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CounselorJules, Counselor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 763
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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My question is whether or not to stay in my current

Customer Question

My question is whether or not to stay in my current relationship. The fact that I am questioning this probably suggests the answer already, but I would really like to get a professionals opinion.
I have been dating a guy for 6 months. I am recently divorced with 2 young children and he was also in a recent long term relationship. We hit things off, fell in love, and moved in together a few weeks ago. It has been the fastest moving relationship I have had, but everything was feeling so right. There has definitely been some adjusting for everyone as he is not used to being around, yet alone living with kids and we are still adjusting. My kids love him though and that is a huge positive for me. We have a lot in common, get along great when things are good and just overall enjoy each other. He is very smart and we both enjoy that we can have meaningful conversations. I have never felt this way about any man I've been with. When he wants to, he can make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. We talk about our future, where we want to travel to, ect all the time. He has a stable job and has a lot to offer. I love that he is able to take care of himself and has done well for himself. He had a rough start and got into some trouble as a young adult and almost committed suicide bc he felt like he was on rock bottom. However, an opportunity for him to change his life presented itself just in time and without obtaining a college degree, managed to become an engineer by teaching himself and now is doing wonderful in life. I could not be prouder of him and what he has been able to overcome and accomplish on his own.
I had a job working for a dentist. He was married (still is) and told me after he found out that I started dating someone, that he was in love with me. I told him I didn't want to even discuss any of that as he is married with kids and I couldn't even entertain something like that. To which he told me I could not work for him if I didn't return the same feelings. (Kinda funny how someone who's so "in love" can threaten your job knowing you're a single mom now with 2 kids). When I told my boyfriend this, who never liked him anyway, told me to not go back to work. He was very angry by the threat. So I quit and found another job. The other job was awful and it was incredibly painful to go to everyday. My boyfriend then suggested that I quit and become a stay at home mom. He offered to financially support me. That is when he suggested I move in with him. So I did. I was very excited about us all living together.
Now that I am living here, red flags keep popping up. I had really long hair and he talked me into cutting it very short. Now he doesn't like me to wear makeup all of a sudden. Says I look awful with it on. He is very critical on how I look. Will tell me if he doesn't like what I'm wearing or will criticize something about my physical appearance. I will also tell you this about him. He is a computer software engineer. He is what you would consider to be a "computer nerd". He is tall and thin and although will never be People's top nominee for sexiest man alive, I am very much attracted to him physically and intellectually. He has told me that he has never dated anyone like me in the past. He normally goes for the shy, quiet, unattractive doormat type girls bc he says he doesn't have to "worry" about them. Whatever that means. I am def the opposite of shy and quiet. I am very outgoing and independent. I like having a relationship but I don't need one to be happy. I am not tooting my own horn by any means, but I am certainly not ugly and don't have a problem getting a date. This makes him very insecure. He fully admits this. He even has said that when he first met me he didn't think I would at all be interested in him. Now He constantly feels the need to go through my phone and read my text messages or see my call log. Made me deactivate my Facebook account. Says he feels like I'm hiding stuff from him on my phone bc I always change what I'm looking at when he comes around. I am not hiding anything bad. I'm not doing anything wrong. Yes there are things I don't want him to see but it's bc it's usually something I'm trying to surprise him with or its a medical concern I'm googling or what have you. I don't feel like he needs to know every little thing I look at. The last thing I looked at for example was a menstual cycle concern and I would rather keep stuff like that to myself. Am I not allowed to have some privacy what so ever? So he now thinks I am a liar and am untrustworthy. It is so hurtful to hear him say that when I know I am doing nothing wrong and feel like I am always trying to please him and show him how much I care about him. I would never do anything to have him not trust me bc I value our relationship so much, but now I'm being accused of being a liar anyway. I sometimes worry if he's trying to make me ugly and just beat me down emotionally so I become this type of girl he's used to dating. Another thing I will say about him is he lost his mother when he was 6. He recognizes that this also makes him insecure in that he's afraid to let me love him or open up to me bc he's afraid I'm going to leave too. I try to make sure I tell him all the time that I love him and I show him all the time. I could not be anymore loyal to him. He knows this and does acknowledge this.
We don't fight a lot, but when we do he is so cruel and says the most hurtful things. We had an argument yesterday. All I was trying to do was help him with something by suggesting he try something in addition to what he was already doing, and he snapped at me and said I didn't know what I was talking about. I apologized and said he didn't have to be a d*ck about it to which he said I didn't have to be a b*tch. Then he said he was done talking to me, didn't want to look at me and to go away. I was literally dumbfounded. I didn't even know what had just happened. When I tried to discuss it with him he said he didn't want to talk and that he couldn't give a crap what the outcome would be. That he just wanted me to stop talking and go away. Anytime I would say anything he just kept saying he doesn't care. He doesn't care. How can someone say he loves me but says he doesn't trust me and then speaks to me so disrespectfully? It hurt me so bad that I started crying and left him to be alone. Didn't care that he hurt me. It's like he enjoys it on some sort of weird level. Then of course when he's feeling better just comes to me acting like everything is fine and like nothing ever happened. I feel like it's a game to him and it is wearing on me so much. If he doesn't get his way he says something hurtful. If we fight, it's always my fault. With the argument we had yesterday, somehow that was my fault and I over reacted.
Now that I'm a stay at home mom I feel like he takes advantage of that too. I do all the cleaning, the laundry, the yard work and the cooking. I'm not complaining about that and I feel like that is now my job. What I have a problem with is that he will make a huge mess with a project he's working on and just leave it. Leaves his clothes on the floor. Won't help out with anything. Like I'm supposed to clean up after him as well as my 6 year old and 16 month old! What grown adult drags out a bunch of tools, ect and just leaves them there? In the kitchen! He reminds me of my toddler who does the same thing! I feel like he thinks bc he's paying the bills, then I'm supposed to be at his beck and call and to wipe his butt if he rings his bell. I feel like there is no respect. Like we're not equals. I feel like he looks down on me and like he is my superior. I feel like he's trying to control every aspect of my life. From who I talk to, to how I dress. I can't have a conversation with him about any of it bc he gets so defensive and turns it around on me. I sometimes feel like he is trying to make me feel like I'm crazy.
So now here I am with no job. I have no family here. I have no friends here. I have him. That's it. And it doesn't really feel like I have that. I don't know what to do. I don't know if I'm dating a complete control freak a hole or if it's something worth saving. I do love him. I want things to work very much. i just don't know how or if I can.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 11 months ago.

Hi,I'm Jules, a LPC, and welcome to JustAnswer. I am reviewing your question now, and will post back with your thorough reply briefly :)

Expert:  CounselorJules replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for all of the information that you have shared. You are right about having some red flags pop up. I want to send you a "Ted Talks" video that I think is a really good and discusses the mission that some insecure and emotionally abusive men display. I think that you will find some relatable and similar behaviors in the pattern. There are patterns where a man seems to offer the perfect scenario but he is actually isolating you and there is a "slow fade" from perfection to "oppression" and toward an abusive situation. It sounds like he is intimidated by you independence. I know that you see a great deal of positives with him in the relationship, but you also recognize that you are going to be modeling specific behaviors to your children and their understanding of a healthy relationship is very important. You are an intelligent and smart woman. I think that you have to trust your instincts. Now, this video talks about domestic violence, but please watch the video as she discusses more about the patterns that were used of manipulation that lead up to the breaking point. I would love to hear your feedback. Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability, and your question.

Expert:  CounselorJules replied 11 months ago.

Something else though that you may try is exploring your love languages with one another. I refer people who are at critical points in their relationship to try understanding each others' needs.Gary Chapman found that there are 5 patterns of emotional connections and how we demonstrate them. He calls these our "love languages." The Love languages are words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, quality time, and acts of service. I will explain a bit of these. Words of affirmation are based on demonstrating appreciation, approval, recognizing efforts made by you or your partner- on the flip side if you recognize that you are sensitive to criticism or perceived criticism this can be a sign that your love language may be words of affirmation. Gifts are about little tokens or offerings that suggest that you are thinking of someone. It can be simple or elaborate, but it's the thought that counts. As far as acts of service, a quote comes to mind, ”Actions speak louder than words.” Acts of service may include mowing the yard, helping with laundry, starting the dishes, making the bed, helping load the car or unload the car of groceries. It could even be something that helps someone else in their career— anything that offers support someone through an action. Quality Time is based on providing undivided attention to your partner. Turning off the TV, making eye contact, turning toward them as they communicate with you— it is about focusing on your partner without allowing distractions to occur. Finally, physical touch, there is power in tenderness. This does not have to include sexual touch, but more or less, gentleness. It can be holding hands, a stroke of their hair, a massage, or a simple hug. There is encouragement in touch.....This can help you meet your partner's needs, but also have yours met. You can take the quiz here:

Expert:  CounselorJules replied 11 months ago.

I hope that this has been helpful and that you will provide a positive rating (3 stars or better) for the answer that you have received. You can do this by clicking on the rating button and providing a score. The communication does not have to cease if you provide a rating, but it is the only way that the experts receive credit. My goal is to provide with you excellent service. You know that you can always reach out to me and seek assistance. I look forward to hearing from you, but I know that you are in the midst of lots going on! Best Wishes and Thank you!