Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Headf**k boyfriend who I sadly love....HELP(93 Posts)
I've been seeing him for a little under a year and it's always been difficult. He has mental problems and in April went into a psychiatric hospital for 2 weeks.
The past two months have been good and I really thought we were moving forward.
Yesterday afternoon I went round as planned and he was having an ''off'' day. We were supposed to watch the tennis. We essentially spent 6 hours straight arguing, him saying he ''doesn't know how to be in a relationship'', he doesn't know what to do with me, how to feel. He has no job and hasn't for a good few years (we're in our late twenties). His family basically are too scared to isolate him and so they tiptoe around him trying to make life as comfortable as possible. We have the same GP - yesterday he went to see her, looking to be referred to some specialist doctor, and our GP told him he needed to get a grip on life and stop thinkjng he was unique, because people aren't. That shook him and I suppose it's what kicked him into havng a 'bad day'. He was really sullen and introspective when I arrived, I had to try and get him out of the house. We kissed and then he tried to drag me into the bedroom (it sounds scary, but what I mean is he really wanted to get 'it on', but I could sense an aggression to it that made me realize somewhere in the back of my mind that doing it then would have been about him releasing tension and not really about sex, and so I refused and continued trying to get him out the house).
I've never been anything other than loyal and supportive to him. Our argument started because although he was generally being difficult, there came a point where he made a ''joke''. Can't remember what the context was but he said: ''I haven't given a shit about your feelings for awhile now''.
He said he probably has some sort of Madonna/whore complex, he doesn't understand what I'm doing with someone who is so useless in life and in bed (premature ejaculation issues). He said he was only capable of seeing me in three different ways - sometimes as magical and wonderful, other times he doesn't even think of me at all, and then sometimes just as a sex object. He said he wanted to tell me things he'd never told anyone before...then he broke down and said he ''hadn't been honest'' with me. He said when we first met, he was supposed to be involved in something with another woman. A woman who lives in Norway, who is also ''crazy'', who three years ago he thought could have ''been'' something to him. When he met me, they had been exchanging letters, but then he fell under ''my spell'' and realized that she was just an illusion in a way, that none of it was real. He said they had continued writing to each other until this April.
That's when I started crying. Maybe I overreacted because he never promised me anything and I suppose I always knew that he could never fully be mine, and I too had been tying up loose ends with a guy (casual) when we first met...but coupled with everything else, it just seemed like a lot. I got up and walked to the door but he wouldn't let me leave, he wanted to finish the discussion. I told him he had so little going on in his life that he was trying to suck emotion out of creating drama like this, and I also told him that I'd noticed that yet again he was handing in his notice for his most recent job (lasted 2 days in it) and was also handing in notice for his flat (his plan is to sleep at various friends), so I told him he was probably trying to get rid of me as well to justify having some big massive breakdown.
This went on for hours. We went to bed, had sex and went to sleep, he didn't touch me all night, same in the morning. In the morning he disappeared to get food but I felt so drained I waited for him for 5 minutes and then just decided to leave. As I was leaving he came back in and told me ''not to leave like this'', he had stuff for breakfast, etc. I told him I just wanted to get home. Then he said: ''Let's go to the lake tomorrow'' (where we go swimming).
I'm so confused. I love him so much and it's been an unsure thing since the very beginning because of his issues - I've never been allowed to get closer than the point he decides on. But it really felt like things were getting better...I just don't understand why he's trying to hijack things now, and why he didn't just let me leave when I wanted to, or why he didn't just finish things. What the fuck does he want from me?
I'm sorry this is so epic, I needed to get it out. If anyone can offer me insight on this I'd be grateful (any direct conversation about it with him is completely impossible), or if anyone has been in a similar situation. Don't tell me to just forget about him, I can't.
Hi Waddles, sorry I hadn't noticed the date of your last post when I posted
Sorry this has happened, am really feeling for you, have been in this situation myself and it really sucks. I will tell you this now & I can well understand it if you can't believe me at the moment but you have had a lucky escape.
I think MadBusLady has it bang to rights: "You can't project normal human feelings onto them". Eventually it dawns on you that you were are the only one having the feelings in the relationship for both of you, they aren't having any - at least, they're not having any about you.
Take care of your self, hope you feel better soon x
Sorry it's come to this waddles. I think the way he planned to end it just underlines how little he cares about anyone else - a self-confessed narcissist, as wordy says. You can't project normal human feelings onto them.
Sorry to hear you're hurting so badly, waddles
Being discarded by a narcissist-type is unusually painful, and perhaps illogically so (eg, you were making the break yourself, so why does it hurt? No idea. It just does.) There is a book or website that describes it to a tee....can't place it right now.
I think it's the complete way you are dropped, with no preamble, and it's often done rather coldly.
It's unusual he was so honest with you though. People like this typically have very little self insight.
Cry it out, waddles. You'll be better soon...
Well, since you resurrected the thread Ilkely...
Since the lake incident, he gave me total silence, although we had planned to do something Thursday, nothing happened. Silence.
There was a big event on Firday, I texted him to see what he was going to do for it and he replied: ''Nothing, I'm going to stay in my flat alone''.
I let it go, tried calling him on Saturday, he didn't respond.
Yesterday I went to where he works (not as stalkerish as it sounds, he constantly has people dropping in to see him, he has no boss to supervise him there).
So it's over. He finished it. Said he had been avoiding me because he didn't know how to approach it. Said you can't change people and that when he met me he had felt something strong and had done his best to be someone he wasn't. Said he felt like he was putting on an act, trying to be a good person when he isn't, he can't feel anything for anyone, sometimes all he feels is a void, or anger, even towards people who visibly love him. Said I had a lot of love to give and its wasted on someone who can;t give it back.
I felt surprisingly calm in the moment, obviously I accepted it, a part of me felt freed, because I wouldn't have had the strength to end it, and now I'm free to focus on getting to the UK and starting afresh.
But it doesn't take away from the fact that I felt so shocked he had planned to just... let the relationship fade away without closing it, had I not gone to see him. I hadn't expected him to be a coward.
And I feel a deep, deep sadness, welling up every five minutes today, I just feel such a sense of loss. I know he was a dickhead with issues, but still, I had hoped, and I had felt something strong for him and I'm really going to miss him. I just can't stop crying.
"I don't know what he wants from me." Who cares what this self absorbed bloke wants? What do YOU want from a relationship sweetheart? This? Obviously not. You can't change him, or control his actions. You can only control your own.
Poor love, I really feel for you. I have so been here = looking for the approbation of men who were not worth the time of day. You are obviously a very caring, thoughtful person - go give all your love to someone who deserves it, not this timewaster x
It looks as though you're beginning to look beyond this man and think rationally about a future without him, which is great.
Just to pick up your comment about him being your last memory of the place, and how you need him- it really doesn't have to be that way. You mention work and friends- can you build up the time spent at work to save faster, or plan more activities with the friends you have there? I don't know where you are, but you mention the lake- so I'm imagining somewhere with lots of beautiful outdoor spaces where you could walk or have camping trips. Wouldn't you prefer to build memories of laughing with friends around a campfire , rather than stuck indoors getting moaned at by a miserable git? Are there any interesting places to visit that you won't get the chance to see again?(Apologies if I've got the wrong idea about your location and you are actually in an industrial estate in Warsaw).
Beginning to make plans for the UK is a great idea- how about a book, or board on Pinterest to store your plans?
And if you come to the UK with a clear head and boyfriend out of your system , you may be more open to new experiences that lead to new friendships and possible relationships.
(and if he says 'are you going to just leave it like that'? Say 'YES' and enjoy the look of shock on his face when he realizes that you are no longer under his spell)
Also, you're entitled to think you're brilliant, love yourself and support yourself...whether someone else does too or not. Being single doesn't have to be horrible and in this case it's possible to feel much better about yourself by leaving the navel-gazing drama king
You have a lot of insight. I suggest you use it!
Just because you have dad-issues, doesn't mean you have to let that dictate your life and just because you feel you need him for the start of this new phase in your life, doesn't mean you have to have him or cannot cope alone (being single is underrated!!).
It sounds like it will hit you soon anyway. Maybe this week, maybe next. But with all this in mind, he'll do/say one more stupid thing and it'll be the straw that broke the camel's back. Hopefully sooner rather than later!!
But there must be more to him
Possibly, but I bet it's all unpleasant, and/or deeply tedious. And you don't even get good sex out if it. Take it from a 40-something married full-time worker mother with NO DOWNTIME WHATSOEVER, this is the time in your life to have fun romance, kindness, glamour and lots of lovely satisfying shagging. You aren't going to get that from Not-So-Sunny-Jim, are you?
Be positive, and think of yourself. Are you afraid of the changes coming up, despite having, on one level, embraced them? Because there is nothing like being embroiled with a fuckwit to take your mind off rather scary life events.
Hear the siren call of the Mumsnet knot of vipers and come 'home', make a fresh start.
This guy sounds a lot like 2 of my ex's.
1 - My very first boyfriend, he was mildly schizophrenic. I stayed with him for over a year. Looking back I think the only reason I stayed with him so long was that I had very low self esteem at the time. I didn't like myself, thought he was the best I was going to be able to do, but most of all he was safe and comfortable. He never told me he loved me, and never really treated me as anything other than a friend-with-benefits and he really was great fun to be with some of the time. It was as though, because he didn't tell me he loved me, there was no danger of the relationship getting serious, so it was safe... He didn't love me, but I thought I didn't deserve to be loved. I was completely infatuated by him, but all the effort was on my side - like a two-person bicycle where only one of us was peddling. I put in all the effort and tried so hard to make the relationship work. He decided that when we went to University we should break up, so we did. It didn't occur to me that if he cared about me then he wouldn't want to break up just like that. I was really upset, he didn't seem to be at all. It was a very bad relationship, but I only realised how bad it was quite a while afterwards.
2 - The guy I was with before I met my husband, he had all sorts of MH issues. We were only together for a few months, but it was incredibly intense. He was the opposite of the first guy, over-commiting to the point of being smothering. He used to go between being incredibly caring, to being a total pain in the ass at a moments notice. For the last month or so of the relationship I knew I wanted out, but because of all his MH issues I felt that he was relying on me and that I would be letting him down, or abandoning him if we broke up. That I would be responsible for him breaking down. That although he treated me like crap a lot of the time, the person who showed through sometimes was a good person and that with me around supporting him, surely over time the good bits would increase and the crap decrease. Of course, that didn't happen. Well, things came to a head at a music festival and I tried to leave him, he got upset and I found that I couldn't bear to hurt him, so I said we should "take a break", rather than break up - such a cop out! I went off to see some other friends, when I came back to our tent later he was in my sleeping bag, having sex with a "friend" of mine! I said "well, I guess this IS a break up then" and spent the rest of the festival elsewhere! He then proceeded to phone me for the next 6 months, trying to get me to take him back, saying that he had only slept with her to make me jealous, so really it was my fault (WTF), that it was a symptom of his illness so I shouldn't hold it against him, and that he would harm himself if I didn't talk to him. By this stage I knew we shouldn't be together, but I kept talking to him in the hope that I could help him... In the end I had to change my phone number because it was messing with my head so much. He didn't harm himself and is now with someone else.
Neither of these relationships were healthy, and from what you've written here it doesn't sound as though yours is either. He's certainly not behaving like someone who loves you or has your best interests at heart. You deserve better than this, but us saying that won't make you believe it. The first year of your relationship should be the easiest bit of your time together. Whether or not what he's doing is due to MH issues, you need to decide whether this is a situation which is good for you. The bottom line is - Would you be happy in this relationship in 5 years time, if nothing changed?
Sorry for the essay...
The sad thing is, I have always placed too much importance on romantic relationships
Oh well, snap. I sometimes catch myself treading that line between legitimately holding that value and being enslaved to it. But I do think interim periods have to be treated a bit differently. It's annoying, I've been there, in limbo waiting for my life to restart either because of a geographical move or a professional change. But at least you know they are time-limited, and soon you can start pursuing your goals again. Hopefully with less of a fuckwit.
I was about to write something disparaging about British weather but in fact the sun has just come out, honest!
No MadBusLady (great name, by the way), I don't feel hectored, you have been a great source of insight to me on this thread.
The sad thing is, I have always placed too much importance on romantic relationships, and have generally considered them the be-all and end-all of my existence, weirdly enough. Not that I forget the other aspets of life, but it's the central theme for me. I'm not sure whether this is common or not, but when you ask if saving enough money isn't enough, to me sadly it isn't. But I am starting to realize it's going to have to be in this interim period.
It's true that getting enough money and planning the move are helping me a lot though, it's pretty exciting. And I love some of the comments on this thread that go like: ''Get back to the UK....focus on coming back to the UK...''. I feel like you're all a collective Britannia calling to me in the wind from across the sea :D
I just re-read that, and it sounds like I'm hectoring you. Sorry to have come across like that. I don't think you should really do a lot of self-punishment about why you are doing this, obviously, I just want you to break free and never have to think about any of it again. And then next week go to the lake by yourself, or with friends, and have a nice time.
''Actually...you're starting to bore me'
Ooh, hang on to that thought! Contempt is the death of infatuation. Is there's anything mildly ridiculous about him? An item of clothing he looks a bit of a tit in? A silly sneeze? Focus on it for all you're worth!
Everything you say about your father and your own issues around drama etc makes a lot of sense. I think you know how to address those.
The thing that makes less sense is the needing him in the run up to your move. From what you say, you have checked out of everything good in this place, like friends and work, and the only thing you're still slightly checked into is the one thing that makes you feel like shit.
I think you have to ask yourself why you want your last memories of a place you've come to love to be about a tortuous, miserable "relationship" with this headfuck who doesn't even like you very much. You spoke about going swimming in a local lake the other evening. Well, that sounds idyllic. Were you appreciating it, taking in the scenery, enjoying the swim and having fun? No, you were locked in a miserable battle of emotional fuckwittery.
Even if you feel a bit adrift at the moment, which I can understand, isn't getting the money saved up for a move you really want to make a worthy enough goal in itself?
Wow, you have a lot of insight. That's fantastic. Use it! Take care if yourself. Get yourself back to the uk as soon as you can and be free of this nonsense.
Don't feel ashamed of being drawn to a man like your father. You have correctly identified that you are playing out issues that are unresolved with your father - it's very common. There is nothing wrong with you and it doesn't mean you have inappropriate feelings for him. You would benefit from therapy to work through it all though.
my ex husband was a chronic alcoholic, he was lovely on the odd time of being sober but for the best part a drama queen and general pain in the arse, he threatened suicide if i left him, i went anyway, and in time met a new man whom i am now very happily married to. my ex died of alcohol poisoning several years after i left, don't waste anymore time on him walk away, he needs help but you aren't the one to do it we must al be responsible for our own well being and happiness in life.
When people tell you what they're like, believe them.
Get away from him, and then work on your own issues re your father. I strongly suggest counselling, and the book "Women who love too much" is really insightful.
You can't fix him, and you can't fix your childhood through him. He is bad for you. You have a good reason to leave - come back to the UK and sort out your head. Your self-protection reactions need to kick in. Honestly, drop the Tortured Love Drama. It is not healthy or safe.
So I don't get it, it's obviously not just me who's drawn to him like this
No, many people may get sucked into the abyss that is being in a relationship with him.
But you are someone who has the opportunity to get out. I see the "draw" of him as his web and him as the spider.
Seriously ..... Get out. Get away. Have fun.
Thank you so much everyone for helping me talk through this, I know from having been on the other side that it's really frustrating when something seems so blatantly toxic/wrong yet the woman seems to be sticking around, going in circles, and you're sitting there ripping your hair out, saying for the 50th time: ''Just get out of there, FFS!!!'' Hope you don't mind me writing to you as a group - it's because you're all pretty unanimous in what you're saying!
I'm beginning to feel myself get some emotional distance from him. A few days ago I found myself with him one night thinking: ''Actually...you're starting to bore me''. This might not sound like much, but I'd been so infatuated with him up until then, and he just seemed so glamorous and 'tortured', it came as something of a revelation to realise there wasn't actually much there, behind all the soul-searching and hand-wringing.
I can see how I got myself into this mess and why I'm still here pretty clearly. There's a lot of issues that have combined in this one person and period.
There's the Dad thing. I feel really sick thinking about it, but I can't emphasize just how much he is like my father. It's scary, it's almost the same person. I'm assuming a part of me is just desperate to understand the mentality and not feel the same rejection again. Obviously I know this is neither healthy nor feasible and should get some counselling about it perhaps.
There's the other issue of me needing him at the moment. He wouldn't know it and I would never tell him, but I need him right now. Why? Well, I just finished up the very last step in my professional training. For the first time, I am now facing the rest of my life as a sort of open road, whereas previously there had always been educational 'mile stones' to be reached. Basically it's like I am entering a new phase in my life, a non-student phase, where I need to think about how I want my life to play out. One thing that features in this plan is my desire to move back to the UK. For some background info, although I'm British I've only spent 6 years in the UK (moving around as a kid and then an adult) so moving back is something of a big deal to me. It also comes with a touch of sadness because although I know I want to move back and should do so, leaving this country (which has become something of an adopted homeland for me) will be a little heart-wrenching, even though I know I can always come back. I'm not explaining it very well but hopefully you can see what I'm getting at - I'm already projecting myself into the future, and he will be my last memory of this place.
As I mentioned in another post, because I so want to leave, I've sort of checked out of here. I see my friends and get on with my work, but my heart's not in it. This ''relationship'' is important to me, pathetically, because I need it to feel that staying around here for the next few months while I get some money saved for my move, is worth it. It's the only thing I have here right now that inspires some, ANY, kind of emotion. In a way, I suppose I'm using him as much as he's using me. I wonder if he can pick up on that, and I wonder if it actually makes me any better than him in this situation.
The final issue is that I should mention that I have had mental health issues myself, namely ''cyclothemia'' which a doctor diagnosed me with years ago but I never followed up on it, and from reading around the subject I also seem to match the BPD profile on a lot of levels. Obviously I also have some abandonment issues. I do think a part of me actively seeks out these situations. I wonder if secretly, deep down, I wouldn't be as interested if he were fully available. I wonder if things magically got better would I still want him as much. Also I think he suspects that, although perhaps not in the way you'd think. His mother had major issues. She was a lot older when she had him and would stay in bed all day, send him as a kid to go and do the food shopping, if he fell down in the street she'd just stand there giggling nervously and other mothers had to help pick him up, etc so maybe that's where his issues come from. Maybe he thinks of women as untrustworthy now. I know I can't fix that, nor is it my job. A few months into the relationship he said quite a few times: 'I'm scared I'm going to bore you'. As someone said up thread, I think a lot of the fucking around, pulling strings etc are to act as a smokescreen for not much substance. But for me as well, perhaps you're right and I do need the drama for it to feel worthwhile. Maybe I've learnt to associate drama with 'real love' somewhere along the way.
Sorry this is so long and self-centered, just needed to get it all down.
(also, you may love him or feel that you do but he does not love you. Not in the usual sense of the word anyway. Staying in a situation like that will make you feel worthless as you are giving 100x more than you are receiving and being shortchanged basically).
He's obviously using his mental health issues as an excuse to treat you like crap! He's using you, and you're letting him.
Is it that in some way you are drawn to the drama of the situation?
I've been in a similar situation, periods of normality and then being dropped because he was in a 'dark place' ( his words, not mine). This resulted in me pandering to him. Lots of hand holding, changing my plans to suit him etc.
After a few months, I had to cancel a date because my dd was ill. He went nuts, saying I'd let him down, let my dd wind me round her little finger etc, then started laying into my parenting skills. Needless to say, that was the last time I spoke to him.
Looking back, I think what a idiot I was! I'm not sure if he truly suffered from depression, or used it for sympathy. One thing I am sure of is that he was a controlling, selfish asshole!
Do yourself a favour and stay away.
What OrchardKeeper said. Mental health problems aren't a free pass to abuse someone, and that's what he's doing to you, make no mistake about that. He sources extremely manipulative and self centred. Now that may be part of his illness - if it is, you can't fix it for him and if it isn't, he's just a self centred, manipulative twat.
Get rid of this man and maybe think about getting some therapy/counseling for yourself or at least be on your own for a while afterwards.
By the way, the reason people think he may turn violent is because you've said yourself in your op that he shows violent tendencies. He tried to force you into having sex with him.
In your OP, you say that he tried to drag you into the bedroom for sex in an aggressive manner, and say that he refused to let you leave. He admits to not caring about your feelings. He blames you for his sexual performance and calls you a succubus. His mental health problems include psychosis. That's why people are making the link to possible violence.
I'm certainly not qualified to judge how much of this behaviour is related to MH, and how much of it is just down to him being a controlling, self-absorbed, abusive prick. But it's not a great leap for people like this to turn violent.
You've got one life. Why choose to spend it unhappily with someone who doesn't actually like you and just uses you for sex ?
(I mean this in a helpful way but have you thought about why you might be carrying this on & torturing yourself? You seem to know this is wrong and keep nearly walking but then go back. Do you like the drama? Are you scared of making it final? Is he playing on your rejection issues?)
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.