"I'm afraid of leaving"
I saw a post on here that's similar to my own situation and it made me want to ask for advice. My boyfriend and I are both 20 years old, turning 21 in the next few months. We've lived with each other since March of 2020. We've been together since June of 2019. Around 4 or 5 months ago we started experiencing problems. Last year after the first few months of living with each other, he started to verbally and emotionally abuse me. He'd put me down by calling me a "baby, crybaby, sensitive" when I'd be upset over an issue I brought up to him that really hurt me. When I would tell him, "when you said this it felt like you meant this.. this is what hurt me," but then he'd put it back onto me by saying "well, you didn't tell me sooner. Well, you did this before or this." (The "you did this or this before" issues were already things I had apologized for repeatedly and had moved past. These issues were things like accidentally bumping into him getting into bed, giving him sassy remarks when I had been frustrated, or snapping at him when he wasn't listening to anything I was telling him. Whenever I brought up issues to him, and this is still somewhat the case, he would bring up the snippy things I said to him or the faults I had that was dealt with a long time prior to this. He has a very difficult time acknowledging and apologizing for his faults. And this hasn't changed very much. He still tends to attack me when I bring up something that hurts me.
He would shout at me, throw his fists into things- he punched a hole in the wall by the front door, punched a wall into the bedroom door, shoved his desk chair and desk back which broke his monitor, shattered a 70 inch. glass picture frame that I got him for Valentine's Day last year. When we had arguments I'd try to walk away. I felt suffocated especially since he blocked the door from me leaving. I told him I needed space and air, but he didn't listen to me- except for now, he listens to me but after minutes of telling him I just need air. In the past when he wouldn't let me leave the room, he'd hold me back and end up bruising me. I took pictures one day and I had up to 8 half dollar bruises on my arms, legs, and hip area from being held back from leaving the room. After a while, I became depressed. I'm going to University classes online and have my food, rent, etc. paid for right now from money I saved up since high school, so I didn't leave the house often, but after paying off most of the bills for us, I ran out. For two months I couldn't wash any clothes (we don't have a washer/dryer so I went out to the laundry mat). I barely ate anything and ended up losing 30 pounds. I couldn't go out with friends because he and, eventually with how depressed I was, I had isolated everyone away from me already.
Whenever I was out with my best friend, he'd continually call or message me what I was doing. He would try to get me to leave sooner, telling me that he was in an extreme state of depression and missed me. He would tell me to come home or leave in a few hours of not being with him. This happened a few nights ago as well while I was out with my best friend and a friend I had since high school were hanging out.
Both my family and my boyfriend don't like each other. My older brother and dad want me to break up with him for not treating me right. My mom has never liked my boyfriend, but because he "took me away" from her. Before him, I never had a serious relationship, but after I started dating him, I saw him every day and every day we spent together. My mom is very possessive and selfish. When I was trying to get any job, she offered one through her boyfriend, J, and herself. I took the job and helped her with flipping a house- along with company gift wrapping. She offered me $50 and I accepted. I was very happy.- At this time I didn't have any money for food, water, shampoo, etc.- She ended up keeping the money for herself because she was "going through a tough spot." And I understand because her boyfriend J controls her money so she must've needed it for something- but I was eating only a meal- if I was lucky- every day, so it hurt me a lot. My boyfriend became furious with my mom because she didn't go through with what she promised and put me in a bad situation. (She had done this before with a lot of other things- so I understand why their relationship is so sour.) I eventually didn't expect anything from her anymore, which is probably a bad thing when it deals with your own mother, but I've learned that, to me, it hurts a lot less to expect nothing and get nothing than to expect more and be left miserable.
My dad had been emotionally and verbally abusive to my brother, my sister, and I in the past. My sister transitioned from a male to female at 14 years old, she's 23 years old now, but my dad would put her down for wearing feminine clothes, colors, etc. all up until she was 21. If my dad doesn't like your opinion or who you are, he will do everything he can to put you down for it. He's very close-minded, stubborn, and mean at times. There were many other issues that happened in our childhood, but I'd rather not bring it up since there's a lot to focus on already.
My dad thinks my boyfriend is lazy, doesn't treat me right, and smokes pot all day. My boyfriend knows my past with my father- that he yelled at us, mocked us for our feelings growing up, wasn't involved in our daily lives, etc. My brother, sister, and I stuck together when we grew up. We went to each other's art shows, graduations, eating pizza out by ourselves after college, hung out away from my dad afterschool in high school often, things like that. My dad and my mom left us alone pretty much. My boyfriend doesn't like how my dad treats me, but he respects that he helps me with money. I don't think my dad is wrong. I think my boyfriend should've treated me better- he's trying now, but my heart can't erase the things he's done to me. I know people can forgive without forgetting, but I can't forget. I'm trying to be forgiving but our love feels destroyed already.
Ok- it doesn't seem like it could get worse- but I somehow found a way to make it worse. I was struggling with classes, down 30 pounds, bruises everywhere, not really eating, no one to talk to- I stopped talking to her after my boyfriend told me to stop-, I became so severely depressed. I started playing online and using Discord more often. I was a part of a few Discord groups with my boyfriend and I's mutual friends. We would all play Phasmophobia, Minecraft, Among Us, Osu barely, but still, games like that. We spoke over voicechat and all grew closer towards each other. One and a half months ago, his "best friend" who my boyfriend says isn't actually his best friend, came over and hung out with us. When my boyfriend was yelling at me or making the day very hard, I'd turn to Snapchat to see what the few people who I talked to were up to- my boyfriends, "best friend" was one of these people, so this is how I knew him. I also knew my bf's bf from playing online games with him and talking with him, along with everyone else, that way.
I was stuck at home since he took my car to work every day (his was broken down and never paid to get it fixed so he used mine) and I had to take University classes online. The only people I stayed in contact with at this point were friends my boyfriend and I shared. That night my boyfriend played on his computer almost the entire night while his best friend and I played on my computer. His best friend talked to me nonstop for awhile about career and life things, which sparked my talkative side. I started talking about Chinese characters and things I found interesting. I apologized to him because I felt guilty for talking so much, but he told me "No it's really interesting, I love listening" and looked genuinely accepting for me to continue. This was a complete opposite to my boyfriend. He listened and even ended up following me around the house to talk to me about what I brought up. We talked for hours and I let him go on for an hour or two at one point in the night. My boyfriends friend made a comment about me drinking shots with him and referred to playing a strip game while drinking. The only time my boyfriend paid attention to us that night was when he turned around after hearing this and told him "you crossed the line, that's my girlfriend." I didn't know what he was talking about until he revealed the true intention of what the game actually was until after the incident. I was shocked because it didn't seem like that was in his character to say aloud or at all.
I made all of this worse by starting to have feelings for this other person. Before this "game" was brought up, I felt my heart jump/flutter at points in the night and the words he said to me like "I appreciate you" seemed to stick with me more heavily than any words my current partner says to me. He tried helping me out with my computer for a few hours and didn't become frustrated at all. He was very patient like he has been since I met him a few years ago. Whenever we'd play online games together or if we were out in public, if my boyfriend was more focused on our friends or literally anytime I was lost or having trouble with getting in the game/figuring out what to do, he'd help me out.
After the "game" was brought up, I felt disgusted. At him for bringing that topic up and at me for having a crush on him while being in a relationship. I was upset because he seemed like he had changed from who he once was previously and disgusted of what I heard about him after I told my partner about what was going on. (My boyfriend told me that he cheated on his past girlfriends 3 times, got into a physical altercation with his mother, is just a player who doesn't care about people's feelings- only himself. He told me this, but I never heard about any of this from anyone else. I knew he got kicked out of his house when he was a teenager, but I didn't know about his mother, so I don't think my boyfriend would be lying. Then again, there were times when my boyfriend lied to me because he was scared of what I would think, say, or that I would leave him).
I brought up the fact that I was beginning to have feelings for another person to him the day after I began to feel those feelings. My boyfriend told me to block him off Snapchat and to never speak to him again. I blocked him and haven't spoken to him since that night. My boyfriend and him started talking to each other again two weeks or so ago. My boyfriend just tells me "It's not his fault" and leaves it at that. I told him I was sorry and I didn't want to have feelings for him- which is true. I didn't want to, but I ended up having them. I never did anything because of them, but I still had them. After this all happened I didn't speak to anyone. I felt the most guilty and ashamed of who I was I had ever been in my entire life. I never thought I'd feel something for another person besides my boyfriend and felt so bad for hurting him. That night, he told me to leave and I tried sleeping in the car with little to no gas in the cold. My boyfriend drank, broke a few things in the house, and harmed himself (which he is getting help for now), and then begged me to come back crying. I came back when he told me he hurt himself. I didn't want him to do it again and I needed to be there for him.
I brought up that I was depressed for awhile and he said he was too. After we told each other that, we were there for each other more, but everything still felt like it happened very late.
My boyfriend asks what he could do for me sometimes. He makes me food and helps me out if I ask him. He's been trying to spend more time with me- take me on dates- or did try for the first few weeks after I brought this issue up. An issue we had was him begging me to come home because he missed me, but then him playing games by himself or with people instead. I brought up a system of where I wash the dishes one night and he washes them the other night before or if one person washes the dishes, the other can just put them up and he said "yes, that sounds like a great idea," but it hasn't changed. I also brought this up about taking out the trash, washing the dog, cleaning up after our pets, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, etc. I asked him to help me with house duties. I brought up that he doesn't listen to me or forgets and that nothing is changing. I told him I want us to do the things we said we would do together. I begged him to go through with what he promises me and to not be lazy about our plans. But after awhile, it's tiring to keep on asking someone for help, it's miserable to ask someone to change for the better and it makes me feel even more miserable to ask someone who tells me I'm their everything, but doesn't treat me like I am. For the most part, he's fallen back into not trying that much anymore- he says he is, but I don't see a change really.
There were other issues that we had. He tried, and still tries, to keep me from hanging out with other people. I stopped talking to my best friend of 8 years because he was telling me she didn't care about me and that I shouldn't forgive her, things like that. She wasn't entirely the best the past year or so, but I wasn't either. I moved away, got sucked into university, and I was with my partner often. She was stuck with work, university, and was with her partner often as well. We both became busy adults and we were both growing up, so I understood and forgave her. He still bad mouthed her along with some of my family. I used to see a future with him. I saw us marrying each other one day with a place together, but now I don't really see one. I've been questioning what I want out of life and I feel so lost. I just want to run away from everyone. I don't know what to do anymore...
In the past, I noticed differences between us, but those differences didn't divide us. We've both changed as people since the beginning of our relationship, but I'm noticing more differences in him now than I had before. I enjoy learning about a lot of different things and love to talk about anything/everything. I'm a Foreign Language and English Major, so I love languages, cultures, the world, history, movies, food, basically everything excites me. I'm one of those people who become excited and happy from the sunset they see every day. Being excited by new things makes me want to talk. Everything makes me want to talk. But when I begin to talk to him, every time he asks me "why are you talking so much?" "shhh.." "oh here we go again.." comments like that and it makes me feel like I can't speak on anything that makes me happy. I've brought this up to him before and I tell him that it hurts me, but he brushes it off by waving it off with his hands or tells me I'm too sensitive. I love watching documentaries, horror, action, adventure films. He likes watching comedies, horror, and action films. Compared to when we first started going out, he only likes watching comedies. I still watch them with him, but the only problem I have is that whenever I bring up a suggestion, it's shot down. He used to tell me I didn't want to do anything he wanted to do, but I always told him I do and meant it. Whenever something that he wants to do is brought up we do it, unless I'm lying in bed about to go to sleep for my morning classes.
We don't have the same interests, but I would go out of the way to do what he likes because it makes him happy and that made me happy. Now, it's getting hard to do the things he enjoys because I'm being shot down for anything I want to do and being put down by him in other ways is still harming our relationship. It feels wrong to say this, but it feels like I'm sacrificing myself and it's making me love him less.
Whenever he's upset or mad, he takes it out on the air around him. I tell myself not to take it personally. This happened with my dad as well. He'd place blame on us for his problems or yell at us because something's not going his way. With my dad it was hard not to take it personally since he would directly point the anger out onto us by shouting at us, but with my boyfriend, it feels easier to drown it out. I feel like our maturity levels are different and what we want out of life is different. I want a career that pays well and I don't want to have kids for awhile now. I used to want kids with him in my early 20's, but he's very different than the person I thought I knew. He wants kids and to be married around 25. He doesn't want me to work an intensive job, such as a government job or a job longer than a 9 to 5 job, but that's not how I want to live. I want to find my passion again- which was writing, but I think it could lie in a career position also.
I don't want to clean up after him all the time. Right now, I'm nearing the end of undergraduate school and I have to apply to graduate schools soon, so I can find a job as quickly as possible. He told me not to work while in undergraduate school, so that's why I wasn't, but I can't not work anymore since bills are consuming us. I've been trying not to be in debt, but with him, for some reason I can't. I saved up a lot of money before moving in with him, but most of that's gone now because of things I had to pay off for him mainly and for our bills.
I've been asking myself a lot of questions regarding my future and what I want. I also feel very stuck here and am afraid I will be stuck here forever.
I still think about the other person. I wonder what they're doing and wish I could talk to them. My "crush" feelings for that person lessened after hearing what my boyfriend told me about them, but some of those feelings are still there. It's been nearing two months now, but I still want to reach out to them. I don't like saying this but I miss them. I know I would be miserable getting into a relationship with a person like that, so I don't reach out, but I always wonder if what my boyfriend said is a lie to keep me (he's done this before), and who the other person is truly.
I love my boyfriend, but I've fallen out of love with him and he knows this. I told him that I'd focus more on the relationship, but that I'd be focusing on myself- taking care of my depression, classes, hobbies, etc., so I can be there for him with his depression and him overall. I've been here for him, taking care of his feelings/him, taking care of my depression, my classes, getting back into my hobbies, etc., but I'm still failing him. I told him I'd be in this relationship, but I am only halfway at that.
I don't want to break his heart because there's a part of me that still loves him. I still become happy when I hug him, I miss him when he's gone for too long, he became my best friend over the time we've been together, I still like kissing him.. but part of my heart feels empty.
I don't know if it's from the pain that he put me through or the pain I put myself through on purpose after I realized I had feelings for someone else.. or if it's because I started genuinely liking the other person and had a one-sided breakup? I'm just so confused... Our lease ends in March and I don't know if I should stay living with him, move in with a friend, etc. I can't live with either of my parents- they either don't have space, ask for an "elongated loan" which was basically my mom stealing $2000 from my sister because she has spending problems. I also moved out of my dad's house because every day he would refer to me as a "burden" among other things. Living with him made everything too hard to live with, so I can't go back with him.
I'm afraid of leaving my current boyfriend, but I'm afraid of not doing anything because I was scared. I feel guilty staying with him, but I would feel guilty leaving. I've been thinking about my ex lately since I found writing that included him in it, but I typically push that thought aside. I've been thinking about my boyfriends best friend lately, but I typically can't push the thought of him aside. My boyfriend doesn't look at other girls, doesn't talk to other girls, is deeply in love with me, so it hurts me and makes me feel so guilty because I know he doesn't do this at all. I haven't pictured a future with anyone else besides my boyfriend, but now I can't really envision a future with him along with anyone else at all.
I told him I would get rid of my feelings for this guy, but I can't entirely. I don't know if it's too soon to get rid of them completely or not, but the feelings are still there. I'm afraid of telling my boyfriend this because I don't want him to hurt himself and I'm afraid of losing him still. I'm just so lost.. please help me