I'm so confused. (Very, VERY long.)

If I were AuntWillemina, I might be tempted to ask you out, but based on my UncleBill status, and the observation from your spelling you are on another continent, that won’t happen.

Break it down. She makes you feel good, she nakes you feel great. Then she makes you so utterly tormented and full of pain you are unable to think of anything else and are brought to the brink of tears for the frustration (my words).

That is not a healthy relationship. Abuse? Manipulation? Mean spirited? I’m not there to give a real opinion, but once again, this is NOT a healthy relationship. Dogs and cats are NOT meant to sleep together. In a REAL relationship, and by that I mean that one in a hundred, she would be asking you what bothered you before you felt comfortable telling her beacuse she would see your discomfort and that would hurt her in her gut. Your pain would be hers. Compassion is very very important, and she was getting a drink of water when God was passing out compassion.

She could have some deep rooted psychological issues that manifest themselves in this behavior, and now that I wrote that it rings so true in my own experience, but deep rooted issues are REAL tough to overcome. The mere fact that you asked yourself if you were in an abusive relationship says volumes. In American Football, it’s 4th down and you have 98 yards to a first down. Punt.


What you have described is remarkably like my relationship with my ex-husband. She is an abusive, controlling person.

If you are not married or otherwise committed to the relationship, I will echo what everyone else is saying - get out now - it will only get worse.

If you are married, I’m not going to advise you to just abandon the relationship. You need to give it one (and only one) more shot - but only by getting professional advice.

Tell your SO straight out that her behavior is destroying your love for her because it is. You may still love her now, but every time she lies to you, insult you or tries to control you, your love for her will be lessened - you already are feeling that. And you deserve to have someone you can give your full love to.

If she tries to use the excuse that that is just how she is, repeat - her behavior, no matter why she does it or how “inconsequential” it is, is destroying your love - and that you need to see a professional so that you can resolve your problems.

A professional counselor will help you and her - because if she doesn’t clean her act up now, she is doomed to a lifetime of unhappy relationships. And you need some perspective on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior in a relationship.

I think Uncle Bill just about nailed it on the head. People in abusive relationships go through a spiral of emotions. To paraphrase Bill: I feel great, I feel good, I feel terrible, she made me feel great again, I feel good again, I feel terrible again. Ad nauseam. You will continue this cycle until either you or she leaves, or until you die.

Now I’m not telling you to leave, because I wouldn’t presume to tell you what you should do in your life, but I know what I would do.

I just read your last post. You will have to learn the lesson that I had to learn. I knew that you could not change another person, but like you, I felt that if I just did the right thing, then my ex would stop being abusive. I had to learn that that was wrong.

You can not logic her into changing, you can not argue her into changing, you can not pout, cajole, love, hurt or guilt her into changing.

All you can do is tell her the effects of her behavior on you, tell her her behavior is unacceptable to you, and tell her you want to see a counselor to resolve your problems. She must decide if she values the relationship enough to change, but as long as you do all the work to maintain the relationship, she has no incentive at all to change.

And yes, it will hurt and be very hard to give up the relationship no matter how flawed. You are not only letting go of a person, but a dream of how your relationship could be “if only”. And you are going to face loneliness and the responsibility for ending the relationship.

I will tell you what I told people when I got my divorce. There’s a fine line between a good relationship with problems, and a bad relationship that has good times. One day I woke up and realized I was on the wrong side of that line. Life is too short to stay in a bad relationship.

Sigh… Mnementh you’re right, it does sound cliche and after your last post I actually checked your posting history to confirm that this thread is not some troll designed to yank SDMB member’s chains with a fanciful and wildly cliched tale of victimhood. You seem to be a sincere person and (distressingly) assuming this scenario is all for real you need therapy and you need it now. Failing that you need a spine.

I just want to second everyone here, especially Shayna, and add in this: SHE WILL NOT CHANGE. She may say she is, but she won’t. I have lived with someone like her for 25+ years. Why haven’t I left, you ask? Because it’s my mother. No opinion I have ever had is right. My insights, my feelings, mean nothing. It’s all about how it affects HER. She has been this way for as long as I can remember. It has never gotten any better. Ever. Despite repeated pleas on my part for a change to occur.

NO good times are worth being treated like you mean nothing. NOTHING. Ever. It doesn’t get better, hon. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I just can’t. {{{{Mnem}}}}

It’s not possible for anyone to do that. She has to realise for herself that she must listen. She has to make the effort.

If she’s not willing to communicate with you, if she can’t face up to her emotions, if she won’t see your point of view, if she won’t make compromises, if she won’t make the effort, then it won’t work. Ever.

As one of my more blokey acquaintances would say,

“Bin her. Get a new one”

Hey, Mnementh, I’m gonna try to give you a little hope. A little. I don’t agree that people never change. If she loves you and respects you, she will change once she realizes her behavior is truly hurting you. It’s just that these are big, fundamental changes in the way she acts around you, and it may take a big signal from you to yank her into reality.

That said: You have to take the initiative right now. It’s clear she doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong. It’s up to you to make it VERY CLEAR to her that she is. I’m not saying the onus for saving the relationship is on you alone - it’ll be on the both of you - but you have to start the conversation. In any event, try your best to make her understand. Give it one more shot. And if she doesn’t show any signs of trying to modify her behavior after that…then you really have some thinking to do.

This is a hard one. I agree that people can change if they see the error of their ways - my concern is then not that she won’t change but that she’ll never see the error in her ways.

I tend to live by a few simple rules and one of them is advice that (if I remember correctly) I heard that Maya Angelou told Oprah Winfrey (don’t let that detract from it if you dislike either of these women). That is: When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.

It doesn’t mean you can’t be forgiving - but it does mean that once the handwriting is on the wall, read it and don’t fight it.

I wouldn’t put up with being treated that way. Whether or not you do is up to you - remember, if you do end things, people will support you. Only you know the true measure of the good v. bad of being with her. I trust you’ll weigh it out.


This is a hard one. I agree that people can change if they see the error of their ways - my concern is then not that she won’t change but that she’ll never see the error in her ways.

I tend to live by a few simple rules and one of them is advice that (if I remember correctly) I heard that Maya Angelou told Oprah Winfrey (don’t let that detract from it if you dislike either of these women). That is: When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.

It doesn’t mean you can’t be forgiving - but it does mean that once the handwriting is on the wall, read it and don’t fight it.

I wouldn’t put up with being treated that way. Whether or not you do is up to you - remember, if you do end things, people will support you. Only you know the true measure of the good v. bad of being with her. I trust you’ll weigh it out.


I know how you feel. I have the same problem, I work so hard to see from both sides, that I forget which side I was on. But if your SO isn’t comprehending and acting on what you try to tell her, than the question is “how much does the relationship mean to her?”
I’ve been down this road, my desire to understand and accept others has put me in several abusive relationships. I NEVER saw what was happening. Looking back, the good things are what stand out. The bad parts fade away, and even now I have a hard time understanding what went wrong.
I was always eager to please, never minded changing a thing here or there to make my boyfriend happy. So he yelled at me occassionally or hurt my feelings, I rationalized that it wasn’t anger, it was frustration… I couldn’t be easy to be with, i’m shy, I have poor personal skills, I must have been missing the gentler signs until he was so frustrated he lashed out. Yeah, it hurt my feelings, but it was really my fault wasn’t it?.. The same rationalization worked when the harsh words became fists, and kicks, and suddenly he was controlling my entire life. Who I spoke too, where I went, how I dressed… basically every choice I made. If you hear anything of yourself in this, take a HARD look at this relationship. If she’s not willing to make any changes, than she’s not willing to try, and I would suggest you get out now.
Yes it hurts. It hurts horribly. I don’t know how I managed it… but I do know that it saved my sanity, and possibly my life. Of course, your situation isn’t exactly the same as mine, but I’ve learned that if you can’t learn and grow and communicate in a relationship, than that relationship isn’t worth being in.

I wish you well, and if you still have problems with chemistry, I suggest requesting a tutor, sometimes hearing things in a different way clears up the problem. If you can’t find anyone else to help, I’ll even give it a try… my degree is in Biochemistry, intro. chem. must still be floating around inside my head somewhere.

-Pandora :slight_smile:

Menmenth Sorry you’re so down mate, just a coupla things I can offer. I do have to chime in on the “people can change” front. that_darn_fiancee and I have changed our behaviour a LOT to make our relationship work. Before her, I would go into black depressions, not let anyone near me. But, she refused to let me do that to myself, taught me to reach out. Likewise, she couldn’t apologize when we had a fight, I always had to be the one. Guess what, I refused, and she changed.

Bottom line: she CAN change, if she really wants to. It hurts, but she may just not want to. If that’s the case, she’s just not worth your pain, no matter how good she makes you feel the rest of the time. You must stand up for yourself, no one else can or will. If she won’t talk about tour problems, it’s time to get out.

Good luck, mate

Mnementh -

Wow. A lot of this sounds really, really, really familiar. The total inconsideration for your feelings, the refusal to accomodate or even listen to your needs, the need to belittle you in order to prove her superiority, the pathetic excuse of “this is just how I am and if you have a problem with that, it’s YOUR problem not mine - you shouldn’t try to change me” (oh boy is that familiar!), the total conviction that “I’m always right and if I’m wrong, see rule 1”. Been there, done that. I’m watching some friends go down that road right now.

I can tell you what I eventually had to do - I had to say, “Well, if that is who you are and you’re happy with that, you’ll have to be happy without me. If you truly want to be a mean, manipulative, cruel, lying, evil fuckhead, you go right ahead, but I don’t have to put up with that kind of behavior.” I said it in something damn near those very words.

But get this: you have to absolutely mean what you say. Just saying it to get a reaction won’t cut it - because if the reaction is ‘OK, walk’, you damn well better walk or you will be seriously abused soon.

That means that you need to do some hard, serious thinking about yourself. Why you are willing to live with this abuse? How good are her good points and how much are you willing to put up with? How hard are you willing to work?

Because half of the problem is yours, buddy boy. You’ll have to change how you think and do things, too. If you weren’t being so cooperative, she wouldn’t be able to get away with her shit.

Again and always - why are you willing to put up with this abuse? IME, chances are good that you have some pretty big problems with self-esteem and insecurity (and don’t we all!) that you need to deal with, or else you’ll just repeat the same bad scene even if you get out of this particular relationship.

See, problem is, she truly believes that she’s always right, that she has no problems & everything is your fault. And there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO to change that. She will only change if she wants to. And for her to decide to change means she has to take a cold, hard look at herself - and that can be damn ugly.

And you have to be ready to do the same - you’re gonna have to take that cold, hard look at just how ugly you can seem to other people. Because she probably has a list of complaints too. Most of those complaints will be just as valid as yours. You can spend the rest of your life changing to please her - but until y’all get some real communication going, it will never do any good. You’ll both be miserable and hurting each other.
YOU CAN NOT CHANGE SOMEONE ELSE. You can only change yourself. But first you have to know yourself well enough and be honest enough with yourself. Otherwise you’re just pissing into the wind.

And you have to make sure she means it - that she’s not just saying what you want to hear. Until her behavior changes consistently, she’s just whistling Dixie.
It takes more than one person to make a relationship. If she’s not willing to fight for your relationship, you can’t save it alone. You’ll be much happier much faster if you cut your losses and get the hell out.

I have to disagree with most of the posters. People like this can change. I live with one who did. It’s been a hell of a trip and we’re still on the road, but at least we’re off the treadmill. It can happen, but it’s rare.

And it takes both of you. It will be a lot of work. It will cause a lot of pain - often it hurts worse than just putting up with the original problem. It’s scary as hell - you won’t realize just how comfortable you feel with your problems until you actually start to do something about them. It’s an ugly, ugly mess that you have to dig through and sort out - kind of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle for the soul’. :wink:

If you’re both sure, and I mean REALLY REALLY SURE that this relationship is worth it, then get a counselor. Hell, get several (his, hers and theirs) if you need to.
Otherwise, if you’re not sure, if she’s not sure - give it up now. Save yourself (and her) the time and the grief and the heartache.

Just my $.02 and I don’t mean to offend, but:

I disagree that people never change, but they don’t change without reason. So, give her a reason to change her evil ways: Ditch the bitch. Leave her. Tell her you can’t trust her and that’s the end of it, there is no discussion on the subject, you’re not asking for her opinion of you, and it’s not a debate on who’s right. You’re sick of it and you’re getting out.

And then get out. If she’s serious about you, she’ll figure it out pretty damn quick. If she changes and you guys work it out, great. Otherwise, you’re better off.

Look at it this way: Do you really want to spend the rest of your life living like this? No? What about the next ten minutes? I’m guessing probably not…

First off, thank you all for your advice and encouragement. I’m not sure just yet what I’m going to do, but I have decided one thing; I’m going to start telling her when I’m having trouble with what she’s doing, consequences be damned. Also, I’ll more than likely pick a close friend, who knows me and knows her, and talk to them about this, and see what they think.
If nothing else, typing all this and seeing the responses has helped me in the way I’d hoped; I think I have a clearer head now. That done, I’d rather like to get all this behind me so I can start going forward and figuring out what happens next.

In that regard, mods, I’d like to request that this thread be closed.

No matter what happens now I feel quite a bit better with a cleared head and having actually gotten all this off my chest. Thanks again to you all.

Ok I’m going to suggest something that is both extremely easy and excrutiatingly tough at the same time.


It is obvious you have strong feelings for her, maybe even love her and you may genuinely feel that the good outweighs the bad and in some respects it may feel that it does. But even though she only abuses you some of the time–and make no mistake this is abuse—ANY ABUSE IS UNACCEPTABLE.

You have commented that she is intelligent. No doubt she has been praised for this trait most of her life. The trouble with praise is that after a while you start believing the hype.

I’m going to relate just a little personal background so you can understand where I’m coming from. I was told that I have a genius IQ early on and that I was something rare and special. I believed it too and acted with impunity under the assumption that if someone didn’t like me, it was their problem and that I was probably smarter than them anyway so screw 'em. It took me years to learn that being smart doesn’t make you right. In my case I had (have) a lot of self-esteem issues and in many ways felt like a hypocrite, cause I knew that sometimes I just wasn’t very nice. Not tall, thin and rich–so what I’m a genius. Not invited to the prom–that’s OK–they’ll think Carrie was a walk in the park by the time I get done with 'em. Nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

This is exactly what your SO is doing to you. She is sacrificing what could be a good, solid relationship in order to improve her self-esteem, even if she doesn’t fully realize that is what she’s doing.
What I’m trying to say is that perhaps on some subconscious level, it makes her feel better and just a little superior when she makes you squirm.

You seem like a sincere and sensitive soul. You don’t want to make a fuss or engage in verbal sparring with a partner who may excel in verbal skills. Your refusal to argue is perceived as a victory. And because these are relatively minor infractions, she is able to justify it to herself as “no harm done”.

I’m really only echoing the thoughts of others on this board when I say.




Take care
{{{{{Men’s SO}}}}}–cause people still need loving when they deserve it the least.

Thread closed at the request of the OP.

Good luck and best wishes to you, Mnementh.