Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceAfter dating my (F21) boyfriend (M23) for 3 years I no longer...

After dating my (F21) boyfriend (M23) for 3 years I no longer recognize myself

I met my boyfriend the first week of freshman year. Since then we’ve been inseparable. This is not to say the relationship has been perfect, its been very rocky and has worn on me in a lot of ways. My boyfriend is extremely extremely jealous. Ive been accused of cheating so many times. His jealousy extends mostly to my clothing and makeup. When we met I was really into fashion and like makeup, I liked experimenting, trying new weird stuff. This part of me is totally gone. Its rare when im not wearing something baggy, I never do my makeup.

I also feel like a crazy person constantly. Sometimes he treats me magically and tells me all the ways he loves me and a few days later he will either pretend he never said that, or claim he regrets it. And then a few days later re-iterate his love for me, its like this constantly. He also cheats on me. We get into these fights, sometimes over small things like his inability to clean the sink. He will get mad, storm out and then come back a few days later. I caught him during one of these times kissing another woman and he claimed he broke up with me by leaving, only to return the next day like nothings happened.

All of this is to say I dont recognize myself and I feel like im one bad sleep away from losing my mind. I look like a different person, im uglier, all my favourite clothes are gone, everything that made me like me seems to piss him off. I dont know if he loves me, I think he does and I want him to but he likes keeping me guessing. I feel totally worthless, I feel ugly, im miserable, I just want him to like me or give me some clarity. I know this cant be healthy but like no matter how mad he makes me, I just want his approval, im crazy and I hate it

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  1. These feelings of depersonalization, where you feel like you can’t recognize yourself or that you don’t feel like your genuine self, are a symptom of long-term psychologic distress.

    I felt exactly like you did in my last relationship of 4.5 years with a very jealous partner. I was gradually cut off from my hobbies, acquaintances, friends, eventually family, and I felt like my psyche was insanely fragile to the point where I was one bad event away from just a complete mental breakdown. I felt like a shell of a person and I started developing all these weird insecurities and self-doubts. It was a living nightmare.

    This happens when you’re *constantly* barraged by psychological warfare over a long period of time. An unhealthy or toxic relationship might work for a little while because our bodies and minds are generally very resilient to this stuff, but you **will** eventually break. I’m sorry but for your sanity, I think it’s best to reevaluate whether or not it’s worth staying in this relationship. It was tough, but I eventually left my last relationship and was able to slowly, over the span of 2-3 years, rediscover myself and feel happy again. I reconnected with old friends, started going out again and meeting new people, and revisited forgotten hobbies. Nowadays I’m doing much better and I don’t look back to that chapter of my life.

  2. A lot of these things are classic abusive behaviors. I think you already know the answer here.
    No one who loves you should try to dull your sparkle. They should love the fact that you try new fun looks and are adventurous with fashion.
    They should also trust you, unless you’ve given them a reason not to. You learned a lot from this relationship, time to move on. ❤️

  3. I was married to a man just like this. Please, please break up with him. He is manipulating you and being emotionally abusive, and it will never get better. You need to rebuild your boundaries and sense of self, and you cannot do that while you’re still in a relationship with him.

  4. Well you are being abused, probably by a narcissist. It’s how you feel when someone makes you go through this roller coaster. You seek the feeling you had when they were love bombing you. The lows make you want to internalize blame for the problems, (Thats not your fault). So you abandon yourself to get the love you crave from them. As it gets worse you become like a junky searching for a fix. You need to leave, it doesn’t get better. Get yourself back, it’s going to be a long hard road but your better than being treated the way you are now believe me.

  5. I think you know in some way that you need to break up. It sounds like what’s stopping you (along with maybe some material issues, I don’t know your situation) is the idea that what he’s saying is true and that the love bombing is the ‘real’ part of the relationship. Maybe part of you believes that he does mean well and that he is speaking honestly from his emotions. That this might come across as mean but that he’s just expressing himself.

    It is very very important to understand that he knows what he is doing. Cycling between lovebombing and verbal abuse is not an honest expression of emotions, it’s manipulation. Does he ever compliment you? Or just how much he loves you? Does he value anything about you, other than the fact you’re his? Do you value yourself outside of him after years of being told the best thing about you is him?

  6. Look, OP, I think you need to hear this without uncertainty so here goes :

    You are being abused.

    This is an abusive relationship, this man is gaslighting you by antagonizing you over minor things to distract from the ways he treats you badly. He is weaponizing your compassion and affection for him to make you feel lesser, and like you need him more.

    The sometimes when he tells you all the ways he loves you is a form of manipulation, it is carrot in a torrent of sticks.

    You deserve better, you deserve to love yourself.

    Please reach out to someone about this, you are not crazy, you are being abused, if you don’t know who to talk to there is most likely an emotional abuse hotline or similar resources in your area. You are not alone, there is help to be had.

    And please if you can, leave him as soon as possible.

  7. BREAK UP. I was in a similar situation where the guy would control the way I dressed, who I spoke to, pictures I posted and justified it by saying he does this because he cares about me, because he’s insecure as I’ve had a “promiscuous” past, because I’m an attention seeking h0e. I would feel like shit and unworthy hearing such statements so I completely altered myself to be someone worthy of him and in general. After I listened to him he started imposing more and more stuff on me and nothing I’d do was ever enough. I would think I’m compromising and that’s what’s necessary to make a relationship work but now I know that you should NEVER compromise on who you are. Your partner should love you exactly the way you are. I pray you find the strength to leave and find yourself again. Remember: you are the main character in your life, let everyone down if you must except for yourself. Lots of love.

  8. Well… it doesnt really matter if he love you or not, he is suffocating, gaslighting, projecting his own cheating on you…he definitely got a sad man backstory but he is pulling you into his pool of shit.
    he can go fuck himself, leave before you die.

  9. This man is a loser who cares nothing for you. He doesn’t love you. Look up lovebombing. You’re being manipulated into stroking his ego, he only loves himself. Leave ASAP and work on building yourself back up. You deserve to be happy and love yourself. His goal is to prevent you from that, to destroy you, so you feel shit enough to continue dating him. You don’t deserve being treated like that.

  10. A guy that tells you what to wear and especially what cosmetics is always bad news long term. He has a specific image in his mind of how **his** girlfriend should look. Not only are you fighting a losing battle to be that image, he will also chase after the every woman that fits his type.

  11. You are NOT the crazy one. This sounds like a pretty common narcissistic abuse pattern I read about often. If you haven’t experienced it before, it’s hard to see until you’re neck deep in it. Get out and get counseling. The abuse, control, and undermining of your identity will only continue to get worse.

  12. You say you don’t know if he loves you… but really… who cares if he loves you.

    The guy is a complete piece of trash.

    Pro Life Tip: There doesn’t actually have to be something wrong with your partner for you to want to break up. You can just want to break up.

    In this case, there is a long list of things wrong with this guy.

    Here are two main things that stick out for me:

    1. He accuses you of cheating all the time because he is a Cheater. This is a very common behavior in people who cheat. They project their bad behavior onto their victim…..errr… partner because that is what they would (are) doing..

    2. Love-bombing. This is what an abuser does after some rather vile shit, like accusing you of cheating or shitting on your sexy clothes. They come back professing love and all apologizing… for a few days until they re-win your trust.

    Are you on a lease with this guy?

    Talk to the landlord about breaking the lease. Tell bf that you need some space but you can still date.

    Watch out for the temper of a jealous guy just after you break up with them. Don’t be alone for confrontation.

    Then don’t date for awhile. You need to find who you are again and recover from 3 years of gradually worsening trauma.

  13. You’re not crazy. He sounds extremely selfish and like an insufferable narcissist. If I were you, I’d try to either get out or get him to break up with you (then never let him back in again) and get some therapy. Because this is emotional abuse.

  14. You are in an emotionally abusive relationship. On top of that, he’s a serial cheater. It’s only reasonable that this toxic situation is effecting your mental health and overall well being, you need to dump this man and block him absolutely everywhere because he will NOT let you go easily. You can NOT stay.

    But let me be perfectly clear, if you did stay (DON’T!) this man will never change and his abuse will escalate the longer you allow him to keep treating you like this. If he has not started with physical or sexual abuse yet, then chances are that’s what will be next. What won’t happen, is he won’t magically change into a decent human being who loves and respects you or your relationship.

    You’re not uglier, this man has been manipulating you and destroying your self-esteem and confidence for years. It’s part of how he controls you and keeps you in this toxic dumpster fire of a relationship.

    You need to get out immediately. Then it’s time for therapy, because relationships like this always have lasting damage that needs to be worked through.

  15. Break up , due to the scars he inflicted on you it will be really difficult to leave him , however this is the only way for you to regain any semblance of control on your life , you will need alot of therapy after as well

  16. You need to escape this weirdly dysfunctional relationship. You’re young and have your whole life ahead of you. Let yourself explore, meet new people, wear the makeup/clothes you want. Be you….. don’t settle, you’ll meet the right one in time. Give yourself time to do that.

  17. He’s terrible; I would never be with someone who accused me of cheating more than once. Once I might forgive.

    But someone who does it “countless” numbers of time is crazy and controlling and he has destroyed you because of this.

  18. This is terrible abuse. Your feelings of crazy are due to him gas lighting you combined with multiple years of verbal beat downs. It is taking a severe psychological toll. Please do yourself a favor and do not waste any more of your youthful years on this asshole. If you do, you will forever regret it. I sincerely hope to hear am update about this being your ex.

    Afterward, do not rush into any other relationship. Take time for yourself to breath and reclaim yourself again. Do some research on how to spot early signs of abusers and the many tactics they pull and promise yourself you will leave anyone you spot this in no matter how much you are crushing after them. If you think it will help, speak to counselors especially if you notice you have a habit if picking these kinds of creatures for bfs.

  19. Well that’s how you feel about yourself when you’ve been abused.

    He is very emotionally abusive and you need to leave before he starts hitting you if he hasn’t already.

    Let me guess? He “accidentally” hurts you a lot huh? Trips you, pushes you, shuts doors in your face or on your hand or foot….

  20. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if this man loves you or not, OP. Because, you’ve gotta love yourself more.

    This man has stripped you down to nothing. You are better without him, and he knows it. Leave him. Love you.

  21. I’ve been where you’re at, and I can tell you now: you are not weak or crazy. You’ve had someone pouring poison in your ear for three years, and realizing this is a really good sign. It means you’re getting ready, somewhere in the part of you he could never touch, to leave. Which, I can’t like, is going to suck BAD in the short-term. All this shit, the jealousy, the controlling what you wear and how you look, the beating down your self esteem–it’s a big Home-Alone-style trap this guy’s been setting up for the past three years to keep you in place. When you move, those traps are going to go off and leave a giant mess. But I can’t describe to you how worth it leaving is. The color comes back into the world. Please, keep looking for yourself, because you’re there.

  22. Take your power back and choose yourself over the guy that controls and abuses you. This isn’t love. This is abuse. You don’t have to stay in a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect you and makes you feel like this.

  23. This is not love. He treats you like crap and has destroyed your self esteem. You said it yourself; you don’t even recognize yourself any more. You know in your heart how unhealthy and harmful this relationship is. Again, it doesn’t matter if there is love. A happy, healthy, successful relationship requires much, much more. Love isn’t everything. It’s a beautiful idea, but it’s not real. You owe yourself more. You need to leave and never look back.

  24. I honestly thought my little sister could have written this as it’s so reminiscent of her life and she won’t leave. I legitimately cry for her. And for my younger self when i was in the same position. I had a baby and I still left, you can do this.

  25. Honey you’re dating a narcissist I didn’t even have to read too far into the second paragraph to identify it. Run. I’m no longer giving advice to people dating blatant and obvious narcissists outside of run and don’t look back.

    Also you craving his validation and approval is exactly what he wants, he wants you to not be able to live without his validation. You’re being played hard. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a side piece. I know it’s hard to hear but this is the truth.

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