I've been with my boyfriend for about six months now and have known him for three years. When we started dating I fell in love with him very fast and deeply. At the beginning it was really rough and then things got better. The past few days have been hell again.
For the entirety of the time we've been dating he CONTINUOUSLY, without let-up, says I don't love him, that I hate him, and that don't really want to be with. I don't know what to do. It hurts me so bad and I've done nothing but try to be amazing to him. All this makes me feel like a P.O.S. girlfriend. It breaks my heart. Even today he got mad at me when I got upset because he said, "I can see it in your eyes that you don't love me," and left the house. I didn't do anything. He's still gone. Why can't I convince this man I love him? What do I do to prove to him I love him? Will it be an endless whirlwind of him making me feel like absolute shit?
Whenever we fight he says really nasty things to me, calling me (and my mother) a "dumb whore," addresses me as "bitch," he's hit me before pretty badly, told me he was going to run over this beautiful piece of jewelry he had a good friend of mine make for me after I was dead. I feel like he thinks I don't love him because he abuses me so badly and it's a reflection of himself. I love him so much, and sometimes I think he'll actually seek help like he says he will and things will get better. Sometimes I feel so depleted and drained I don't know if this relationship is going to make it. I spent two years single before this, to make sure I was emotionally ready to be an amazing girlfriend. This isn't at all what I expected my next relationship to be like. Please help me.
Dazed and Confused
I get it that you love this man, but let me mince no words in telling you to run, not walk, away from him. If you stay in this relationship it will absolutely be at the expense of your happiness, self-esteem, and, very seriously, your health, DC.
Don’t explain, defend, or justify your feelings to your BF when he’s being antagonistic. When you try to reason with an irrational person, it makes you crazy! The man you’ve described is a classic abuser, blaming his bad behavior on you. This situation is likely to degenerate, especially if you try to compensate for his meanness. You can be the best girlfriend in the world, but if you’re dating an abuser none of it will matter. You can’t fix or heal him. There is no amount of “proof” of your love that you can (or should have to) supply that’ll satisfy him and make him act right.
This situation is likely to degenerate, especially if you try to compensate for his meanness. You can be the best girlfriend in the world, but if you’re dating an abuser none of it will matter. You can’t fix or heal him.
Love is supposed to improve your life, not deplete it, and you shouldn’t stay with a man that treats you like shit. Whether his insecurity is a reflection of his bad behavior or not doesn’t really matter; love is not a good enough reason to stick around for this kind of cruel treatment – even if he’s truly a sad and broken puppy in need of love that (you think) only you can give. You say you did lots of emotional work, but it’s futile to be a "good girlfriend" to a blaming and aggressive boyfriend. Never love another person more than yourself, DC. Love is not enough – your quality of life should equal your emotional connection to your partner, and this is certainly not the case with your BF. For as long as you stay with him and try to convince him how much you love him, you’re consenting to his insanity (and bringing a whole lot more unrest into your life).
No one can get you out of this toxic situation but you. Your challenge here is not to fix your relationship or to prove your love; it’s to face reality, and get the hell out before your bad relationship turns tragic.
There are a number of resources to help people who are concerned they may be in an abusive relationship. USF's Counseling and Psychological Services has a checklist called "Am I in an Abusive Relationship," with a number of great resources for help at the bottom of the page.
The Mission’s resident advisor gets booked months in advance by San Franciscans seeking help with all kinds of relationship issues. So we asked Jessica if she’d come on board to do a weekly advice column, Truth Talk, for The Bold Italic. If you have a burning question for Truth Talk with Jessica Lanyadoo, you can post your question anonymously here or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check back on Wednesdays to see if she has an answer for you.
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