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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Emergencies and Crises » Breaking up with an unstable boyfriend

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Author Topic: Breaking up with an unstable boyfriend
orca
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I wrote about my unstable relationship with my boyfriend back at the beginning of the summer. We got back together shortly after breaking up back then and things have gotten worse. He's become more controlling and obsessive, getting mad at me whenever I even talk about going out somewhere without him, saying mean things about my mother (who has been extremely kind to him and treated him like her own child), coercing me into having sex with him against my will (and if I refuse he calls me "frigid" and "icebox" and doesn't let me get any sleep and takes the blanket away from me at night), along with many other things.

On my birthday, he was driving me home and said that he wanted me to be his housewife. I told him it was a bad idea and listed some "what ifs" that could happen, like him dying or us divorcing, and he flipped out on me, yelled at me, and talked about murdering me and my family. He said it was a hypothetical just like my questions were so I shouldn't have cried about it. He complains that I don't give him enough sex, though we have sex once a day and it causes me pain and I've told him that, and he makes me feel extremely guilty about it. He constantly puts me down and makes me feel stupid about pretty much everything, including the fact that I've gone undecided with my major while I work some things out.

We argued last night and he told me that I need to change for him and that I need to be kinkier in bed (though he never tells me what he wants and when we have sex he doesn't ask for anything different) and that I should stop being an ******* to him (I just started classes and he was visiting me for a couple of weeks but I didn't have enough time to spend with him and do my work so I was stressed the whole time because he complained about me ignoring him for schoolwork). I asked why I was the one who had to do everything different in the relationship and he said it's because I'm the woman and he's the man, or something to that extent.

I'm sick of this relationship and I want out, but lately he's shown signs of deep emotional disturbance, perhaps some psychosis, and I'm afraid of what he might do. He has a key to my house, but he lives 4 hours away. My mom said we can change the locks though. I also did something stupid back when the relationship was better and gave him nude photos of myself after he begged and pleaded me to give him some. He still has them and has threatened to put them on the internet before. How do I get out of this relationship without him doing something insane? I don't want things to end badly. Please help me. I really can't continue in this relationship without going insane myself. I've never been this unhappy in my life.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
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Oh, Orca. My heart goes out to you.

You do need to get out of this. Emphasis on need. I'm so glad to see you feeling strong enough to do that: not everyone is.

And you need to get out as safely as possible.

Generally, the very best thing to do is to call on your support network. If you are close to your family, that's a very good first-group to let in on what is going on -- and really, tell them as much as you can bear to: the more they know, the safer you and they can be. I would go ahead and change those locks now.

per the photos, I'll be frank: there is likely very little you can do about those, nor anything you can do to control what he may do with those. If they were taken before you were a legal adult, and he publishes them in any way, he would be looking at some serious criminal charges, and even if that is not the case, someone who publishes or distrubutes photos of a subject without their permission can also be held legally accountable.

I'd suggest that you end this in as non-confrontational a way as possible. I'd suggest sending a letter making clear you are out of this relationship, for instance, and that he is not to try and contact you. keep a copy of that letter, and you might also -- just so you have it on paper -- detail some of these abuses in it. But I'd keep the tone very calm and very benign: do not be emotional in the letter.

Understand that you also have the option of seeking out a restraining order: you absolutely are in the window to do that. He has coerced you with sex, has made threats against you and your family.

I'll also be frank: an abuser is not someone with whom you are likely to have an amicable breakup. I'm not saying that to scare you -- and by NO means to tell you not to get out: you NEED to get out -- but just so that you can be prepared for the likely reality here. Abuse is all about control, and when you take an abuser's means to control away, they often get very angry. So, you should do all you can to emotionally and practically prepare yourself for that possibility. Block his number from your phones, or have one of your parents pick up when he calls. Do not answer the door to your house yourself. If you think he may come harass you at school, then let security people at the school know to look out for him. A unified front often tends to intimidate an abuser -- they rely on the person they're victimized being isolated and without support.

So, let's start there, okay?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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Thanks Heather. I forgot to mention that he's talked about cutting my mom's brakes before, which scares the **** out of me. I am close to my family and they are here emotionally for me, but they aren't here. The timing is completely off because everyone but my dad and one of my sisters is out of the country and I can't really talk to either of them about this. The sister that's here thinks I brought this on myself, and I suppose I did by not getting out sooner. I spoke to my mother and she thinks I should wait until she gets back next week before breaking it off with him so that I'll have someone here with me for better emotional support. She suggested I don't answer the phone until then either. Do you think that's a good idea?

I still love him and it's hard for me to imagine getting any kind of legal action against him. He's never hit me before, but his words do scare me a lot. I was hoping I could be friends with him just to avoid any problems, but I think he would want to be friends with benefits and I really can't and don't want to do that. Oh, and I was 18 at the time the photos were taken, so nothing can be done there. I guess I should never run for political office though. [Razz] I feel kind of stupid about giving him those pictures, but things were different back then and all I can do is never do it again no matter how nice the guy seems, right?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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orca
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I wanted to add something. I've fantasized for a couple of months now about breaking up with him and seeing new people or just about life in general without him and in those fantasies I'm always happy and successful. Now that I'm planning on actually going through with it, I feel relieved and happy, though still a little sad and with a few butterflies in my stomach. I feel kind of guilty about it though. I am happy that I can finally meet new people without feeling so guilty or worrying about getting home in time to call him or answer his call so he doesn't know I was out or lying and saying I'm with my parents when I'm just with friends.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
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Your mother sounds like a seriously smart cookie.

I think that'sa fine idea, but I'd also be sure that you have your back covered until then, too. If you don't answer his calls, he's likely to act out. Where are you right now, for the next week?

I'm also very sorry your sister is addressing this this way: I shouldn't need to say this, but you are not responsible for his behaviour. You're just not.

It's also okay if you're not okay with legal action, now or later. I'd just be sure to remember that threats are very real sometimes, and that abusers, as a rule, escalate, especially when one kind of control/abuse, clearly isn't having the effect they want it to. So, again, I want to be sure we can help you to do all you can to be as safe and protected as possible.

(And I would have to say that realistically, a friendship with a partner who has abused you is not likely, nor something I'd suggest pursuing. Unless HE figures out he's an abuser and he does a LOT of serious work -- including longtime counseling -- to change that, he's not going to be anything but an abuser, in any context. Too, being any kind of 'friends" won't keep you safe. With an abuser, the only safe thing, really, is to get away. I know that's really hard when you also care for that person, even with the deep betrayal of abuse, but that's the deal.)

Lastly, I don't know where you are exactly, but if you want to let me know (and email is fone if you're not comfortable here), I'd be glad to look up extra support and counseling services for you per all of this.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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I live with my parents still, though I'm alone during the day time because it's just me and my parents, my other siblings living in other parts of the country except one of my sisters who lives down the street with her boyfriend. I'll see if my sister can stay at the house until my parents get home though. I have dogs, but they love him so they aren't too much help and my family doesn't believe in guns.

There are counselors at my college and I'm going to try and see them sometime this week, though I'm not sure if they are trained to deal with this kind of thing. I would prefer to e-mail my location. What is the e-mail address though?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
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I am not someone who would ever advise having a gun, full-stop, but that personal feeling aside, it's generally more hamful than helpful for anyone to consider having them who is not very trained in using them.

Do you have any friends who might be able to do shifts staying at home with you this week, and accompanying you when you leave the house?

You can go ahead and email me via the form here: http://www.scarleteen.com/contact

let's see what we can find for you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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I lost all of my childhood friends in high school because of a controlling boyfriend back then. I never was able to get back with those friends or make new ones because of the current boyfriend's jealousies. All I have is my sister and her boyfriend, but the boyfriend works during the day. I wasn't advocating gun use either, just clarifying that it isn't an option. My whole family is pretty anti-gun in fact. I was thinking though that perhaps I could just spend some extra time at school until someone is at home with me. The library is almost always open. Do you think that would work? Oh, and I just sent the e-mail too.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
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(Emailed back.)

I think the library is a really good choice.

I'd just be sure that if you get an inkling that he's become agitated from you not answering the calls, that you pick places to sit there which are very easily visible to everyone.

And if you can get someone to walk home with you, what have you, that's also a good extra protection.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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I wanted to add, orca, that not only am I very sory you're going through this, other volunteers have also expressed that it breaks their hearts, too. You're very well-liked here, and if you need to cal on any of us at any time, please feel free.

I'm sorry that more than one abusive relationship has had the unfortunately intended (on the part of the abuser) effect of isolating you so much from friends and keeping you from making new ones. here's good thoughts to now being able to forge some new friendship very soon. from what we can tell about you here, you're an awesome person for whom doing so -- when someone isn't keeping you from it -- shouldn't be that much of a challenge.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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Thanks a lot. I truly appreciate it. I just wish I'd listened sooner, but better late than never. I'm actually really looking forward to being single again so I can finally have fun. Like I said, I'll let you know what happens. Hopefully, it'll blow over and he'll just accept it and move on. I just hope his next girlfriend stands up for herself and doesn't put up with his crap for as long as I did.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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orca
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I'm not so sure I can do this anymore. Last night he called and left a message on my voicemail saying "All right, F* you then. Consider yourself forgotten." Then I had a panic attack and he called back later but I didn't answer. This morning I got into a fight with my sister. She's supposed to be supporting me in all of this while my mom is gone but all she's done is yell at me and this morning it was a physical fight. Now I'm alone and I can't talk to anyone about it all. I used to talk to my boyfriend about this but I can't. I just don't know if I can do this. I feel so alone right now.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
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Well, you certainly could never talk to your boyfriend about the things he was doing to you which put you in these places, eh?

That said, of course you feel alone, honey. Someone purposefully isolated you, and from what I can tell, save your mother, it worked.

He will play games with you as you try and get away. He will. This is, unfortunately, going to be how this breakup goes: it's pretty much how it always goes when someone leaves someone abusive. Have you blocked that number yet? If not, please consider it.

We're not in-person support, but please know that whether you can do this or not, you have our support: it's not conditional. I'd also encourage you to consider some of those resources I sent you. Can you phone your mother to have a few minutes of support from her, as well?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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After having a lot of really bad things happen today, I finally broke down and called him, but to break up. I don't know, it just felt too harsh to just write a letter. He took it, but he didn't get why I couldn't do it anymore and he was harsh about it. I told him I'd like to still be friends if at all possible and talk once in a while. He said he didn't care either way, but then started telling me about his day. It didn't go well, but it could have gone worse. So we're broken up now and I'm going on Wednesday to see the counselor at my college. She deals with relationship issues a lot. Then I just have to wait out the rest of the week until my mom comes back. I know I should have just ended it completely, but I think I need to have the pretense of friendship with him for a little bit, just until I feel strong enough. At least now I'm not bound to him and can do whatever I want and talk to people again and feel like my old self again.

Oh, and I didn't get to talk to my mother or anyone in my family today. After the big fight with my sister this morning, her boyfriend took me to class (I don't have a car right now, but I should have one tomorrow) but then I was stuck there til 7 PM because she refused to pick me up and her boyfriend was at work til 6:30, which was when he picked me up. She ended up yelling at him about it though...I'm really not sure why.

[ 09-17-2007, 08:26 PM: Message edited by: orca ]

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
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Orca, I think whatever the way was that felt like the way you could do this and that worked for you is okay. With something this hard to do, it's not fair to yourself to be critical in terms of how you could have done it better: you did a hard thing today, you did a big thing today, and you did a brave thing today that's supportive of radically improving your well-being. Don't diminish that. I think you're amazing: my hat's off to you.

I'm sorry your sister isn't being supportive right now, and sorry there isn't anyone around for you to talk to in-person. But it;s great you can get in to talk to someone Wednesday, and I'm really hoping that's going to be helpful to you.

[ 09-17-2007, 09:57 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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Thanks Heather. [Smile] Not to be mushy, but I think you are very amazing.

I'm just taking deep breaths and trying to focus on the big goals ahead rather than how things feel right now: the hopes of a healthy relationship with someone in the future, full autonomy (including from family or whatever forces wish to control me), a job I can like and live with myself with, and chocolate cake. Fortunately, that last one isn't very hard to get. [Smile]

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
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Well, thanks. [Smile]

And per the cake, happy to provide a couple of my favorite (and vegan!) recipes if that's a help. By all means, cake is a lovely thing to have, and on that list, a very easy immediate goal. [Razz]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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The offer of recipes is very tempting...Okay! Maybe I'll have time on the weekend to cook. Until then, it's coffee shop cakes for me. At least I can meet people at the coffee shop though. [Smile]

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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