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How to get over a bad relationship - need as much support as I can get

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I keep getting my heart broken my a man I've been involved with for the last few years. We argue a lot when we are together. He often stonewalls me and withholds affection. He breaks up with me often, tells me he can't stand to be around me and doesn't like me and often says other very cruel things, then a few days later he changes his mind and asks to try again. When he changes his mind, he tells me all the things I did to make him feel like he needed to leave me, but very rarely admits to the things he does wrong in the relationship. He wants me to change my behavior and he's right that I have a lot of behaviors that need changing. He accuses me of trying to get away with my misdeeds by explaining how his hurt me and says he wouldn't behave the way he does if I would change myself. It's to the point now where I am afraid to say or do anything because it might upset him.

The last time we reconciled, I said I would only agree to it if he would go to counseling with me. He said he would, let me go through a lot of trouble to set up an appointment, and then backed out a few hours before we were scheduled to go. I have an appointment on Thursday to go to a therapist on my own, to work on my communication issues (which are his main complaint and a valid one) and on getting past this relationship.

I'm really panicky because I know he will try to get back together with me soon. Ignoring him doesn't work. He doesn't give up; he just escalates. The last time I tried ignoring his emails and texts and phone calls he showed up at my door in the middle of the night. I sent him away with a threat of police, but he kept calling, etc after that, so I decided to suggest counseling, expecting him to say no and for that to be the end of it. Reasoning with him doesn't work either; he breaks down my resolve to stay out eventually. I don't think even a restraining order will work, because he told me that his last girlfriend had one against him and they still wound up back together for several years after that.

I really wanted to do the counseling. I think it would help immensely if he would cooperate. But he never will cooperate or take responsibility for his abusiveness and obsessiveness. I know he will never ever change. I need advice on how to help myself get over this and how to resist the temptation to let him back in when he starts asking again, because I still love him and miss the good things about him. I'm really afraid that I will allow myself to go through this again.
post #2 of 36
I would move ahead with the restraining order. Change your contact info. Move if possible. Do whatever you have to do to sever ties with this "man". Get away far and fast. Talk to people (friends, family) and get support. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
post #3 of 36
Everything you just described is emotional abuse, and whether or not his ex took him back after a restraining order, that doesn't mean YOU will.

Run, get help, get the order, call the cops, do whatever you have to do to remove this person from your life.

Some counseling for yourself, WITHOUT HIM, is absolutely in order.
post #4 of 36
Please read Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft.

Run. Away. Fast.

Please.

You deserve better than a man who treats you like that.
post #5 of 36
Please, DO NOT allow this person to be anywhere near your kids.
post #6 of 36
That's the kind of person you need to just cut all communication with. They only get worse and they never, ever are the one that was wrong. They may occasionally admit that they were kind of wrong but they don't believe that, they are only humoring you. Don't waste anymore time on him. Cut out phone calls , email, face to face, everything, forever. It may take a while and expect the police to be involved at least a few times so get a restraining order, they can remove him from your property either way but they can arrest him for breaking the restraining order. He will try to wedge himself in your life however he can for a while but if he's gaining no attention for it eventually he'll move on to a new victim. It will be a pain for a while but in the end well worth it. Don't ask how I know all this...........I just do....


I reread your post again and by the fact that his last girlfriend had a restraining order that should be telling. I've had some people similar to that in my life and only a few were personal relationships, but in all cases they were very shallow people. It was like they were a balloon with nothing inside. All their supposed good traits were actually ways to charm or manipulate people into getting themselves what they wanted out of them. For example: politeness (they were in public, not always so elsewhere..), charm (there is always a motive behind charm), good looks (whether it came naturally or with some work they used it to cover up their not so good insides), conversation skills (they'd sound interested and could pull off sounding understanding, however if you ask them the next day something about the conversation you'd get a blank look and have to remind them about it, they forgot unless they could directly benefit from something mentioned, they'd remember that part), either way name the good trait and behind it there was a reason for it.
Maybe write down the things you believed were good about him then list some things that he gained from having those good traits, you may start seeing the same pattern that I did, that these weren't just some good traits but used them more as a stradegy to get his way. Then list his bad traits and compare. The two lists may paint the same picture. That will definitely help you to get over him.
post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 
I do know that I have to stay away completely. It has been getting worse and worse as time goes on and will continue to do so. I know it is emotional abuse. My self-esteem has really been hurt by this. I've told him that. The real problem is that I have to stop myself from letting him back. Counseling will help, but I don't know if it will help fast enough to make me stay away entirely yet. In the past, I used to try finding a new boyfriend to help me get away. That was so unhealthy AND it didn't work, even when I did start seeing a really, really nice guy who really liked me during one of the break ups.

He never was around my kids much at all. He met them before this cycle started, but since then he's barely done more than run into them accidentally a few times.

I wish I could really change all my contact info and move, but I can't change my work email and moving is out of the question. With those windows open no matter what, I don't think it would be useful to go through the horrible hassle of changing my personal email and phone numbers.

I did tell him the last time I spoke to him that I will call the police if he contacts me at all. I intend to do that, although I'm sure he doesn't believe me. I don't know if it will do much good if I do call them or file for protection, but it might.

Thank you for your words. It really helps me stay focused on getting out. It feels like an addiction to me - on both of our parts.
post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday2004 View Post
I reread your post again and by the fact that his last girlfriend had a restraining order that should be telling. I've had some people similar to that in my life and only a few were personal relationships, but in all cases they were very shallow people. It was like they were a balloon with nothing inside. All their supposed good traits were actually ways to charm or manipulate people into getting themselves what they wanted out of them. For example: politeness (they were in public, not always so elsewhere..), charm (there is always a motive behind charm), good looks (whether it came naturally or with some work they used it to cover up their not so good insides), conversation skills (they'd sound interested and could pull off sounding understanding, however if you ask them the next day something about the conversation you'd get a blank look and have to remind them about it, they forgot unless they could directly benefit from something mentioned, they'd remember that part), either way name the good trait and behind it there was a reason for it.
Maybe write down the things you believed were good about him then list some things that he gained from having those good traits, you may start seeing the same pattern that I did, that these weren't just some good traits but used them more as a stradegy to get his way. Then list his bad traits and compare. The two lists may paint the same picture. That will definitely help you to get over him.
Your advice was really helpful, wednesday. The restraining order by his exgf was for this exact same behavior. By the time I found out about her restraining order, I already knew very well why she did it.

But he's not the type to come across as charming or whatever. He did want A LOT of my attention in the beginning and he moved the relationship ahead faster than I felt was wise, but he doesn't have that "charm" that a lot of these types have. And most (but not all) of the things I appreciate about him are real. It's a matter of us having similar views, and interests, etc, really. Most of the things that made me fall in love with him are real, but I know now that his attention to me was based on obsession and possessiveness, not love.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
And I'm really tempted by something that is probably a bad idea. The exgf is on facebook. I really really want to email her and ask her if she will give me some encouragement or tips on staying way from him, but I feel like that would be a total invasion of her privacy. She doesn't know I exist as far as I know. I personally would be glad to help out his next victim, but I shouldn't impose on her right?
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimim View Post

- We argue a lot when we are together.

- He often stonewalls me and withholds affection.

- He breaks up with me often, tells me he can't stand to be around me

- doesn't like me and often says other very cruel things

- he tells me all the things I did to make him feel like he needed to leave me, but very rarely admits to the things he does wrong in the relationship.

- He wants me to change my behavior and he's right that I have a lot of behaviors that need changing.

- He accuses me of trying to get away with my misdeeds by explaining how his hurt me and says he wouldn't behave the way he does if I would change myself.

- I am afraid to say or do anything because it might upset him.



All of this that he puts on you and then backs out at the thought of admitting to you, in counseling, that he has faults that affect the relationship. And then blatantly ignores your requests for personal space to think it all out and come to your own conclusions of whats best for yourself.

He has control and manipulation issues. He doesn't appreciate your efforts to make things work our the best for both of you and he has no respect for your personal boundaries. I hope that you can forgive yourself and accept that you need to instill better boundaries for yourself in future relationships and then move on, learn to love yourself... and eventually find a man who will reflect all of your beauty back to you instead of trying to suck every ounce of it out of you and leave you questioning your love toward even your self. I say this from having experienced giving and giving until my own heart almost died. Just get out and on with life now, all of this is his issue, and you don't need to mend him... he can't be mended, for now he's just sucking your energy til you're dry and will very well eventually move on to someone else to suck their energy. Sorry that you are hurting nut don't subject yourself to more. Its truly not worth losing your heart over a guy like that. Even if everything in you right now says it is... it is not. I wish you a strong and admirable, respectful type of love.
post #11 of 36
Ok 1) You can block him from your work email. It is absolutely worth the hassle to change all your other avenues of contact, and it will show the police and the judge that you made a sincere effort to stop him from contacting you. Also, once you've told him to stop contacting you, anything he does is harassment and just gives you more evidence for your restraining order.

2) I really strongly advise you not to contact the exgf. She may still be in contact with him or friendly with him, even if he says they're not, and you have no way of knowing whose "side" she would come down on, especially if he was able to manipulate her in the past to the extent he described to you. You need to cut him out, not add more people to the mess.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post
Just get out and on with life now, all of this is his issue, and you don't need to mend him... he can't be mended, for now he's just sucking your energy til you're dry and will very well eventually move on to someone else to suck their energy.
post #13 of 36
I was "addicted" to an abusive guy for four years. We had cycles very similar to yours. What helped me was telling my friends and family the situation so they could hold me accountable for my decision to be done with him. The abusive pattern was no longer a secret and since I relied on their support during the early breakup period, I felt too embarrassed to consider going back to him. I also put all the relationship mementos in a big trash bag and took it to a dumpster immediately. I tore up all pictures of him. I returned jewelry he had given me. I erased the evidence of him in my life. It helped the decision to seem more permanent to me. It was therapeutic. I refused to answer his calls. He brought me a letter--AT WORK!--and I threw it away without reading it. I had a couple good friends that I could call in an "emergency" like that and they would encourage me to stay strong. I asked my friends not to mention him, because just hearing his name hurt for a while. I called him The Jerk instead of his name for a year to distance him in my mind.

And perhaps the most helpful thing was that I wrote a list of all the crappy things he did to me over our 4 year relationship. I even asked my friends if they could remember anything to add to the list. I kept this list and reread it when I felt weak. If I thought about calling him or how much easier emotionally if would be to just get back together, I read the list. It worked! As I read over it, I couldn't believe how much I had put up with! I realized that I would never accept that kind of treatment from anyone else in my life. I wouldn't choose a friend like him. That helped me realize that it was an addiction and not really love.

My ex never stalked me like yours--but if he had, I would have called the police. It's best to nip that in the bud right away. I'm sorry you're going through this.
post #14 of 36
This article might help you understand a bit more why you feel as you do.

http://www.mental-health-matters.com...article&id=167

And I second the Lundy Bancroft book.
post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
I've done all those things that you talk about several times already, ReadingMama. It does help. So has he, as a matter of fact. One of our big arguments was that I found one of those lists of his early on and it crushed me, because it contained bad things I'd done, plus things he generally disliked about me. I wanted to leave him so badly at that point, but I mostly believed him when he told me that he was exaggerating on a lot of it to make it easier to break away.

The Stockholm Syndrome article had some things I relate to. Thanks, Theia. It looks like the Bancroft book is in stock at my local Border's. I'll go see if I can pick it up later today. The sooner I get my hand on it the better, otherwise I'd save a few bucks and order it from amazon.

I'm researching changing my contact info. It will be SO much work to update all my people and utilities, etc on that stuff, but I need to do it FAST if I am going to do it. I expect to hear from him within a week. I had changed my email address the last time, but he told me that it didn't even slow him down. It might give him pause if my phone numbers are changed too, but I think it will just make him show up in person and then start thinking of other avenues he can use to contact me. It's impossible to close all the loopholes. And I'm about to call the non-emergency police number now. If I sit on hold for too long, I'll just go to the station later on.

My kids are with their dad this afternoon and tonight. He knows that. He will start getting worried that I am spending the night with some other man - and I have done that several times before in the past, once when we weren't even officially split up. I won't be surprised to hear my phone ring at 2 am or something. On Sunday, the last night my kids weren't home, I got a hang up phone call on my land line (no caller id; I don't use it enough to justify $10 a month, but I will probably order it for the next month or two, if I don't change the number entirely) at 3:30 am.
post #16 of 36
No need to get caller ID. Just ignore his games. Don't make him make you spend money. Turn the phone off at night. Screen your calls. (Don't answer, just call people back afterwards)

Do not contact the Ex GF.

DO make yourself really busy. Sign up for those cheap community classes. Go out with your girlfriends. Do not sit around the house and think about this guy. Join the Y. Do lots of other stuff.

Good luck mama!!
post #17 of 36
Honey, the only thing you need to change about yourself is him being in your life. Please don't spend even one more second with him. He has beaten you down, taken away your self esteem and I truly don't think you can clearly see how toxic this relationship is and that no amount of counseling will change it or him. He exhibits every sign of a classic abuser. Get a restraining order if he won't take no for an answer and if he stalks you. Seek counseling only for yourself. Your children and you deserve so much better.
post #18 of 36
Definitely screen your calls. If you happen to answer and he's on the other line, just hang up. I had to do this with an ex...it was so hard...but, you know, the more he called and the more I ignored/hung up without talking...the easier it was. It becomes a strength and a realization that you are NOT a victim, that you do have the strength to get away from abuse and that you do NOT have to let it be a part of your life.

You may want to go to a family law attorney and pay them to write a nice, firm letter telling him that he's has been asked on multiple ocassions to stop contacting you/showing up at your home, etc. He is now being told to discontinue his behavior towards you, or you will be forced to escalate the situation. If he contacts you, in any way, after that letter is delivered (request it be sent certified mail, with signature) go to the police with that letter and start the process for filing for a restraining order.

You deserve so much better than this guy. I know beginning the break away is so hard...but the more you do it, the better you'll feel and the easier it will be to stay away and move on.

*hug*
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 
Ok, cell # changed, email addy deleted, blocked his numbers on my land line. Whew. That was a lot of work, but worth it.
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimim View Post
Ok, cell # changed, email addy deleted, blocked his numbers on my land line. Whew. That was a lot of work, but worth it.
Way to go! You're a powerhouse!

Even though you've done what I recommended, I'm glad I posted it because it might help someone else.

You know, it really sounds like you're done. The more you post, the less it seems like you're still stuck. That's great!
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