View Full Version : controlling behaviour to placate parner but with unwanted emotional side effects

04-12-2012, 03:42 AM
Today I think I hate myself
Im useless and pathetic
What on earth could have caused me to feel so utterly pointless and despicable? Isnít is the right of every human being to feel they have worth?
Years of blame and criticism have accumulated with nauseating clarity.
Maybe its all in my head, maybe those words were never uttered but they are in my mind all the same.

I have switched. Black and white modes. Self-centred and free to self-hating and bound. I have started behaving the way I am expected to. I wake up earlier than my body wants me to, I do MY morning chores around the house, I go to work earlier than I am ready for, I work as hard as I can trying to prove I am capable of something, I go home earlier than I want to so that I can appease my partner, cook dinner, do more chores, and not speak out. I canít eat as much as I need because I feel nauseous from the misery. I canít buy myself the foods I need because I donít deserve them. My partner told me because they were too expensive so clearly I donít need them. I donít have the strength right now to fight back.

Since my change in behavior back to restrictive controlled self-pitying obsession, he wants to know what is wrong, but I cant speak, I cannot tell him, Iím afraid of another argument so I say there is nothing wrong. There is nothing wrong, Iím just acting as if I am a good girl and that I consider everyone else (or at least him) above myself because that is what he wants.

Why donít I have the voice to say what I am really thinking?
Why am I so pathetic that I cannot find a middle ground where I can think of others AND myself not just one of the other? Why must considering my partner before myself be so entangled with obsessive behaviors and such depressive moods? It is probably because I am not good enough. Not for him. I can never be what he wants no matter how hard I try, or not, there is always something inadequate about me.

If I could, I would tell him:

I have been considering leaving you for months. I am miserable with you. You do not make me happy any more, and I donít try to make you happy, I just try to avoid you getting angry or nasty towards me. I have at times tried to do what you ask, tried to change to be more how you want me to be, but I always get it wrong, because you do not accept me for who I am. You used to be very caring and considerate and affectionate. I used to look forward to seeing you and enjoy your company, we had fun together and I fell in love with you, but this has dwindles to a huge extent, some days I donít even want you to touch me. Im so scarred by some of the hurtful things you have said to me and accused me of that I find it very difficult to still love you. The horrible words and aggressive tones echo around my head so I cant hear anything else except blame and criticisms even through whatever else you may say later on. Everything has to be earned as far as you are concerned, but should it really be like that?

I recently started horse riding again which is by far the best thing I have done in years. I enjoy it far more than anything else. If I could I would spend all day with horses and never see another human being again. But you manage to spoil it for me; you make me feel guilty for leaving you alone for so long, you make me feel guilty for doing something I enjoy when you are not, and for ruining your WHOLE weekend by riding in a morning / afternoon, you make it awkward for me to organize riding because you disapprove of the lady I ride with. Iím not sure if its just a power thing Ė that you are not taking me there that I get to spend time without you, but talking to other people, because you are happy enough for me to pay and have you drive me to the riding school for a lesson, which requires more effort from you Ė is it so I owe you for driving me there? Rediscovering such a magical and enjoyable hobby has been marred by your constant guilt-trips and negativity. You say that if I get home earlier from work then you wonít mind be going riding as muchÖ.so I am getting home earlier, but cant see any benefit, I mean, I just sit there watching TV with you, or doing chores while you watch TV when I could be working on something I find interesting. If I follow this pattern, giving up my hour or so of private relaxation in the morning before work then the only time I am alone and not at work is half an hour when you go to the golf range. That is not enough. I need more space than that Ė hence now wasting my work time on writing this shit because I need to think it through and get it out of my system. I have worked hard in therapy to reject my inner critical and blaming voices and trying to deflect those from others but with you its relentless and you have worn me down again and again. And it is at this point that I start to think, what is the point. We are both miserable, I cannot make you happy, you do not seem to want to make me happy, I accept that I am a hugely flawed individual, but so are you. I am trying to better myself through therapy, you are unwilling to look at yourself objectively and consider change, and only see everything as criticism. I would like to hear from a relationship counselor their advice. Iíve spoken to my therapist, a couple of friends and family members. They can see how miserable I am and how unhealthy the relationship is and tell me just to leave you. But I havenít, I kept on trying, but there is only so long I can keep trying. Your criticism and blaming is destroying me and undoing the hard work I have been doing. I have told you this, begged you to stop, but all you do is turn it around on me and tell me I donít consider your feelings. Putting the blame on me. So maybe its all my fault, Ok maybe it is, so why donít you leave? If Iím so awful and self-centred a person, why the hell donít you just walk out? Iím not asking you to, I just donít understand. This war has been raging for years, we both keep asking fo the same things, over and over, and never getting them. Now I cant stand to look at my own flat, despite telling me that I am filthy and slobbish and messy, your clothing is sprawled all over the place, your receipts and rubbish, cds, bags, shoes, all sorts of things just all over the floors and tables, but you are too tired to sort through them. Then how come I have the energy to sort through MY things, Why donít I leave my clothes all over the floor, and bags of unsorted miscellanea in the living room? Because I HATE to see that kind of crap just littered around, it makes me feel cluttered and claustrophobic, disordered and miserable. Is it any wonder I donít want to come home early to spend time in such a place?

sorry I needed to vent. please dont just tell me I have to tell him all this, Im not strong enough right now.

04-12-2012, 08:10 AM
considering retracting post.

of course if he catches me on this site he will say that SF make sme act this way, that you guys are all aming me act weird and mental.....but i pnly come here when "live" people cannot help me enough....

04-12-2012, 09:18 AM
oh moose, I wish I could take you away from all that. I am not going to push you write now. No judgements or advice from me, it sounds like you've had more then enough of that. What I will tell you is you are a good person. You deserve to feel good. You are allowed to have fun, alone time, respect and love. You deserve support.

I have always enjoyed your posts. I think you are smart and interesting and determined. Please take gentle care of yourself

04-12-2012, 09:22 AM
I went back and forth with a man Like that for almost three years, and there are moments i miss him so much, because its all I knew but I wish I could have given him your letter because it maybe then he would have seen what a man like him does to women. Only he would have insisted you were probably a pain and it was your fault because men like that never look inside themselves, they find the weaknesses in others and hold us down by exploiting them. My ex made me feel I needed him and I lived for the ten percent that was great. He was inconsistent, blamed me for everything. I eventually blamed myself.

Hopefully you leave him. People like that dont change. They find weak women to date who are desperate to be loved and have no idea that they have to live by his rules to be rewarded with affection and that real love and acceptance is impossible with that man. He wants to receive love, not give it. When you realize ypu deserve to be loved, youll leave. Took me many breakups and reconcilations with the same man, hoping he'd hear me and understand my needs, and see how unfair he was. Now it'll be some other girl who can deal with the pain and misery.

04-12-2012, 09:33 AM
:hugon CLN :hugoff I still cant quite believe i wrote that all down here. thanks for your kind words.

:hugon sflathinker:hugoff Im sure after the previous advieve you have given me you were hoping id already ended this relationship, maybe im just too weak, or stubborn, or i dunno i guess i live in a fantasy word where i expect everything to just work out in the end, everything you write about your ex sounds so familiar yet....it appeals to my self-reproching / restrictive side, that being with him is what i deserve to punish me for getting physically healthier. or something i cant quite put my finger on it. |I just wish i could communicate much of my thoughts without having to say them. he wont read emails / letters / texts as he says we should be able to speak vocally to one another. yes. we should...

04-12-2012, 10:13 AM
I encourage you to go back to a post you wrote last year in June. Ask yourself if anything has changed in your relationship.

Perhaps the key to having a higher self-worth is putting yourself in a situation where you don't fell worthless. You might find that getting out of this relationship is the key to you finding true recovery and believing you deserve it.

04-12-2012, 10:47 AM
You're not weaker than me. I broke up with him a year ago. Then got back together again and again. Nothing changed but me. He convinced me our issues were a result of my ed, my upbringing, my personality, my bluntness, etc. I did therao, meducation, read books. He called me selfish, emasculating, controlling, demanding...you name it. He never took any accountability for an argument, he's very clever. But again, he knows my flaws and played on my weaknesses. Also, he pyshed my buttons and i admit I acted out in frustration. I pray I don't call him in a few months. Nothing changed and nothing will change. I come here and tell people not to remain in a relationship where you feel anxious, angry, sad or confused so often yet I did. I did it because he was attentive when my family wasn't yet he didn't accept me, he punished me for not being what he expected . I tried but eventually I realized and keep reminding myself that being alone is better than living in a prison. That was the ed and I didn't want to live that way again.

04-12-2012, 11:09 AM
nc- that is a very good idea.
having read through
things which have changed:
- he now has a job
- he contributes equally to bills etc
- we eat dinner together most days, more or less when I feel like it.
- washing up is usually done by me the same evening, occaisionally the next morning, occaissionally by him.

so only practical things,

those which are still the same
-being told :
how badly I treat him
how I make excuses and shirk responsibility for everything
that I dont think of us as a couple
I don't hear what he is saying
I don't think about him or what he says
I dont take into consideration his feelings
I dont think about how my actions will make him feel
He shouldn't have to keep explaining and pointing out he same things over and over
I make everything which is for him into a chore
I only make an effort on and off, it needs to be continual
I treat him and his faimly as second-rate but expect him to drop everything for me and my family
I seem to expect him to do everything
I think it's all right for me to feel tired but not him
I don't want to interact wtih him and would rather talk to anyone else
I am STILL not facing up to the reality of my family situation

I still feel unappreciated / disrespected / cowed / criticised / blamed ugh...stupid rose tinting, i forgo how long id been feeling this way...

I guess what would be useful is ideas of how to broach the subject of our mutual unhappiness without causing a severe outburst...how about if I say, we for one final time tell each other what ur needs are and which are not being met, then if after two months we think it is no better, we go to a relationship counseller, and if that doesnt work after **** months then maybe its not going to work and we separate for a few months? even though he has previously said that is not an option, maybe with the choice of all over, or just take a break to think things through and consider priorities, he may change his mind but i doubt it.... does that seem to prescribed / too leenient? or proactive and reasonable? Im absolutely sh*tting myself about saying anything after three days of saying nothing is wrong. what is wrong is that my personality has flicked a switch back to the old version, like going backwards into deep obsessive self-neglecting behaviour and genuine depression. IT was very sudden. I agree thats got to be difficult for him to deal with, but I am so scared of telling him why i am acting like this - because i will be told its all excuses....and I dont want any MORE blame put on me right now.

04-13-2012, 05:50 AM
any help with the latter questions? anyone?

of couse I was confronted with 'whats the matter, dont you love me any more....'
which received silence, stop being stupid, and wshen pushed as to why i wasnt answering, said of course i still love him...well thats not untrue....im just not sure its the kind of love he wants or deserves....

anyway he was sick last night so no chance for meaningly discussion but hes been way more considerate and gentle with me these few das where i have been acting oddly

04-13-2012, 06:23 AM
Haven't you guys already have this conversation? Maybe I'm wrong, but couples who ultimately marry didn't experience such rocky relationships BEFORE they decided to marry, this is what my friends, even strangers, advised me when I was stuck in my cycle. That if a relationship is so hard and the problems aren't getting solved...that maybe it's just not the right relationship. No matter how much you love each other. You deserve to be heard, and he deserves to get what he thinks he wants. If those aren't possible in this relationship then one of you, or both of you, will be unhappy. Life WILL NEVER BE EASIER THAN IT IS RIGHT NOW. You have no kids, no mortgage, etc. If you guys aren't happy now, what happens when the shit hits the fan? Who is going to have your back? He doesn't sound like an emotionally solid partner and that was what I started realizing. I had so much fun with my ex. And when everything was good, then we were great. But through in problems and we were a mess. My fault, his fault...but the result was a messy relationship and ten years from now, when there might be REAL problems, I didn't think he would be my rock. And I'm sure he didn't think I would be his. How many times do you try again? You can continue this cycle but I'm pretty sure if you look at your posts from a year ago, you were saying the exact same thing. What do you want to be posting about next year? How do you think you can get there? You only have control over you, you can't change him.

04-13-2012, 06:33 AM
i never want to marry him, or anyone else infact. I also never want children.

we ish had the conversation lasy year, but nothing really improved long-term.

errr i have a mortgage but luckily its only in my name. When i have been a total psychological mess he has put up with a lot and been supportive despite the bubbling anger / frustration. He has never not been there when i need support after friends / family have hurt me etc....
I wish things had changed more,
next year i want to be posting about being fully recovered, happy and healthy. the question is - can i get there if I stay with him? or indeed can I get there on my own?
perhaps this is totally the wrong place to be looking for advice. I just dont know what to do next, if it wasnt for those old posts and my brother tellingm e weve already had these conversatinos before, i woulnd tbelieve that I have accpeted feeling so inferior and so negative for so long...but I still dont know if I would feel the same way with ANYONE not just him..

Im such a coward. I cant tell him how Ive been feeling. because im afraid of what will happen. I want someone else to deliver the words for me, hence thinking about asking for relationship counselling. How. incredibly. pathetic.

tell me sflathinker - why do you keep going back to that man? really?

04-13-2012, 06:58 AM
you don't need advice, you already have all the answers inside of you. Why do I go back to him...because we are very intense together. And no one has ever made me feel loved the way he did. Perhaps I love the drama, I don't know. But sometimes I have to admit...I don't respect him and I don't particularly like him. But he didn't leave me and he is very attentive. There are times I think he will change, esp after we have a conversation (I'm not one to hold things inside). Why did I stay the first year...because I thought the problems were my fault due to the ED and the second year because of recovery. But now...it's not me and I have run out of excuses which means I can't go back...unless he changes and I'm not holding my breath, so I'm already out there dating. He is stuck in his ways and those ways make me feel like I'm not an equal which make me act out. I go back because I'm scared of having to start over. Hell, I'm scared I'll never feel that passion again and never getting the chance to start over! But.....as most of my friends said, today is what tomorrow will be.

Talk to him. He is your partner, your best friend. If you can't talk to him, then he isn't right you, plain and simple.

04-13-2012, 07:49 AM
yes I suppose you are right.

It is no use being too scared to talk to him, and if he explodes at least I can say - this is WHY I sometimes clam up...It was inappropriate to post here again, I am sorry, but thankyou for continuing to reply even though you have to say the same things over and over. I will try and deal with this in real life, not in some fantasy / cyber world.

04-13-2012, 08:36 AM
Dont ever apologize. I can't believe I still talk about it and people listen. Sometimes I'm sick of listening to myself but it helps. You'll know what to do when you're ready because you'll do it, whether its a conversation, an ultimatum or a final decision. You only live once. Be you and be around people who accept you.

04-13-2012, 09:44 AM
I think you know what you want I think you are just too afraid to say it. The longer it takes the harder it will be.

There does not have to be a bad guy in this, it just sounds like the two of you have grown apart and are trying to pretend small changes, like when the dishes are done, will make basic changes in the relationship.

I understand this is hard and I am sure there would be some relief if you felt he was on the same page. But to continue to take care of his feelings at the expense of your well being will only lead to your demise.

04-13-2012, 11:10 AM
thank you all for your patience. I'll try and talk to him this weekend. I am deeply sad. and terrified. and tremendously lonely. but again. thank you.

Liv Kaymak
04-13-2012, 12:22 PM

These are just my two cents. I am sorry that youo are in this much pain and misery. A truly loving and healthy relationship shouldn't not be this difficult and problematic. Just something that came to my mind when I read your posts and everyone elses responses; its seems like your bf is maybe avoiding having a a real conversation with you. He seems kind of manipulative. If he knows you well, he must know that you struggle with being open and assertative and talking things out. So why wound't he be sympathetic enough to read a letter if you wrote him one? Or that he seems to dodge letting a 'real' conversation happen: by being sick, tired, too busy; there is a whole litany of excuses. Its like he is purposefully or maybe subconsciously avoiding or making it difficult for you really talk to him in an open and honest manner. Maybe he knows that if you really did confront him with these problems that he really has to make a change and deal with his share of the responsibility in your relationship (instead of always blaming you...)

I think, mooseprincess, you going to have to really strong and assertative and sit him down, and be like: we have to talk, and say all of these concerns, if you want to try to save your relationship. You can tell him, even if he doesn't believe in couples therapy, it might be the only way to save the relationship if its that important to him...It may be easier for you to try to be this open and assertiveness, by writing everything down (or printing off what you have here on SF), and when you are talking to him, have the list of your thoughts with you, so you don't get lost or lose your confidence..

Please take care. And I hope this didn't come off harsh. I mean all of this in a gentle way for you to assert yourself. You do DESERVE to have a healthy and well-rounded life. Everyone deserves this.

04-14-2012, 05:56 AM
Thanks liv
Thanks fir your reply. Of douse it does not cone across as harsh.
I tried to voice my concerns last night, said I think we need couples counselling, he said I wasblowing everything out of proportion because I wasn't brought up in a family where adults faught, that essentially my expectations are unrealistic.
Of course the initial response wad to say that he should go out fir a but because he was obviously the problem, then I explained I was nit blaming him, we have problems and they are nit getting any better. We will spend the weekend trying to communicate our needs and concerns, if after two or three months things are not improved then we find out about counselling though he is deeply unhappy at such a prospect.
Nit sure it's appropriate to write this here, but I cant really talk to anyone else about thus :(

04-14-2012, 03:14 PM
So. Today we spent about three hours actually talking to one another about this stuff. He threatened to go off in a mood twice but I calmed him down and kept him talking rather than bottling it up. He says he's been trying to talk to me fir ages but I just clam up. I was as honest, open, calm and considerate as I could be. I listened for nearly two hours about what I need to do to make home happy before I said, ok I get it, but why haven't you asked how I feel? Or what I need? And then in a fragmented and inelegant manner voice as many concerns as I could think of, at which point I sorely wished I had followed the advice to write things down first.
I asked him if nothing changes how long before he walks out - he doesn't know, what about me? I told him if nothing changes I don't think we will be together in a years time.
This took so much courage. My first answer was I don't know but I did know and was being a coward.
I agai said if in xmonths it is not significantly better we ring for couples counselling and he balked...he doesn't want a time limit, but I will honour that limit.
Instead of sulking, instead of taking all the blame upon myself, instead of retreating into bubbling obsessive / potential ed thoughts, do you know what I did?
I washed my hair, put on a short red dress and heels, did my makeup , and we went out for dinner together for the first time in....over a year? We agreed on a japanese place I was comfortable with, and when we got there daw a new Latin place opened up next door.
We went there instead.
You know why?
Because familiarity isn't always the best place to be , and now is a time for ignoring fears, and trying something new

Ps it was delicious, and now im stuffed but at least I will make my cal target!
Pps we had fun. We chatted over dinner. It was just. Pleasant. What a relief!

04-14-2012, 09:39 PM
I am glad you stood up for yourself and you two were able to discuss some things. Keep communication open and don't be afraid to make the best decisions for YOu.

Liv Kaymak
04-15-2012, 04:06 PM
I am happy that you were able to talk your bf Mooseprincess. That is really brave and assertive of you. Good job on trying to express yourself!!! I do think your bf makes it difficult for you to fully communicate to him, by getting angry, defensive, upset, constantly criticizing you and telling you what you do wrong (listening to two hours of criticizing is A LOT!) ...even though he claims that he wants you to talk to him..However, I am glad you were able to stand your ground and say the things you needed to say. I am sure it could not have been easy. I hope you can keep working on this, because with practice, it will get easier to talk things out and you will be come more articulate. It takes time and practice.

"I asked him if nothing changes how long before he walks out - he doesn't know, what about me? I told him if nothing changes I don't think we will be together in a years time.
This took so much courage. My first answer was I don't know but I did know and was being a coward."

I think it is important that you told him this. It was very courageous of you! And its true. If nothing changes, it will not be good for you to still stay in this relationship. I hope that you will hold true the the two-three months rule you gave.

On a positive note, going to dinner with your bf, dressing up, trying new things, all seem like a positive direction to take! I hope that you can both continue in this way!! However, if by the two-three month deadline the necessary changes don't happen. Don't feel guilty or gloss over the all of the negatives, and focus on only the few good times---hold him accountable and demand for change & therapy or a break-up. You deserve to have a happy and fulfilling relationship.


04-16-2012, 02:44 PM
Aww thanks rothie and liv,
I realise now that I'm not willing to sacrifice my sense of self, or values regardless of the argsment against them sometimes. It must be possible to live being true to yourself while also trying to make small changes to make other people's lives easier.
I guess I'm still searching for the grey between the thick black and white lines I draw fir myself. If things have to end I dint want to always wonder what if of tried harder, either I am accepted and can provide the necessary support/ love or I cannot. Only the will tell.
I am glad that I took the time to post here, it means I can remember how rings are right now, and holds me accountable tor how I handle the coming months