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emotional abuse making me an abuser??


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-I've been with my boyfriend for a year and recently broke up with him bc of emotional abuse. We still live together. In the two weeks since I dumped him, I've wondered if I've become abusive to him.


-He said he was going to change, I believed him and stayed to work on things.

I've done terrible things to him since this, "testing" him by saying I'd leave if he went out with a female friend from work who I know is attracted to him. I know that was bad to do because I believe he doesn't have interest in her and I wanted to see if he really "would do whatever it takes" to fix our relationship. As soon as I realized that I was testing him I apologized. I feel like the reason I had this insecurity was because of the abuse of our relationship. I realize I have responsibility and fully accept this. I shouldn't have done that and it was really ****ty. He thinks I am 'cutting him off from social situations' and that I am an abuser too.


-I've lost my temper WAY more easily than I did while we were still together and have yelled and told him all his friends think he's ****ed up. I've said he's ****ed up. I know this is abuse to hurt him this way. I'm not sure if it makes me an abuser because even in my anger I didn't say it with the goal of hurting him. I felt like my goal was to 'prove' or make him see that he needs to change. I know I shouldn't have lost my temper and I feel terrible for it but I really feel like my responses are reactive to the abuse. Bad reactions, still.


-He thinks I used sex as a tool to **** with him. I admit that after we decided to work on things we had sex and it felt different to me emotionally. I thought about it for a few days and realized that it had been 'just sex' to me and that I was trying to use sex to feel the way I used to about him. I told him I realized I had been using him and that we couldn't have sex anymore. About a week later after a good night together I felt that I could make love to him, and not just ****, and so we had sex. The next day I realized that while I had had caring emotionally-involved sex with him, it wasn't good to get back into having sex regularly. He said he felt used. I completely completely agree and am so sorry for making him feel this way. I just want him to understand that I was confused and wasn't deliberately trying to **** with him.


He says I just need to decide and stop stringing him along. I don't want to string him along but I'm very confused and can see why my actions are confusing to him. I strongly feel that I didn't abuse him for the year we were together but I'm not sure about the past two weeks that we've been 'working on things'. It should be said though that I don't think his abuse has fully stopped. He's accepte responsibility for what he's done to me but it doesn't seem like he's accepted it for what it takes for me to heal.


When I realized I'd been abused I had so much anger and judgement and resentment.


Did I use this to abuse him back??

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Yes, you did.


But you know, all is not lost. Try and understand that when someone is an abuser they need to relearn correct behavior. They are not going to learn anything new if you are retailiating - taking out feelings on them - or "testing" them.


You need to establish courage and learn to be on your own since in the long run, you won't be alone. It's literally impossible to be alone for the rest of your life.


You can also not beat yourself up for what you've done - just take it seriously and stop doing it. Long term and intense relationships do not end quickly. So if you are worried that he's gone for good, I'm telling you he's not.

If you need him to be gone for good, do things to insure your safety like going through restraining order procedure and seeking out the good people in your life to help you through this process.


I'm sorry you are caught in this cycle. Resorting to the things you were doing are basically "mirroring" behaviors that all humans do.

Knowing why you refused to take care of yourself and perpetuate abusive behavior is key and only you can know that information because it is your life - not anyone else's. So spend some time thinking about how you were raised, what role models you had and what behaviors they had when things got tough. Did they teach you to shoulder responsibility too soon? Were you punished if you complained or spoke your mind?


Do some research tonight. Google "co-dependancy" and see where you fit in.

There will be lists of traits to identify and coping mechanisms to practice.

I say practice because you won't be good at them right away and they will cause you a lot of anxiety at first. But once you do them repeatedly for about a month, you'll become skilled.


Consider taking a self defense class. People who have been mentally abused and taken advantage of need this as much as people who've been physically abused. I took kickboxing for two years and it changed my personality completely. I've never had to use it either, but that knowledge is ingrained in me, proving that old saying, "Knowledge is power."


I hope you get through this time and thank you for posting. (HUGS)

Edited by Honeyspur
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