i've been with my boyfriend for three and a half years now. i love him more than i ever thought i could possibly love someone, and feel just as loved in return. we're really committed to each other (it's long distance, and requires a lot of patience and trust).
my problem is that when things are good between us, they feel beyond perfect, but when they're bad, it's... ugh.
he's bipolar, and pretty emotional. through all of our time together, we've never had an honest, legitimate fight--it's only been him blowing up at me and apologizing days or weeks later. when we do have those fights, it's over (what i think) are the stupidest things--like if i get online and don't im him right away, or (currently) because he asked me to let him do something i'm uncomfortable with. i said no, and he hasn't spoken to me for a week now, saying that "it's not because you won't do it, it's the principle that you're putting restrictions on me."
when i first started college, he got upset because we didn't have as much time to spend together as we used to. i understand that, but what really bothered me was when i tried to open up to him about the things on my mind that first semester, he told me that i was complaining and i was stupid and i would never amount to anything. it's gotten to the point where i'm afraid to disagree with, or confide in him--but when he senses this, he tells me i SHOULDN'T be afraid to tell him anything and says things like i should never let anyone take advantage of me.
he has told me before that he knows he does things he shouldn't, and that he's very thankful that i'm understanding and patient enough to know that when he gets angry he doesn't mean it, that i put up with him...
as for the checklist--my friends don't like him, my family doesn't like him, my mother absolutely abhors him (she won't say why, though) he's suspicious of every male i'm friendly with, he's manipulative, calls me names--jokingly, frequently makes me feel like things are my fault--maybe they are, and likes to be in control at all times (he says that there should be no secrets in our relationship, which i agree with, but then in practice it just ends up with him demanding information from me and keeping lots of stuff to himself.
etc, etc... (this is longer than i thought it would be already.)
i don't understand how he can be both loving & supportive, and cruel. when does it change from being protective to possessive? overzealous concern to irrational jealousy? how can i be sure that his behavior REALLY isn't my fault, like i'm neglecting his emotional well being? (i'm sure other people here have those same questions). how do i know that this isn't slightly-worse-than-normal regular relationship issues, that this person is worth enduring for?
so... i don't know how to tell if i should really be worried or if i'm just blowing things out of proportion. there's so many things that bother me, but there are just just as many things to counter that. this is my first relationship so i don't have any experience to fall back on.
Posts: 1 | From: east coast | Registered: Oct 2006
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Just from the little bit of information you said above, I think it could definitely be characterized as an abusive relationship, and one that is likely not healthy for you to be in.
How do you know for sure? You did it for yourself. You mentioned the things on the checklist. You mentioned you were afraid to disagree with him, which is a huge warning sign of a power imbalance.
It can be tough to love a bipolar person -but he really should be seeking help for his issues until he can treat a person he loves with a reasonable amount of respect. Unfortunately most abusive behavior stems from some deep-seated psychological problems and it's not uncommon for an abusive person to claim they don't really mean it. Until your boyfriend seeks the help he needs to manage his behavior, maybe this isn't a good relationship for you to be in.
Posts: 443 | Registered: Aug 2006
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