Is it really all my fault??? (extremely long!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2012
Is it really all my fault??? (extremely long!)
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 3:35pm

I know the relationship I'm in isn't healthy and I do have plans to leave in August.  I really don't have any way to leave before then for a variety of reasons.

When I first met my boyfriend, I was 26 he was "34".  He told me his name, that he was single, 34, his income was $70,000, he was Russian, Italian, and Puerto Rican, and he went to college (but left a year before graduation).  About a month into the relationship, I found out he was married.  He gave a million reasons as to why he didn't tell me (he thought I'd be upset and he'd lose me, that he wasn't happy, that he only married her for her immigration papers because she's Russian, etc.).  I accepted that he just wasn't in a happy marriage and looked past the lie.  Around that same time, we were out one night and I happened to glance at his name badge which had a different name.  I asked him about it and he tried to avoid the topic.  I kept pressing him and he told me his real name.  I didn't think anything of it because a lot of people who aren't particularly fond of their names will adopt an un-official name and go with that.  Again, I didn't really think anything of it and let it go.  When I first met him, I asked him how old he was -- he said 34.  A couple weeks later, I asked again and he said 35.  That made me a little puzzled so I kept trying to get his real age, but he would never tell me.  Finally I asked him again and he came clean that he was actually 38.  I asked him why he lied and he said that if I knew his real age, I'd probably not want to talk to him.  Yet again, I accepted it and moved on.

For the first 4 months of our relationship, I was commuting 5 hours roundtrip everyday via a commuter rail for work.  He lived in the city, and I asked numerous times if we could just hang out at his apartment.  He told me he had an obsessive landlord who didn't like him having guests over, so he didn't want to ruffle any feathers to bring me there.  Again, I accepted the reason and didn't press the issue.  I kept trying to get him to come visit me at my place and an excuse would always come up (he doesn't like Long Island, it's too far, etc.).  When my lease ended and I moved closer, he told me he'd  help me move -- insisted he'd help.  When moving day came, I called and called and called and answer.  He finally admitted he went to some music festival and "forgot" to tell me.  At this point we were dating for 4 months, he  really should have clued me in that he wouldn't be available that weekend to help after he already promised.

When I moved, he started hanging out at my apartment more and more.  After about a year, he moved in.  We both felt it would be better financially because I only made $35,000 and his $70,000 would help off-set the cost.  When it came down to figuring out finances, I couldn't understand why he was only bringing home $1,600 a month if he was making $70,000.  He kept telling me he owed back taxes, that he was paying bills, etc.  I believed him and asked him when he thought he'd be done paying.  He said something about a few months so I said it's fine that we'll make due with what we have until his full income came back and we could start putting toward a mutual savings.  It wasn't until a year later that the income never went up that I found out the truth.  He didn't file his taxes for 3 years, I convinced him to let my mom's friend do his taxes for him that way he could catch up and wouldn't have to pay an accountant.  I asked my mom's friend how much he actually made and he told me, "$29,000".  I was livid -- it was the 4th major lie.

Additional lies I found out about?  He wasn't Russian or Italian, he was Irish.  His mom wasn't Russian, she never moved him and his siblings to Russia for a couple years, the stories he told about how he'd visit Russia and he's grandpa would meet him at the airport were also all lies.  The only place his mom ever lived aside from NY was Ohio.  He told me he used to work for ATF, lie.  He told me he attended Rutgers, lie...he only has his GED and never stepped foot on a college campus.  He caused a huge riff between my family and I after he made one of my cousins "feel" uncomfortable -- we never really found out the truth and, because this girl was a drama queen, didn't really believe her.  It caused tension ever since.

His other major issue was drinking and drug use.  When we first met, I admit I was still in party mode.  I still enjoyed going out because I was single and had no one I needed to "answer" to.  I was working a professional job, but I was also living near my college and still had many sorority sisters that were in college, so I did enjoy hanging out with them and going to mixers.  When he moved in, he kept going out several nights a week and either not coming home at all or coming home extremely late (5am or 6am) then miss work the next day.  This happened at least once a week.  I decided to just give him some time thinking after several months he'd realize he was in a serious relationship and that he couldn't keep going out like only became worse.  He'd get paid and blow his entire paycheck on booze and drugs leaving me to pay the full rent and utilities.  I'd be lucky to get $300 a month from him when rent and utilities totaled $1,900 a month.  By this time, I started to get fed up and started fighting back.

Throughout our 3.5 year relationship, I've tried to break up with him many, many, many times -- but he wouldn't let me. We did move in rather fast together and by the time he moved in, he was too hard to get him out.  I'd break up with him, pack his stuff and tell him not to come back, and he would refuse to leave.  I blamed myself for not being forceful enough so in November of last year, I started to pull away.  I started dating this other guy that I really liked -- he showed me how good a healthy relationship actually was and I was happy.  I told my boyfriend (before I started dating this other guy) that we were over, that I wanted nothing to do with him, and wanted him to leave.  I gave him a months warning and told him I was taking on 2 roommates and that I wanted him out.  He was furious -- absolutely furious.  Flew into a rage, started breaking things, threatening to kill me, etc.  I told him I didn't care, that I wanted him out.  He eventually chased out the 2 roommates who went as far as calling the police on him.  Even after the police told him to leave for the night, he was back within 20 minutes pounding on the door screaming, threatening to kill me -- prior to leaving he told the police he was going to "gather some things" and ended up stealing my rent money.  I used to work for the district attorney so I didn't want him arrested or have my former co-workers know the nature of my relationship, so I didn't call the police again.  I had no choice but to break up with the other guy and stay with my boyfriend...I was far from happy.

In terms of arguments, they were nasty.  They'd start with just screaming, then over the months, went into hitting.  I admit I shoved and hit him many times and threw things at him (like shoes).  As a girl, I'm not very strong.  When I pushed him at full strength, he'd barely budge.  His retaliation would be to shove me and most recently, choking me has taken over as his preferred method.  I can handle the shoving because the bruises are very easy to hide on the body, but the choking is what really gets me.  There is nothing scarier than having someone wrap their hands around your neck in a fit of anger and completely cut off your breathing.  It's nearly impossible to get the hands off the neck because a man's hands are large and woman's neck is small (believe me, I've tried to get his hands off my neck, but you only have about 10 seconds until you black out, that doesn't leave much time to get them off).  The worst part is the pain that I feel after it happens -- it's so sore for about a week that I can barely swallow and it's a very uncomfortable feeling. 

I always feel like it's 100% my fault because I let my temper rise first.  If I didn't get angry at him about things when I know he's drunk, it would probably never happen, but I get so tired of feeling forced to stay in a realtionship with him and that I have walk on eggshells because he likes to drink.  I'm so angry about this entire situation.  I'm angry that I believed him through all the lies, I'm angry that  I gave him the benefit of the doubt about A LOT of things that happened, I'm angry that he still goes out and drinks constantly and he tells me I just have to deal with it, I'm angry that I think everything is okay when he's sober, but when he starts drinking, he changes.  I'm angry that he can't see how unhappy I am, doesn't listen to me when I say how unhappy I am, but still refuses to leave.  This is my apartment, I'm the leaseholder, I found this apartment on my own when I first moved here with a roommate, and I feel like I'm the one that has to run away because he won't leave.  Worse yet, my family lives 300 miles away so there is really no where I can go without a major move.  I was fired in 2011 after he kept sending me nasty e-mails calling me a bitch, a whore, etc.  My job told me if he was too much of a distraction, they'd have to let me go...and they did.

When he's drunk (which is everynight) it's like a flip is switched in his brain and he becomes nasty and unreasonable.   I'm back in school for nursing and if I'm trying to study (and he sees I'm trying to study) he gets irate that I'm not paying attention to him.  He tells me I'm too stupid if I have to study that many hours just to do well on an exam, that I should already know the material.  Many, many times when I still had a job, I'd beg him to not wake me up if he was going to be coming in late -- sure enough, he'd ring the bell at 3am after an entire night of sending me nasty text messages, leaving me so incredibly tired the next morning for work.  He'd tell me it was my fault he was out so late because if I didn't make him upset earlier in the night by asking him to come home, he never would have needed to keep drinking.  He'd even say I'm the reason he drinks (which I know is a lie because his dad and step-mom would have to physically go to the bar and pull him out before he even met me!).

I'm so tired of being blamed for everything that goes wrong in his life.  When he's drunk, I can't do anything right.  He'll find anything to start yelling about -- I'm talking too much, I'm not talking enough, I walked away with an attitude, I called him drunk and made him feel bad about himself, etc.  I'm just sick of it...and stuck.  Stuck in a major city with no job or family.  Stuck in this lease I can't break until August of next year.  stuck feeling like everything that's happened in the relationship is totally my fault.  I know I'm a bitch, but is it all really my fault?  Am I the only one that should take on 100% of the blame for all this??????

I am planning to leave.  I have the spring semester for pre-req's and then I'm going to start applying to nursing programs.  I've told him over and over how difficult it is to be accepted into a program in NYC, so my plan is to tell him I was rejected from the schools I applied to down here, but was accepted to the program back home.  I know he'll insist that I stay down here, and will likely tell me to just be a nurse aide because it's a "sign" that I shouldn't be a registered nurse, that it's a waste of money, etc.  He absolutely doesn't want me moving back home -- he tells me I need to suck it up, that people from all over the world move to NYC and can manage to make it work, but I can't deal with it being only 300 miles from my family.  He tells me upstate is filled with a bunch of fat hicks and I'll end up being the same lazy, fat trash like everyone else up there, that NYC is where all the excitement is and I'm too weak if I can't handle it.  I know that if I am accepted to a program at home, at least my family can come down and help me move and that will, hopefully, buffer any death threats and most importantaly, prevent him from stealing my dog (which he's threatened to do many, many times if I left him).  I'm just over it!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Wed, 12-26-2012 - 1:25pm

I don't know, in some ways I do wonder if this is a real post.  The story being told is so odd, the explanation about being choked (how a man's hands are large and a woman's neck is small...?)  I guess it's hard to believe that someone would put up with this.  Your family is *only* 300 miles away.  Tell your landlord about the situation, get out of the lease, go home!  If you have no job, how can you even afford to live on your own anyway?  I just hope you aren't still sleeping with this guy?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 9:20am

Have you told anyone else about the situation you are in (your parents, friends)?  I feel you are more about saving face than about getting out of an abusive relationship (not wanting to press charges against this guy for fear of everything getting out).  This is exactly what he is relying on, your inability to face the truth and share your story with people who can help you out of this.  You have these wonderful plans for your life, your future, but what if he makes good on his threats, he could take all that away from you, in an instant, because you refuse to get help.  You have to be brave, speak out against this man, gather as many people around you as possible, your life does not need to be like this any longer.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2001
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 3:18am

As Musiclover said, none of this is your fault. Yes, you are guilty of ignoring the warning signs and moving forward when his lies should have had you walking way but you are not responsible for his behavior and you are not responsible for his abusiveness.  You feel it's your fault because you get angry; then the solution is to sit quietly and accept what he's doing.  Does that sound reasonable or acceptable to you?  Of course not.  

You cannot wait until August, you need out now, or you need to get him out now.  Call our landlord, explain the situation and see what might be done to help you.  Suck up your pride, call the police and this time make it stick.  You can't tell me that in a city the size of NY all your previous co-workers will know what's happening, and you know what?  If they do what they'll know is you're taking strong steps to get out.  Pride be damned, girl what you're living is shameful, letting pride stand in the way of ending this subhuman existance is not acceptable.  Suck it up, stick with the DA's office and know that you never have to see those people again if you choose not to once this is over.  You realize that shame is often what keeps abused women with their abusers, right?  Don't be that statistic.  You realize his physical actions against you are prosecuteable and will land him in jail, right?  Then comes a judge ordering him to stay far away from you.  Please take actions to make this stop, to regain your life.  Also take actions to work with the DV organization to figure out why you put yourself here, to clear out the damage that's been done to you emotionally and to learn to recognize a healthy relationship and avoid bad ones.  

Please call your local DV hotline or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.  They have man resources that can help you, including great information, shelter and attorney assistance.  

Your boyfriend's abuse is not caused by alcohol.  It may be enhanced by alcohol, but take away the drinking and you'd still have an abuser.  He does these things because he knows he's got you under his thumb.  There is no point in begging and pleading with him to give you a break, let you study, etc. it just exposes your needs and weaknesses and allows him to use them against you.  Don't give him that. 

I'm going to try to post a bunch of articles and information for you, but I'm not sure how successful I'll be with the new format iVillage is currently working with.  If I'm not successful you'll know because there will be no second reply from me.  If that's the case, know I'll continue to work to find a way to get them posted.

Edited to say:  looks like with the new format the links lead to nowhere.  It's going to take some time for me to find their new link destinations.  I'll get it posted for you as soon as I can.

~ cl-2nd_life

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 8:44pm

This is a huge problem that you can't deal with on your own.  You are living with an abuser and if he is actually choking you, you might be dead before Aug.  Please contact a domestic violence place for help--maybe your college has resources too.  You should be getting a restraining order against him and you should definitely prosecute him.  Actually nothing he does is your fault--it's all his fault.  That's the classic sign of an abuser, not taking any responsibility for his own actions and blaming all his bad behavior on you.