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    Need help with relationship
    anjay723 posted:

    My boyfriend of 4 years has a severe anger problem. I am convinced he is Narcissistic among a number of issues that plainly needs help. I'm positive and he is entirely negative. One day he is the kindest soul and the next minute he is plain nasty. Privately I call his outbursts and irritating behavior "episodes". He's extremely sensitive to anything close to suggesting he's aggressive, which causes him to act accordingly and moreso. I'm tired at this point but we live together and his manipulative ways have put me in a position where I can't up and leave. Trying to talk to him is pointless, my feelings are not important to him.

    He had an episode on Friday and I flat out told him our relationship was over; I couldn't do it anymore. The stupid circle talking, all about me, belittling, screaming and hollering soap box over nonsense is just getting old. I took my daughter and we're hiding out at my sister's for a bit. Just so you know, he never has outbursts with the kids. Just me. He doesn't want to spend much time with them but he exercises way more respect and control towards them. I've done my soul searching to reflect and see if im causing an issue, and honestly im not. Nothing I do is right, or satisfactory, at least not for long and im expected to frankly worship him because I'm graced with the privilege of being his number one. I'm being disrespected and belittled regularly and I'm tired.

    My question is, what do I do now?
    I have to go home. I have to tend to the kids (one of which is his, and I don't think it'd be fair to leave him hanging, especially since his father can't pick him up from camp/school because of his work schedule). I have to go to work, I can't hide at my sister's forever. She's a single gal with a one bedroom apartment. But I don't want to deal with the same hell. Leaving him to sleep alone for a weekend would fix a normal man, I don't believe it will make a difference with him. I'm sure it's aggravated him more. But I can't take it. Trying to tell him he needs help is a waste of time. I want to control where this goes but I know he'll just make it more miserable for me when I tell him what I have in mind. It will be a one sided conversation turned to being about him. What do I go back and say? What's going to get through to him that I haven't done already? If I could get away with not talking to him I would, but that's something else that aggravates him, I've tried.

    If he sincerely got help I would support him and I would be there. When he's good and normal I love him to pieces. I don't mind a bad day, everything can't be rainbows and ice cream, I get that. But he goes so beyond normal frequently and it casts a bad shadow over his strengths. I don't want to leave my home. I don't want him to leave. I just want to be respected and work together. I don't want to be an undervalued servant.

    Please offer your advice.
    rohvannyn responded:
    If it weren't for the kids I'd say just leave and never look back. But since children are involved, your job is harder.

    You have to be very brave here. I know he doesn't listen, but with children involved the only way is to make him listen. Is there anyone he respects who could back you up? It sounds like he doesn't respect you. Is there a way you could approach him in one of his "good times?" (Is there a chance he's bipolar and that could be managed medically?)

    Make yourself heard. Don't be scared off by his aggravation, he's using it as a tool to control you. Be mindful of his feelings, and respectful until he makes that impossible, but who cares if he's aggravated? You're leaving anyway.

    If he strikes you, call the police and immediately file a restraining order. It's obvious he's not a good person for you to be around. The ONLY way you should stay with him is if he works on this relationship too, consistently, and it doesn't sound like he is doing that. Now, it may be that he'll be more willing to try now that you've demonstrated that you'll leave. I hope that's the case. Try to be the one who keeps the cool head, think before you feel. I know it's hard and it can be scary but you can do it.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. If you can get him to couples counseling things might be better, but any couples counseling that leaves anyone feeling ganged up on is bad couples counseling.
    dfromspencer responded:

    Wow, you are still with this guy? If you ask me, you have already done enough to try to get respect. If he doesn't respect you, you will never be heard, period! He is controlling and manipulative, not loving and caring towards you! I don't think he really loves you? You are just what you said you were to him, a slave.

    I know i'm supposed to tell you to go to counselling, blah, blah, blah... No way! I don't know why you have stuck around so long? So, he is crazy lovable when 'HE' wants to be, but not when you need it most? What kind of guy does that to the woman he claims to love? He has proven it to you enough times already, why keep it going? If he can show such restraint when with the kids, but not the same towards you? Only you? THAT right there should tell you all you need to know!

    I wonder something though? Has he always been like this? Has he always done this to you? What was he like when you guys first started dating, or living together? Try to get him to remember the good times you had together. Make him see you as the same woman you always were, from the beginning. Then, if he won't go to counselling, tell him goodbye!

    You can leave, you have many resources within your community. HHS, women's shelters, churches, etc. etc. You do not have to put up with someone like that! I feel so sorry for you, as a guy I know he is hurting you in more ways than one!

    Look, you need to do what YOU need to do, okay? Please let us know how we can continue to support you? Even if all we can do is be your sounding board, cool???

    I wish you luck!!!

    fcl responded:
    First things first. You cannot change anyone other than yourself. Secondly, if you husband is a narcissist as you suspect he isn't going to get help because, quite simply, in his view there is nothing wrong with him and nothing is his fault - it's all YOUR fault. He isn't going to change, he isn't going to start respecting you (because, in his eyes, he laready does) and he isn't going to work together (because he thinks it's you who won't work with him).

    Right. So where do you go from here. You have a temporary solution. He may not have turned on your children yet but they are witnessing his abuse of you on a daily basis, what you decide upon doing must be in their best interests, must be to protect them. IT doesn't matter how nice he is when he makes an effort, it doesn't outweigh the emotional toll he puts on you and your children when he's not being nice.

    I suggest you check out all of your local womens shelters and see what they can do for you until you can get yourself back on your feet. Also start counselling immediately - you need to understand why you are willing to put up with his behaviour.

    Stop thinking about him and how he feels and start focussing on you and your children. Please keep us updated, will you?

    Above all, be safe ...
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to fcl's response:
    I support what fcl said about contacting a shelter or at least contacting a domestic violence agency to help you. If you don't know where to go for this, try starting with the resources offered on the left side of this page. Click on Crisis Assistance and then, among other resources, you will see contact information for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

    Also, as dcl said, you cannot change anyone else, so you need to focus on taking care of yourself and your children.

    I hope you find your way to getting help and being safe -- only then can you build your life back to what you want.
    anjay723 replied to fcl's response:
    I find your first statements to be very true. He believes he does respect me in his own way and you're right he won't change and it all comes back on me. I've experienced this in our many "discussions " it always comes back to me. Even now, when I came home he said he didn't do anything wrong, i caused him to be offended, i was wrong for leaving and I need to fix it. He believes the fight was over clothes (yes this is how stupid our arguments start) and he had the right to be offended because he does so much and it's a sensitive subject. Clothes!!! He doesn't see how his behavior was out of line. I was done with the stupid clothes, i asked why he responds to me a certain way and he went bananas. But to him, it was about clothes- im sorry, it's really stupid the more i think about it.

    Your statement really hit home because I've said this and tried to get him to understand it but no effect. It's me who wronged him and many times I believe it afterwards.

    Thanks for your advice.
    anjay723 responded:
    Thank you all for your advice. We had a long, complicated, and tiring discussion last night, that frankly, i don't know what came out of it. There were no solutions yet many realizations. We both have growing to do. He believes i make myself out to be an angel and he the villian. He won't believe he's wrong in any aspect. I'm too emotional and I can't take what I give. To be fair, no i'm not sitting in the corner cowering as he's yelling at me. Many times I have shouted back, many times i have snapped and demonstrated frustration, I'm sure i started an argument. And many times I've sat and taken it, many times I've suggested he calm down since i was being calm. In no way do i want people to think i don't respond.

    i can hold myself accountable for that i respond appropriately in a heated argument and especially if i feel like I'm being disrespected, he does not, there's a point where he crosses the line and he believes he has the right to do so. I've tried HARD to grow and work and be better. He's not. He insists he has, but i believe he has on his own scale. He doesn't like that i talk to my friends because it's one sided and makes him look like a villian
    I asked why can't he accept that his behavior appears that way and he doesn't believe it does. It's me portraying it that way. I'm too sensitive, i need to get over it, i need to grow up. I need to appreciate what he does do.

    He not going to change has been solidified. From the horse's mouth. I realized we are on two very different spectrums, from communicating, speaking, acting, the the whole nine it's a recipe for disaster. I can't change him and i can accept that. I just wish he'd accept the damage he causes. That would make a world of difference. In our talk, i realized listening to him speak in his own twisted way, he does not want me to go. I'm not jumping for joy and claiming we'll be okay after all. It's just a realization.

    I don't know. I can't say i don't know what to do. I don't know how to not be afraid to do it. I want to be in control for once and he be remorseful for making me feel horrible. I want him to show me he gets it and that I'm important to him, that i mean something to him, and I want it outside of being the breadwinner . I know this will never happen but it's worth putting out there.

    I appreciate your advice. I have to put on my supergirl panties cause the big girl ones are too small for this task. Thank you again, i will be in touch.
    anjay723 replied to dfromspencer's response:
    Thank you. I wasn't expecting a man to get my perspective. Has he always been a jackass? Yes. What was it like when we first started dating? Enjoyable. Yes, he would act like a jerk but i believed i caused it everytime, because of the way he'd explain the situation. When we moved in together? That's when it started to become a problem. I see it. I see where i went wrong, i got caught up in the good. Ive always seen the good in people. Counseling is a definite no, and i agree it doesn't change anything. I've tried the memory lane method and he reminds how i screwed everything up, or makes excuses for why he may have slacked off. You're very very correct.
    fcl replied to anjay723's response:
    I'd just like to reassure you that when I read your first post I didn't see meekness and submission, I didn't see a doormat, I saw exhaustion, exasperation and someone who is very close to being at the end of her rope.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    dfromspencer replied to anjay723's response:
    Hi again,

    I agree with everything put out here! One thing I think you should do before anything else, record his behavior so you can give him the proof. Show him what a azz he is, all the time!!!

    I wish you all the luck in the world! Oh, and like FCL said, I never saw you as meek and mild, just someone tired of all the bull! Go on now, get that proof to rub in his face. Did I just say that last part? Oh my! LOL!

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