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Stuck between a rock and a hard place

(35 Posts)
namechange1619 Fri 22-May-20 15:12:01

I’ve been involved with my (now former) tutor for 2 years. He’s a lot older than me and married with kids. I’m single. The relationship has never been sexual, but definitely emotional and he’s been happy to ask for (and receive) naked pics of me on occasion. We kiss, hold hands etc. but nothing more - he tells me he’s retired from sex.

I had a difficult childhood, inconsistent love and attention from my parents. Mum was an alcoholic, both her and my dad were abusive in different ways. It was turbulent, volatile and often traumatic. As a result, I’ve never been good in relationships. I become obsessive and certainly have an addictive personality. There’s never been a healthy balance, and I’m not sure there ever can be.

So, this man, I’d describe him as a narcissist, he loves the ego boost he gets from me and I’m basically taken out of my box for him to play with whenever he feels like it. Most of the time, I get radio silence with the odd crumb thrown in to keep me sweet. I’ve tried walking away several times now, and each time I go back. I’m addicted to the crumbs and the toxic nature of it. He’s aware that it’s toxic for me, and he knows I need more from him (in terms of attention, not sex) yet he doesn’t make any effort.

Most recently, I tried walking away and he said he’d miss me etc. and he didn’t understand what issues our set up was causing for me. So here I am again, back in the misery of waiting around for his messages, and mainly being ignored. I feel like I’ve lost myself.

I’m aware that I’ll probably get flamed but if there are any people here who can offer support, it would be much appreciated. I have a couple of friends who know about this and they help a lot, but I’m struggling. Really struggling.

I take antidepressants, and I’ve had counselling in the past. Both help to some extent but I’m still in a mess. My options are to move on (I’ve tried) or to stick around and accept it for what it is (also tried). I’m at a loss.

OP’s posts: |
Oopsiedaisyy Fri 22-May-20 15:18:17

You need to end this now. And without fan fare or an announcement that he can then try and tempt you back, you just need to say good bye one day as per normal and then block and delete.

He won't change and you can't move on with him in your life.

Lady39 Fri 22-May-20 15:27:03

I agree with PP say your goodbyes then block and delete

It cant be good for your mental health, you deserve better.

Menora Fri 22-May-20 15:27:36

You have the option to take complete control over your own life. Slink away in the dead of night, blocking and erasing him from your life. Cry for a while, sleep, wake up... you will be free of him and can actually live your life properly
You can have that, but you have to take the step to do it

namechange1619 Fri 22-May-20 15:51:51

It’s definitely not good for my mental health, I feel like I haven’t been the real me since it all started. I can’t put all the blame on him though because I’m the one who keeps reaching out to him. I can’t resist the temptation to go back time and time again. It’s like a drug addiction 😔.

OP’s posts: |
Menora Fri 22-May-20 16:00:07

Yes so you need to go cold turkey
It’s like ripping of a plaster

namechange1619 Sun 24-May-20 19:40:30

He’s made the decision for me. Says I want more than what he can give (he gives me sweet nothing). Why does it feel so painful 😩

OP’s posts: |
roubaixtuesday Sun 24-May-20 19:46:45

That's so cruel of him. Please block and delete your messages nad his number.

He might be ding this to see how little you are prepared to accept, he might get bored and lure you back. Don't be there waiting.

It doesn't seem it now but this is the best thing to happen. You're free of him.

Take care of yourself. Order some nice food, watch a film and tell yourself this is day 1 of a better life. Because it totally is. xx

SillyCow6 Sun 24-May-20 19:48:50

He wanted a no strings attached ego boost of having a young woman give him attention and sending him nudes. He gave you just enough crumbs to keep you going back to him and played on your past to make sure you gave him everything he wanted.
I dont really see it as being stuck between a rock and hard place as such. Being finished with him might be hard for a few weeks but then you will be free of him stringing you along and you WILL feel so much better. Its hard to hear now but he has done you a favour

Holothane Sun 24-May-20 19:50:26

Get rid your better than this, block him on everything. He’s messing with your head and that’s not right.

Kraejka Sun 24-May-20 19:57:46

Block and delete on everything.
You know he is not good for you.
It's hard but you have to break the addiction.
I would suggest you get counselling again so you can work through some of your issues.
I've said it before and I will say it again - men like that prey on women like you. If you are strong and secure in yourself you will stop attracting types like this. I know this from my own life.

I had to break a cycle with an ex like this. I saw a suggestion online somewhere which I used and I've often described on Mumsnet for people wanting to get over an ex.
I printed out a three month calendar from the internet and stuck it on the fridge door. I marked off 30, 60 and 90 days from day 0 (going cold turkey non-contact) and I crossed everyday which went by. At 30, 60 and 90 days I had rewards marked on the calendar. 30 days was to go clothes shopping. 60 days was a day out at a spa I think and 90 days was a trip further afield to somewhere I'd always wanted to go.
I was totally focussed on getting to the reward days. It was so hard at first but by the time 90 days came round it was easy.
Try something like that in the short-term to break the cycle.

You have to get rid of this fucker. He is just a user.

roubaixtuesday Sun 24-May-20 20:00:39

Love that idea @Kraejka

namechange1619 Sun 24-May-20 20:47:35

At the moment I feel as though I’m equally to blame because I’ve gone back to him time and time again, playing into his hands because each time I’ve accepted even less than the time before.

In the beginning, he was so attentive and there were floods of messages each and every night - we well as lots of meet ups. These days, I’m “lucky” if I get one message a week. He said that he’ll miss me because no one else in his sees the world the way I do, but that he can handle that. Absolutely great.

So I’ve wasted the last two years of my twenties, and of my daughters childhood being miserable and addicted to a man who doesn’t give a fuck deep down. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

I’ve 100% been a ego boost to him, and someone he can feel superior to, which feeds his narcissism.

@Kraejka that’s a really good idea, thank you.

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namechange1619 Sun 24-May-20 20:48:22

*as well as

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HollowTalk Sun 24-May-20 20:52:04

Was your relationship started when he was your tutor?

He sounds absolutely disgusting. One of my friends got over an awful man by training herself to think (and say if she's alone or with friends) "fuck off, Name of Man" whenever he enters her mind.

picklemewalnuts Sun 24-May-20 20:53:35

He's playing you. He knows you are vulnerable, he knows how to press your buttons.

You've had some great advice. I'd like to add to it that it's hard to see why you'd enjoy the company of a manipulative narcissist- I mean I get it, I do, but with a bit of a reframe you'll wonder why he held any attraction at all.

Just list the nasty destructive ways he is behaving. Cheating on his wife and kids, cheating on you, disrespecting you, manipulating you etc. The guys isn't a prize worth trying for.

You are lucky to see through him and move on. Without him, you can heal and grow and find better people.

namechangecareerchange Sun 24-May-20 21:02:48

Oh I'm going through something so similar. Except I can't go NC cos he's my boss.

I feel for you.

namechange1619 Sun 24-May-20 21:04:21

@HollowTalk yes, he was my tutor for the first year of the relationship.

@picklemewalnuts it’s so hard to explain, I can’t even figure out the attraction myself. It’s like I’ve lost myself. He was so charming and charismatic in the beginning, I suppose that’s how I fell for it. He’s got this arrogance about him that seems attractive but it’s obviously just a red flag for all of his other red flags.

I just feel sick at the moment because I can’t imagine not having him in my life, even if it is just crumbs. Fully addicted to the twat sad

OP’s posts: |
HollowTalk Sun 24-May-20 21:05:22

Doesn't it go against the university's rules to have an affair with a student? If so, I'd be tempted to get over him by dobbing him in.

namechangecareerchange Sun 24-May-20 21:05:29

Sorry hit post too soon.

It's a slightly different situation, but actually giving my advice to you is helping me see what I have to do.

You are so much better off without - it's so degrading isn't it being there when they click their fingers, but otherwise having to hide.

Now you can be free to find a man who wants all of you, all of the time.

Be grateful you're out of it, decision made, and time to move on. Be positive about the good things - maybe you had fun, or at least you didn't waste 3 years. Whatever it might be, find the positives, don't beat yourself up and remember there are so many more men out there.

scheffsm Sun 24-May-20 21:07:10

So I’ve wasted the last two years of my twenties, and of my daughters childhood being miserable and addicted to a man who doesn’t give a fuck deep down. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

I've had those feelings too about wasting time with an ex. I felt like I spent the last two years of my Dad's life crying about some stupid arsehole who wasn't worth it. Dad died and I'll never ever get that time back. BUT I have to think of this differently - my Dad loved me and wanted to support me.
And the relationship and the wasted time is only a tiny fraction of a whole life. It's a learning experience. I can see now that it has made me stronger. I will never let myself get in the same situation again.

It is a hard pill to swallow but it stops today, right now. That's the end of it. Do not waste any more time on this horrible person. Learn from it - in a few years' time it will only be a "blip" in your life.

BitOfFun Sun 24-May-20 21:08:19

I'm not going to flame you, BUT the first thing that strikes me from your OP is that you are abandoning your choices here in favour of some distant trauma. If you take back control of your actions, you will see a clear path ahead.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 24-May-20 21:08:56

Think about yourself as having two parts inside.

One part is healthy positive and seeks a good equal relationship where you can develop and grow. This part knows you need to get out of this relationship and that you deserve and need much better.

But also inside you have a self which is self destructive, which finds the degradation of it strangely addictive, that tells you you don't deserve better, that wants to keep you stuck forever. This self of yours is very powerful and easily tramples on the other self which seeks out something good.

They're both part of you. You need to work on making the weak but healthy self stronger so it can fight down that other part which tramples all over it.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 24-May-20 21:17:16

Another way of thinking about the good healthy part of you is to think of it as a good caring parent inside who looks out for you and protects you from things that are not good for you.

If we are lucky to have this kind of real life parent then we internalise that "voice" and we can look out for ourselves. The "good healthy part" is much stronger than our destructive part.

But if we had a more troubled childhood then it is harder to internalise the idea of a good parent who protects and looks out for us. It is easily overwhelmed by an excited addictive destructiveness.

I second the calendar idea. When I was 19 I got into what could have become a very toxic relationship with a man 25 years older than me. Luckily I was already booked to go to South America for three months. The first month I missed him like hell, but it gradually got easier and by the time I got home I was psychologically free. I literally breezed around the house singing Set You Free by NTrance. I was so happy, and much less vulnerable from then on.

Find a way to get that distance, even if it’s a fridge calendar with rewards (excellent idea).

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