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Is this emotional manipulation/abuse, or am I too sensitive?

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Is this emotional manipulation/abuse, or am I too sensitive?

Postby mariemarie » Wed May 29, 2019 9:51 pm

Hello,

I will try to keep this short. I need help figuring out if I am being emotionally manipulated/abused by my boyfriend of 3 years. I feel like he is and I tell him that, but he says I am taking it personally and making it about me, overreacting and sensitive, and he is just venting/has anxiety.

I told him there was a difference between venting on someone and venting to someone. I feel that he makes me the bad guy. I have a hard time recalling what exactly was said after the fact. I shut down and feel depressed, hurt, and guilty. Recall becomes difficult.

Here is a typical example: today we were on the phone. He was venting about his living situation and the landlords being hard to deal with. I had no issue with this. Then I told him I had to get off the phone, it was 5 minutes before work. He asked "why do you need to get off the phone right now?" He then questioned me about exactly why I had to hang up so fast. So I had to defend myself until he decided "it's just weird". His tone was very suspicious that I just wanted to get off the phone. So I said goodbye, love you, and then before I hung up I gave an exasperated sigh (which he was not supposed to hear).

He calls me back to ask why I did that, very upset. Then he sighs back into the phone as loud as he can and hangs up. I call him back and told him that was unnecessary. Then he said I was too sensitive and he can never vent to me about anything. I explain to him that I felt he turned on me when he started getting angry with me for having to hang up the phone. Then he starts yelling. He says, "Why did you call back? Just to be a bitch about it then?" I then said, "I will call you tomorrow".
Then he sends me a video saying that "Tomorrow? No, the weekend maybe. I can't handle your crazy. Whenever you need to vent I listen. When I do, you won't let me talk."

We get into fights like this often. He says or does something angry towards me, and doesn't seem to realize he does it. Then he says it's not about me, it's his bad day or his anxiety/panic issues. However, I constantly feel targeted by his temper. I stand up for myself and tell him I did not like the way he talked to me. I can't just pretend it didn't happen. After our calls like that, I am left feeling drained and hurt, and really guilty.

I do listen to him, until it gets to be too much and he starts getting angry at me. Anyway, this is one of many examples. He deals with anxiety issues and lashes out a lot because of it, and gets mad if I can't handle it or if I feel targeted. He also blames me that I can't help him with his anxiety like he helps me with mine. But I don't yell or be aggressive towards him when I have anxiety. That's the difference I try to explain. Then he says, "That's just how my anxiety is. it's not about you. I can't control it."

Please tell me honestly what you think and if I am being too sensitive. I know relationships are two way streets. Maybe there is something I'm missing here. I've never been with someone who seemed totally unaware of how they treat me. It makes me second guess myself. Also, he does have serious panic issues and for that I am trying to be understanding and help him through it. But, uncontrollable as it is, is panic an excuse for being aggressive towards someone?
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Re: Is this emotional manipulation/abuse, or am I too sensitive?

Postby Terry E. » Fri May 31, 2019 4:09 am

Abuse these days coves everything from violent rape to not being emotionally supportive (I was never hugged enough as a child or made to feel loved). So there is this huge great area which I think you are in.

What I want to ask you though is this a one way street relationship. I know you said he is supporting you with your anxiety, but from reading this I wonder if he can be really helping. Is this one step forward two steps back.

You sound very loyal and dependable but we all have limits to how much "stress" ( which is what his venting is) we can handle.

There is very little here so giving you life, relationship advice is hard, but have a think about this and how you will be going forward.

and yes my wife has anxiety - and she relies on me a lot, though would never admit it, but she does not criticize or devalue me when she it is running on ..
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Re: Is this emotional manipulation/abuse, or am I too sensitive?

Postby mariemarie » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:21 pm

Thank you very much for your input. It gives me a lot to think about. You bring up a great point that whether it's abuse or not may not be important as whether or not the relationship is overall serving me. You are right- it does seem more steps backward than forward.
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Re: Is this emotional manipulation/abuse, or am I too sensitive?

Postby quietgirl2538 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:09 pm

Please tell me honestly what you think and if I am being too sensitive.


You're not being too sensitive. It's a normal reaction you are having. I think he's not such a nice person, anxiety or not. He's just not a person I want to be around. People seem to take others who love them for granted. And for different reasons, they justify their bad treatment of them, but in the end, it's what type of person they can be towards you, which is thoughtless and manipulating, and also you can't change them or their thinking. It's not fair to you. That's what I honestly think.
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