Feeling hurt! Searching for any type of advice to help aid my relationship!
My boyfriend(22) and I(18) have been together for nearly two years on and off, and we've lived together for two of those years. At first, everything was great. Amazing. Wonderful.
A couple months ago, several important people in my life pulled me aside and told me that our relationship isn't healthy, and the way he treats me isn't okay. I initially brushed it off because our relationship was rocky (yet again) but I knew it would get better as it always has. However, the amount of ups and downs we've had, and the severity of the downs mixed with their concern lead me to research emotional abuse a couple days ago.
I don't want to admit it. I don't want to admit that this wonderful man who has been my one and only for the past 2 years has been abusing me. And I'm not even sure if he has! Yes, he does insult me, threaten to leave me, blames his foul moods and a whole slew of other things completely on me, tells me I overreact whenever I get upset with him, demands complete and immediate personality changes when he feels I am acting inappropriately in some manner, calls any opinion or idea I have that he disagrees with "stupid" and "irrational", has called me any name under the sun that is offensive, but he only acts this way if I do something to piss him off. Says I have no respect for him when I question something he tells me, accuses me of never trying hard enough to make the changes to myself that we agreed I need to make, tells me I neglect him, he constantly asks me if i truly love him, brings up past issues, says I am not trustworthy. I have recently dropped all contact with friends, female and male, so he and I can be away from any negative influences. He likes to know what I am doing and expects updates on what I am doing throughout the day. He doesnt allow me to go out without him and considers that "trashy". He has never once threatened violence (though he has punched a wall or two out of anger), and he always encourages me when I tell him one of my goals, we are serious about being with each other for the rest of our lives and have plans on getting married. We make each other so very happy and everything seems so perfect. But in a split second this happiness can turn into complete hatred. It scares me so much and I dont want to end this relationship, I want to fix it. It's so very, very confusing.
Either way, I know that he is not doing this on purpose. He does not want to abuse me (if it is abuse). That's not what he's trying to do. I can still see the caring man who would do absolutely anything for me inside him. He doesn't know what he's doing to me, and every time I bring up my feelings, I get scolded for the many, many, many, many things I have done wrong that warranted his actions (thus, my feelings are on myself), or I am told that only I can choose to feel that way and that I should get over it. I'm worried that mentioning the fact that he's potentially abusing me would be met with a wall and anger, but I can't possibly know for certain.
Should I tell him that I think he's emotionally abusing me(if he is)? If so, how? What would you guys honestly recommend here?
I would say that yes he is emotionally abusing you. It's terrifying when you realise that someone you love and whom loves you can act in such a way, and I'm speaking from personal experience.
First things first: be proud of the person you are. He tells you he loves you, and yes when the going is good, it's REALLY good. But you need to ask yourself whether you want this for the rest of your life. Is he in love with you? Or the person he wants you to be once you've made all these 'agreed' changes? Did you agree to make these changes to make him happy, or to make yourself happy? This sounds like someone who is very insecure about themselves "Says I have no respect for him when I question something he tells me, accuses me of never trying hard enough to make the changes to myself that we agreed I need to make, tells me I neglect him, he constantly asks me if i truly love him, brings up past issues, says I am not trustworthy" and as a result takes it out on you. By making you insecure too he can make sure that you'll always be there for him and won't leave him. These people warning you are right, the relationship isn't healthy for either of you, and as much as you want to help him, you won't be able to be the exact person he wants you to be, because you are you, with all your perfections and your flaws and you shouldn't change who you are, your ideas or lose your friends because he thinks you should.
This man has trust issues, perhaps he had some troubles in the past in either your own or another relationship. It's terrifying, but my advice to you would be to get back in touch with your friends, go see them, become your own person and know that no matter what, you can get through everything because you are awesome. Telling someone they are emotionally abusing you will only cause them to do it more (they'll blame you, they'll make you feel rubbish and that it's your own fault). Instead take time out for yourself, realise how important you are to yourself. Stand your ground and talk to him about why he behaves in this way and how it's not appropriate. Call someone and let them know where you are and whilst your talking to him you can get away if you need to. If he gets angry (potentially violent as you've said) make sure you just get up and leave,k it's hard but you don't need to put up with that. Tell him HE needs to make changes in his behavior if he wishes to carry on being with you. (Remember: you're awesome, he needs to make effort to make you feel loved and appreciated, it can't all come from you). If he can't listen to what you need in the relationship and realise it's a two way thing, he's not worth the hassle.
Don't let him make you think its your own fault. Although you live together, it's not impossible to move out if you need to. Grab stuff and stay at a friends or with your family for a while whilst you guys sort things out, either whilst you're talking (i.e. meet in a neutral public place where you can both walk away if you need to), or whilst your saving up to get a place of your own. I had similar problems with a boyfriend I'd lived with for four years. I finally couldn't take it anymore and moved out to a friends sofa and moved on the minute I had enough for a deposit for my own place. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I felt so much better in the end.
I hope this helps.