alongcamespiders? I've never heard this before. Do you have any more info on this? Or does anyone? I will google.

SelfLoathing Sat 22-Nov-14 10:22:05

Wow! Just read this. No idea if its true but it sounds plausible.

https://cafephilos.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/why-women-sometimes-become-addicted-to-abusive-partners/

Twinklestein Sat 22-Nov-14 10:53:18

I know nowt about peptides but I do think adrenaline and stress hormones are addictive which is why you get 'adrenaline junkies'.

Hatespiders Sat 22-Nov-14 11:06:58

Yes there is such a thing as 'adrenaline addiction'. The surge of adrenaline during stress causes epinephrine and dopamine to be released from the endocrine system into the blood, and the body becomes dependent on them.

alongcamespiders Thu 27-Nov-14 12:23:04

Sorry a bit late with the research www.ingenio.com/CommunityServer/UserBlogPosts/Anthony_Iantosca/Relationship-Love-Addiction/689811.aspx

alongcamespiders Thu 27-Nov-14 12:26:58

Theres quite a Lot to wade Through but it gives some good explanations for why we stay in toxic situations blog.melanietoniaevans.com/trauma-bonding-is-it-love-or-something-else/

alongcamespiders Thu 27-Nov-14 12:28:28

I meant to say that the last article is very much centred around relationships with narcissitst but a lot of the theories fit any kind of toxic or anusive situations

Quitelikely Thu 27-Nov-14 12:51:48

Well you do sound like a nasty piece of work! Abusive for a start.

And I can understand why your dp does not want to have sex with someone who treats them this way.

I actually think it's too late. But good luck to both of you. It might not be a LTB situation but trust me this is never going to last forever. It's not a normal relationship and I'm sure heads will be turned at the earliest opportunity when someone throws a bit of normality and niceness towards one of you.

nextyearsgirl Thu 27-Nov-14 22:36:13

I could have written your post 6 months ago. Well, if I hadn't been too befuddled by the whole situation to see it for what it was. The part that really struck a chord was the 'superiority complex'. Have you considered the idea that it's not a complex but that you maybe genuinely are in a relationship with someone you subconsciously consider 'inferior' by your own value system?
In my case the decision was taken out of my hands by an escalation of the situation/ his behaviour and we did split. And, despite the hard work that comes with single parenthood, and financial insecurity, I can honestly say I finally feel a contentment I would never have known in the relationship. It's terrifying at first. But you'll be surprised how quickly you find yourself wondering how and why you tolerated the situation for so long. (Not to mention hear friends asking the same thing!).
I am still in contact with my ex because of our son, and I think we are both better, happier people and patents for separating. I can actually enjoy co-parenting with him occasionally, which was rarely the case as a couple.
Whatever you decide try not to make the decision based on fear of a future that might turn out alot different than you pictured it.

RandomFriend Fri 28-Nov-14 01:06:34

You could have some counselling yourself, OP, even if he doesn't want to. That would help you to work out why (if) you want to stay in the relationship, and if you do, what you can do to improve the situation.

dowagerinacab Fri 28-Nov-14 01:22:54

When you've nothing left but contempt for each other, it's time to quit. You don't like each other.

You both have a chance to be happy without each other. You might even be able to be friends again, but sometimes you've got to know when to call it a day. There are worse things than breaking up. You are living those things.

Jan45 Fri 28-Nov-14 13:15:16

Sorry but it sounds like the relationship ended a long time ago, you sound completely mismatched.

All you are doing is dragging it on and going round in a vicious circle of name calling, feeling hut, feeling happier then back to feeling hurt again.

I cannot fathom out what there is to stay for.

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