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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 have been in a 4 yr long distance relationship with a man

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I have been in a 4 yr long distance relationship with a man who I have come to realize has and emotional or personality disorder (hypomania maybe). In the beginning he was so nice, chivalrous, took me places, made me feel special. He asked me to marry him the first time we met in person. Months later, fights on the phone started; they were nonsensical and he would yell for about 10 min. straight w/o letting me speak, then he would hang up and give me the cold shoulder (one time for 3 weeks!).
During the rages, he says nonsensical things about me (things he believes i would do, etc.). Later, he would apologize, but I was never allowed to bring up the issues at hand or things that were said.
He has admitted to me recently that he has been addicted to porn for over 20 yrs. but that he just stopped and will never look at it again. He is definitely hypersexual. He also was convicted of consensual sex with a minor in 1996 (he was 39 at the time).
I care alot about this man but realize that he will probably never get help. He is very against counselling, altho' recently the V.A. has diagnosed him with PTSD and mild depression (that's only because he told them PART of the story).
He was sexually abused by his father as a child and his mother did nothing to stop it.

I'm lost and cannot approach him about his hurtful behavior.
Should I just get out?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

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. The cold shoulder when you don't do what he wants, yelling at you and not letting you talk about things he has done to hurt you are all signs of an abusive relationship.

Also, anytime you are feeling fearful and anxious about a relationship, that is also 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 and quickly changing moods, you have no idea where you stand most of the time.

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 believe he can be a better person. All of those feelings are understandable.

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. And with his past arrest plus his resistance to get help, he is unlikely to ever be different and treat you better.

You may want to consider therapy for yourself, however. 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

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

Should I Stay or Should I Go- Lundy Bancroft

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, that was helpful.

So you don't think there is any chance of me talking him into getting

counselling and possibly treatment for whatever his issue is ?

You can ask him, but if he is unwilling there is not much you can do. But if he is willing, then yes, there is a great chance he would get better.


May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!