3rd February 2022 at 1:54 pm #138230Bluetac1Participant
I am in desperate need of some advice.
My partner and I have been together for a long time, most of the time the relationship has been good but my partner can be controlling and manipulative at times. Whenever something would come up we would address it and move on and I thought we were working in the right direction.
(Detail removed by moderator) I noticed changes in his behaviour. He was going through my phone – reading every text, (detail removed by moderator) message that I had sent and received. I have nothing to hide so I’ll be honest and say it didn’t bother me.
Things slowly got worse, if I didn’t reply to messages he would ring/text again & he would regularly check my location using find my friends. He didn’t like me seeing/talking to my friends and would criticise what I wore.
Throughout the year his behaviour starting getting more erratic, he would get into moods where his behaviour was just unexplainable. He would(detail removed by moderator) refuse to give them back, he would keep lights on at night so I couldn’t sleep, he would call me every name under the sun, his posture and way he spoke was how you would act when drunk (he wasn’t) but the next day he would act completely normal and like nothing had happened. This went on for months before I realised it was emotional abuse after going to see a therapist to understand why I felt so crazy.
After I confronted him, he broke down and admitted he has been struggling with mental health issues and didn’t know how to cope with how he was feeling. He went to the Drs and was diagnosed with a mental breakdown/depression. He has been on medication (detail removed by moderator) and things are no different. He is still verbally nasty and expects me to just forget everything he has been doing as it’s part of his mental breakdown. Since his diagnosis I have found out numerous things that make me question our entire relationship, he has broken my trust more times than I can count now and I will never forgive him for some of the things he has said and done.
I feel like I am going crazy, I have done so much reading in depression and mental breakdowns but none of it matches the way my partner is behaving.I am worried this behaviour has been there all this time and the mental health issues have just magnified it.
I feel so guilty for considering leaving my partner when he is suffering from mental health issues but after his actions I don’t love him the same way anymore and I don’t see myself ever trusting him again.
Does anyone have any experience of partners mental illness causing emotionally abusive behaviour?
3rd February 2022 at 3:16 pm #138235SunflowersunshineParticipant
Hi Bluetac1, I don’t have a specific answer to your question. I’m really sorry that you’re experiencing that. It’s not okay. A relationship where you are left feeling crazy, uncertain and the general feeling that something is off is normally a red flag.
I earnestly can see the view that a current mental health struggle might have amplified your partners reactions. That does not make it right for you to be on the receiving end of that. Especially if he has gone to professional help, then he make need more focused assistance with coping mechanisms and how to handle his own emotions and moods.
Something like that never justifies abuse. Nothing ever justifies abuse. Nothing also makes the abuse less abusive. What you are feeling is valid, and your worry and concern for your partner even when you’re being treated in such a manner shows your true character. You are not wrong for feeling like you do not want to stay. I hope this helps even a little.
3rd February 2022 at 3:51 pm #138238searchingforhopeParticipant
I very much get what you are saying. I only started realising emotional abuse was present almost (detail removed by moderator). I’m aware depression had been an issue for a good number of years. I guess I took on extra to make allowances for that and bear the weight of more to make things easier for him.
I like you do not trust my husband anymore and for many reasons that he simply either doesn’t understand or won’t admit fault to. he is never wrong. I’ve attempted to end it a few times and he has come back to me saying that he loves me and wants to make it work and put the past behind us and just look forward. But I don’t think it is as easy as that. He has completely denied me my feelings on more than one occasion and has on a number of occasions looked for justification for my feelings over a number of incidents.
My husband is on higher does medication now for months and getting counselling / psychiatric help, but the lack of support in his actions towards me hasn’t changed. Just keeps questioning why I would want to end our marriage when he thinks it really could work.
I really don’t think it can anymore, for reasons similar to you. Trust is gone and things that are too difficult to forget.
Like you I feel crazy and doubt myself quite often. It is so exhausting and so draining. I simply can’t live like that forever. It’s horrendous that they can make us feel like this.
Sunflowersunshine is 100% correct there are no excuses to make someone else feel like that and he can’t use depression as the scapegoat.
listen to your gut.
I’m finding new strength lately I feel I had lost. You will too. Do what is right for you. You deserve to be happy. You do not have to accept that or deserve that treatment, you deserve far better.
Take care and be strong.
4th February 2022 at 12:15 am #138280PinkvelvetParticipant
This was my exact relationship too. He had depression, diagnosed by a doctor, and went onto medication. I felt really guilty too, feeling that I needed to stay by his side and help him through it, and he couldn’t be blamed because he couldn’t help it. He was the sufferer and the victim.
The problem is that many, many people suffer from depression and other mental health disorders. They do not abuse like this. My friend who has had depression in the past for long periods of time said she would sometimes get angry and irritable, but it’s more of an inward reflection rather than an outward verbal assault on someone else.
It’s very difficult because we are not in their shoes. We’re in our shoes. Do I think abusers should get help? Absolutely. But it cannot be through us. They need to address what’s really going on inside and find those root causes, and to do that they have to accept and admit that they’ve been abusive in the first place. Part of me believes that my ex had depression because he realised what he was doing, and felt horrendous about his actions. That’s just a theory, I also thought maybe he has BPD, but at the end of the day all we’re really doing analysing all this is looking for excuses for them. The ‘ah ha’ moment that means they’re not really just nasty people. We can’t comprehend why someone would act that way, so we look for reasons to rationalise it, and soothe the pain. More reasons to stay and help.
I’ve been in your shoes and it’s awful. I could feel a shift in my brain happening and I felt like I was going insane, and the depression hit me hard. Constant crying, anxiety and panic attacks, not wanting to leave the bed. That all happened because of him.
In his moments of what I think were clarity, he basically told me to leave (detail removed by moderator). You have to ask yourself, if you were conscious you were doing this to a person you truly loved, would you want them to stay? Knowing how awfully you’re treating them?
I’m not a person who puts themselves first. The lengths I went to to keep his head above water only to be emotionally beaten up afterwards were painful, but I couldn’t stand the pain on his behalf too. It’s a gut wrenching thing, loving someone who doesn’t treat you right.
But you have got to save yourself. You cannot save him. You cannot ‘make’ him happy, and you cannot control how he treats you. But you can control how you treat yourself and others, and knowing you’ve given it your all, if it’s not working, if it’s not changing now, it never will. Time to pay attention to your own health, and give some of that love back to yourself.
It’s not you. And it’s tough to accept that you can’t save him from his depression or his abusive tendencies. And the one I’ve really struggled to accept – maybe this is just who he is, masked with excuses. Maybe he doesn’t want to change or be saved.
Post-relationship, knowing that I was suffering from mental health problems (due to our relationship), you know what he told me? (detail removed by moderator).
Final straw that. My empathy now is minimal. I helped him more times than I can count, terrified for his well-being, and he couldn’t care less about mine.
Put your need to help him to one side, and help yourself. Don’t forget about your own mental health and do what I did and neglect my body and my mind and sacrifice myself for someone else, who thinks I deserve it for only ever being a kind human being. You’ll thank yourself later x
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