- 5 years ago
I have been with my Fiancé for almost three years, only engaged recently. First a bit of background, he is 34 and I am 21. I have always found I fit in better with people older than me, I have a lot of ambition and tend to enjoy the company of older people than the 21 year olds who want to just party and not care about anything.
At first our relationship was amazing. He’s VERY smart and incredibly knowledgeable and that attracted me to him. We got along really well and had a lot of similar goals and ambitions.
Now I am a student studying to be a nurse. We’ll call my fiancé A. A and I started dating about 4 months before I started school. The first program I took was four hours away and so we were long distance. I trust him explicitly and we never had any issues at first. I struggled with adjusting to the new location and school and so I failed a midterm and that was probably our first big fight. However he’s always been supportive and says that I’m amazing, smart, I will succeed etc. He often gets frustrated with everyone else. For example, the fight was because he couldn’t understand how I had failed. He said “all you did was study, what happened?” Whereas I just didn’t know what to expect – I was nervous and scared for my first exam and I wasn’t used to the computer program so I had no idea there were extra notes and questions to complete so I didn’t do any of that.. Anyways. Often when we’re driving he will yell at other people (in our car – not so they can hear) that he can’t understand why everyone is so stupid and that he can’t take everyone whining and not being able to do basic things. When he’s angry and we’re in the car together often times if he’s angry enough he’ll jam on the breaks to make the car jerk, he’ll speed and swerve around other cars. Once he made me get out of the car.
I lived on my own for the first two years of my schooling and I managed an apartment, grocery shopped and everything. Now I just moved in with A in April and we’ve been having a hard time. First, he just got a raise but he has so much debt from a house he bought, renovated and then the value went down and he lost money on it, a store he bought that did very well but his ex made him choose her or the store so he sold it for a loss, student loans and such. So it seems like we live paycheck to paycheck. He wasn’t living in his house anymore at this point either – he lived in a crappy tiny apartment where we were constantly tripping on each other and in the way, also the lady downstairs smoked and it was just a terrible environment. So when I first moved down I had no job and had to find one. It took me a while, every night he’d come home from work and yell at me about how I didn’t try hard enough because I hadn’t been out ALL day handing out resumes. Even when I did that most employers would direct me to their online applications and because I didn’t have a car I preferred that way anyways but he’d still yell.
Finally I got a job, then he’d yell that I never cleaned (when I did but apparently I was doing it wrong). He works about 6am-6pm sometimes longer, so he feels like he “busts his ass” at work and then has to come home and clean up after me. Then school started up in September and I’ve had a hard time being able to do everything I was before. I work every weekend and have class during the week. I have a hectic busy schedule and no car so I find it hard. The other day I stopped to pick up something for the dog and what would normally take me 10 minutes took me an hour because I took the bus there, got off and bought the thing, then waited 45 minutes for the next bus. So for me thats really inconvenient because that hour it took me I could’ve been studying.
He has to do most of everything, and I really do feel bad and wish I could help more. Often times I go with him to do things but again, I can’t do it without the car or it would take way too long. A constantly gets frustrated because I didn’t do this or that but he won’t accept ‘because I was studying’ or ‘because I need time to study’ as an answer anymore. He says it’s just an excuse and I can take an hour out of my studying here or there. Yeah, sure but I could also wait until he’s home with the car and pop over, 10 minutes done.
So about November was when we started arguing almost every day about silly things. A lot of times it’s whether I said something or not. I remember saying it but he says I never did. He goes on about how I never remember anything correctly and that he wishes he had a tape recorder so he could show me. Half the time I wish he truly did so I could prove myself. I feel like I’m constantly wrong and even when he’ll let me be right – he’s still MORE right than I am. He argues very logically with no emotion whereas the things he says often hurt me and I have a hard time keeping my emotions out of it. Most of our fights start out as a disagreement then he gets angry and blows up and starts yelling. I think we’ve had ONE fight where there was no yelling. I feel like I’ve changed, I used to not yell when I argued, I used to not think I was crazy, forgetful and I used to think I could do a lot of things. A lot of our arguments ended with him telling me I could leave, or if I keep doing ____ I’ll find my things packed at the door. Here’s a letter I wrote to him:
“I feel like everything is my fault and if it’s an issue you brought up it gets addressed right away and it’s always right. If I bring something up I’m wrong and/or it’s not a big deal. I’ve even brought this up before, how come I’m always the one who has to compromise? Remember when I said I can’t argue the way you do and we need to come up with a different way? Well you refused so I had to change. Any time there’s an issue I have to forfeit.
When you’re upset I change things for you. I don’t like when you give me ultimatums or threaten to kick me out. “Deal with it or get out?” How about I give you that ultimatum, how would you feel? You tell me I’m petty and shallow, that I take things too seriously and whenever you’re angry with me you compare me to the family members of mine that you know I can’t stand.
Also you’re controlling. Everything has to be your way or I’m doing it wrong. How come I can’t just do things my own way? You tell me I clean wrong, I got ready in the morning wrong. Why? Because you said I took too many steps – I went to the bathroom and then went and got changed, then back in the bathroom to do makeup, then eat, then back to brush my teeth. WHY can’t I do it that way? You tell me I’m not independent and I’m not the person you started dating – well no. I feel like I’ve been beaten into submission. How am I supposed to feel when all you do is tell me I’m wrong?”
Here’s an exchange between the two of us, I was suggesting therapy or counseling.
Me: I feel like I can’t talk to you, I feel flustered and pressured so I can never get out what I want to say or express myself. I’m afraid when you get mad. I feel like going to counseling would help me learn to communicate better and help you not to get so angry and help us both with arguing and fighting.
Him: I cannot help you be more confident and able to talk to me, neither can a counselor. They will not make you able to not feel pressured without teaching you some textbook technique for centering or focusing, or redirecting or diffusing, all of which I will focus on proving doesn’t work. If you want to be better at it be better at it by yourself, otherwise you’re not using your own words or ideas, and I won’t spend time with someone else’s personality and ideas; I didn’t start dating a psychology textbook and if that’s what you become, a collection of someone else’s opinions and methods and ideas, I promise you I will move on.
I feel like I can never express how I feel to him because as soon as I start talking he has logical answers for everything and I end up apologizing. So we were fighting pretty badly around November (turns out he was planning on proposing and was stressed about finances). It got so bad that one night he had been drinking beer (maybe three cans) I hadn’t had anything to drink. We were looking at something on my computer and he kept jabbing his finger out and touching my screen. After a couple jabs I asked him to not touch the screen please. Well it kept happening, and I’d ask him again. After a couple more times he exploded and started to freak out and demanded why I was asking that – was it really going to damage the computer, was it that big of a deal? So he made me google it. I found a couple examples saying you could damage the pixels but he refused and looked it up himself, found ONE example that said it was harmless and started going on about how he was right. At this point I knew he’d had alcohol and that the argument was stupid so I said I was done arguing and I was going to bed.
Well he was having none of that, he blocked me with his body from leaving. I asked him to move and he didn’t. When I went to leave he shoved me with his body and this scared me so I loudly said ‘DON’T touch me’. He did it again and I said it again. I managed to get by and get into the bedroom where I was getting ready for bed, he followed. He started telling me that I’m petty and I always run away from arguments when I’m wrong and that he’s done with my drama and B*llsh*t and that I should just get the F—out. I was on the bed curled up ignoring him at this point. He went into my closet and picked up all the wooden hangers and threw them on the bed where I was. Some of them hit me. I was crying at this point as well.
At some point he was demanding me to talk to him and I refused and kept ignoring him. He grabbed my arm and yanked me down to the other end of the bed. I screamed and cried harder and he freaked out and said ‘that’s it I’m done get the F— out. I’m serious, get out NOW’. So I stood up and grabbed my coat and things from the hook in the room and pulled out my phone and started texting a friend to ask if I could go there. He then started grappling with me and my phone and my first thought was ‘oh my god, if he gets the phone away I will never be able to call for help’. He eventually got the phone away so I decided to leave it and just get out. Well he was blocking me from leaving there too, he pushed me into the foot board of the bed and it ended up breaking from both of us struggling against each other (him holding me, me trying to get by him).
I didn’t end up leaving and the next day he apologized and said he was ashamed and it would never ever happen again. He cried, he asked me not to leave him. He told me he never wanted to be like that again.
Anyways things got better. One night I was studying for my classes about domestic abuse and he saw an image of the ‘control’ wheel and asked me to send it to him. He changed it to the background of his cell phone so he could always see it and remind himself to be better to me.
Things got better again and he proposed and it’s been better until the end of December. Well all the while we were living in this tiny apartment that I constantly hated and was angry about living in. I complained whenever the tenant downstairs started smoking, he hated it. He told me there was nothing we could do. Well that’s fine, but I’m still angry and I need to say something.
Either way he eventually started looking at houses to buy where the mortgage would cost about the same as our rent. We found a great deal and bought it. Jan 21 we closed and we were set to move in. Well I had a paper due the next week and two midterms the week after. On Monday the 21st I told him I was going to stay at school late to study as the desk and such were packed up. Well I was studying when he texted me and said ‘I’m on my way to come and get you’. I was kind of angry because I didn’t want to study at home but I figured it wasn’t worth an argument so I went. I studied some more then helped move some boxes.
Tuesday I told him I’d be late as well because my paper was due and I needed to have it edited on site as well I needed to practice for a skills test with someone. Well he called me SCREAMING that I wasn’t home yet (he is salaried and never is home at the same time for your reference) and that we were supposed to be moving tonight and etc now he has to drive out there to pick me up etc. Well I didn’t understand – I told him I’d be at school working on things and I stayed until I was done. Well he freaked out and said I never appreciate him and I don’t ever consider him or his feelings and that why couldn’t I have studied at home. And I told him – i can’t follow your plans when you don’t TELL them to me. I knew we were going to be moving boxes that night but I didn’t know when and I never know when he’s home anyways. His response was that he’s usually home anytime between 4-7 so I should’ve just been home waiting.
Anyways the next night he let me study and the night after that his sister asked me to stop by to help her before she left on Saturday on vacation. Originally I was going to drive out there for 7 but she asked if I wanted a ride she could pick me up after work at 5. I figured that would be better so A could have the car and I wouldn’t be hindering him. Well it wasn’t until around 9pm when I asked to be picked up that he freaked out at me that I should’ve been helping and I shouldn’t have gone there and that sure he was fine with it before but that was when I was going there at 7.
Anyways, I do talk to his family, they say he’s very stubborn and has always been very angry. His sister is a Nurse Practitioner and says he probably should be medicated but he won’t get help because it would hinder his ability to move up in his position (he works at a hospital and if he had a mental health diagnosis it would unfortunately skew favor from him for a raise).
Anyways, we got all moved in but he ended up doing most of it. We argued a lot. He said he felt like I never listen to him and that I never care about him and just do what I want. He said he felt like he has to worry about everything all the time and I just benefit from it. Half the time when we’re arguing it gets to the point where it’s so dumb that I say ‘whatever’ and roll over to go to bed and he feels like when I do that I’m making him unimportant and just dismissing what he’s saying.
He constantly talks about how he can’t understand why people do certain things, why they don’t do things and such like that. I’m sorry I’m not a genius, my brain works differently. I’ll forget things and it bugs him that he has to ‘clean up after me’ because I forget things. (Sorry I forgot to take an empty box out to the recycling). He tells me I act like a two year old…
I guess what I’m wondering is what should I do? I’ve been considering getting counseling just for myself? Right now mostly I utilize A’s sister. We get along really well and she knows him very well so she can understand where I’m coming from. A refuses to get help or see a counselor and he thinks that it’s my fault because I’M unwilling to change or stop dismissing him etc and that I bring the fights on by the stupid things I say.
We haven’t been physical at all since June I found out something medical that made me unable to have sex temporarily. That has also put a strain on our relationship. But I feel like we’re so distant now. All we do is argue.
The worst part is that he’s VERY supportive most of the time and he loves me and I love him. He’s my cheerleader and behind me in everything, he just gets mad sometimes and blows up. He often will randomly buy me flowers, he’s always doing EVERYTHING with my feelings and preferences in mind, not his own.
Right now I’m not ready to leave him.