Please listen to AnotherStander and seek some support. It is very important that you find people you trust right now, but also that you get some professional help. YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP.

I put that in all caps, not because I am yelling it at you, but because I want to emphasize it's importance. One of the most complicated things about being the victim of abuse, is that you lack the ability to see it for what it is. It is codependent, mentally exhausting, and isolating, and it is also hard for others to understand or even know how to help you.

I can see this very clearly because I was in your position for about 6 years (on/off) with a boyfriend when I was younger. He never beat me, hit me or even put a hand on me. But he was very emotionally abusive and manipulative, I could not see it for what it was until years after, and I felt that I needed him to be okay. I could have written many of your words verbatim.

My perspective is some ways might be different than others in that I try not to talk about the other person as an "abuser," "manipulator," or to describe them in terms that seem judgemental and offensive. I could easily describe my old BF as a monster, but the reality is that I loved him for many years. I felt alone because people did not understand why or how I could love him. We even had a child together. This was many years ago, and my D is almost 20, and he has recently died. I later learned (I did leave him when she as a baby) that he was quite mentally ill. Whatever the reason was for his emotional abuse, it still did not make it acceptable.

I am not going to tell you not to care for him and even love him. I am going to tell you that he is not safe for you. While your physical safety may not be compromised, your mental health is. And you have already been harmed. The affects of this, and PTSD, can last for some time, but they can be healed. The healing starts when you leave the relationship. You leave this relationship not because you don't love him, we hear that you do, but because you understand this is not a healthy love.

I can read in your writing that this is not healthy love. You cannot change him or fix this. People can only look at themselves and change themselves. In healthy love we are not alone, we are not yelled at, we are not afraid, we do not feel that we need to be or act a certain way, we are not afraid our partner will withhold love, affection, or punish us in any way. In healthy love we do not feel controlled or feel a need to control them. In healthy love we are free to be ourselves and we love the other person for who they are. It is never perfect, but it is safe. There isn't fear, but there is freedom.

I am in no way an expert on abusive relationships, how to get out of them, and the healing that needs to happen afterwards. I am however a person that has been in one and successfully gotten out of one and healed from one. I left this BF 18 years ago and now I think it's unfortunate I wasted so much of my life on him. I wish I had valued myself more than that. I very much hope you can do the same. Please start off by finding people you trust and can be honest with and please find a therapist or counselor to help guide you. There are also many great books on ending codependence.

Keep posting. We are not here to judge, but we are here to help you! We all have our own battle scars.


“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela