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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My boyfriend(age 30) and i (age 27) have been dating for 5

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My boyfriend(age 30) and i (age 27) have been dating for 5 years (off and on). Some times he's nice and loving with me and shows me attention and others he says he doesn't want to "deal with me". Just recently we got back together after a 3 month split. He came crawling back with a promise ring 3 months ago and said he took me for granted and he promised he would always work to make things good between us. In the past he would disappear for a few days and not want to talk or text or call or see me because he needed his time away. He would also get so mad at me and cause a huge scene over something small and it cause me to get emotional and cry and he would say he can't deal with my feelings and storms out. Within the past 3 months we have been back together things have been great. He's been supportive, loving, caring, we've had fun together... just perfect. so i started to fall for him again. As soon as i say i will move in with him and he knows he has me back for good, he starts the same stuff all over again and blames it on me. My boyfriend is on the phone texting 24/7 and i wonder who he could be texting constantly... espcially the fact that he puts his phone on silent and warns me to never touch his phone, that its his business. At night when we go to bed he keeps it in his pocket or puts it in a drawer. I don't think he would cheat cause he keeps wanting me to move in with him and he gave me a promise ring that he will ask me to marry him soon. I'm not understanding his actions. Just yesterday we took a trip to the beach for the day since we haven't been able to have alone time. (We only have one day a week off together and it consists of me following him to his families house or doing whatever he wants to do...rarely what i want and we rarely get us time). At the beach he was sitting there texting and i made a comment and said "im here too...come be with me" and he flipped out and said no one will ever try to control him and he can text if he wants to. He was so mad that he wanted to leave and didn't want to even touch me or hold my hand or understand why i said that. We ended up packing up our stuff and driving an hour home where he continued to ignore me. Every now and then i would apologise again and tell him i'm not trying to control him. He would tell me how yes i'm controlling and he will do whatever he wants. I told him his actions are hurting me and he said he don't care about my feelings. Well today is no different. Hes not being loving or understanding he blew the whole thing out of proportion so i decided to call and ask if he wanted me to come home (since we live together) or go to my old place. He said he dont want to be around me and is second guessing our relationship beacuse i wont leave him alone and stop beggin for him to act like he cares about me. I'm not understanding why someone who wants to be with me forever and move in togheter and get married one day will be so total opposite the next day. I'm so emotionally alone and hurt. I've tried to talk to him but he says he don't want to hear it because he's tried or hot or trying to relax. I don't know what to do. Please help.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

What you are describing with your relationship is emotional abuse. Withholding attention and love, rejecting you when you have needs, hiding what he is doing on his phone and insisting you do what he wants all the time is abuse. Your needs are being ignored and he is hurting you emotionally by his words and his actions.

Instead of being treated as if something is wrong with you, you should instead feel taken care of, loved and safe. But that is not what you feel with your boyfriend. Just the fact that you are having to placate him and put yourself second all the time to deal with his moods tells you that this relationship is about him and his needs and not you at all. And he is manipulating you by saying that he wants to be with you then breaking things off or distancing himself without explanation. This is very common abusive behavior.

It is also very common for someone who is abused to question how much of it was caused by their own behavior. But no matter what you did or said in the relationship, you never deserve to be treated as you describe. No one does. What he is doing is wrong and nothing you have done would make you deserve the treatment you are getting right now. What he is doing to you is his fault.

In order to help you deal with your relationship and to consider if you need to get out, consider talking to a therapist. Talking to a therapist 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. A therapist who has a Master's degree or Ph.D and who is experienced in abusive relationships would be the best choice. 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. The more you know, the more you can recognize what you are dealing with and the fact that you are not alone in what you feel. Here are some resources to help:

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse by Gregory L. Ph.D. Jantz and Ann McMurray

It's My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence, 2nd Edition by Meg Kennedy Dugan and Roger R. Hock

Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence: A Workbook for Women (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by Mari McCaig MSW and Edward S. Kubany PhD ABPP

Also, consider support groups either on line or in person. Talking to others who have been through or are in abusive relationships like yours can help you heal.

I hope this has helped you,
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 4 years ago.
I hope my answer was helpful to you. If you have any more questions, please let me know.


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!

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