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I need to be braver so I can leave and learn to be more comfortable on my own(18 Posts)
I met my boyfriend in April this year and have had an on/off relationship with him since then. I have written lots and lots of posts about this relationship on MN (which says a lot in its self I know) about my various reservations about him.
For example, he was very full on from the outset, telling me he loved me very early on. He has shown lots of controlling and jealous behaviours which have manifested themselves in many different ways. I get the feeling he gaslights me a lot, like deliberately waking me up in the middle of the night by stomping around the bedroom or talking to me, which he then denies. I know these are all red flags and every time I have posted on here pretty much everyone has said LTB. My RL friends don't like him either. I just always seem to have an underlying sense of anxiety and I recognise that there seems to be a pattern which echoes the cycle of abuse chart thing that I saw on here once (i.e. honeymoon period-tension building-argument-calm etc). I'm getting fed up with it.
Why do I stay? Well, during the calm/honeymoon periods it seems like the kind of relationship I have only ever been able to dream of. He provides me with companionship. We usually chat/text throughout the day and he is my go-to person if I feel like I need to talk to someone. We usually have a chat on the phone at bedtime. I have RL friends of course, but they have their own busy lives and are not always available. I suppose I feel lonely.
My ex (with whom i have a DD) recently got a new girlfriend and although I have no feelings towards him it made me feel a bit weird. I found out during a period when me and current boyfriend had split and I think that may have been a catalyst to why I decided to go back out with him because I didn't want to be on my own again.
I do suffer from loneliness a lot. I am quite isolated socially because of my DD as I only get alternate weekends off. Childcare is not an option at the moment as I am quite skint. I'm also quite a shy person so when I do get opportunities to go out and meet new people I find it difficult to make meaningful connections with people.
On the one hand I know deep down this is not a great relationship and that I would be better off leaving now when its relatively still a new relationship but I just find it difficult as I know how hard I find being on my own now that I have had a taste of having the support of a boyfriend if that makes sense.
He will get worse, and at the moment you can extricate yourself without too much difficulty. You will manage on your own and in all likelihood won't be alone (as in perhaps you will meet a new, non-abusive person in the future).
First step is the hardest.
Well, there's certainly nothing wrong with your judgement: you seem very perceptive about exactly what is going on here. Which is half the battle: you know that this is an unhealthy relationship, born out of loneliness rather than anything more solid.
Pretty much anyone would find change, and facign things alone, a daunting proposition. But you will cope on your own. You have before. Make sure to guard against relapses this time, since you know you are vulnerable to them.
Being on your own is a million times better than being with someone like this person (he is the epitome of what Dr Joe Carver describes as "The Loser") who abuses you and has done so from very early on in this so called relationship as well. The cycle of abuse is a continuous one and you would be far better off getting out now than in say a year's time when you are further enmeshed and over invested in this person. The so called "good times" are not all that good really and are likely now to becoming a lot fewer and further between.
What did you learn about relationships when growing up?. Its very likely that you learnt a lot of damaging crap that now needs to be unlearnt and sharpish. Counselling for you is certainly something you should consider (and if cost is a factor arrangements can be made). Womens Aid Freedom Programme would be something you should certainly look at now also.
You were targeted by your abusive boyfriend and he did that deliberately tool; he knows how vulnerable and lonely you are and uses all that against you accordingly. I doubt too whether he has been at all supportive really as well, a cat or dog would be a better companion to you. You're really alone even when you are with him and such men really hate women, all of them.
You have a DD; do you really want this man to be any sort of a role model to her?.
The really stupid thing is I sort of intellectually know all the red flag signs etc and have read loads of books about healthy relationships (and bad ones), assertiveness etc. I'm very good at giving advice to other people in this sort of situation i.e. get out, save your self respect etc but because its me, I find it hard to follow my own advice.
What I learnt about relationships growing up, Attila was to walk on eggshells around everyone and don't stand up for yourself otherwise you're a selfish, abusive little shit. I am NC with both parents (and actually my whole family because of it) because of the way they treated me then and now (if they had a chance).
My boyfriend thinks at the moment that we are spending Christmas at his. I am thinking of holding off leaving him until after as again, the idea of Christmas alone again fills me with dread. It would be nice to share it with someone else etc. I know that I am in this for the wrong reasons.
I guess fundamentally I believe I don't deserve a nice relationship, that I will never meet a 'normal' or 'nice' partner. I don't like myself enough to think that someone else might love me. <violins>
I know that sounds very 'woe is me' but I guess that is deep down how I feel about myself. I just find it so hard to get a better self image for myself. I just always assume I will say something really stupid, and that people won't like me. So when I do find someone that I seem to click with, I want to hold on to them, and put up with any off behaviour from them.
My boyfriend is expecting me round at his tonight (my ex is picking up my DD in about an hour for his fortnightly weekend access) and I really, really don't want to go. He is having a dinner party with about 4 other guests and I am just not in the mood. Not when I'm feeling like this. I also have really bad PMT. All I want to do is curl up on the sofa, watch a film and have an early night. But I feel uncomfortable about telling him as I think that he will be pissed off with me. I just don't think I have it in me to put on a social front and play all 'coupley' in front of other people.
The only acceptable level of abuse within a relationship is none.
That is why I also asked you what you learnt about relationships when growing up. You can truly unlearn all that crap you've been told about you because it is really not true but you're going to have to put a lot of work into doing so.
Love your own self for a change. You have to love you first. Sounds trite but its so very true. You are a good person and worthy of being respected in your own right rather than being an emotional punchbag for yet another man who has turned out to be a tosspot.
Counselling for your own self to rebuild your self worth and esteem really is a must do for you now. You owe that to your own self now, this man is simply dragging you down with him and you are just lowering yourself even more by also doing the "pick me" dance in front of him.
Make next year the year you reclaim your life back and cast off the damaging legacies your parents left you. Thankfully you are NC with them now.
You have a choice re this man, your child does not. The man you are currently with is no decent role model of a man for that child.
Do not go to his anyway and particularly if you do not feel well. Phone him now and tell him. If he does not like it then tough. He does not deserve you anyway.
I think you need to set out a plan to get out to meet people and make about friends. You say you are shy and cannot afford childcare, you should look at all the opportunities available to you that do not cost much or require a babysitter.
When my dd was small I shared a house with another single mother, for example. Invite people to your place in the evening. But you need to break out of your isolation to make it easier to break this abusive cycle.
It's a tough combination to a) fear loneliness and b) suffer low self esteem. They will both lead to you wasting time on relationships that aren't going to go anywhere..... 'better the devil you know' .... and the risk is you end up with a devil who crushes your self esteem even further.
Fixing low self esteem takes time and effort. Fixing loneliness is slightly easier. You may only get one weekend in two to yourself but what about weekdays? Can you hire babysitters or reach an agreement with other mums locally? Best way to stop this man monpolising your time is to develop your social life and have better options.
The relationship is now officially over. It ended last night because I didn't want to go to his dinner party due to my PMT and he went off on one. Enough was enough and this time there was no going back, I couldn't continue on this any more so it ended.
Like I said up post, I've written about this relationship on MN alot including most recently 'sockgate' (where he went apeshit when I borrowed his socks) and also when he accused me of not being empathetic towards him.
At the moment I feel like this is very much the right decision. I cannot see myself changing my mind. I just feel like I've been in a fight, quite winded and low.
But I think it was for the best.
Congratulations, OP. Now to start dealing with your isolation.
Oh, the sock guy. Congratulations and well done. That man is a fuckwit of the first water, and would have seriously damaged you (and possibly your child).
As Coyoacan says, now is the time to get going about your loneliness. (And of course Mumsnetters will help you with that). Exciting times ahead!
Well done OP. You've done the right thing. He sounds like a grade A twunt.
Well done! And you've still got time to get excited for Christmas too!
Did you do the ending star or did it simply escalate into a mutual fog of shouting disclarity? (made up word but I like it)
It is right that this relationship bites the dust. I remember your other threads. There's PLENTY worse than being comfy at home in front of the Christmas Tree and TV with only your own whims and desires to cater for. You have DD as well. You might do special walks around your neighbourhood, spotting reindeer or whatever mad fancy comes to your minds. My son and I used to love doing this. It was an adventure. Just enjoy enjoy .. en-joy.
The idiot (i'm being kind in my refs to him) would have made Christmas memorable by abusing you. Because he is an abuser, make no mistake. Let it stay ended, please.
Share some special time with DD - just the two of you.
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