I am a new user to this site, which was actually recommended to me by my live in boyfriend, who is a survivor and has recently, thank goodness, started to take the proper steps and begin healing.
We began a relationship almost four years ago, and it quickly moved ahead, full steam ahead. We met, and within three months had moved in together. We seemed well matched for each other, and well suited. We never argued fiercely or even outright with each other. Things were good, in the beginning. Aren't they always?
At that time, he had just gotten out of a marriage, wasn't even divorced yet. He had only been separated for the last time for a few months, if that. That should've been red flag number one. And it was. I was unsure that he had dealt with the issues from his marriage. There seemed to be alot of anger and resentment there, but I understood that sometimes a person may have already grieved the loss of their marriage and moved on from it before their divorce is actually over.
So then we move in together. One day out of the blue, he calls me up and says, "I'm moving down there! I am on my way, I've packed all my things and I've quit my job, and I am moving in with you!" Ok... things were going really well between us, and I, too, thought living together would be a fine idea. I admittedly loved him at that point, and he had said the same to me. Things were running right along smoothly.. we got along, we had fun, we were comfortable with each other, we had intelligent conversation.
Until they weren't running smoothly. I found out in this process of his history of job jumping. He had never been at a job for more than a few years, if that, at a time. He tried to find a job, and found one in just a few days, but during this time I got to learn and see how many different places he had actually worked. I also learned that he had been in the Navy, and had took a discharge. (Not honorable, nor dishonorable, just that he didn't want to be in the Navy anymore). I also learned that he had began college, and then quit that as well. There were always reasons given that could be explained, and were likely. (i.e. - the Navy was just too hard and too fast paced with job and schooling alike, and was something done in a fit of patriotism.. ok. I can believe that.) The dropping college was because the exwife got transferred for her job and so he couldn't stay and complete the courses. Ok.... I can believe that too.
Again, was a red flag. But I truly believed his reasoning and explanations. Sometimes people make mistakes in life, especially in their younger years.
Then the day came that for some reason, something told me to check his phone. I don't know why, I cannot explain it. Self preservation? Something was off. I couldn't place what it was. So I checked it, and he had been chatting with another woman online, through his phone. I got upset, told him I had a bad dream of him cheating on me, and for a while it stopped. He seemed genuinely concerned for my reaction. I figured he would stop at that time. Hey, I can over look one mistake. I am not perfect myself. Everyone deserves a second chance in life. I can over look one mistake. At least thats what I told myself. At that time it didn't seem a big deal. It wasn't explicit in nature and seemed harmless. Just something "seemed" wrong to me. I chalked it up to my own paranoia and went on.
Things progressed quickly. We ended up buying a home together, a vehicle, got a puppy. He had a job that he liked at a local computer store as their technician. He's very computer savvy, which is great when your PC bugs out on you. I was working as a bartender at a local place, and things were a tad strained due to the fact that he was only working part time at this place, and wouldn't even consider getting a full time job. Being someone who works in a profession not necessarily because the money is good, but because I love the profession myself, I tried to understand. But it got too tight, and I was carrying too much of a load. So, not knowing the ramifications of the behavior, I would gripe and complain at him, telling him he needed to get another job.
During this time he would come to the place where I worked and play on the computer there while I was tending the bar. One day he comes in from his job and asks me if I sent someone up to the local lake to find him, because he thought he saw my nephews car. I said, No? and was completely confused as to why I would send someone to the lake to look for him. I wasn't surprised he was there, he was very much into fishing and would often stop and cast a line in before picking me up from work.
One morning I heard him talking in his sleep. He does this often. Sometimes things can be made out, and sometimes they cannot. This happened to be one of the mornings that I could understand him and he mumbled something about his girlfriend not getting home from work until 7, so they'd have to make sure she was gone before I got home.
I went to work that morning, and decided to do some checking of my own. Sure enough there it was. He was listed on a personal site, and not just any personal site. The same one he met ME through. He had been emailing various women from his account at work, and from the computer while was waiting for me to get off work. I also found out he had met a woman at that local lake the day that he asked if I had sent someone to look for him.
That night I will never forget... As I was screaming and crying, cussing and freaking out, wondering WHY in the WORLD he would ever do anything like this, to me, me of all people, he admitted to me that he had been sexually abused by his sister for most of his young life. From a very young age to a teenager. Then later, he ended up having a sexual encounter with an older woman, then a bisexual experience with an older male, whom I see as abusing him as well. He was a teenager, this was a grown man, who should have known and done better. He saw a vulnerable kid, and he took advantage of him. And that is so wrong. (This information was just divulged to me a few days ago. I knew about the abuse from his sister, but not these other incidents.)
My initial reaction was shock. Then outrage. How could anyone do this to someone? I raised two kids from the ages of 2 and 4, until they were 12 and 14 in a previous marriage who had PTSD from child abuse sustained from their mother. Not sexual in nature, but physical. So I know a little how heart broken people can be. Someone who is the victim of someone else's ire, is never the perpetrator in the situation. Then of course, I had some sympathy for his sister, after all she was young as well when she began abusing him. Children don't know this behavior naturally not at that young of an age, and so therefore, she had to have been abused herself. This was later confirmed to us by their mother.
The down ward spiral had begun. For the last three years of the four of our relationship, I have dealt with his acting out every 3 to 6 months. The longest he's gone between incidents is 8 months. He seems to be drawn to older women, and the behavior has varied. I have caught him multiple times trying to meet up with these women. I have caught him sending intimate pictures of his privates to these women. I have caught him saying and emailing and texting things to these women that he has never once said to me. I've demanded they be deleted, and he usually complies only to reactivate them, or to recontact prior women whom he had these "relationships" with. Over and over, again. The straw that finally broke the camels back was when he had an incident, I busted him on it, and he, this time, acted as if it were everyone elses fault but his. *I* was stressing him out, by bitching and griping at him, and I admittedly was. I am tired of being the one to bear the load. Stress at home and stress at work were his reasons. And he got angry this time. Angry at me for what I do not know, other than just pent up anger that has been there for so long. He then did it again within weeks. Right back to the same old horse, for the same old ride.
And I know the reasoning behind it is not his fault. I know that its a direct reaction to his abuse. I know this. I know its not directed at me. I know its not meant to hurt me. Its an attempt to push me away. But I have bucked the system and held on for this long because the last thing I felt he needed in this world was another person leaving him. He'd suffered so much loss already.
Everytime he does this my heart breaks into a billion pieces.
I don't know why, but everytime he has done this I have found out about it to my knowledge. I can feel the shift in the dynamic of our relationship. I can just... feel it. And I know that sounds insane. But I can always tell. And unfortunately, I am always right.
Three years I have been dealing with this up and down. This emotional roller coaster is so hard to bear. Until recently I have been the only person he had told. I can say that I am glad that recent turn of events have caused him to tell his mother, and he even sent a pretty scathing message to his sister about it. He has alot of anger towards his sister, and I don't really blame him there, but its not healthy. I know he not only blames her for the abuse he sustained, but cannot figure out why she didn't quit, and as a partial result, he sees this as playing a role in the death of his brother, who committed suicide before we met.
This has been going on for years. I don't know how to take anymore of this. I am so tired of being sad. I am happy that he is going to get help and has started the process of healing that he absolutely has to go through. It cannot be held at bay any longer. The human psyche will only take so much stress and so forth before it finally just melts down. I am depressed. Its started to not only affect my emotions and mood, but my stomach and body. I need time to heal. I need time to get ME back. I cannot help him if I am not whole myself. And he is so afraid that I will decide that we shouldn't be together in a relationship capacity, that he wants me to make promises of his return when he gets back, he wants me to promise I won't date anyone else. He wants me to say that everything is going to be ok.
I have been so tempted, just to run away myself. Just to remove myself from the situation all together because I cannot help him with the bigger issues that he needs to have help with, not alone. I have tried my best to be there, to listen, to not judge, just be a sounding board. I am a bartender, its what we do. However, now its become a matter of he is expecting me to deal with my issues, his issues, and our issues, all simultaneously and I just cannot do it. I cannot handle everything at once anymore. Not with this sort of pressure, which is what I feel. I feel like if I say no we need to be friends, but move on, then I am abandoning him.
If I stay I feel like I am abandoning myself.
I am so guilty right now.. so hurt, and empty. I cannot and do not trust him. His actions I know are not excused just because he has suffered abuse. I don't want to cry anymore. I don't want to worry anymore. I don't want the anxiety anymore. And until he gets help I cannot promise him that I will be there. Because I just don't know if I can. Its just as wrong to stay out of guilt and sadness, than it is to leave out of anger.
Thank you so much for having this forum and letting me vent. I know that I have been sucked into the cycle and am being made into a survivor myself. I just need to know what to do? I feel so pressured, so smothered, and so conflicted. Yes I do love him, as I believe that he is a good person who got dealt a really crappy hand in life. I want him to do better, for him. So HE will feel happiness and know what joy is, again.
I want those same things for myself. And right now I see no light at the end of the tunnel.