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Relationship

I currently live with my boyfriend, David,...

Resolved • Response time 21 minutes

8 Jul 2013

I currently live with my boyfriend, David, who has been borderline emotionally abusive for the past two years. In the beginning, he cheated on me with multiple women and sent private photos of me to several of his friends, bragging about his sexual prowess and ability to land a woman who was 7 years younger. When I found out and confronted him, he proposed and said that "that world isn't real", and I should "look at the nice things he does for me in our actual life." He eventually apologized and promised to change, and I did not accept his proposal but kept the ring. For the past two years, we have lived together, and our daily life is miserable for me. He often picks fights with me about things I feel are ridiculous - for example, he argues with me about how my chattiness is "look-at-me, attention seeking behavior", he disapproves of any male friends I have because they "only want sex" from me, he snaps at me about driving directions, and often cites his age and having gone to college for engineering as why he "knows more about the world" than I do. He will also tell me that my small 5'7, 120-pound frame would be "more model-esque" if I weighed closer to 100 pounds. He brags about old sexual conquests to his male friends, speaks horribly of his decently nice parents, saying they're "f*cking a**holes" who won't leave him alone, and indicates by his argumentative behavior that he has to be right about everything. Because of all of this unhappiness, I have found myself less and less sexually attracted to him. Our sex life has always been good until I just hit a wall and felt like I couldn't do it anymore because I'm not in love with him. I have made many, many changes to myself that he requested (often to placate him), reflected upon how I can become better, and gone above and beyond to improve this relationship, but feel as though he has done next to nothing. He continually states that he needs more sex in order to be happy, and on many occasions, I have accommodated him, hoping he would change. He may be nicer for a day or two, but beyond that, I see no changes. Having sex with him now just makes me feel used, creeped out, or some combination of the two, because I feel like he is only nice to me to get what he wants. It feels borderline sociopathic sometimes. On nights we don't have sex, he will insist upon staying up and arguing for long periods of time about why it's not happening. I know and have known for awhile that I desperately need to move on. Being with David has made me deeply unhappy, prone to depression, unable to sleep well, and generally less able to cope with life events I would normally bounce back from without a problem. I am a resilient, intelligent, and happy-go-lucky person, but spending so much time around someone who makes me feel so low has caused me to be living in a miserable existence for almost the entire time we have spent together. My problem with leaving arises because I am a full-time student with no job, and our arrangement is that he fully supports the both of us on his $60,000 salary. It has been this way since January, and now we have recently moved to Arizona from Texas, and I am in a place with no friends or contacts, while he has numerous connections here from his 4 years in college. I need help creating a plan to get out, and ideally, it will move quickly. I have made many excuses over the years not to leave him - even when things got really bad - because of finances. I thought, I will wait until I get my Bachelor's degree, I will wait until my current lease expires, etc. I am hoping to get help creating a solid, reasonable break up and move out plan that will get me out of my current situation as fast as possible. I have no job leads, no savings, and no contacts. I also cannot afford to move back to Texas, even if one of my relatives agreed to let me stay with them. I don't feel I'm in danger of any physical abuse, and I cannot afford to see a therapist locally due to lack of insurance.
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8 Jul 2013

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Counselor's response
8 Jul 2013
Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige
Psychologist
Hello. First of all, I am very happy about your plan to leave. It certainly sounds like this is the right thing to do. You have to understand that you are not alone in your situation and a lot of women feel stuck. BUT you can do it and you will be able to do it, even though it seems impossible. I would ask you how long until you get your degree? I'm assuming you are enrolled in school right now in Arizona. I would also ask you about your family back in Texas and how they feel about your situation and if they would be willing to help you beyond allowing you to stay with them? In your case, you need help and don't be afraid to ask it of your family and friends back home. I'm happy you are not in physical danger and you do have some time to think about this and do it right. Have you looked for work in AZ or are you in school full time? If you are able to get a small, PT job, you might be able to save some $. I don't know how much he pays attention to your daily activities, or if you could get away with having a minimal job without him knowing about it, but that may also be an option. Get back with me with the specifics about your school and more details on the situation and we can talk about some options. You can do this !! I'm happy you have the strength to do it. You deserve better and to be happy in your life.
8 Jul 2013
Customer reply
8 Jul 2013

Dr. Paige, Thank you so much for the encouragement. It certainly feels like an insurmountable problem at this point, so it's reassuring to hear it can be done. Right now, I am enrolled full time as a student at xxxxxxxxxxxxx with plans to graduate in Summer 2015. I could probably get a job without him knowing, as long as it is part time and within normal business hours, since he is generally gone from 6am to 5pm every day. Unfortunately, my family can't do too much to support me. My parents do not have a lot of resources, so beyond sending something small like $50 for groceries, they cannot help me. They are, however, aware of the situation and support my resolve to get out, as they do not like David.

8 Jul 2013
Counselor's response
8 Jul 2013
Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige
Psychologist

Ok, you have a lot on your side which is good. Of course college is very important and you should finish, but can you transfer to a Texas based school with little hassle or do you need to finish in xxx? 2 years is not that long, although it feels like an eternity right now I'm sure. If you are able to get a pt time and you want to stay in xxxxto finish your degree, I might think about looking into renting a room or into campus housing depending on the cost and any financial aid options to you. I would also seek out the counselor at the campus at the university and talk about your situation. They may offer you a good solution with housing involved with the university that would be doable for you. At least it would be a step in the right direction. You would be out of there and still able to continue your education. I think that may be a good resource for you to look into. What do you think?

8 Jul 2013
Customer reply
8 Jul 2013

I could easily transfer back to the institution I just left (xxxxxxxxxxxx), but my problem arises with moving and all of the associated costs. I also have more contacts there and am familiar with the area, but I don't know anyone I could crash with until I get on my feet. The university usually offers easy-to-get, minimum wage positions at 10-12 hours per week, which is great for school, but I'm afraid that I have backed myself into a corner where I simply cannot support myself financially. It seems easier (albeit more expensive school-wise) to hang out in xxxxx until I graduate. I will, however, look into renting a room. Perhaps I can find something a lot cheaper on xxxxxxxxx after I get a PT job :)

8 Jul 2013
Counselor's response
8 Jul 2013
Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige
I think that's a good idea, but be careful with craigslist. I might look into the university itself. Maybe there is a bulletin board or local campus only publication that is more reliable and more affordable. A lot of college kids are in a similar financial situation as you are and maybe looking for a room mate to split things with. If you have a special gift or talent with certain studies, maybe you can find a room mate that needs help in that area as well and you can work out a rent + tutor option. There are lots of options. I know you feel backed in a corner, but as I said, it can be done. It isn't easy and you will have your ups and downs with all of this but keep your eyes on the prize, which is freedom from him, personal satisfaction and accomplishment with your degree and above all, happiness !
Customer rating:
Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige
Psychologist
Avg. question only $15
Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
8 Jul 2013
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