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Is my boyfriend bullying/emotionally abusing me?

Open Discussions on the Problems of Bullying.

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Is my boyfriend bullying/emotionally abusing me?

Postby daisy138 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:56 am

My boyfriend constantly gets angry/frustrated with me for things that I think are ridiculous. He has gotten mad enough at me to yell at me or just ignore me 10 days out of the last 2 weeks. I know the things he's mad about aren't reasonable, but I'm not sure if it qualifies as bullying. It sure feels like bullying, but whenever I try to tell him to stop bullying me or being mean for no reason, he says that I'm offending him and then just ignores me for hours or days. The times when he's not mad, he's really nice and fun to be around. I believe that he really does love me, but he's VERY immature for a 35 year old. We live together, so I insisted that we go to counseling because neither of us wanted to break up but we didn't want to keep fighting either. Like I said, when he's not mad he's the nicest guy ever, so he has the therapist pretty much fooled. She always says we don't have problems so she doesn't understand why we fight. Just so you understand how stupid the things are that he gets mad about, here are a few of them:

- I don't load/unload the dishwasher correctly
- I didn't want to have sex because I had a yeast infection
- I forgot to use the parking break when I parked his car
- I wanted to eat at a place that was "all the way across town" when he said I could pick wherever I wanted
- I was cleaning the house while he was trying to relax

It's just always stupid things like that, and I literally beg him to just let it go, but he never will, and he just gets angrier and angrier. We actually had a discussion about all of our fighting yesterday, and he was treating me civilly, but when I recapped all the things I had "done wrong" yesterday in an attempt to illustrate how lame it sounds when they're all together, his reaction was just to say "Nobody's perfect." I couldn't believe he still thought he was justified in the way he treated me.

It's not just the anger either, a lot of the time when we're not even fighting he just says sarcastic or nasty things just to make me feel stupid. When I try to tell him how it made me feel he just denies saying it at all or says I misinterpret everything. He never ever takes responsibility for anything he's done, and he's only apologized a handful of times in the 2 years we've been together. I find myself apologizing constantly in an attempt to get him to be nicer to me, but usually it doesn't work. Whenever I tell him that the way he treats me makes me feel stupid or worthless or just bad, he says that I have problems and that they have nothing to do with him and then I need counseling. But I've never felt like this with anyone else I've dated, and no one has ever treated me like this before, so I'm pretty sure he's the problem and not me. What do you think????
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Re: Is my boyfriend bullying/emotionally abusing me?

Postby fiftysix » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:16 pm

You won't be able to get him to change so if you want something different, its probably up to you to leave. I was going to suggest also "or changing your behaviour" but that doesn't actually seem like a healthy recommendation when i think it through in the scenarios because that would mean you would be suppressing your natural and not unreaonsable preferences and becoming submissive.

Going only on what you say, his behaviour doesn't sound reasonable. But if he were to tell the story, i might find that its your behaviour that seems unreasonable. So you see its hard to tell from here.

I would just go with how you feel. If you are not happy, and you can't get him to change his ways, then maybe its time to call it quits. Find someone who doesn't behave like this.

Being nice when he feels like it isn't really a recommendation. A lot of really bad people can be very charming.
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Re: Is my boyfriend bullying/emotionally abusing me?

Postby daisy138 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:13 am

"But if he were to tell the story, i might find that its your behaviour that seems unreasonable."

I don't understand how you think my behavior can be unreasonable. I didn't realize forgetting to do things, or not wanting to have sex at certain times was a "behavior"...I thought those were things that everyone does? I'm just tired of being yelled at daily for every little thing that I do. If you think that I should let him make me have sex when I have a yeast infection, or let him yell at me without saying anything at all just because he doesn't like the way I put a glass in the dishwasher, then I think you have a very strange perspective.
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Re: Is my boyfriend bullying/emotionally abusing me?

Postby fiftysix » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:48 am

Hi Daisy, no i do not think any of that is reasonable. I am only saying that when people tell their stories they tend not to tell the same story.

I certainly think that from everything you say, you should end this relationship. Its not healthy. Can you do that?
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Re: Is my boyfriend bullying/emotionally abusing me?

Postby Daven » Fri May 03, 2013 4:00 pm

daisy138 wrote:"But if he were to tell the story, i might find that its your behaviour that seems unreasonable."

I don't understand how you think my behavior can be unreasonable. I didn't realize forgetting to do things, or not wanting to have sex at certain times was a "behavior"...I thought those were things that everyone does? I'm just tired of being yelled at daily for every little thing that I do. If you think that I should let him make me have sex when I have a yeast infection, or let him yell at me without saying anything at all just because he doesn't like the way I put a glass in the dishwasher, then I think you have a very strange perspective.



First of all, I'm very sorry to hear about your situation and will give this my best shot. Follows is a post that is not intended to work against you in any way, but alleviate any possible misunderstanding, and I will be making a consecutive post that is hopefully easier for your delicately sensitive and awkward situation that you are in.

You may have misunderstood 56 here, and that their point can actually work in your favour. Consider that people often don't tell the whole side of the story, they only tell what benefits them, even to the point of skewing or making up facts. I certainly do not imply this is the case here as I believe you, besides the point that believing you is the only logical base course of action for finding a solution for your situation.

So we have this statement from 56, which is true in a lot of cases, what can it mean, and what we can extrapolate a lot from it. First of all, consider a scenario that instead your partner had came on here, he could make the entirely false case that you sabotage his life, don't respect his personal space or stress levels, and you have mood swings and over-sensitive issues that he finds unacceptable, and to top it off, he gets dragged to this relationship therapist who just affirms his viewpoint, thus garnering a similar level of support for his case.
Just want to make clear, that his case would be entirely untrue, and he would probably be omitting all of the examples that you have described that are clearly unreasonable excesses of his behaviour, that you shouldn't have to put with. This could be either his viewpoint or his experience of things. Two people often experience the same events, completely differently.

So further, you have this therapist (who doesn't sound like they are on top of/good at dealing with your case imo), and they know that 56's statement is true where you usually hear just one side from each person, and also may be wondering, if things are bad as you say, why haven't you left them (which would totally discount any other commitments you have made, inc. the amount of energy you've personally put into the relationship and don't won't to go to waste, your unwavering feelings for your partner etc. thus, silly therapist if they think so).

Assuming you have told the therapist all of the above, and that it is possible without your partner talking over you, or you having alone sessions with them, I suggest finding a new one.

I believe it is not within my rights or sphere of knowledge to suggest whether or not to leave or stay with your partner, as you will always know about the situation than any of us, that is in your hands, your decision, from my perspective. I believe you are seeking advice that will enable to better your situation, and quality of life, if not just positively affirm you.
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Re: Is my boyfriend bullying/emotionally abusing me?

Postby Daven » Fri May 03, 2013 4:54 pm

I would like to begin by affirming you with yes it is nightmarish, and unreasonable. My first instinct is whether or not your partner has anger management, stress or control issues, something alike that nature. I can confirm that I'm no good at diagnosis, and that is something for the experts to expand upon, so do not take it from me.

As in my previous post, if the therapist cannot comprehend your side or offer any tangible benefits for your solutions, perhaps it would be better to find one who is more sympathetic to your plight, or at least is willing to work with both of you and not just "I don't see what the problem is" which is absolute nonsense to me from your OP.

My boyfriend constantly gets angry/frustrated with me for things that I think are ridiculous.

I find them ridiculous too, and anger is unwarranted, so you are not alone. Affirmation.

He has gotten mad enough at me to yell at me or just ignore me 10 days out of the last 2 weeks.

That is pretty bad on it's own, ignore you for 10 days is working opposite to the purposes of what a standard relationship is meant for. Affirmation.

I know the things he's mad about aren't reasonable, but I'm not sure if it qualifies as bullying. It sure feels like bullying, but whenever I try to tell him to stop bullying me or being mean for no reason, he says that I'm offending him and then just ignores me for hours or days.

There is a simple definition that I follow to help with people being able to speak out. It qualifies as bullying if you feel it is. Therefore it is bullying. The latter is a sign that he either he is not aware his own behaviour is wrong, or that it is worse than the things he is getting mad about, or that he doesn't care. I tend to go with "unaware", it's impossible to know which and I try to be a positive thinker.

The times when he's not mad, he's really nice and fun to be around. I believe that he really does love me, but he's VERY immature for a 35 year old.

I would generally avoid this area, but as it's already been mentioned, there are people who can be nice and fun to be around that don't have negative excesses. Sorry if this is incorrect, but it sounds like part of you wants to excuse his bad behaviour because of the good side you fell for, it cannot be an excuse, the bad part is not excusable albeit he may need proper help.
Unrelated, I'm also 35 and immature, and not sure if you intended it to be looked at this way, but I believe that none of those things has anything to do with age, they seem personality/mentally based (e.g. he would be the same at 18 or 60). I'm single as well but it doesn't prevent me from having insights and perspectives into relationships.

We live together, so I insisted that we go to counseling because neither of us wanted to break up but we didn't want to keep fighting either.

If I read correctly, the use of we here is potentially a good sign. If he doesn't want to fight with you especially, then it is workable.

Like I said, when he's not mad he's the nicest guy ever, so he has the therapist pretty much fooled.
Sorry, I get that you are making a point about the therapist here, but again I get the impression that the good side of him skews things. People shouldn't be based on nice at all based on individual circumstances. Genocidal tyrants could probably be quite affable sometimes when not committing terrible genocides. Nice people are the ones without excesses at all, otherwise they're just "behaving normal/passive" when they are not "behaving mean". I won't argue this point as it's probably my own individual perspective and everyone has different views on things. It's just how I view it.


- I don't load/unload the dishwasher correctly

Affirmation. Ungrateful. I would be tempted to tell him to do it himself in future (joking, I know what his response would be to you).

- I didn't want to have sex because I had a yeast infection

Affirmation. Sickening for me to hear. "I didn't want to have sex", that is reason enough, you don't need a reason past that, any kind of verification, just simply not wanting to have sex.
Next time he gets his privates slammed in a door or fails to perform, you should complain about the lack of adequate sex (joking again, just giving inverse perspectives. besides he would probably still enjoy the sex..)

- I forgot to use the parking break when I parked his car

Affirmation. Anyone can do that, and you don't need someone ranting at you to make you realise it's a simple common mistake, and in fact, can make you more likely to make mistakes in future due to the constant walking on broken glass feeling that will be distracting you. My personal viewpoint, if he didn't shout at you, you would be less likely to do this in the first place. It's not something for him to get angry about, that is not what partners are for.
Next time he shouts at you, tell him he forgot to use his brain when he opened his mouth (my joke again, don't really do that, just the perspective from your and my end).

- I wanted to eat at a place that was "all the way across town" when he said I could pick wherever I wanted

Affirmation. He spoiled his own sentiment, when instead he could've made you feel more valued. *sad*

- I was cleaning the house while he was trying to relax

Affirmation. Ungrateful, as point 1, even if he was stressed, he should fight his own internal demons. Someone should teach him the meaning of being stoic in that case.

It's just always stupid things like that, and I literally beg him to just let it go, but he never will, and he just gets angrier and angrier. We actually had a discussion about all of our fighting yesterday, and he was treating me civilly, but when I recapped all the things I had "done wrong" yesterday in an attempt to illustrate how lame it sounds when they're all together, his reaction was just to say "Nobody's perfect." I couldn't believe he still thought he was justified in the way he treated me.

As above, he's unaware his own behaviour is wrong, or worse in itself than the examples he is giving for expressing his anger. If the tables were properly turned, you would be the one taking issues with his unreasonable anger outbursts, right?

It's not just the anger either, a lot of the time when we're not even fighting he just says sarcastic or nasty things just to make me feel stupid. When I try to tell him how it made me feel he just denies saying it at all or says I misinterpret everything. He never ever takes responsibility for anything he's done, and he's only apologized a handful of times in the 2 years we've been together. I find myself apologizing constantly in an attempt to get him to be nicer to me, but usually it doesn't work.

Not sure why someone would say things just to put people down, that is a red flag. Denies saying it all, is a big red flag to me! Misinterpret thing, sounds like playing the "you're over-sensitive" or "it's all your fault" cards, red flag. Almost never apologises, huge red flag. Can't comment on the self apology thing, can understand that sentiment though.
The red flags may be indicative of some mental disorder, I cannot diagnose(couldn't even self-diagnose, I'm possibly Schizoid apparently), I tend to swing towards a certain diagnosis first in situations like this but it's too easy to say that particular one, you need an actual properly informed expert. Let's just say all of those things ring bells, if you would like to pm me about it I will suggest the one I steer to but I could be incorrect- ask the experts please.

Whenever I tell him that the way he treats me makes me feel stupid or worthless or just bad, he says that I have problems and that they have nothing to do with him and then I need counseling.
red flag.

But I've never felt like this with anyone else I've dated, and no one has ever treated me like this before, so I'm pretty sure he's the problem and not me.

You sound like you are doubting yourself, experiencing doubt, it is natural in this situation, don't falter, it isn't you.

What do you think????

Affirmation, seek help and advice.


Sorry for the excessively long post, I can be meticulous on an OCD scale.
Dx: Schizoid.
Rx: none.
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