Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Am I the toxic one?

Home Forums Advice & Chat Am I the toxic one?

  • This topic has 13 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 11 months ago by Redgirl.
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  • #1091447 Reply

    I’m glad to read that you broke up with him and that you trusted your intuition/gut/instincts. Your last paragraph (not telling others, etc) shows ways a person gets sucked into an abusive relationship. You might feel more in touch with and grateful to your own instincts after reading Lundy Barton’s Why Does He Do That (inside the minds of angry, controlling men). I wish you all peace and blessings!

    #1091792 Reply

    LW, I agree with everyone else here. Your experiences sound so much like my own and I deeply regret all the years I wasted not trusting my own instincts, so I really feel for you. I’m glad you broke up with this guy and I urge you not to have any more contact with him and definitely don’t get back together with him (I suspect he will try).

    Some things you wrote really concerned me. First, him saying, “I don’t understand why you need alone time while I want to spend more time with you.” This sounds so much like my ex, who dismissed all my feelings and needs my claiming to “not understand” them and thus refusing to accept them until I had explained them to his satisfaction (spoiler: I could never explain them to his satisfaction–he just made me try over and over, arguing with everything I said, twisting my words until I was so confused that he’d find some tiny little inconsistency and accuse me of “lying.”)

    The fact that he was moving too fast for you emotionally and physically is a classic sign of an abuser. So is not liking your friends and monopolizing all of your time. Both of those are ways to isolate you from your support system. Your own reluctance to share your worries with your friends and family, for fear of making your boyfriend look bad, is one of the things that helps to keep people trapped in abusive relationships.

    Him telling you that you are giving him “trust issues” is another huge red flag. Yes, lying is bad, but it’s not dishonest to change your mind or be uncertain about things. Also, if you are honest about your feelings and your partner consistently dismisses your needs or gives you a guilt trip for your emotions, it’s pretty natural to just give up and start saying whatever he wants to hear to avoid the fallout. YOU should be able to trust that your partner will listen to and respect your feelings, even when they are uncomfortable for him.

    I wanted to point those things out so you can be aware of them in the future. It took me a very, very long time to learn to trust my own instincts and stand up for myself. I wish I’d had forums like this one when I started my marriage— it might have saved me years of grief.

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