I posted here a couple of months ago about my BF of two years who was verbally abusive to me (we broke up recently). I'm 37, he is 35. He has a good job, we had an amazing sex life, he was a fun and creative person, he had an amazing family, but there were issues... One of them was responsibility. He took two years to clean up his house which was littered with boxes of junk from the many times he had moved after his divorce. When he lived with me for a couple of months (he just sort of moved in), he would spend tens of hours on a computer game, but get angry with me when I asked for help with chores. I was caring for my two kids (one of which was dealing with an anxiety disorder at the time that eventually hospitalized her), his high-needs daughter (diabetic and celiac), his dog (which would poop and pee throughout my house), my household on an acre, my business, and him, for the most part on my own. He did not contribute financially, and couldn't get it together to go back to his house to clean it up so that it could be rented out. He had very few chores, but it was always very hard to get him to follow through. I'd try leaving gentle notes, but even that didn't work, so I'd often do them myself, but then I was exhausted. To his credit, I probably did become irritable. I had so much stress during that time.
He had a good income but was constantly out of money due to past debts. He had speeding tickets that went ignored, etc. Power turned off. House foreclosed on.
But the bigger issue I had with him was his anger. He was frequently angry, or at least very irritable/frustrated-- at me, at the world, at his family. He would intermittently have periods of self reflection, followed by a lot of deflection. It got to the place where I felt I couldn't do anything right... I would text him at the wrong time, or not text him at the right time (he liked control). He would frequently tell me I had intentions that I didn't have-- of manipulating him, of not trying to understand him, of being passive aggressive, of not taking him seriously, of crossing the line with other men. I would try to change, but then he'd want the opposite treatment, and still be angry. He would say I didn't listen, even when I was quietly standing there. He had rages. When I would stand up to him, he would resent me, as if I didn't let him express his feelings. He would use body language to shun me, shut me out. If I tried to remain on topic during an argument, usually over a question he didn't feel like answering or an issue he didn't feel like compromising on, he would have a lot of tactics to try to gain control, usually resulting in him getting more and more angry. He'd say stuff like, "You don't want to see me get really angry." He'd sigh, and glare, and tell me I had issues, to get the spotlight off of him and whatever issue we were discussing. My counselor told me to stay calm, and just keep stating my question, which I did. He would then say I was controlling, not letting him express his feelings, or say what he wanted to say. To me, I was trying to keep the conversation from going down a destructive road. I saw through his diversion tactics, so eventually he would just rage and leave me, threatening to break up. If I asked about his threats the next day, he'd accuse me of being insecure, saying he wanted to marry me, that I was the woman of his dreams, that he'd break up with me if I ever asked about his desire to break up again, because it frustrated him. He told everyone this, that I had every trait he ever wanted in a woman, that he'd never met anyone like me, etc.
Last August, he started therapy because of his anger, and because of childhood traumas (many surgeries as a toddler, very strict father, family that didn't know he had ADD, teacher who shut him in a corner for a year for being disruptive), and the therapists said he doesn't have an anger problem, apparently, that his anger at me is valid. He told me in fact that the therapists think that I interrogate him. I don't understand... I did occasionally ask him questions, which he hated, such as, "Are you coming to dinner tonight?" and he'd get defensive, hating to be put on the spot, telling me I put pressure on him. I don't think this is interrogation. Or when I'd notice his inconsistencies or lies (which were frequent), I'd sometimes (not always, mind you, because I accepted that he told me that ADDers lie, but don't mean anything by it), ask for clarification, and he'd get irate or at least highly irritated at me. This is what confuses me. If it wasn't an anger problem, then what was it? Or is he just not telling them what happened?
There were times when he'd forget what he'd done or said the next day. Recently he said that there were only three times that he really raged at me. Well, true, there were three times I threatened to leave him, because it was so bad. My family once heard him on the phone, as I was visiting them, and they described it as "severely abusive." When he found out they had heard, he was very angry at me. I understand it was a breach of privacy, but he was screaming at me through the phone, and telling me I was crazy, etc., so I needed some validation that I wasn't the one causing him to act like that.
It got to the point where I stopped labeling it as an anger problem or abuse because he would get mad at me for that. He would tell me I didn't care to listen to him. I'd try to listen, and he'd then not want to talk, saying it wasn't worth it, I wouldn't understand, I have issues, etc.
I ended up asking him to move back to his house, and he did, and he also did finally clean it up. He got a raise at work. His therapist was working with him on setting limits for his life so he could manage it. And simultaneously he started distancing himself from me, wanting less time together. He said we just don't get along. I noticed that he was starting to party and hang out with people much younger than him, going to bars, etc. He said that he needed time to process and get over the divorce that I had "put him through," that he resented how much pain he had to see me in over grieving my marriage (we met a year after my separation, but the legal process had not begun... I regret this now, but he claimed to want to be there for me, so it seems odd holding this over my head two years later). He said he thought maybe he needed to just not date anyone, to learn to be a "respectable man of society." And yet he said he still wanted to date me, just not to see me as often. I'd find evidence of him having parties, by accidentally seeing pictures on Facebook of his arm around other women (he claimed later that this was just a childhood friend). I called him shocked when I first saw this, and he said, "I don't need your F-ing S-t" and hung up on me, not talking to me for a day. On the flip side, if I so much as got an email from a man, he'd be very insecure and angry, cursing sometimes, or just really asking me a ton of questions about my intentions, thinking I had terrible boundaries. This was apparently another thing he "couldn't get over." There was one time, admittedly, when a male friend was spending the night at my house from out of town, and I invited my BF as well to be sure that it wasn't a sticky situation. My BF raged at me after we had all had wine, thinking I had been flirtatious, and said he was done with me, so I cried, and got comfort from my male friend (sitting by him and crying while he consoled me). That friend later that night tried to kiss me, but I didn't kiss him, went to bed on my own, and later cut off all contact with him. Nothing happened, but I still felt guilt about this situation, guilt that I sought comfort and put myself in a vulnerable situation. My BF said he never got over it.
My BF would also drink a lot, sometimes drive while drunk, or seemingly drunk.
He also, I should add, has trouble communicating with his family. They loan him money, and yet he's always angry at his dad, for childhood stuff, for asking about his finances (I think it's his right to ask, if he's still loaning him money). Also, he started taking Adderal last year, which helped a lot, but he still has this general angry persona, controlling.
When we broke up about a month ago (he initiated it, but I honestly had enough as well, as he was constantly angry, and wanting space, and wanting to be asked no questions about anything, even when he was going on trips without me, and I couldn't hack it), I stopped communicating. A week later, he said he missed me terribly, had a lot of growing up to do, imagined that I was not the person I'd envisioned for myself, was sorry, hoped we ended up together eventually, and wanted me to communicate with him. I figured what the heck, and I started emailing to try to get closure on the relationship. I sent three very heartfelt letters. Somehow, he interpreted them negatively, and was mad again. I tried to express the things I felt I had done wrong, as well as the things I had issue with in him, to get closure. He said I take no responsibility for my part... And yet I counted 12 times in the letters that I unconditionally apologized for the various things he claimed to have been hurt by in our relationship.
He wrote me back saying I never knew him, all he ever wanted was love and understanding. I definitely loved him. I feel like I TRIED to understand him. I don't understand why he broke up with me, honestly, if I'm supposedly all he wanted in a person. He told my friend that I have my "crap" together, and he doesn't, and he's just a grumpy man who can't change.
Okay, a week ago I found him on a dating site. So, I called him and said I don't wish to communicate anymore, since he lied to me about not planning to date for a long time (He told me when we broke up that his therapist would dump him if he dated after me, as she thought he needed to be alone... he had gone on a spree of dating 60 women after he ended his marriage, before me, and felt he needed to heal from this... he said when he was ready to date ,he would let me know, to see if there was anything still there). He claimed he signed up by accident while drunk, that he's not trying to date. He since took the profile down. But I did stop communicating, and asked him to get all his things from my house, which he did this week.
On the good side, he loved my kids (although fought with my 7 year old, often feeling slighted by her). He was creative, and smart. I loved his family. And our sex life was absolutely amazing... much, much better than my marriage, probably the best I'll ever have. In some ways I think I was bonded to him because of this, and held on longer than I otherwise would have. He said all of the right things, some of the time.
On paper, we had the same values, a similar upbringing, and shared goals. He liked to live simply, as did I. He wasn't showy, which I appreciated. His main "charm" was his humor-- sometimes crude and harsh--but he got people laughing. I appreciated his intense creativity. I fed on it, and it brought out my creative side.
I should add that he always thought I had bad boundaries with men, read my emails on my computer when he lived here, and constantly misinterpreted things as me trying to "not take him seriously" or get involved with other men... something I didn't remotely do, but I began questioning myself, wondering if there was something I was missing. I'm an editor and writer, helping other authors, so I admittedly got personal with one client of mine in order to help him write his life story. But there was no romantic interest, and he knew I was dating my BF.
He has called me names, saying I'm "acting like a bitch," or a nag, vulture, jerk. He would tell me stuff like, "That was a stupid thing to do," when I'd call him at a time he didn't want to talk, etc. I've never been called stupid by anyone. My intelligence has never been in question. But, given my past, I am vulnerable to all the other labels.
I was married to a sex addict probable narcissist man who abandoned me and my daughters for a much younger woman, right after he completed a Ph.D. program I supported him through, to give you some history. I met my ADD partner at a very vulnerable time. He had to listen to me question myself over that relationship, and he validated me 100% against my ex. He came to hate my ex, for all that he put me through in our divorce.
I'm on here because I'm seeking answers. Everything I read about verbal and emotional abuse seems to fit him. I see that these patterns are common for ADDers. But when I've tried to mention that to him, he gets angry, saying I'm labeling him unfairly, that I'm the one with issues, that I should be in more therapy. My therapist thinks it is abuse, but then she's hearing only my side. To his credit, he saw me through a very rough divorce, and I do have abandonment issues. I can take responsibility for those. But honestly, I feel abandoned by him too, and so confused given his black/white behavior with me... wanting to marry me, then wanting to break up, over and over again. He would tell all my friends he was going to marry me. But then he'd go off with his friends, most of whom I never met, and do whatever he wanted. I was not supposed to question him, so I didn't... and yet he questioned me. I felt ready to throw in the towel given the trauma state I constantly felt I was in, always thrown off, unable to express my real feelings or concerns, walking on eggshells, and yet he initiated it, and I feel very betrayed and confused. I question myself, wondering what I did to cause him to treat me this way, to leave me. If I was the "woman of his dreams," why would he give up? I guess that is the hardest part for me, not understanding how someone who was so abusive to me, and yet idealized me so much, would be the one to throw in the towel and move on. How do I get over the good parts, and stop thinking I could have made it work? I know that no relationship is perfect, but I want to believe that I can find someone who treats me better than this. All my friends, male and female, say I'm amazing, have everything to offer, and should just move on. Many commented as much while we were dating, not feeling he was a good match for me, saying things like that he was not emotionally mature, or that he was treating me as a punching bag, or that he was not as intelligent. I just loved him, and wanted him to get help, and to love me back. Ugh. I sound like a teenager! Advice is welcome. Thanks for letting me ramble.