January 12, 2011

Is this abuse, or just bad behavior?

Snippets from my relationship:

*After not being reachable by cell phone for a couple of hours, she's super angry at me and says she doesn't like "changes in my behavior"

*I hit it off with one of her male friends and she snidely asked me, "So, what, are you going to switch back to boys now?"

*While we were on the phone, I emailed her a link to a beautiful lesbian engagement photo shoot in Seattle. So she got PISSED and said that I was lying to her because she doesn't like it when I'm on the computer while we're on the phone.  I woke to text messages saying that I’m a liar, and that she trusted me and how now she doesn’t believe anything I say because I was "sneaking around on the computer." Followed by an email spanking.  A small excerpt: 

"I am so upset for so many reasons.  If you wanted to be on the computer then just tell me.  The kicker is you actually sucked me in and said that you wanted to get the computer out of the way before you called me.  Then, without telling me, you were back on the internet.  Then you tried to minimize it, to tell me it was only to send me a link.  Your actions felt deliberate and misleading.  It would have been so simple for you to tell me first that you wanted to go send me something on the internet.  I can then choose to wait or not.  It gives me some autonomy, some control of the situation.  The only thing I want to be powerless about is things that don’t involve me or implicate me."

*I became Facebook friends with a woman (exactly same situation as me: 34, married for ten years, now is gay...divorcing) who lives across the country and she was convinced that I am going to fly there to sleep with this woman.

*She was upset that I was hanging out with a female friend (also gay) not because I was hanging out but because I didn't "tell her in advance."

*We went to a concert in a bar, it wasn't really my thing and I didn't really enjoy myself.  On the way home, she berated me for about twenty minutes, saying that I ruined her good time and I was a liar for not saying that I wanted to leave.

*I received flowers from another woman (totally unsolicited on my part.)  Girlfriend broke up with me.  By email.  At night.

Tell me, am I going crazy?


  1. In my own situation with someone who hooked me in to a game of emotional manipulation, when I finally woke up to it, I started looking back and saw definite patterns of behavior and reactions. One specifically was similar to the email situation you had. In her email she says she wants "some control of the situation" which is interesting because her actions are attempting to do just that, control you. It's interesting how whenever I would bring up the factual, objective issue, such as "you said you would do X and never did it, and this happened X number of times exactly the same way, so how can I trust that you will do X this time when you say you will?" that total question was left absolutely untouched and instead I was diverted with some other comment regarding them and how I somehow was either wrong for asking the question or it was in some subtle way not their fault and even perhaps my fault. I could go on... important thing to know, you're not alone and neither is ANYONE else out there who reads this and recognizes having been a victim of it. And it IS victimization, but you don't have to act like a victim. Just get out and move on, it truly is that simple once you make the decision. You don't OWE the manipulator anything.

  2. Yeah, at the very least it's controlling and manipulative and I would be very concerned about things getting worse if you were to continue on with her. I'm sorry though. :(

  3. This is the kind of drama that is keeping me from joining the lesbian life and staying in my married-to-best-friend after realizing i am a lesbian. Wouldn't being single be better?

  4. I would get out. It's hard for me to read this because I behaved like that in my first relationship. I spent our whole relationship trying to push her away so she couldn't surprise me by leaving. I thought it was abusive, but still couldn't control my insecurities; my now-ex didn't see it as abuse, but it still wasn't fair for her. My mom has borderline, my family is really unstable, and I felt really unsafe in a loving, stable relationship, so I acted out. Thankfully, my ex studied counseling, we're still good friends, she is able to slowly convince me that relationships can be safe, and I think I'll be a better partner in my next relationship. But it is NO ONE else's job to fix me, and I know that; I'm keeping myself out of relationships until I deal with my issues because I don't want to subject anyone else to my issues until they're firmly under control.

    I don't know what I am trying to say. Maybe that there are probably good reasons why your GF is insecure and manipulative, but that doesn't make it OK or mean you have to put up with it. In my experience, it takes years to work through all that stuff, and she has to acknowledge it and do the work herself. I have insight into my thoughts and behaviors, so I've been able to make amends and stay friends with my ex; my mother, with full-on BPD, has NO recognition of her abusive behavior, and I had to end that relationship so I could learn new ways of relating.

  5. I would just leave it at that and don't take her back even if she begs you. You don't have to take this kind of drama from anyone, and from what I see she's emotionally abusive.

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  7. I agree with all, she seems extremely emotionally abusive, do you really want that kind of person around you or your kids? :/

  8. These are all red flags and are very real. At the VERY least a serious sit down needs to occur with immediate and long lasting changes (and watch for more subtle manipulations) but I would be more inclined to end the relationship. If the relationship is so young and this behavior is already showing up I'm afraid there's a long ugly road in front of you if you stay.

    A good way to gain perspective is to remove yourself and your girlfriend from the equation and read over what you just wrote as if your best friend told you their SO did those things/ said those things. Would you justify it or get worried for their emotional safety? Now, YOU should be more important to yourself than even your very best friend. You didn't leave your relationship with your husband to be abused, you left to be true to yourself, to be empowered, to really LIVE. Don't sell yourself short!

  9. Emotional abuse... wow. I have become a freakin' expert in this department. I was in a beautiful, loving relationship for 3 and a half years - then it all began. I stayed for a year after to see if I could help 'fix' the problem, but then realized after a lot of therapy that there is absolutely nothing I could do (I'm a fixer of all things, so this defeat has weighed so heavily on me).
    I started seeing signs of issue when I was offered my current position. I was working a lot, emailing on my phone, checking in at the office --- all things that I should have left at the office, but I was trying to do my very best in my new career. However, she was jealous from the beginning. Hated the fact that I was making new friends at work and worse yet... one of my employees was a lesbian! The jealousy grew more intense and thus the drama began. Since she felt like I was cheating on her - she decided to actually seek out people and 'friendships' so I would get jealous too. After six months of this shit... I started looking in to her symptoms. She was drinking ALL the time, staying out late, not sleeping, low appetite, very irritable and constantly trying to fight with me. Long story short... she's Bipolar. My new job and the changes in our lives had sparked her disorder and it was in full swing. I spent time trying to help her, get her into counseling, etc... but all my efforts were in vein. I can't give you advice because I don't listen to people when they offer it to me... I am not rude about it, but I just don't take it in like I should. But what I can say is that when people have a mental illness the person who suffers the most is the one that loves them unconditionally. Your life becomes about how to say just the right thing so it doesn't trigger their issues - instead of actually living, loving and enjoying your life together as a couple. You become a caretaker and it's unfair. I tip my hat off to those people who actually stay to see it through, but for me - I couldn't do it. It was killing my spirit. Don't let it kill yours...