Need help letting go of abusive person

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2013
Need help letting go of abusive person
Sat, 07-12-2014 - 5:32pm

Hi there, My boyfriend and I have been together a year and a half We do pretty well and keep looking at our own future together in spite of some very huge stresses we each have endured in our lives that I won't go into. We have had some really good times and memories, our children get along and we are ready to start to get really serious. We talk and dream about marriage often, it would be the second marriage for each of us.

The problem is he has these weird unexplained rages at me. IDK why. I do everything I can for him and us. I've been committed and truthful and work hard toward staying in shape and feeding him and doing everything a good partner should do. But often, once a week? - he percieves something I said or did as wrong and really lets me have it, verbally abusing me, flying off the handle, using all my weaknesses against me, being jealous, using people against me, confusing the issues, accusing me of lying. He can go on tyrades that last for days and I usually check out and stop talking to him until it passes. Because it is so mean, he uses words like, all the mean names you can call a woman, he says I ruin his life, he accuses me of cheating with any man I've ever spoken to when it's not true, he will never forgive me for things he periceived I did...IDK what's wrong with him!! One minute he's perfectly normal and the next it's like WW3.

For some reason eventually it's over and I always easily accept him back into my life and we move on as if nothing happened. I mean, I've tried to talk to him about it many times. WHY?? IDK! When I look from the outside I can't imagine why anyone would love a man who has these episodes!! WHat is it, is it me? Is it him? is he mentally ill? He never seems to even remember what he did or ever admit that he did anything wrong, only says "Oh ya it's all my fault again"...and then uses circular logic to make me misspeak or get nervous and not be able to follow anymore until I give up.

I have to let go- why can't I??? I am a high achieving woman with lots to be proud of including him sometimes, sometimes, others I am so scared of him, then he's back to his old calm sweet self and I can't even conceive of him ever being so mean again.

He's just sent me about a million nasty texts for stuff I can't even understand and I feel like this has to be the last straw, why am I so scared to just pull the plug? I know I don't deserve this AT ALL!!! Any advice pleeeassseeeee


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sat, 07-12-2014 - 7:35pm

As you have already realized, its not about you. He's accusing you doing things that you didn't do and he has no logical reason to think you did, so feeding him or staying in shape etc won't change anything. I would say that he has a psychological disorder of some type and should get a workup from a psychiatrist.

You know you should leave but somehow you can' a domestic abuse hotline and ask for referrals to counselors and support groups because you need someone to help you feel strong enough to walk away.

You mentioned children. How much of this behavior do they witness? Remember that they are learning how men and women treat each other in relationships, if they see you accept this behavior they will think its okay and normal and it will be their template for their own future relationships. Please, for the sake of your children, get away from this toxic abusive environment. Wishing you good luck and strength.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 12:24am

HIS problem is massive insecurity.  The things he accuses you of are the things he fears the most.  He knows he's worthless, and he knows that someday you will cheat on him, dump him, or whatever, and he uses fear and intimidation to keep you feeling worthless about yourself.  Have you heard of the Stockholm Syndrome?  That's what you have.  Fear and abuse create it.  You convince yourself that he's right about everything.  You ARE worthless, you are ugly, you are fat, you are a rotten wife and mother, you are every nasty name he calls MUST be, he keeps telling you that.  You lose yourself, and you live your life in fear of the next outburst.  Also, you said there are kids involved, and if they witness his outbursts, those kids can be taken away from you.  That's child abuse.  You need to call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and they can advise you.  That's the national domestic abuse hot line.  You don't "love" him, he's got you convinced that you can't survive without him!  If you don't do it for yourself, do it for your kids...they grow up witnessing abuse, they will be abusers when they're adults.......boys will be......and girls will get involved with abusers......after all, it must be "normal"......that's how they grew up!  If you can convince him to get counseling, it might help him, but most insecure people will not GO to counseling.....they fear it!  You should probably just get out of the relationship before it turns physically abusive, and it always does eventually.  He can't love you because he doesn't love doesn't abuse!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2013
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 6:05am

Thank you, I did not know about Stockholm Syndrome but I looked it up and I do have it. I wonder how I became such a victim because I was never abused but I guess I am insecure and I definitely will seek help because I don't want to be a victim at all or ever again!! :D

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2013
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 6:07am

Thank you for your reply, it reinforces the serverity and helps give me strength to leave!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 12:10pm

I'm glad it helped.........I was married to an abuser for many years, and it took a long time for me to get the guts to get out.  As I said in my other post, it was mostly verbal abuse, which most people don't understand IS abuse.  Eventually he started getting physical, and I knew it had to end.  He refused to even discuss it, HE didn't need help, I did, according to him.  HE was fine if I'd just leave him alone.  HE wouldn't talk to me after one of his outbursts until I apologized to him!  Recognize that?  He is on the verge of getting physical with PLEASE call that hotline number, and they can give you a lot of help.  They can tell you how to get away without him knowing it.  They can give you local resources, safe houses, etc.  Especially with kids, you can't just say "I'm leaving you".  It takes preparation.  You need to get your important papers ready.  I was lucky, I stayed home with my kids, He threw a hissy fit and walked out (which he'd done many times before).  Instead of accepting him back, the last time I got his belongings ready in a couple of garbage bags and put them outside the door.  When he pulled in, I stopped him at the door, with phone in hand.......just in case....and told him don't bother coming in, I've seen a lawyer, and I'm divorcing you.  Surprisingly, he left with tail between his legs.  You didn't say if you work, but I didn't work (wasn't allowed, might talk to a man!) and one of the reasons I stayed was money.  He had a GOOD job, we wanted for nothing, but he blew 3/4 of his money on women and booze.  I wasn't smart enough to ask for more money than I needed (duh, I could have been saving it!) and when he left, I had NOTHING.  He said......."with you running the show, you'll all starve to death!"  That was exactly what I needed to hear!  I went out the next morning and got TWO jobs offered to me.  I took one, didn't make much money, but we survived, and I slowly worked my way up in the business world, and eventually made great money.  You can do anything you want to, but first you have to have the strength to get out.  You have it, you just have forgotten you have it.  Good Luck to you, and be strong, if not for yourself, for your kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 10:58am

Please do not marry this guy.  He sounds a lot like my 2nd DH, who has bipolar disorder--of course I did not know that when we got married, but he had been diagnosed with depression, which did not sound that bad to me.  He started off being the most considerate and romantic BF ever--he would cook for me, he bought me flowers and cards--the whole romantic deal.  Of course every so often he would get these unexpected rages, usually about stupid stuff or things that he thought I did that I didn't do.  I should have known better but it's not like it was every day.  Well things were much harder when we had to live together every day.  If we were just dating and having a fight, I might not want to talk to him for a couple of days but it's harder to deal with when you can't get away from the person.  We both had kids too--he was a widower and his DD was 13 when we got married.  My DD was 14 and my son was 7.  The marriage lasted 5 yrs--I probably should have divorced him the first year but first I was embarrassed that I was getting a 2nd divorced and there were financial considerations--even though I had a job, things were a little tight and basically he bullied me into selling him 1/2 my house because he would not live there and spend money on it and fix it up if he didn't own it--so then I didn't have enough money to refinance and pay him back.  By the time I was getting ready to divorce, I was at the point where I didn't even care if I had to sell my house, I just wanted to get rid of him.  Ironically though he allowed me to wait and pay him off when my son graduated from high school, 6 yrs later (which is now).  

Now the abuse (which is what it was) was always verbal--he never got physical.  I think he was smart enough not to cross that line because he was probably worried about getting arrested.  I do not think I would have given him a 2nd chance on that one.  But although you are 99% sure that it won't get physical, there's always that 1% where you think that maybe he will lose control.  My ex actually did hit his DD once and we had Social Services over the house for a year--that was a nightmare and embarrassing for me because I'm a lawyer and the case was actually in court because my DSD's grandmother tried to get custody of her.  I refused even to go to court with him because I didn't want to be associated with him or to have anyone at court connect us.

I think that the reason that it's hard to let go is that you probably have times when he is very nice and fun to be with.  I do have a lot of happy memories too of vacations and things that we did together that were fun, going to museums, going out to eat.  He could actually be a very caring person. I do think that my ex never wanted to be mean to people and it's really not his fault that he has a MI--he did also try very hard.  he took medication and went to counseling all the time, but he seemed to be resistant to a lot of the medication and had side effects, etc.  I kept thinking that if he only could find the right medication, things could be normal.  But eventually I just couldn't take it any more.  Also I don't think that my kids will end up abusing people but I did get worried that as my son got older that he would end up having a fight with my ex because he was upset about the way my ex treated me.  Boys can be very protective of the mom!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2013
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 5:42pm

What an incredible letter, thank you. First of all, like my other friend on this thread said, I see you are so kind and defending your xdh in spite of his behavior, which makes me feel normal because I do that too, he does have times of extreme sweetness and brightness. I guess they are attracted to us because we do accept the abuse for some time, so they get to really be themselves. And we have compassion for their shortcomings, their illness, them in general. When we are being verbally assaulted though, where is the compassion for us?

There is also the element of shame, of being embarassed to have made a "mistake" with someone, and then of what ever it is they to you, and have it go public. I have that element because we work together and in his verbally abusive fits he has threated to make my lfe there even worse than it is now and that really scares me.

I am luckily not even living with him and I am more lucky I didn't marry him yet. I have to remind myself that I am SUPER lucky because I don't HAVE TO move in OR marry him! Thank the LORD I am noticing this ahead of time and doing something about it now. 

And yes my boy dislikes him even though BF has been nice to him. It's a weird way boys know how to protect moms!!

Thank you or your support I am so lucky that I found this place and heard from ALL of you and you have really helped me!!!Cool

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2013
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 12:45pm

So I felt a breakthough after speaking with you ladies about my issues (Stockholm Syndrome) and DBFs issues - uncontrolled rage, and thought:

1. It was good we had a bad fight because i finally saw the light

2. Maybe my leaving would be bottom for him, and he would *maybe* realize what he has done...and TRY to change it?

I'm sure you can guess the rest, but it's actually humorous what happened. For 2 days I was bombarded with apologies and love notes, and when I finally found it in me to have a discussion with him, full of hope and positive vibes and stuff like "hey, maybe if we can communicate better we can stop these fights and have a better relationship! Imagine, never ever fighting like this again!" His answer was:

Do you know how weird YOU get when you have PMS? You get all white and then get a headache and I feel like I really annoy you.

HAHAHA had to laugh at his TOTAL lack of understanding and how quickly he turned that finger on me, comparing his rages to my PMS??? COME ON!!! So frustrating and funny at the same time! Not really funny more sad funny but still.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Fri, 07-18-2014 - 6:17pm

You are still with this guy because you figure it won't "happen again." 

He makes nice, and you "forgive" him and it's like setting up the  pins for the next knock down. Plus, he now knows you'll take it and there'll be no consequences.

He's in dire need of counseling, and so are you.

Is this the model for a relationship you want your children to see? His kids are being taught this is how they should treat someone. Your kids are being taught that this is acceptable treatment of you. REALLY?  Have the self-respect to tell him good bye, and mean it.

You deserve better. Act like it.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 10:48pm

Signs of an abusive relationship

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.
Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior

Do you:

feel afraid of your partner much of the time?

Does your partner:

humiliate or yell at you?

avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?

criticize you and put you down?

feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?

treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?

to