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Is this verbal abuse? Are we just not right for each other?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Breaking up, Dating, Health, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 April 2015) 11 Answers - (Newest, 30 April 2015)
A female age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I am on the fence about the man I have been in a relationship with for 2 years.  I don’t know whether I am wanting to get out of the relationship too soon or if am avoiding the warning signs of what could be verbal abuse.

Background Story

I think it’s important I explain how we met and little about eachother. I met my partner on an online dating website 2 years ago.

We spent the first month talking on the phone for the first month as we lived 400 miles away from each other.  I was 23. At the time I was finishing my masters at university  but failing miserably. I was drinking a lot and very depressed with my weight, financial situation and family relationships. However that wasn’t always the case. I was actually really ambitious, fit and mentally strong before that period (a year before the drinking.) I found a job in a another city and we decided to move in with each other after two months.

My partner X was 25 when I met him.

He failed college, didn’t have a job since he was 17 and all he did was smoke weed and drank all day. His vocabulary is mostly swear words like C**t and F**k, Your probably asking what attracted me to him.. I’m not really physically attracted to him. But I saw a good guy in him and in the beginning he made out that he was going to change.

He said he would stop smoking (as that was a deal breaker for me), stop drinking so much, get qualifications and get a good job.  

In many ways I am the complete opposite to him as I dislike swearing, smoking, laziness and belliting behaviouretc.  We don’t like the same things like music or movies. One of the things we have in common is travelling.

When he stopped smoking in the beginning he said he quit but then I caught him smoking behind my back and it really hurt that he could lie to me. I never caught him again and he says he has been smoke free for 22 months. I do believe that but he has done lots of other small things that have made me not trust him.

Also he has been stuck in this dead end job for 2 years now and refuses to even admit that he said he would try and progress. If I was to get pregnant he could not afford to look after me as his wage is too small. At the moment I pay the rent and a lot of things.  He does pay for the house tax and electricity though.

The Good

There are plenty of good things like:

1. He can be really caring, I was taken to hospital one and he was there that whole period.

2. He makes me laugh sometimes and tells me im pretty.

3. Wants to travel like I do.

4. Feel a little lost without him

5. I love him to bits and really do care about his life.

The Bad

1. He gets angry really quickly, calls me names (C**t, B***h) , blames me for his angry (“Its all your fault that I am this angry, are you trying to give me a heartache??”). – This is on a daily basis. If he doesn’t want to hear my opinion he will put his hand over his ears and scream “ stop moaning at me, your doing my F**king head in”

2. Is really disrespectful to me by belittling me and my opinions.

3. Does not do anything to progress in his life. Seems to be comfortable in his deadend job. I have this little side business that I am doing and he keeps saying that it is 50% his business too ( even though hes not invested a penny or time into it). When I ask him to put some work into it he gets really verbally aggressive and blames me that I don’t motivate him enough.

4. He plays playstation when hes not in work and only cares about watching football.

5. Expects me to do 80% of the work such as cooking dinner.

6. His family argue a lot and have very different morals and beliefs to which I was brought up with.

This morning

So we woke up to workout and we were doing great for the first 15 minutes. He kept shouting over to me saying “straighten your back” and “ try harder”. I know he was trying to motivate me and I was happy with that but I responded back “ I am trying my best”.  He got annoyed with that response but I shrugged of his reaction and kept exercising.

Ten minutes later my shoe lace came undone and he said “do your shoe lace, you will trip.” I said “ok give me a minute,

My shoe is tight anyway”

He got so annoyed with that and said “ if you trip I will laugh so hard” and I then said “ that’s a mean thing to say, I will do my shoe lace in a minute after this move” He got more annoyed  and started screaming and shouting at me saying I never listen. Calling me derogatory name . I had enough and shouted back for one. I then called him names (I never usually do) .

I was soo upset. He got aggressive and started banging doors and hitting walls. He said that I am a nasty person and projecting my filth on him (I didnt say anything of the sort tho) He started saying that I never listen to him. I decided it was best if I workout in another room. So I did, He then came in 5 mins later and apologised but then said it was my fault he got so angry. I said I wasn’t accepting it this time until he realised I did nothing wrong. He then blew up with angry, got ready and tried to leave the house. I got really upset and for some reason begged him to stay at home. I got frightened at the thought of him leaving  even though I did nothing and that he just verbally abused me. I apologies for calling him names back. He stayed but told me to leave him alone.

Which I did. I started making breakfast and then he started say “ I hate my F**KING life, you think i'm an asshole, you’re the nasty one etc..” .

I had enough of arguing and tried to cheer him up but nothing worked. He stayed annoyed and went to work. He is the one who feels violated even though I did nothing. He was the one that verbally hurt me. I feel like im going crazy.

In the past I have tried to sit down with him to talk these problems out.

Sometimes he realises that he does do somethings wrong but then he blames me for his wrong behaviour. Like if he is angry with me he will swear at me. I will say please don’t swear at me and talk to me calmly. He will say things like “ well don’t say things that will make me swear at you”. The problem is that I don’t say bad things. I just give him like me opinion like “ I think you wash your hands if you’ve been picking your spots”.

I also feel like he is holding me back with my dreams because if his aggression. I get debilitated when he shouts at me on a daily basis and get demovtivated to do anything.

He didn’t even get me a birthday card for my birthday even though he could afford beer. To his defence he did buy me trainers but said he could afford a card aswell cause he has no money. But a card is like $1. Less expensive than beer.

I feel verbally abused by him daily and its totally knocked my confidence. I love him but I don’t know how long it can last like this. How can I make things work with him? Get him to realise he is verbally abusing me and things need to change?

Or is it too late? Are we just not right for each other?

If I was to leave i'm too scared as he says things like “ i'd be dead without you”, “ My life is nothing if your not in it” etc.

I would really appreciate your advice.

View related questions: acne, ambition, confidence, depressed, money, period, university

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A female reader, LiveAnnLearn Serbia +, writes (30 April 2015):

LiveAnnLearn agony auntIt kinda seems to me like your relationship is too toxic for it to change. He may have a personality disorder, and you may be enabling his behaviors in some way. I'm sorry to say that, because I know it's not always easy to start over with someone new, and I'm always hesitant to suggest anyone to break up, but it really seems to me like you're way past the point of repairing things, and like it's damaging or maybe even dangerous for you to stay with him, because his aggression might take a turn and escalate.

Even if that wasn't a concern, it seems like you have to mind everything you say around him so that he wouldn't take it the wrong way, and that's a big psychological burden you're carrying there, and maybe something you would be better off without?

I understand it would be hard to break up, maybe alert his friend or a family member before you do, so that he wouldn't stay alone right after it happens, but either way I'd advise you to seriously consider that option, for your own good. Wishing you best of luck with it! :)

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (29 April 2015):

Tisha-1 agony auntOh my goodness.

End this toxic relationship today.

If you need help with that?

Ah, you didn't select your country flag.

Find the domestic abuse hotline in your country and call it, or go on line and ask for help.

Can you manage that?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 April 2015):

Expanding on Sageoldguy1465's analogy:

"Sometimes, I think women are like men who believe that they will find a beautiful '57 Chevy convertible in some old barn... and they will buy if for next-to-nothing, and restore it to be the most beautiful car in town...."

Unfortunately, what too many women find in a barn is not a classic '57 Chevy but a '71 Ford Pinto, a cheap small car notorious for its propensity to explode when rear-ended due to a poorly-designed gas tank. Even if one is willing to invest the time, effort and tens of thousands of dollars necessary to restore a rusted-out Pinto that cost $2000 new to showroom condition, it will still harbor that fatal flaw and thus will always have the potential to blow up upon the slightest impact.

Your story is a textbook description straight out of Controlling Abusive Boyfriends 101. Boyfriend is like a restored Pinto: No matter how shiny the paint is on the surface, underneath still lies a ticking time bomb. Don't let yourself go up in flames just for being bumped in a parking lot.

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A female reader, Abella United States +, writes (28 April 2015):

Abella agony auntyou think he is bad now? Once he realizes that you are leaving then you will see real fury.

That is why you do NOT tell him you are leaving.

Currently you are his verbal punching bag, the payer of the rent, the maker of the meals, the victim he abuses. He's invested a lot of effort into getting you to regard it as ''normal'' to be the object of his contempt.

Thus you do NOT explain to him that you are going to leave, just make arrangements, quietly to leave, when he is not there.

Be gone before he gets home. Remove everything that is yours.

Settle up with the landlord, quietly. The landlord could allow him to take over the lease, or perhaps someone else could be brought in to share the rent.

But How and Where your about to be Ex lives is not your business.

Your safety is what is important.

He is exhitbiting all the signs of an abusive bully.

He will become more jealous of your ability and try to drag you down to his level.

You owe him nothing.

You deserve a lot more that is good in life.

He is nasty.

Were you to have children they too would be subjected to his tirades. Such abuse is frightening to hear, see and experience.

Your studies equip you to go on to greater things.

But if you stay with him he will get jealous of your success and become an embarassing millstone around your neck.

He's probably been a tantram prone immature bully since he was a child. And been allowed to get away with it. Of course he plays the victim role even though he is the central dispenser of verbal abuse.

Your business is survival.

Your self esteem will not survive intact if you remain with him.

Sure he likes travel. But does he have enough left over each week to build up a travel fund? Or does he expect you to pay for his travel costs as you move up in your career path.

Quietly get out asap. There are professional people who could help you pack up quickly. Don't try to do it alone.

Don't do it using ''friends'' as it would only take one busy body to tip him off and he'd come racing home and try to subject you to a huge scene where he'd try to play out as first crying, pleading then alternating with a shouting abusive phase.

You are NOT responsible for his immature abusive behaviour.

You are NOT responsible for paying his bills nor are you there to provide a roof over his head.

I hope that you are able to exit the premises in a SAFE and discreet way, with a minimum of noise and full.

Just don't expect him to take it well.

But then I don't expect that he'll ever accept that he does not have the right to behave in such an abusive way.

And he will get worse. Abusers always do.

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States + , writes (28 April 2015):

Code Warrior agony auntI agree with the others. This guy will hit you. It's only a matter of time. You need to get out. You need to find a temporary place to stay and you need to do this immediately. After you arrange a place to stay, move out. For your safety, it would be preferable if you moved out while he was gone.

If he's always there, Don't make a big scene and don't give any speeches. Terminate the relationship with ruthless efficiency and without discussion. You must become utterly uninterested in him. Don't ignore what he says, just don't engage him in conversation. He is just another person. Treat him like you would a stranger who strikes up a conversation to pass the time while you wait for the elevator. Be polite and agreeable, but ultimately uncaring. You don't need revenge and you're not retaliating. You simply no longer care and are leaving. The only thing you tell him is that it's over and you're leaving. He will make all kinds of promises. When he does, wish him well without emotion or caring. You don't owe him an explanation and you're not going to give him one. Delete his contact information from your phone. Don't hug him when you leave, just leave.

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (28 April 2015):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntSooooo, you made contact with this junk-heap of a "man" .... and believed that you could re-constitute him....


Get away from him... stay away from him... and content yourself that you didn't/haven't/aren't any more involved with him....

Sometimes, I think women are like men who believe that they will find a beautiful '57 Chevy convertible in some old barn... and they will buy if for next-to-nothing, and restore it to be the most beautiful car in town....

Good luck...

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (28 April 2015):

Honeypie agony auntHe IS abusive, He takes NO responsibility (it's always YOUR fault mentality) and he is manipulative. NONE of those traits are good.

After 2 years of this you are doubting that you are a good fit, rather than REALIZE and ACCEPT that he is an abusive loser you can not "fix". Lawncare said it best, you are dating a fixer-upper. You think if you put in enough work and love HE will turnout to be this amazing man. He won't.

NEVER date someone for their potential. (who you think they CAN become) Date someone for who they are. And this guy? Is not a keeper, nor a winner.

And you can not make make him understand that he is abusive. Either he KNOWS his behavior is not OK and he doesn't CARE or.. this IS who he is and HE WILL NOT CHANGE.

Time to move on and put those AMBITIONS into play. GO for what you want. He is holding you back and YOU are holding yourself back.

My advice? If you two are on a lease, find a way out of the lease. If it's a month to month, then get out (make sure you name isn't on it no more) and find yourself a room mate situation you can afford. And then GET out.

Keep your job for now so you can have a roof over your head, but start looking for jobs you WANT. And maybe even consider looking into scholarships and so forth so you can finish your degree.

You also mentioned having kids. I hope to GOODNESS you are using birth control with this guy.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (28 April 2015):

So_Very_Confused agony auntdidn't even have to read the details...

since you asked for advice... LEAVE. LEAVE NOW and do not look back.

His behavior will escalate and he will hit you... don't wait for that...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 April 2015):

He is a classic abuser. This abuse so far has not included hitting you. It will do. Hitting a wall or destroying things is just the start. Read a book called Why does he do that inside the minds of angry and controlling men by Lundy Bancroft. You will recognise his behaviour. What to do? Get out while you have any shred of self esteem left. Otherwise you will be too weak to make good decisions. As he blatantly doesn't it is time to show yourself love and respect.

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A female reader, XxSophie84xX United Kingdom +, writes (28 April 2015):

You might not want to hear this but I really think you should get out of this relationship.

He is a very passive agressive person and you should never in a million years call anyway a c**t let alone someone youre supposed to be sharing your life and future with. I know you're saying these good points about him and how he stayed in the hspital, but every parnter should be that anyway so you could find that comfort with someone else, someone who wouldnt talk to you in such a disgusting manner.

He has lied to you about smoking so what else could he lie to you about? He will never realise he is being verbally abusive he will be in complete denial and make it seem like its your fault, thats what abusers do. You are being abused you, you just dont realise it because you dont have a bruise on your face, and whats stopping him from doing that?

I get he has an interest in travelling but you can always travel solo or find someone else who will. Wouldnt you rather someone call you amazing that a bitch? and a RED FLAG "Dont say things that will make me swear at you" that is always how abusers start, they blame the victim for why they're doing it, soon it could be "dont say that it will make me hit you."

You need to put it down to can you imagine having children and a marraige with this man? How would you feel if he spoke to a child in that way? I know you love him but you can find this love with someone else, you just need the support. Try talking to a friend, someone you really trust, you need to talk to someone about everything, but I do think the answer is pretty clear.

Good luck. Please keep me posted.

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A male reader, lawncare United Kingdom +, writes (28 April 2015):

lawncare agony auntPlease let me get this straight. This person abuses and belittles you in public, expects you to do much of the work around the house, blames and emotionally abuses you to the extent that you can feel it knocking your confidence and you're struggling to see how a long-term future could possibly work out - and you're only on the fence?

To put it mildly this person sounds like an undeserving, horrible person. As he undermines your confidence, you see yourself as not deserving better treatment as you don't realise your own potential. Well, you deserve better and I don't even know you. DOGS deserve better treatment.

Please don't make the error that time and effort spent equals love. Love is easy. It is the opposite of anxiety. Love frees us and refuses to restrict us. This sounds like classic anxiety to the extent that the things that come out of your mouth are brought into question and devalued.

It seems as if you went into this with the view that this person was flawed, which is fine, and that he was a bit of a project. A fixer-upper, in homebuying parlance. Well. The question you have to ask yourself is do you see yourself getting any value out of this project?

If you were my friend, provided you have painted a fair picture of this gentleman, I would have advised against this person from the start. Some time down the line, with his poor traits embedded and unfortunately further endorsed and enabled by your presence, he has not changed and seems even worse.

You seem like a fighter. You've got your qualifications and your ambitions. If you end this, it is not the end of the world for you. It might be hard at first not having that person who can be good 20% of the time. But I'm sure there is better, because if there's not better than being treated as a skivvy, then what hope for any of us?

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