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Dear Wendy

not sure if gaslit. engagement argument; 29f, 5+ years with 33m

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice not sure if gaslit. engagement argument; 29f, 5+ years with 33m

This topic contains 112 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by avatar TB2015 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 61 through 72 (of 113 total)
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  • #837701 Reply
    Miss MJ

    Absolutely no woman on this thread would stay with a man who treated them this way. And you deserve a man who won’t treat you this way. Break up with him, get back into therapy and rebuild your self-esteem. You know this is wrong. You’re right. It is wrong. Everyone on this forum has told you this is unacceptable and you should break up. You don’t need our justification, but you got it. You’re being gaslit. You’re being emotionally abused. Leave and do so ASAP and ignore any effort he makes to dissuade you from doing so.

    #837702 Reply

    Has one single person online said to you, this doesn’t sound that bad, I bet it’s just your OCD, do what he suggests because these are good ideas, and in 3 years he’ll propose? One person?

    #837704 Reply

    Ew, what an utter dickhead. He needs to be flung into the sun.

    #837705 Reply

    He is evil. He is also selfish, manipulative, and bullying you into being is maid. This is beyond awful and you should have left him long ago. How can you re-read that journal and do anything other than leave ASAP.

    #837706 Reply

    It IS beyond hilarious that this thread wasn’t initially started as MYBOYFREINDISAWFULANDHOWDOILEAVE??quandrey but rather an AMIWRONGTOPUSHFORMARRIAGE seeking advice.

    #837713 Reply

    You are being emotionally abused. Please get the help you need to find to the strength to leave. Call 1-800-799-SAFE or visit

    #837714 Reply

    Hold up. Did he smear peanut butter on your books?! I have to know.

    #837720 Reply

    Coming out of many years of lurkdom (though I’ve been with Wendy since her Frisky days), as I’ve been through a similar situation to LW and hope my feedback will be helpful. I’m going to break down my response into a simple list. Hope this helps.

    1) Move out. ASAP. You will never get the clarity and perspective to see this situation for what it really is so long as you live under the same roof as this man. You have lived in the fog of his abuse for 4+ years. No wonder you can’t see the forest for the trees. But we can. And the forest has thorns.

    2) Find a personal therapist. ASAP.

    3) Read up on emotional abuse. Do a quiz, as one commenter suggested, if that helps. Heck, do 10 quizzes! It’s easy for abuse victims to dismiss feedback like the commenters have been giving you (not that you have been outright dismissing it) because it’s easy for you to think they don’t really know your guy or your relationship. It’s a lot harder to dismiss what you read about emotional abuse from those who have survived it and experts who have helped survivors. So go ahead and do your research. As a PhD, I’m sure you’ve got that down to a science. 🙂

    4) Move out. ASAP. Oh, did I already say that? Well, it bears repeating again. And by move out, I really mean stop living under the same roof, so if it makes more sense for him to move out, then kick him out. It might not be easy, depending on your living situation, but you will never, never get the life you deserve so long as you keep living under the same roof as him.

    5) Get friends. It doesn’t sound like you have many, or maybe just not many you trust. Either way, pour all that unrequited emotional connection you’re not getting from your boyfriend into cultivating new friendships. Boyfriends come and go. Friends, good friends, last much longer.

    6) I personally think this is unnecessary, but if it would help you to close the loop on this engagement discussion, I suggest having the next conversation about it in the presence of a therapist. If your boyfriend balks at it, tell him that it’s clear you two cannot come to a satisfactory conclusion on your own, so it would be good to discuss with a trained professional who can help guide the conversation. Though, I think you know in your heart of hearts, that he has no intention of marrying you. So this is all moot, really. But like I said, if you need closure on this, here’s a way to get it without being gaslighted.

    7) Stop sharing a joint account with him.

    8) Never share a joint account with him.

    9) Sharing a joint bank account with someone you’re not married to who treats you like crap, and then depositing your earnings solely into that account, is not grown-up or financially responsible, sweetie. It’s actually one of the dumbest, most financially irresponsible things you could ever do. When I lived with my ex, we did open up a joint account because it made it easier to pay our living expenses–HOWEVER, we never required the other to deposit all our earnings into that account. Rather, we set up automatic transfers of a pre-agreed amount from our personal accounts to help cover the monthly expenses, which were automatically deducted from that joint account. The rest, we kept in our personal accounts.

    10) He’s never going to marry you. And you should never want to marry him because even if his emotional abuse never becomes physical, his emotional abuse will wear you down until you are nothing but a hollow shadow of your former self.

    #837721 Reply

    One last thing: You are suffering from sunk cost fallacy. Big time.

    You’ve invested over half a decade with this man and want something to show for it. Compounding that are the facts that you live with him, are approaching the big 30yo milestone, and want kids. That’s what’s driving your sense of urgency and desperation, and what’s making it difficult for you to see the forest for the trees (though by writing to us, it’s clear you’re starting to).

    Don’t ever marry someone because of the sunk cost fallacy. Just as investing in the stock market is unpredictable and volatile, investing in any relationship is unpredictable and volatile. None of us are ever guaranteed a positive ROI on our investments.

    #837739 Reply

    Imagine he said even a fraction of the things he’s said to you to your future daughter. Can you imagine putting a child through that abuse? You’re not even 30. You’ve got time to heal from this, spend some time alone and in therapy, and find someone new who will help you raise happy, healthy children. If you’re set on having kids, it’s frankly a moral obligation on your part to ensure they’re not set up for an emotionally abusive childhood.

    #837745 Reply

    Oh my god. I can’t imagine anyone saying those things to me and still having my respect let alone my affection. Has that OCD actually been diagnosed by a professional? Because being able to leave underwear on the floor and dishes in the sink, but wanting a FREAKING REFRIGERATOR TO REMAIN COLD are not signs of OCD.

    Please listen to all the advice here. You need to call in serious troops and you need to prepare for what is likely going to be a very difficult time period. You need to get your ass into therapy. You need to contact the number above to discuss how to untangle yourself from an emotionally abusive person. You need to find a support group who can lend you a hand and hold your hand when you’re missing him (although really, I think you’ll find you’re more relieved than sad).

    I bet you $1000 that he brought up your issues to his friends and when they didn’t shut him down -he took it as “acceptance” of your faults and then told you they said all the things.

    You are not perfect. You are also not a project for another adult to guide you. You are smart. You are responsible.

    Please start taking steps to get yourself out of this situation. Stay here and ask for reminders why you have to leave for your own sanity. We’ll provide them.

    You are dating a ranging trash-fire garbage-person. If I could Thanos-blink anyone out of existence, I’d start with Trump but this guy would be next.

    #837772 Reply


    The letter writer did mentioned her OCD has been diagnosed and is successfully managed, in part with medication.

    Personally, I think based on the description of demanding perfection in others, if anything it’s the boyfriend who has the tendency to control others. If I were to conjure up and project, my guess would be that the letter writer identifies with her boyfriend’s tendency towards anxiety and therefore control. Unfortunately, she is qualified from experience to see the good where she can and question herself ruthlessly about expectations.

    I can’t possibly know and it’s a major leap but her mom threatening suicide to elicit a response from her daughter and the letter writer’s willingness to push into therapy with her mom, suggests a desperation to hold onto attachment, a history of trauma for the letter writer, and maybe even a learned acceptance of personality-level disorders.

    She was only twenty-four when she started dating her current boyfriend. She was working hard in academia, he apparently has some of the same perfectionist streaks that are so often seen in people wired for ambition. He was older, he had a good to stable relationship with (at least) his mother, and he was willing to move in and accept the specific quirks and mess that was her (as she saw herself).

    Letter writer, please don’t let me, a silly internet thread hopper, derail you from the serious emotional work and supportive network you need to seek out, (including this forum). I’m not offering advice just conjectures so please filter this next part out..

    @Lis I think you might be confusing OCD with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. The latter is a much harder nut to crack. From wikipedia:

    “Regardless of similarities between the OCPD criteria and the obsessions and compulsions found in OCD, there are discrete qualitative dissimilarities between these disorders, predominantly in the functional part of symptoms. Unlike OCPD, OCD is described as invasive, stressful, time-consuming obsessions and habits aimed at reducing the obsession related stress. OCD symptoms are at times regarded as ego-dystonic because they are experienced as alien and repulsive to the person. Therefore, there is a greater mental anxiety associated with OCD.[3]

    In contrast, the symptoms seen in OCPD, although they are repetitive, are not linked with repulsive thoughts, images, or urges. OCPD characteristics and behaviors are known as ego-syntonic, as people with this disorder view them as suitable and correct. On the other hand, the main features of perfectionism and inflexibility can result in considerable suffering in an individual with OCPD as a result of the associated need for control.”

    I don’t know what the boyfriend’s deal is. He could have a touch of a personality disorder. He could describe the entire relationship differently. But very often in an insecure/avoidant attachment disorder dynamic, the insecure avoider will give just enough bread crumbs to keep the obsessional insecure in hyper-drive. It’s a form control. Anxiety can be a strong common denominator in couples. Maybe the letter writer has some internal conditioning that tells her to be ever-gentle towards him at the expense of her own feelings. Her “normal” is already uncomfortable and she probably assumes that means she has to trust someone else more than herself.

    People with no trauma do that all the time trying to make a life with someone they respect and love that they don’t won’t to leave over incompatibility.

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