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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm 23 years old and I've been with my partner for 7 and a half years, and It struck me tonight, I'm in a loveless relationship.

I come from a dysfunctional family; parents that would argue or be violent to each other or take it out on their kids, police coming around a lot, nearly going in to foster home and the list goes on.

My partner comes from a great supportive family, that take care of each other and know how a family's supposed to be. (They've taught me a lot.) Totally, the opposite of my family.

So anyways as it goes, dysfunctional families produce dysfunctional children, and through my school years I was doing a lot of bad stuff and getting away with it. You know, one of the quiet weird kids nobody really notices, until they stop coming to school. That was me. Little did I know I was depressed.

Then at the time when I'd finished my exams in my last year of school, I went to church for a few months (I was trying something new, because I'd hit rock bottom by then) and I met my partner who is 19 years older than me. I'd sworn off men by then, especially the ones at church, but he was different. He was kind and saw me for me. He knew about my past and gave me a chance without judging me. I loved him instantly. I was so desperate for love, now that I think about it.

As the years progressed I saw his faults. One of them was his temper. I know that a woman should leave when she's been subjected to violent behavior but it just wasn't that simple for me. I didn't leave because the thought of going back to my family home was worse than staying. My parents were getting a divorce at the time and my dad left my mum the house. Me going back, would mean me living with my mum who had psychologically messed me up as it is. No way in hell was I going back to go through that again. Oh wow im shaking even as im typing this, but I need to get this off my chest. Okay so I stayed and forgave him, that was in the first year. Since then it's been heaven and hell, literally, & now I feel I've had enough it all. I've been depressed, angry, suicidal and more.

I know I have my faults and have hurt him too, but now I feel as though I've had enough. I feel like I'm crying but there are no more tears. I can't live like this anymore, I have tried everything to make it work, so now I want to leave. I wish I could leave this instantly but I can't. Fyi, im a jobless bum who can't keep down a job for more than 8 months, but im still trying. I want to be a better person, so I have to keep trying. I don't know what to expect from posting this. I just wanted to talk to someone. I don't get much conversation these days, I feel so lonely... and the fact that I've said that makes me feel so pathetic. Okay I'm going to post this befor I lose my nerve.
 

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OneHeart, welcome to the TAM forum. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been suffering so much pain in a toxic relationship. It would be helpful if you would provide us more information about that relationship, if you feel comfortable doing so. When you say you were "subjected to violent behavior," exactly what does that mean? Was he beating on you? Did your sexual relationship with him begin when you were 16 and did the abuse start about then too? Does your partner flip, in ten seconds, between loving you and devaluing you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh and I forgot, I've been engaged for nearly 3 years now. Part of me doesn't and does want to get married to him. Atm I don't want to get married, but when he's his charming self, I turn in to an idiot and forgive him. I hate myself for that. I want to stop being a door mat. sighh. Idiot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
(Deep breath) He's backhanded me a couple of times. Last year nov/oct he had his hands around my throat. I hated him for that and spat in his face when he did that. I wanted to fight back aand show him. It seems like he's getting better with his temper but after the throat thing im not so sure. Thank for reply btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Uptown (Deep breath) He's backhanded me a couple of times. Last year nov/oct he had his hands around my throat. I hated him for that and spat in his face when he did that. I wanted to fight back aand show him. It seems like he's getting better with his temper but after the throat thing im not so sure. Thank for reply btw.
 

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OneHeart, spousal battering is strongly associated with having strong traits of a personality disorder (PD). Yet, if that is the case with your partner, you should have seen many other behavioral traits occurring regularly, starting about a year after you were intimate, if not sooner. I therefore ask whether you've observed most of the following traits and, if so, which ones are the strongest:

  • 1. Black-white thinking, wherein he categorizes everyone as "all good" or "all bad" and will recategorize someone -- in just a few seconds -- from one polar extreme to the other based on a minor infraction;
  • 2. Frequent use of all-or-nothing expressions like "you always" and "you never;"
  • 3. Irrational jealousy and controlling behavior that tries to isolate you away from close friends or family members;
  • 4. A strong sense of entitlement that prevents him from appreciating your sacrifices, resulting in a "what have you done for me lately?" attitude and a double standard;
  • 5. Flipping, on a dime, between adoring you and devaluing you,;
  • 6. Frequently creating drama over issues so minor that neither of you can recall what the fight was about two days later;
  • 7. Low self esteem;
  • 8. Verbal abuse and anger that is easily triggered, in seconds, by a minor thing you say or do (real or imagined), resulting in temper tantrums that typically last several hours;
  • 9. Fear of abandonment or being alone -- evident in his expecting you to “be there” for him on demand, making unrealistic demands for the amount of time spent together, or responding with intense anger to even brief separations or slight changes in plans;
  • 10. Always being "The Victim," a false self image he validates by blaming you for every misfortune;
  • 11. Lack of impulse control, wherein he does reckless things without considering the consequences (e.g., binge eating or spending);
  • 12. Complaining that all his previous GFs were abusive and claiming (during your courtship) that you are the only one who has treated him well;
  • 13. Mirroring your personality and preferences so perfectly during the courtship period (e.g., enjoying everything and everyone you like) that you were convinced you had met your "soul mate;"
  • 14. Relying on you to center and ground him, giving him a sense of direction because his goals otherwise keep changing every few months;
  • 15. Relying on you to sooth him and calm him down, when he is stressed, because he has so little ability to do self soothing;
  • 16. Having many casual friends but not any close long-term friends (unless they live a long distance away);
  • 17. Taking on the personality of whatever person he is talking to, thereby acting quite differently around different types of people; and
  • 18. Always convinced that his intense feelings accurately reflect reality -- to the point that he regards his own feelings as self-evident facts, despite his inability to support them with any hard evidence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Uptown from the list you've given me, I would say he has 4,5,8,11,13,18 but 3,6,7,9,10,12,17 are his very subtle traits/behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looking at the list I could easily pin some on me. I so hope I don't have PD. Is there anything that can help people become more normal who have PD? Please don't say therapy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sigghh the rabbit hole seems to be getting deeper, looks like i've left out a lot of stuff i didn't think to write, so any questions you have I don't mind answering. I'm just looking for some clarity with what to do with this relationship. Im exhausted and am going to bed. I'll check back tomorrow and reply if there's any new posts. I hope anyone reading this, will find it in their hearts not to judge me, but read my posts with understanding. Good night.
 

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If youve had enough be done. It is exhasting living like that, no wonder you cant quit cannibas. Helps calm and not think about whats going on. The violence usually escalates as well as him trying to isolate you. It will be 100 times worse if you marry him. He will think he owns you. You were to young when you met him so you have never had a normal loving relationship.

Can you list his good qualities?
 

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So you were 16, and he was 35?

My suggestion... You get individual counselling for your issues, and he gets counselling for his issues. And let him know if he ever lays a hand on you again, you'll be calling 911 and pressing charges. Lay out your boundaries and then enforce them.

In the meantime, work towards getting yourself to a position where you have options other than a home life you can't stand and an abusive husband. Without options, your choices are obviously limited.

C
 

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Uptown from the list you've given me, I would say he has 4,5,8,11,13,18 but 3,6,7,9,10,12,17 are his very subtle traits/behavior.
OneHeart, the 18 behaviors listed are classic traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), which my exW has. What do you mean when you say that half of those traits are "very subtle"? Do you mean that they are strong but well hidden or, rather, that they are minor and at a very low level?
Is there anything that can help people become more normal who have PD? Please don't say therapy.
Yes there is something but, as you request, I won't say what it is. Moreover, this unmentionable thing likely would take at least several years of hard work, in weekly sessions, to make a significant difference in his abusive behavior. I agree with the advice given you by AllofaSudden and PBear.
Sighh the rabbit hole seems to be getting deeper, looks like i've left out a lot of stuff i didn't think to write.
To reach the bottom of the hole, you ultimately will need to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you're dealing with. Yet, if you will take the time to provide us with additional details about your partner's behaviors, we may be able to help you on your way by motivating you to see a professional. Providing us with additional details, then, may be the equivalent of choosing the red pill over the blue.
Looking at the list I could easily pin some on me. I so hope I don't have PD.
Actually, you should be able to pin all 18 traits on yourself. You should occasionally exhibit all of them, albeit at a low level if you are emotionally healthy. All of us do. This is why BPD -- like all the other PDs -- is called a "spectrum disorder," i.e., everyone exhibits all of the traits to some degree.

The issue, then, is NOT whether your partner exhibits the traits. Of course he does. We all do. Rather, the issue is whether he exhibits most of them at a strong and persistent level. I don't know the answer to that question. But you can learn how to spot the red flags for BPD and other PDs by reading about the warning signs (i.e., the typical behavioral traits).

An easy place to start is my post describing BPD traits in Maybe's thread at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that description rings many bells, I would be glad to discuss them with you and point you to good online resources. Take care, OneHeart.
 

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IMO this is a relationship that you need to get out of. As a woman, you should never leave yourself in a position where you are financially dependent on any man, especially one who is violent and abusive. It will only get worse because as long as you can't support yourself and can't leave, he will only gain more and more control over you. The more he believes that he has control over you the worse it will get.

I know because I've seen it. I hate to admit it, but this is exactly how my father was with women. He would find a woman (usually much younger than him) that he thought was weak and would therefor be dependent on him, so that he would know that they wouldn't leave him like my mom did. In the beginning he would be super romantic. He would then talk them into selling their cars and quitting their jobs so that they would depend on him to support them. Next he would steadily break them down by abusing them physically and emotionally. Anytime they would threaten to leave, he would go back to pouring on the romantic act. Things would be good for awhile and they would decide to stay. Then it was back to the same old same old. He LOVED the control he had over them.

I hate to say all this about my dad because I love him. He always treated me great. I just hate the way that he treated his girlfriends. Although he did teach me a very important lesson, which I hope you will listen to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I can't sleep, I've been lying in bed thinking and my mind won't stop with all these thoughts. So here I am again.

I don't think I've been fair in describing him as a person. If you met him I'd guarantee you would think he's a great guy and he is. He's a Jamaican black man and I'm a British White woman. He's intelligent, he used to be a legal attorney but then decided to go in to building because he loves working with his hands, and the law is more corrupt than most people know. He's funny and knows how to entertain a crowd with a good story and he's very generous to other people, especially when they need help. He comes from a traditional christian background. Growing up in Jamaica he had to work at an early age with his father, who was tough on him, but dearly loved him. He was the only boy out of 5. Over the years he's supported me when I've had no one, & I mean NO ONE. He had to work to make ends meet while I was busy trying to figure out life and keep a job. I became a pretty good cook and gardener in the process, got a lot of reading done too. I'll send you a picture of my impressive library if you want.

Yes he's hit me but I've hit back too and sometimes first. I know it sounds like we're messed up violent druggies and I guess we are when you put it down on paper, but I can't deny that we've been through situations where by right, we shouldn't even be together. The fact that we've made it this far despite the odds, makes me want to go the distance. Call me a romantic fool with everything I've confessed on here but I do love him and want this to work. I'm just trying to figure out how to make this work or even if it will work.

Lastly I met him when I was 16 and he was 34. Neither of us looked our ages. He looked younger and I looked older, & In his defence when I told him my age he did stop mid stride and say I was too young for him. I told him I liked him and his age didn't matter to me. I moved in with him the same day I met him. I didn't want to go home. I know it sounds like I took him for a free meal ticket but I didn't, but hey you're going to believe what you want, so what can I say? As for calling the police, that is a last resort, if I can handle the situation myself, then I will. Like I said, Heaven and Hell relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Uptown thanks for the info, you've given me a lot of insight. When I mean subtle I mean he can be manipulative, shrewd with showing others those traits. Yh I guess you could say low level. I'll check out the list. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Realistorcynic, Wow im really sorry to hear that about your dad. I've taken what you've said on board because it does make sense and I think there is a control factor in this relationship. I know I give my power away to my partner, but I don't know if it's as bad as what your dad did. It hurts to think that my partner could do that to me, especially when I was so vulnerable, but I know in my heart he didn't do that to me. I know, I know, that's how it looks, but he gave me the confidence to stand up to certain family members that had a oppressive hold on me. Oh man, Im just digging a deeper hole for my self.

Can I say one thing about therapy? I've been to a few counselors over the years and the reason I won't go is because It doesn't work for me. Maybe I just haven't fount the right counselor yet but from my experience, I've found counselors care more about the clock than the actual person. When I had to go for a psychological assessment suggested by my doctor, the therapist said there was nothing wrong with me and that I should smile more because it made me look pretty. That was the last straw. Don't even get me started on my sister who's been in therapy for 8 years and is still in the same anxious mental state she was when she started. It's not that I don't believe in therapy, I just don't believe in therapists who don't give a damn about their patients.
 
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