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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5770
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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I have been in the relationship with this man years. This

Customer Question

I have been in the relationship with this man for 5 years. This year we started living together and got engaged. We always fought a lot due to many reasons. We always seem to work things out though. Now that we live together things got both better and worse. Better in the way that I feel that he wants this relationship to work and that we are a family. Worse in the way that we started to have fights where he started calling me names. When I try to raise an issue that I am worried about he often says that I fight for nothing and that I am being unreasonable, etc. He starts to ignore me and than I start getting irritated and bother him. Here is when the fight gets violent. things he tells me could be: "you are being stupid." "If you wanna be a bitch I will treat you like one". "Shut the f**k up". "f**k off". "there is no place in my life for a Feminatzi"... He makes me cry a lot. I cry because I get angry, hurt, frustrated, but don't seem to do anything about it. I feel like he doesn't even care if he hurts me or not. When we both calm down he says he gets angry and this is how he expresses it and that he doesn't mean what he says. He says that I know that he loves me and respects me, but I also make him so angry that it clouds his mind. I talked to him couple of times about this issue, but it doesn't seem to work. I am a stubborn person, but I do believe I am intelligent and understanding. I try to understand him, but I don't seem to understand why he treats me this way. I am ok with letting things go, but I am concerned that he will make me feel depressed. (I had a severe depression few years back and had a hard time getting over it). I don't know what to do and how to act. I don't know if I can trust him and his advises. He says it's me who has anger issues and that I need to work on it. He says that I fight and nag a lot and I need to be more positive and let things go. I think he has a point, but then question myself why would he treat me the way he does. Because even if I am angry I still never say hurtful things to him. I get angry and start shoving his laptop away or his phone or try getting his attention.... But never say disrespectful things. I donnt know if this is healthy or normal. Everybody fights.... But is it to this extent?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

What you are describing is abuse. Your boyfriend is verbally and emotionally abusing you. You are right, this is not fighting. Fighting is a disagreement where both people air their sides and find a solution. It does not involve calling names, cursing at someone or blaming the other person for everything. Your boyfriend is blaming you and refusing to see his behavior as wrong.

It is very difficult to cope when you are caught in an abusive relationship. You want to hang on because you want it to be better between you. And you hold out hope because you still love him and believe he can be a better person. All of those feelings are understandable. And it is very easy to get caught in an abusive relationship and feel you cannot leave. Your self esteem is low and you feel there is nothing else out there for you because you have lost hope. But with the right support, it can get better.

The only way people do change is if they want to. And at this point, your boyfriend is not seeing what he is doing is wrong. And if he doesn't see how he is treating is wrong, he is not going to change. Not with where he is now. And it sounds like you have made as much effort as you can to make the relationship work. Yet he keeps hurting you and won't stop. And until he sees what he is doing is wrong, he won't stop.

The first step is to realize that if he is hurting you like he is, then you are in an abusive relationship. You do not deserve to be treated like he is treating you. You deserve better. Anytime you are feeling fearful, depressed and/or anxious about a relationship, it is a sign that you are in an abusive relationship. You should instead feel taken care of, loved and safe. But that is not what you feel with this man. And with the lack of respect, making you cry and continuing to blame you, you're needs are not being met. You may want to consider taking time off the relationship. Taking time to get away from the situation and think through what you want can help you decide how to proceed.

The second step in dealing with how you feel is to see a therapist. It is understandable that you don't want to rely on family and friends but keeping the abuse a secret is what helps your boyfriend control you and the relationship. So seeking out help with people you trust, including a therapist, can help a lot. You can try to ask if he will go (even though that would really help him) but most abusers do not see that they are the problem, so most refuse help. Talking to someone about what you feel can not only provide much needed support, but it can help you sort out your emotions so you are more clear on what you want and what you need. To find a therapist, talk with your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_search.php.

Also, consider learning more about abusive relationships and how they affect you. Here are some resources to help:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/09/28/5-ways-to-escape-an-abusive-relationship/

Should I Stay or Should I Go- Lundy Bancroft

Most of all, trust your gut feelings. If you feel depressed or upset around your boyfriend and cry a lot, that is a sign that something is wrong. Don't ignore those feelings. Get help and consider taking a break from the relationship. You deserve to be treated better.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

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