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I'm In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship, And I Want To Get Out. But How?

My story is long, and I don't even feel like I have the wherewithall to type it all out here.  But I will sum it up and see if anyone can relate, or even try to help me as I gather the courage to do what I know I need to do.

I'm 34, and I don't know if anyone has ever truly loved me.  I can honestly say that every single person I have loved, trusted, and depended on has left me flat on my face.  This includes friends, lovers, family members, everyone.  I lost my mom to cancer when I was 18, and I am estranged from all my family members except my father's second wife (he's on wife 4), who has known me since I was a toddler.  So maybe it stands to reason that I hold on to my relationships, even if they're awful, for dear life!  I just don't want to be left alone.  

This particular relationship I am in is costing me the most dearly of any one that I have been in.  I met her (I am gay) only 2 months after my partner of 8 years left me for another woman--in bankruptcy and total and complete emotional devastation. I lost my home and everything that I ever worked for, in addition to the life and family that I had built for my entire adult life.  I was weak at that time, so needing someone or something to make me feel like I was alive.  She fit that bill, at first.  Suddenly I had a social life, friends!  I had things to look forward to!  I was so happy, and knew that I was on the right path.  But, 3 months into the relationship, she cheated on me.  With her ex.  I spent 3 days in bed, and on the third day she came and took me to dinner.  I forgave her, even though I didn't want to.  I just didn't want to be left alone.

Then the emotional abuse started in earnest, and has grown in depth and severity ever since.  This person has shown me and told me in so many ways that she doesn't love me, doesn't accept me, doesn't support me, doesn't want me.  She has done so many things to hurt me and never apologized or even talked about them with me--she denies that it happens and tells me that I am "just too sensitive" or that I "make her do it."  And somewhere in my crazy brain I believe it!  And so I keep turning the other cheek over and over and over again.  I just don't know how to be the one to stop it, especially during the good times.  It's like I have Stockholm syndrom or something--I love my attacker and make excuses for her behavior.  She came from a bad family, she had an abusive father...blah blah blah.  But I know that there is no excuse for hurting another person so.  

So many outrageous things have happened, and I lean heavily on my friends to help me get through it each time.  But now, most of my friends are tired of seeing me go through the endless cycle and have withdrawn from me.  No one wants to hear it anymore.  And you know, I can't blame them at all!  I know there is something wrong with me, for not walking away from this relationship.  But  still, I cannot find it in  me yet to tell my partner that I want to end our relationship, that she must leave and that I don't want to be with her anymore.  Crazily, I actually am AFRAID OF HURTING HER.  But this relationship has made me lose friends, my creativity, my individuality, my very SELF.   So why can't I end this thing?  

I am in therapy, and my therapist tells me that it is all in my own time.  I am starting to think that I will be stuck forever here, in this grey fog.  I just don't want to be left alone, yet I am more alone now than ever.

I am not this person!  I am a happy, joyful, FUN person!  I am educated, I am smart!  Why is it so difficult??  

browneyedgrrl76 browneyedgrrl76 31-35 8 Responses May 3, 2011

Your Response


Wow! That's me in a nut shell only I'm straight and have kids. I have tried to get him out of my life but the pain is horrible. I do have my mother, two girls in their early 20's a 16 yr old & a 7 yr old. His own son doesn't like him.... He's a heavy drinker and cheats but the verbal abuse is both ways because I'm so full of anger and tired of dealing with a cold nasty lying mean cheating drunk.<br />
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PS - I also suspect that my partner may have undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia. It's beginning to frighten me. I know there will come a point where I have had my fill & can walk away w/o looking back. But just like you, there is something holding me in the relationship with the hope that "things will get better". It's quite possible that they may only get worse. Talking about this today - thanks to you - is helping.

Dear BYG: Thank you for sharing your story. I found it while doing the following internet search: "am I in an emotionally abusive lesbian relationship" !!! As I read your story, I thought that I was reading my very own journal. You are not alone my dear. <br />
I believe that the people who have been kind enough to offer constructive advice are right on the money & I too thank them. Many of them have made suggestions that my therapist & I have come up with in my recent sessions. And I will tell you this: the more I learn to love MYself, the less abuse I will tolerate. And the less I need my abuser in my life. A life lived with love is a life lived with kindness & lightness of heart. My heavy heart tells me that the burden I carry may not be love at all, but time will tell as I get stronger & more in love with MYSELF. I left my marriage for the woman I am currently with & I don't think she loves me or needs me except when it suits her. It's wearing thin, as I have too much self-worth to allow this much longer. But ... I've also lost my husband & I struggle daily to understand why I left my marriage. I know that there is more to it ... that's what my therapist is for most of the time & I too am tired of burdening my friends & family with my broken-record story. <br />
Stay strong, love yourself, don't be afraid to be alone. <br />
Sometimes, it's better to be alone than in bad company!

Email me PLEASE I was doing a google search for songs about emotional is my therapy and I came across your post and made an account just to write to you. I am a lesbian as well and hear how I'm just to sensitive ect and am just like you where I feel so alone and can't leave bc I have no one else. It would be really nice to have a friend for support that understands.

Email me PLEASE I was doing a google search for songs about emotional is my therapy and I came across your post and made an account just to write to you. I am a lesbian as well and hear how I'm just to sensitive ect and am just like you where I feel so alone and can't leave bc I have no one else. It would be really nice to have a friend for support that understands.

You need to reach out. Try joining Habitat for Humanity or some other group that you can volunteer some time with on weekends. When people work toward a common positive purpose, it is easy to make new friends. You need to find some new social world, some new friends and let them help you develop more confidence.

Hey, i read your story...I too was in a bad relationship , where my husband used to do similar stuff. Look i will tell one simple tihng to get out this grey fog of yours...<br />
<br />
Start Loving yourself. The day you fall in Love with yourself , everything and everyone around you will change and they too will fall in love with you. <br />
<br />
Step 1 : look yourself in the mirror atleast 5 times a day and admire yourself. count your blessings, say to yourself that you are looking beautiful, today my hair is looking good, my nose is looking bright etc. etc.<br />
<br />
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Step 2 : ONLY love yourself. I am not saying be selfish or rude. But Just your self and your comfort . <br />
<br />
Step 3: Get out of any relationship that makes you un-love yourself. <br />
<br />
Step 4 : Do not try to find a relationship for next 6 months. <br />
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Hope this works....<br />
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take care<br />
<br />

LiveLively...<br />
<br />
Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I agree with everything you said. Its just that, I feel so humiliated and defeated. I am working hard to change that, and delving into Buddhist teachings and meditation to help me get strong in myself. I know that eventually I will be able to learn to love and trust myself enough to make this decision, but right at this very moment I am in a holding pattern. (She's in another honeymoon stage with me, after I threatened to leave.) <br />
<br />
Anyway, thank you again for your kind words and encouragement. It really helps!