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Killing Myself In His Kitchen

Question:

my boyfriend of 15 months thinks I’m a compulsive liar. i lied to him at the beginning of our relationship about things i had done with previous partners therefore he doesn’t trust me. i exaggerated things because i was sexually abused as a child for a long time and have absolute zero self esteem so i felt like i had to lie to get anyone to like me, i came clean about 3 months into the relationship but now its stretched to him not thinking he’s big enough. i reassure him but he wont let me near him. its really screwing us up and i really don’t know what to do anymore, he’s the love of my life and i can feel him slipping away. he gets abusive when he brings it up, shouts screams and swears at me. he’s made me feel so bad before about it that I’ve tried to kill myself in his kitchen. i know its my fault but i really cant see any way we, or i can get through this. please help me

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Answer:

You seem to think that the problem with this relationship is that you’ve lied to your boyfriend and that action has devastated him, causing him to become abusive. I see it differently. I see an abusive boyfriend, and an insecure girlfriend who is trying to come to grips with her difficult past. You lying to him wasn’t the right thing to do, but it was maybe in the realm of honest mistakes. When you’re insecure, it seems like you have to pump yourself up to make yourself acceptable. Most people have felt that motivation at one point or another in their lives and will be able to empathize. That you came clean is to your credit. What should have happened is that he got upset, and then came around again and you two became closer. You confided the truth to him after a period of getting to know him – at some level this is normal. Some people don’t lie at first, but most everyone holds back truths for a while when entering into a new relationship until they feel trusting in their new partner. What has happened instead is that instead of being able to empathize with your difficulty, and maybe having a trust setback with you (which would be normal) he is having a trust crisis with you, and he is being abusive with you. None of this speaks very well for his own mental health. I suspect you are not the only ‘abuse’ survivor here.

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p> The pressing question to ask yourself is why are you hanging around with someone who is being abusive to you? I know you love him and all but really – love is not enough. You maybe cannot control how you feel, but you shouldn’t let that control your behavior. It is not good for your health or safety or mental state to be in a relationship with someone who is so angry with you that you are decompensating and becoming suicidal in the face of it. You need to set limits as to what you can put up with. You have worth even if you don’t believe it! You do not deserve to be treated in this way! The thing is – only you can set protective limits and only you can enforce them.

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p> Here is a limit to set. If and when your boyfriend becomes abusive again, you need to tell him something like, “I want to talk about it if it will help talking about it, but I don’t want to be abused – I don’t deserve to be abused”. If he persists you need to leave, at least temporarily. If he continues to persist in being abusive, you need to leave him permanently. It is self-destructive to allow yourself to be in helpless love with an abusive man. Don’t be self-destructive.

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    I think the author's declaration of an attempted suicide should have been addressed more thoroughly in the response. The title of the post speaks for itself. I also don't think it's wise to advise she should leave her abusive boyfriend if he persists "at least temporarily. If he continues to persist in being abusive, you need to leave him permanently." He has already shown enough serious signs of abuse to merit her leaving him permanently NOW and the victim does not need to wait to see if he persists to validate leaving him.

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