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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I met this guy about 5yrs ago, I am now 31 and he is now 38yr

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I met this guy about 5yrs ago, I am now 31 and he is now 38yr old. When I met him, he had just gotten out of prison and was on parole. Now, I am not trying in any way to make him sound bad, but these are the facts: He has been in and out of prison since he was 19yrs old for drug possession, drug sales, grand theft auto, and more drug charges. When I first met him, he was the sweetest, most charming guy ever.... but after about 3 months or so, I started to notice severe anger outbursts towards me, after a couple of months from that he started getting physically and verbally abusive, biting my face, slapping, nothing too severe, no beatings, but grabbing my neck and trying to choke me, holding me down, and things like that. I had never in my life dated any guy that had gone to prison. I had just gotten my bacherors degree when I first met him, and as I mentioned before, his charming persona at the beginning was what drew me to him. I have no kids, but he has 3 kids by 3 different women. He has admitted to having gotten physical abusive with ALL OF HIS EX girlfriends. We have been on/off for the last 5yrs During this time, I have caught him cheating on me at least 4xs. Now my major problem, is that even knowing all this, I am completley obsessed with him. I literally have an addiction to him like a drug addict.. I know psychologists wont say that is possible, but I am living proof that it is. Even though he constantly puts me down, calls me names, and is down right mean to me, I am so attracted to him physically that I can not get turned on by any other man.. I have tried and it just doesnt happen. I think about him constantly, text him numerous times a day, can not focus on anything. I have literally been getting anxiety to the point where my hands shake, I vomit, I have bad migraines, and stomach in knots constantly. Please help me to know what I can do about this, and is it actually possible to be addicted to someone so much that it can cause physical pain and anxiety? ( I think its important to note that I am diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and generalized anxiety disorder) I have tried everything with this guy; I get stomach cramps right before I am about to see him in person because I am afraid of what I may say that is going to make him mad. Even when I laugh about something that is funny it seems to bother him. I am certain I am doing something wrong.. What can I do to not piss him off and annoy him? and have him be nicer to me?

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


I need to ask some questions to clarify your situation.


Do you have abuse in your background? If so, what kind (you don't have to provide detail if you feel uncomfortable doing that)


Are you receiving treatment for your diagnosis and if so, what kind? If you see a therapist, have you received any feedback from them about this situation?


Do you live with your boyfriend?


Thank you,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

No, I do not live with him. and He rarely calls me his girlfriend. In fact, about once a week, he does this thing where he says I mean nothing to him, and he never wants to see me again. I should note that since I have met him, since I am fairly financially stable, and he is not, nor has ever been, ( in fact he is on cash aid from government for his son) I have bought him thousands and thousands of items from jewelery, a old car, digital camera, tvs, clothes, shoes, etc, etc, ( i probably spend about $350 a month on him easily)

-Yes, I do have abuse in my backgroud. My dad, ( my parents are divorced since I was 15yr old) was phsycally abusive to me when I was a child up until I was age 17. Hit me about 2xs a month, verbally cursed at me frequent basis.

-I was also sexually molested by my aunt's ex husband from time I was age 8-13yr

- I was in DBT group and therapy for 2yrs in 2007, but I can no longer afford any of it, and my private insurance can only see me about 1x every 8 weeks for individual therapy..

DO you need any more info?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hello? did you get my response?

No, that is a good. Thank you for the information. And I am sorry to hear about the abuse you suffered. It is heartbreaking.


I was asking about your background and childhood because often, when we become adults, we seek out relationships that resemble what we experienced as children. So if you were abused as a child, the relationships you are most attracted to as an adult will resemble what you experienced in childhood. That is why you are so attracted to this man. He represents a way for you to relive or resolve what you experienced as a child.


You may either feel you deserve how you are treated, since that is what you were taught as a child, or you may be desperate to resolve the trauma you experienced through your current relationship. By reliving your abuse, you may be able to get your boyfriend to love you the way your parents and others did not when you were little. So you keep trying by buying him gifts and being there for him. Making him happy will make him like you. This reaction is very common among adults abused as children.


Therapy could help you distinguish further your motivations for staying in the relationship. But understanding why you feel the way you do will help you get started resolving your feelings.


You may not be able to get him to be nicer to you or not to get angry anymore. He has his own issues (possibly he was abused as a child as well) and until he resolves his issues, he will continue acting out the way he does. He could benefit from therapy if he was willing to see he has a problem and go. But if he is not, then he would have to see his behavior a problem and fix it on his own.


But you can control your own behavior and how you react to the relationship. If you want to work on your part, here are some resources to help you:


Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence: A Workbook for Women by Edward S. Kubany, Mari A. McCaig and Janet R. Laconsay


Domestic Violence Sourcebook, The by Dawn Bradley Berry


Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for Those Who Have Been Physically, Sexually, or Emotionally Abused by Steven Farmer


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


Try some support groups to help you in addition to your therapy. Support can make a big difference in how you feel and help you heal.


Let me know if I can help any further,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you so much. I have a few follow up questons for you: please, I appologize in advance for the lengthy questoins, but this is very importnant to me..

1) he refuses to see that he has a problem, and says its all me. So I want to know, based on the history I just gave you, is it just me he is going to be like this with? Or is it going to be like this most likely with any girl he is in long term with?

2) If I annoy him so much, why does he always say its over, but then replies to me when I text or call him in a few days to a week after he said that?

3)THis is embarrassing, but why am I so sexually turned on by him when he is so mean? I feel so sexual with him, feel like he can only please me that way, but I do not feel this way toward ANY other man. ???

4) will this addiction (and it really is full blown addiction- just like as if I was addicted to cocaine or meth or alcohol) will it ever fully go away? I know it can get less intense in time, but from what you have expereince, is there ever going to come a day where I dont think about him at all? ( this has yet to happen after 5yrs)

I await your reply, thank you

You're welcome! I am glad to help.


To your first question- no, it is not just you. He is like this because of something he went through. This is about him, not about you. And you mentioned that he has abused his other girlfriends as well, so he will be like this to anyone he is with.


Second question- He is attracted to you the way you are attracted to him. Whatever his issues are, he wants to work them out with you. But since he does not know how, he keeps trying to come back to you to see if he can try again.


Third question- Most likely, it is because of the abuse you suffered as a child. When children are sexually abused (or sometimes it occurs with physical abuse as well), they have to find a way to cope with it. Some children shut off emotionally, others become overly sexual, especially in abusive situations. It is a coping mechanism, a way to give yourself so you don't get further harmed or killed. It also pleases your abuser when you accept the behavior.


Fourth question- yes, it could be that someday you think of the relationship differently. In other words, it causes you to feel other emotions rather than what you feel now. It depends totally on how much you want to get away from the relationship and work on your issues so you have a different and more healthier view of yourself and your relationships. In other words, it is in your control how you will be able to get out of this relationship and move on.


I appreciate you sharing the difficult details of your situation with me. I know it is not easy and it shows strength that you are willing to do so.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you