Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 1999
Hi, I just stumbled across this
website and think it could help me on what to do. I love my
boyfriend tremendously and I know he loves and cares for me but he has
been verbally abusive for a year and I think I've had enough.
Sorry about what I
have to say...
If he cared so
much, he would not be abusive.
We have a great relationship when
things are good but we also go through a roller coaster with bad times.
Our fights are horrible. When I try to discuss issues that are
bothering me he gets very upset and has the attitude of "you hurt
me so I am going to hurt you."
He says horrible things and call me
names. He knows this affects my self-esteem because I have
told him how much this hurts me. Check out
why you let his acting out affect your self-esteem. Don't take him so
seriously. He literally turns into another person and acts as if
he is 12 years old.
Sounds more like 7.
What do you see in him? The chase? That he won't really give himself to
if you show him just how very much you love him, he will magically change and
reciprocate? Don't count on it.
His parents were divorced when he was 8 and I think that has had a great
effect on him. He hasn't ever really gotten over it and his father
has a problem with communication and temper control also.
So what? Does that
give him the right to make your life miserable?
So, to get to my question: I
told him the other night that I've had enough and I wanted to break up
because I wanted to look out for my well-being and I didn't want my
future to be like this unless he could change. We had already been
to couple's counseling for 2 months but he couldn't take any
responsibility for anything he's done, so we really didn't make any
progress. He seemed to take things okay at first but he then
turned cold and said the mean things again. I told him
he just doesn't get it. He later thought about things and says he
realizes that he has a
problem. He wants me back and he says he really wants to change.
Actions speak louder
than words. Don't consider a person's actions during a period of
remorse. Look at what they do in the heat of the moment.
I love this man so much
and I would be willing to take him back if things were different.
But things are not
different. Always love yourself
But.. what is the likelihood
that things can change?
Slim. He is not
taking responsibility for his life. Wanting to change and changing are
two different things. Changing is hard work. He has to want it desperately. He has to feel as though life is not worth living the way
things are now. He clearly doesn't. (Except perhaps when you are about
What are his options on what to do and where to go?
He may ask the
couples counselor you saw to see him, or to give him a referral. But,
where to get help is his problem. Why are you making it yours? If he
really, really means business, he will find what he needs.
I guess I am just confused and
wondering if I am a fool to think that he can get better.
He can get better,
but you are being foolish because he is showing no indication at
all that he means business. He wants to change only when threatened
with losing you. He is not in pain otherwise. Why should he want to
change? Right now, he gets his cake and gets to eat it too. He needs the
roller coaster. You don't. Or do you?
I do have a lot of faith in counseling. I spent 5 years in
counseling for an eating disorder and have went through a lot of hard
work to get to where I am at today.
You had a reason to
go to counseling; you hurt. Your boyfriend doesn't. Don't blow all your
hard work by staying in a relationship that will hurt you more and more.
You know, the general pattern is that untreated abuse gets worse over
I am strong enough right now
to handle some of his verbal abuse but I don't think I can take much
Then don't. You
sound so young, with your whole life ahead of you. You have no kids
together and little history. You are better off getting out. The
odds are against him.
Take care of
yourself. Find a partner who can give as much as you do. Stop being so
understanding at your own expense. Stop making excuses for him. Stop
caretaking - unless you have a partner who can caretake back, who is
less self-centered, and who understands and respects your feelings. If
you insist on being codependent (which, by itself, is not the worst
thing in the world), at least find another codependent to fall in love
Good luck to you,