Post # 1
So after my post yesterday and an “emergency” session with my therapist yesterday afternoon I stayed up half the night researching verbal abuse and it’s definitely a huge issue with mine and FI’s relationship.
Call me a naive idiot but I never saw it before. I honestly thought the way we talked to each other was normal. We’ve been together over 7 years and I grew up with parents who talked/talk to each other WAY WORSE than Fiance and I. I just thought it was a normal thing to fight like that. We’ve been together since we were young which is apparently common amongst relationships with verbal abuse because we don’t have as many life experiences that show us that is NOT how you talk to someone.
We both do it, it’s not just Fiance. He is worse for throwing cuss words around but I speak without thinking and make some pretty mean/degrading comments too.
Now I don’t know what to do. With this newfound knowledge I don’t feel comfortable going ahead with the wedding. Fiance refuses counseling and is actually currently giving me the silent treatment (something my therapist said is another form of abuse).
I’m really confused and upset. My therapist told me that you can’t have love without respect and the way we talk to one another shows we definitely don’t have respect for one another. But if we don’t/didn’t truly love one another why is my heart breaking right now about the idea of ending this and calling everything off?!
Post # 3
You’ve been with him for 7 years. Your heart will break because you have invested 7 years in this relationship. And it isn’t what you thought it was.
Do you want your life to continue like this? Or do you want respect and love?
It’s up to you to decide whether you can continue in a relationship that isn’t “right”.
Post # 4
Any time you’ve been in a relationship with someone for years – be it a friendship or romantic relationship – there will be heartache at its end. You experienced real feelings of love for that person, you made memories together, shared things together, etc. There will be a bond between you that will never quite be the same as what you have with other people.
That said, you obviously know that this is a toxic relationship and that it needs to end. It’s easy to settle, especially when that person is all you’ve known, but you deserve true happiness and to be with someone who doesn’t verbally abuse you and who you also don’t treat poorly. It’s not a healthy relationship, and it’d be best if both of you had time to truly grow as people without one another. I think that often relationships that start in the formative years and last throughout them are doomed because you end up collapsing into one another and don’t get the life experience that comes from relying on 100% you.
This will be hard, but you have to be strong for you and for him. Rely on your family and friends, and you will get through. This is not a recipe for a successful relationship, let alone a successful marriage – you’re doing the right thing by ending it, especially if he won’t seek help to repair the damage with you.
Stay in counseling through this, and be sure to work with your therapist on the issues that led you to verbally abuse him back. You definitely want to get to the bottom of that before you begin any new relationships.
*hugs* Best of luck.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t jump the gun and call everything off…I would talk to your Fiance and see if you guys can work on it as a couple and go from there…
Post # 6
@Miss Orchard: agreed. if you both are willing to work at it, you CAN make it work. Take it from someone who has been there
Post # 7
I read your post yesterday. It seems that you and your Fiance both have issues fighting fair. This is a problem that you both need to work on. I personally wouldn’t see it as getting out of an abusive relationship because you both do it and neither of you is really a victim of abuse. If you don’t want to marry him, then break up with him. But it seems to me like you can work through this with him. If you really want to save this relationship, keep going to counseling. Start really working on yourself and how you fight and react to situations. As you improve yourself, he will see you making an effort to change for the good of the relationship. Then, talk to him about counseling or just discussing things as a couple. Figure out what each others’ triggers are and try to avoid them.
Post # 8
I think the only way your relationship will survive in the long run is if you seek professional help to work on communication. I think you need to tell him that this is non-negotiable, and if he still refuses I would take a few days / week away from each other to see how you both feel. Stay with a friend or relative, step away from the situation and see what happens. He may come around when he finds out what he has to lose…and if not? There’s your answer.
I know it’s hard to do, and you will be sad to see it end…but it’s better to find out NOW if you two can make it, rather than years from now when there could be more at stake.
Post # 9
@MrsSl82be: How did you make it work? Did you go to counseling? Did you just learn to fight fair? How long did it take?
This hasn’t been the case for us over the entire 7 years – at the beginning we treated each other like crap (we were in HS at the time and everyone’s relationship seemed to be like that) and then we broke up for 1.5 years, when we got back together things were WAY better because we’d both grown up a lot but every once in awhile we’d have a big blow-up fight throughout college. We moved away together and Fiance was unemployed for 4 months, things were bad then and we were on the verge of breaking up.
Then we did long-distance for a year and our relationship grew leaps and bounds, being apart just brought us closer together and made us fall more in love. When Fiance quit his job to move back to the same city as me in the fall of 2010 everything was wonderful. It continued to be wonderful all of last year through our engagement and starting to plan our wedding. Things have started to get hard since the fall when Fiance started an intense engineering program at school and have only gotten worse since January when he gave up his nicotine-habit.
But now that I’ve learned about “verbal abuse” and see that’s that what our relationship is I just feel so… icky… I hate the idea that our relationship involves any kind of “abuse” 🙁 🙁
Post # 10
I think couples’ counseling is a good idea, because if I was in your shoes I would want to try to salvage this. It will give you both the opportunity to learn to communicate, and also possibly get to the root of WHY you guys have gotten this way – there might be underlying issues that just haven’t come to the surface and are driving this.
ETA: Sorry, just saw your Fiance is refusing this. Until he agrees to it, I would definitely put things on hold. He might need to get over his anger (silent treatment) but if he sees this as a serious danger to your relationship he will hopefully change his mind.
Post # 11
@atalante: I’m hoping so. The only time counseling has really come up with him is in the midst of fights and he always refuses and says I’M the one who needs to go. So I’m going to keep going and hope that I can set an example for him. I know that I have some stuff to work on too and counseling has been helpful for me so far. Our impending nuptials are just really freaking me out though. I know that neither of us handle stress very well and that hasn’t helped with all the fighting we’ve been doing. Wish I could rewind to this time last year when we got engaged.
I’m still extremely happy with my life and I love him deeply; he’s a good man. Our fighting styles just don’t mesh. At all.
Post # 12
I’ve not been in your situation, but I don’t think that its unsolveable *if* you both agree to work on it. I know a lot of couples fight like this and while it is extremely disrespectful and unhealthy, I don’t see it as an immediate deal-breaker.
That said, I agree with @MerryWidow:. Your Fiance needs to be on board here. If you give him some time and he still isn’t willing to change with you, then the relationship is more important to you than it is to him. Thats enough reason to end it alone.
Post # 13
@anon09: I’m thinking more about how best to frame this.
Given the whole fighting style thing, I would bring up therapy again when you’re both calm and on speaking terms. Explain in very really concrete terms (without accusing) why you are concerned about the state of your relationship. List the fighting behaviors that you both use that are unhealthy. And tell him that you really need him to come with you to therapy so you can work on it together, since you’re working toward a whole life partnership together.
Maybe that sort of tactic will bring him around?
Post # 14
If he is absolutely not willing to work on it, then yes, go. But I’d keep trying to convince him, one way or another, to seek some help or at least read a book with you!
Post # 15
Everyone has given some great advice, I just want to give you one more thought to chew on:
A good relationship will make you the best version of you.
That goes for both of you. Whether that relationship is the two of you together or not, I wish you luck.
Post # 16
My parents fought with each other all the time, it was all I knew growing up (they divorced when I was in high school). I remember having very volatile relationships in my teens – 20s, I think I believed it was normal because I just didn’t know any better. I also know that I had a lot of growing up to do myself, and my anger/irrantional emotions fed into the unstable relationships (as did my boyfriends’). Both my parents remarried when I was in college, and I’ve had 20 years now to see what stable, adult relationships are SUPPOSED to be like. I am very glad that even though my early relationships were long-term (3 years, 4 years and 7 years), that I never married – I think I knew deep down that fighting all the time, fighting mean, was not what I wanted for the rest of my life. I married for the first time at 41 and even though I have the occassional outburst, our relationship is completely different from the volatile ones I had when I was younger – those ones that I just thought were “full of passion”… I applaud you stepping back to think this through!