Disrespectful/narcissistic partner? Leave, stay, help?
Hi. I am having several issues in my relationship and would just like some insight, maybe advice, and just a place to vent a bit. Sorry for the really long post.
So My fiancé and I have been together for 8 years now. We got together young at 19 and had our first child a year later. We now have two children together. Our relationship definitely hasn’t been the easiest and often times has been really toxic. Which stems from trust issues on both sides. He cheated the first year together a few times amongst talking/texting other women. I chose to forgive him and stay with him. Shortly after our first was born he admitted that he believed that I had cheated on him with my ex and that he didn’t know if our child was his or not. This caused many heated and crazy fights. Nothing I said made him change his mind or believe me and he would just say that I need to prove it. But how can I prove I didn’t cheat over a year ago!??
I also would say many times that we should go get a dna test then. He would agree and when it came time he would forget about it or not want too. As the years have gone on the question of our son being his hasn’t really been a question anymore because he looks just like him, everyone says it. So I know that he believes it as he doesn’t question it to me anymore.
However he still calls me suspicious and till this day he does not trust me. He again says that it is my fault and I haven’t done anything to prove him wrong. I honestly don’t know what I can do to change his mind??
I honestly don’t think I’m suspicious or do anything for him to think so. All I do is care for our kids and him. I hardly have any friends, and maybe go out to eat with one every few months. Years ago me going out to dinner had caused many fights too, so I basically cut myself off from hanging with friends and family without him because I didn’t want to fight. The past year or two he has gotten better about that only because I called him out for hanging with his friends multiple times a week but me not being able to.
Anyways I am also always home And when I was working I would go to work and come home. Me working also caused some fights as he would say that I’m probably cheating at work. Now I am not working that being one reason why amongst others. (I am in college too online)
I also don’t hide my phone or computer or anything like that. I leave my phone out in the open and he knows the passcode and passwords to everything.
One of our issues of course is that he does not trust me. I don’t know how to make him trust me or what more I can do. The only thing I can think of that maybe I don’t do enough of according to him is have sex with him multiple times a day. Which brings me to my next issue. Before kids we would have sex multiple times a day, after our first it varied from multiple to maybe once or twice. Not so surprisingly after our second now we have sex once a day. But still that is once everyday. I feel like he should be fine with that as I know that not all couples with kids have sex every single day.
I get that we are young but we also have young kids. A toddler and 6 year old. I am also in school still, and do all the house work, caring for kids, cooking, appointments, and pickup/drop off at school. When I was working I came home and did all that still. But he doesn’t understand or care to understand that sometimes I am tired or too busy to stop and have sex three-four times a day.
We actually got into an argument today about this. I tried explaining to him the reasons why I may not want to have sex all the time. He said all of that is an excuse and that me rejecting him is just proof that I am not attracted to him anymore. I told him that is not the case because I do have sex with him everyday just not multiple times a day. Sometimes we do have sex more than once a day. But He again doesn’t believe me. Also anytime we have this conversation he tends to get really mad, and says that he doesn’t want to talk about it and I’m just a crappy fiancé. I am attracted to him but sometimes I honestly am just too tired or stressed or busy to even be in the mood for it. I admit that since having my second child my sex drive tends to be low sometimes but that can also just be from being tired or stressed I don’t know.
My other issue is that anytime we fight or argue he resorts to calling me names. And I mean cruel names like “bitch” “hoe” “slut” “whore” “dumbass” “cunt”. In the past I resorted to this name calling too, but in the past year or so I have not done this because I believed it was obviously making the fights worse and I didn’t want to disrespect him like that anymore. I have tried to grow up and try to go about things more maturely. I also hoped that by me stopping he would too. I have expressed to him that it hurts me when he calls me those names. It makes me feel like shit, and like he really thinks of me as those names. When we’re in the heat of the argument and I tell him to not call me that he laughs or says stfu stop being a cry baby or being so sensitive. Ive brought it up when we weren’t fighting and he still kind of laughed and said I was sensitive but then he said okay he wouldn’t anymore. But obviously that was a lie.
Every time we argue no matter the issue it is always my fault. Even when I approach him about something that he did to upset me. No matter the issue it is my fault somehow and I’m to blame and it ends up with me crying speechless because I’m like how the hell did this turn out to be my fault and I’m owing him an apology. At the end I say f it and just apologize or say that I was wrong because I don’t want to argue anymore. He also brushes off anything that I might be upset about and basically says that I have no right to be mad because I did way worse and I’m still shady. (Way worse as in me supposedly cheating and him not knowing if our son was his. And I’m still shady how??)
I feel like he is a narcissist or at least has narcissistic tendencies. He definitely manipulates conversations and places blame on me for everything. I mean everything like him being late for work, waking up late, forgetting something, losing something, it is always my fault. Our last fight I got upset over him searching up an ex he cheated on me with. And no I wasn’t snooping. My son wanted to use his phone so I unlocked it and the page was opened. When I asked him why he was looking her up and why it made me upset, (because it’s a girl he cheated on me with) he immediately apologized and said I was right to be upset. But then 15 minutes later somehow it turns to him being pissed calling me names and now I’m the one disrespecting him for thinking he would be unfaithful in the first place. (Keeping in mind that he doesn’t trust me and reminds me all the time)
He always tells me that I should be lucky to have him and that he can get any girl because he had all these girls before and if he really wanted to he could cheat whenever. He literally tells me that I should be sucking his d*** every day that’s how lucky I should be. Also because he chose to be with me after all the “shady shit” I did.
He also tries to use our kids as pawns when we fight. Every single argument he tells me to pack the kids things because he’s going to leave and take them. He especially does this when I try telling him that he did something to upset me or I don’t like it when he calls me name etc. instead of talking about or trying to resolve it he just says he’s going to leave.
When he’s in a good mood he treats me great and he’s sweet and affectionate, but the minute I get him upset or I’m upset he completely changes.
I don’t get how he could tell me all these sweet loving things and that I’m perfect and he’s so lucky to have me but then an hour later if I piss him off I’m suddenly a bitch, I suck, and I’m a hoe.
A part of me wants this to work. Like I said he can be great 80-90% of the time, but then when we argue or get upset it’s horrible. We don’t fight all the time anymore. We can go 2-3 months without arguing but then when we do it’s huge.
I know everyone is probably going to say to leave though. I just don’t know it is hard. And I don’t know how to help him change or see that the things he is doing aren’t right or healthy for us. And then another part of me feels like this is my fault somehow.? I don’t know why but I do.
Sorry for such a long post.!
Leaving IS hard, especially if you still love someone. When I was very, very young, a woman I knew said she divorced her husband because even though she loved him, he drove her crazy. Being a *very* young woman, I thought that was hogwash. If you love someone, you work through things, right?
Then I was married to an alcoholic for many years. I planned to divorce him. Literally, the day I came to that decision, he was diagnosed with a fatal illness, the prognosis was a year or two. Mind you, I loved him (in a way, still do) but living with an alcoholic was ruining MY mental health. He'd lost three jobs in six years. I was supporting us. He did very little around the house. I can't say he was abusive, but everything I said somehow ended up in an argument. I learned not to bait him, but somehow, still --- he was itching for a fight. If I *agreed with him* about something he'd turn around and take the opposite view. We'd had a lot of good years, he was a genius, literally, and I was still ready for this to be done. I didn't leave, the end came a lot quicker than predicted. I mourned him, but truthfully, the man I married disappeared long before he died.
Your fiancé is abusive. In my opinion, someone who is engaged for years but never takes the steps to actually get married is waving a red flag. He has still not legally committed to you and the kids. As for the accusations, there's an old French saying that probably sounds better in French: A man who's always checking under the bed for his wife's lovers has probably spent some time hiding under a bed himself. His experience in cheating but accusing you sounds like trying to deflect the blame and change the subject.
You can't fix him. YOU can't help him change, and I suspect he knows it's not healthy, but you can't MAKE/FORCE/ COMPEL him to open his eyes, his mind, to work on himself.
You don't mention any physical violence, but I would be super cautious because it sound like he could be.
You should be calling a domestic violence hotline like, yesterday. Insulting you, calling you foul names, threatening to take the kids, keeping you estranged from friends and family, IS abuse.
You said yourself that we'll "probably tell you to leave". Girl, you already know in your heart what is happening. Textbook abuser behavior: isolating from friends, being wonderful sometimes and being horrible other times, maneuvering partner into a state of work and exhaustion and loneliness, contempt and tearing-down self-esteem, entitlement to your time and body. I know it is hard to see someone who is so central to your life and humanized to you as abusive, really honestly ask yourself if you could ever bring yourself to do to someone else what he does to you, the worst moments. Yes people have flaws, but love means that you work and QUICKLY redirect/solve them before they hurt someone you love. Both my father and I have anger issues. He went to anger management and improved it, I know that no one deserves to be a punching bag to me, and the thought of hurting my partner kills me, so I don't say harsh things in anger and even leave the house if I have to.
I don't know exactly how you feel since I'm sure this probably logically makes sense to you, but maybe it doesn't "feel real". The reality is that guys like this can and do escalate, and it will be more than you at stake when it does. And you probably already know this, but accusing your partner of cheating is something that is incredibly common for cheaters themselves. It's projection, the same thing happened to me except it was with drinking. My mom accused me of going into the garage and drinking wine, when in fact she was the one hiding bottles in the garage (not trying to be all over the place, I'm just trying to emphasize that baseless accusations are a huge indicator of something THEY'RE guilty of). And he's trawling the internet looking at other women already, trust your gut, it KNOWS what's going on.
I think you are projecting your own sense of humanity onto him. He knows. He knows that you're faithful, he knows you are still sexually available, he knows that you are dedicated to him. You do all the work around the house, are loyal, don't have a big social life, and are even working on your emotional maturity and communication skills to de-escalate the conflicts he starts. He knows the only way to have an argument is to create a problem out of thin air, he's doing this on purpose. It is not your job to make him "believe" or "see" that he is wrong. He knows he's wrong. Please, if you can, find the pdf of Lundy Bancroft's "Why Does He Do That" (the pdf is free online). Guys who abuse do not have the goal of abuse, but the goal of control. Abuse is just a means to an end that they retroactively justify. If he's willing to use the kids as pawns then it's clear their happiness is not a goal to him, they have the most to lose in this dynamic.
Please be incredibly careful when leaving. Do it in stages (even the physical items), and lock down all important documents or digitize them. Change all passwords he could know. He shouldn't know until you've left or are about to leave (can't argue just state what is happening), reconnect with friends or family in the meantime without his knowledge and tell them what's happening. You are not a burden if you need to crash your parents in the meantime. There are excellent resources online on how to deal with narcissists (search RaisedByNarcissists) and one of the best ways is the Grey Rock method, which basically gives them nothing to use for escalation. That could help in the meantime.
I wish you the best of luck