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Why does my boyfriend treat me so badly?

Tagged as: Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 February 2009) 9 Answers - (Newest, 20 January 2013)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

i am very confused about what to do about the relationship i am in. Me and my boyfriend have been together now for about a year. It has always been a very intense relationship and we were breaking-up and getting back together as soon as we started seeing each other. However part of me found this exciting, compared to the more dependable relationships i'd been in in the past.

However this initial excitement soon turned and i blame myself for not leaving sooner, but before i knew it i was in love in with him.

I now find myself in a position where i can never express my opinion to him. If i am upset about something,i can't speak to him about it because i am accused of moaning and if i get upset im called immature. Things have got slightly better in the last month, but everytime i think things are getting better another massive argument comes about, which usually turns to violence.

He has one rule for me and another for him. he will ignore me all night and im expected to deal with this, but if i ignore him for 5 minutes over an argument, things turn nasty, he will swear at me and call me names, but i am not allowed to do that either. He doesn't trust me whatsoever, i've spent the last 8 months not going out with my friends at all and only speaking to the people who he wanted me to; although he somehow managed to convince me that this was the best for me because these friends didn't care about me like he does. I finally managed to convince him to trust me so that i could go on a night out with my friends last week, when i return home earlier than expected he was angry with me and said that the only reason i'd probably came home early was because there was no men coming on to and trying to chat me up. So i felt that i couldn't do anything right at all.

I have no self-confidence or self-esteem and he tell me frequently what a bad person i was when he met me and how much he is trying to change me for the better. The strangest thing is that i know he genuinely thinks that he is doing me a favour because he believes he is a better person than me and can somehow impart his 'wisdom' on to me and make me into the person he wants me to be.

also at the same time he craves my love and attention and if im not constantly texting him and telling him i love him he goes into moods. He will even ring me when he is out with his friends to tell me about all the girls he is being chatted up by to make me jealous because he thinks that if i'm jealous, that must mean i love him!

i just don't know what to do anymore. everytime i think i've finally made him realise how he is behaving, he changes.

so does anybody know how i can at least make him realise what he is doing and how controlling he is being?


p.s. thanks for taking the time to read through this, i know it was a long question!

View related questions: immature, jealous, text, violent

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A female reader, lostconfused1974 United States +, writes (20 January 2013):

My boyfriend does the exact same things as yours. We have been together for a year now. When we started dating I just got out of a bad marriage. It started out wonderful he was so sweet, romantic, and fun; we were crazy about each other. We were so close and comfortable with each other almost immediately. He made me laugh, I loved that the most. We were so intense and passionate. I was the happiest I had ever been in my whole life.

About six months ago that slowly started changing. I remember the first time he called me a horrible name, I couldn't believe it I was so hurt. It just escalated from that point forward. If I go two hours without texting him he gets angry and accuses me of cheating, etc... If he goes two hours without texting its okay he was just busy and how dare I accuse him of doing anything but its okay for him. His biggest thing to say to me is are you calling me a liar if you are that's all I need to know because we are done but he can call me a liar, cuss me out and say the most horrible things anyone has ever said to me and he never apologizes for his behavior. If I cuss him or call him a name it quickly turns to violence. We had an argument one night and I talked to him the way he talks to me and he got so angry the next thing I remember was lying in the hall screaming and holding my left arm. When I was walking away from him, he pushed me so hard when I fell it broke my left arm in two places. At first he felt really bad about it but now he says it's my entire fault for talking to him like that. My doctor said he has never seen a break that bad. I had to have surgery so now I have two metal plates, four screws and two ugly scars. I don't have health insurance either and he has never offered me any money for all of my medical expenses.

He tells me I am a bad person, why would anyone want to be with me. I don't do anything right he constantly puts me down and tells me about all my flaws. He says I wear way to much make up and tells me how much I should put on and etc...... When I tell him he is rude and not perfect he says he would want someone to tell him if he looked ugly. Here lately he is very moody and distant. He may go a whole day without talking to me and when I ask him why he says he just didn't feel like it. If I did that to him I would never hear the end of it. He told me something is wrong with him on the inside and he needs to fix himself. He said he has felt like something has been wrong with him for years but he can't tell me what it is and when I ask questions then he says see that's exactly why I never tell you anything and gets angry. I'm afraid to say or ask anything in fear I will say the wrong thing and make him mad. Then he says I was in a great mood and now you have ruined it. I hear that all the time.

I feel like I'm going crazy. No one knows how I broke my arm, I told everyone I tripped. None of my friends know and especially not my family. No one know how badly he treats me I do not discuss it. I feel like im going insane because I can't talk to anyone. I lie all the time about my bruises; everyone thinks I'm just clumsy. I know what needs to happen. I just don't understand why it's so hard for me to get away from him. I have no self esteem and very depressed. I was surprised when I read your story and a few others that they are all so alike. I know it's not me now it is him.

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A female reader, Ive United States +, writes (6 December 2012):

I go through the same exact things you are going through with my boyfriend of 3 years. I know what you are going through, let me first tell you the answer to your question, you are most likely NOT going to be able to make him realize how he is behaving, men like this will never change. You need to get out of the relationship right away if you ever want to be happy. Look back on how you use to be when you were not with him, what kind of mood are you always in now that you are in this relationship? Feeling miserable all the time is just a waste of time and for what; he does not deserve you. No one deserves to be called names, people with this kind of behavior are insecure, find a real man that will take care of you, the way you deserve to be treated. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and as long as we let them get away with it, the more they will continue to act this way. I feel for you, and I wish you the best of luck.

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A female reader, denisem23 United States +, writes (25 May 2012):

I deal with VERY similar issues myself with my own boyfriend. We have been together just over 2 years now. When we started dating I was a very vibrant, happy and confident person. I let him chase me for months before I gave in and started dating him. At first he was romantic, sweet, generous, loving. I couldn't believe I found such a perfect man. It was like he as a knight in shining armor in my eyes. Not long after he finally won me over things started to go sour.

He was negative, mean, moody, distant, and superior. He left me just outta know where last summer and wanted nothing to do with me, said he wasn't in love and it was over. We split for about 4 months and when the summer was over he wanted me back and played the role of a loving caring man like he made a huge mistake. Despite my feelings of anger towards the situation I took him back because I felt I loved him deeply and I saw good in him.

Yet again it went back to the same old same old. He treats me like I'm worthless, acts superior and better than me as if he truly believes he is. Tells me I'm lazy because I don't make enough money, tells me I'm unattractive because I'm not a very thin girl (size 12) tells me how he hates how I do my hair (bangs) tells me I'm unhealthy and can't take care of myself (I've lived with migraines all my life and take medicine daily). He even said he only wanted to be with me because he considered me a sad case that he could "fix" and turn me into a better person, as if I was never good enough and really just hopeless in his eyes.

He even suggested recently that I have a choice to let him have sex with other women because he is a man, and I should respect him for being honest and coming to me first, or let him go. He admits that summer time he wants to be single because all the beautiful women he sees and that I'm really not beautiful enough in his eyes and that is why he left me last summer. He gets jealous if I talk to other male friends then later denies it and says I should do what makes me happy because he only cares about his own happiness and that I should let him be with other women because it is only natural because he is a man. Some days he seems down and depressed and wants to talk, other days he is distant and moody and avoids me, won't answer his phone or respond to me. He gets very angry almost daily because of the amount of money I make in comparison to the amount he makes and that results in him calling me lazy and don't work hard enough and not independent (even though I pay ALL my own bills and debts).

I want to leave him, but I fear being single. I know I'm a happy, bubbly person and to be honest I like my curvy figure, but being with him makes me second guess myself everyday. I stare in the mirror and hate who I see. I hate my body, I hate my hair, I hate my job, I hate that I will never be good enough no matter how hard I try and I hate that I always compare myself to other women and only find myself disappointed.

I don't understand what causes his mood swings, why he says he loves me but treats me differently, or if the problem really lies within me or within him. :(

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A female reader, Sad26 South Africa +, writes (19 March 2012):

I am in a similar situation...I want to get out as I have lost all my confidence and zest for life.I'm not the girl I used to be and he thinks he is doing me a favour...changing my ways so he says lol

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 February 2009):


Your boyfriend treats you so badly because he is weak and insecure and he knows you can do better if you leave. Trust and believe no girls are trying to chat him up that hard where he has to call you. That may be the other way around. He knows your weaknesses and he knows he has you wrapped around his little finger to do whatever to please him no matter how wrong you are not whenever you two argue or disagree. My boyfriend treats me the same way and I am making arrangement to get the hell away as quickly as possible. I am 10 weeks pregnant and you are doing a heck of alot better if you are not pregnant like me. It doesnt make it harder to leave, but I know I gotta step my game up for my child because I am responsible for another life who will need me to lead by example and be strong for her and trust me; THOSE ARE MY INTENTIONS; YOU CAN DO BAD BY YOURSELF HONEY AND YOU JUST MAY NEED TOO!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (6 February 2009):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

i just wanted to say thankyou so much to the people who have replied so far! all of your advice is helping me out alot and helping me realise what to do with my situation! i will let you all know how things are progressing. Thanks again! and anymore advice is always welcome! :) thanks!!!

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A female reader, timeforchange United States +, writes (6 February 2009):

i was in a very similiar situation. i was with my bf for 2 1/2 years and when he felt like ignoring me it was ok but when i did it it turned into WWII! he called me the meanest names you could imagine and i just took it all in because at the end of the day he said he loved me and i fed into everything. i finally got the strength to leave him. i always felt as if i needed him. i thought that without him my life would be nothing and i would be so lonely which is my biggest fear. i would STRONGLY recommend leaving now... i know it is hard but i am sure that you have plently of loved ones who will STRONGLY support your decision and will do there best to keep him off of your mind. i really hope you take my advice and leave. like i said it will be very difficult in the beginning when he calls or texts but it will be fine. sorry another thing i forgot to mention is that when i broke it off my x would constantly make me feel guilty for leaving him and would send me nasty voice mails as well as text messages that would seriously make me cry, so i decided to block his number and his messages from my phone.

this will be a really big help. like i said it is going to be hard but you have to love yourself more and make the best decision for yourself. it makes no sense for you to feel the way that you do about yourself because of him.

good luck!

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A female reader, shortstuff4789 United States +, writes (6 February 2009):

shortstuff4789 agony aunti totally agree with shaashiie.she is exactly right about all of it. get out now. i have been there too and there really is no changing him. he has to want to change and make the commitment to . i gave up my freinds and my previous lifestyle for a guy becasue he said it was best for me and i ended up alone, completely.

dont make these mistakes. shut the door on his part of your life and find someone who will treat you right.

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A female reader, shaashiie United States +, writes (6 February 2009):

shaashiie agony auntNo, you will not be able to make him realize what he's doing, trust me. Get out of this relationship NOW NOW NOW, please do this for yourself. This will only get worse, I know from experience. The sooner you leave him the better.

You're in an abusive relationship, it fits the description to a T. He is going to continue making you feel worse about yourself until you're at the point where you believe you're unlovable and you won't want to leave because you'll believe no one else will ever want you - if you're not at that point already.

Please listen to me, this is not your fault. Stop blaming yourself. You deserve someone who will treat you like a queen and make you feel loved and special when you come home, not like everything you've done is completely wrong. There ARE people out there who will make you feel this way, please don't believe you have to settle for something like the relationship you're in now. After you've left him you will realize what it's like to be able to breathe again without being scared he's going to tell you that you've done it wrong.

This is not love baby doll, this is abuse. Abusers always make you feel that the reason they treat you the way they do is because they love you, and he MAY love you, but your relationship is NOT how love truly is. He also made you stop seeing your friends because they would tell you the truth about your relationship and he knows that. It's classic abuser behavior. Look up abusive relationships on google or anywhere and you will realize that you fit the description and if you need support call your mother, father, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, anyone who will be there for you because I know it will be scary at first to even think of leaving him, but it in the end you will feel A MILLION times better.

Let me know how it goes because I truly feel for you and I want you to have something better.

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