Saturday, April 1, 2023
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How do I (26F) end my somewhat toxic 9-year relationship with my boyfriend (30M)?

\[English is not my first language, sorry in advance for the mistakes\]

**please do not post this on any other platform or social media**

I’m sorry this will be long, it is a 9 year relationship after all… Thank you in advance if you read 🙂

Before my boyfriend, I had a long string of short-term relationships while I was a teenager whereas my bf only had 2 long-term relationships before we met each other. I was 17 and he was 21—I realize that sounds bad but in context it really isn’t, he was still a sophomore in university then (weird school requirements because he lived in diff countries and diff educational systems) and I was a freshman, and for all intents and purposes we were pretty much at the same “stage” of life.

The first three years of the relationship were great. We fell in love fast and hard and we spent a lot of time together. We are not polar opposites, but we’re not the same person; we say we’re complementary. Like we’re good at the things the other is not.

Unfortunately, I was still half a teenager coming out of the hoe phase some go through, so I cheated on him in the third year of our relationship. That got very ugly, since he caught me and the other guy in the act. He was very angry and got very physical with me, which I accepted because I knew it was my fault that I made him angry that way. We didn’t break up. He took me back and he said he forgave me, and I said I forgave him for what he did to me that night.

The next two years were hard. I had to gain back his trust. He had a lot of rules for me to follow, and I did. And I needed to show my parents that it was okay for them to forgive him also (they saw the aftermath of what happened to me) because I said I loved him and I wanted to stay with him.

Eventually he became less strict with me, but now I look back and see that it was because we became very codependent on each other. I had to see him everyday, we spent all our time together. I had to make new friends because my old friends were upset with me for staying with him, some of them cut me off.

Lately I have noticed that we are not really on the same page anymore… I want to travel, study, have some fun, but he never allows me. Even my parents tell me to ask him first for permission or if he will be going with me before I do something. His latest rule for me is I’m not allowed to drink with friends or co workers because I recently went to a work event and got very drunk, and missed a small party that he was going to with his friends.

I am starting to feel trapped. But I feel like I should not be like this, that I am being ungrateful. He provides for me very well. He is a higher social class than me, we are not poor but he is definitely much richer, and he gives me a very comfortable and nice lifestyle when we are together. I am very appreciative of it and I help him in the ways I can, like keeping his place tidy, helping him plan things for his family or friends.

By the way speaking of his family, they don’t know about me. We had a fight in the first year of our relationship and after that his mom said not to date me anymore. But all this time they don’t know we’re still together. This is another problem. Surely it’s impossible to get married, much alone get engaged, in this kind of situation. Which is what I am hoping for, to be engaged or married soon. I can’t bring this up to him because he gets very angry and shouts at me, and it turns into a fight.

Every time we fight, he always threatens to break up with me. I never do that. I’m always begging him to reconsider, not to say that, but he always says it’s my fault because I made him angry.

It was only very recently that I opened up about this to a few of my very close friends. They’re all shocked because we look like such a happy and good couple. Everyone is asking us when the wedding will be, they congratulate us for being together for so long. But now I don’t even know if it is worth it.

I know this is a bad thing to add to this mix, but I also met this guy a few months ago. He is very sweet and kind, and the way he treats me allowed me to compare and really see how bad my relationship is now.

I know it’s not healthy to stay in this relationship. But I also feel bad. It’s 9 years of our lives. I don’t know if we can still fully fix it anymore. His ambitions (or lack of them) don’t align with what I see for my future now. I used to think I would be content already with the life he planned out for us but I think that maybe it’s okay to want more, to explore other things.

I don’t know how to end this. I have never been the one to break up with anyone, I’m always the one left behind. Especially now for such a long relationship that has been my life for many years, I’m at a loss how to start. He controls and has access to every part of my life. I’m scared that if I end this, he will get mad at me, or it will be difficult for a clean break unless I move somewhere.

Has anyone been in this kind of situation? What did you do?

Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

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  1. He is abusive. First thing is to find somewhere you know you will be safe to go. If you can afford to, I’d say to get a hotel or a room to rent for a month or two where nobody knows where you are. Get a separate mailing address or have your mail sent to your parents or close friend you can trust. Arrange this ahead of time and without his or anyone else’s knowledge. He knows your friends and your family, and even your parents are normalizing his behavior. I would explain to them when you leave how he’s abusive- but wait until you leave so that they cannot tell him about you leaving in case they take his side.

    Idk how many belongings you have, but maybe you can claim you’re donating some and start slowly moving some of them out. Then choose a day he’s working or gone, and take everything you want and leave. Don’t forget important documents, paperwork, contracts, receipts, etc. anything you might need. You do not want to have to go back. You do not want to tell him where you’re going or why. You do not want him to know you’re planning to leave. He may have only been physically abusive once but you don’t know what his reaction is going to be. Make sure you have a safe place to be where he won’t and can’t find you.

    Don’t trust just anyone in your social circle. If a close friend is willing to help- make sure you trust them implicitly. Take everything, and leave. He does not matter. His feelings do not matter. He is trapping you emotionally and mentally. He will abuse you and make it your fault. You say you understand why he beat you up because you cheated, but that doesn’t give anyone an excuse to beat on someone. He should have just left. He’s using that one thing to trap you forever. He’s used one thing to make you his punching bag. It will never change and you will never heal until you leave. But do not give him a single chance to guilt trip you into staying because he definitely will. Don’t care about him anymore, because he never cared about you. He just wanted someone he knew he could keep around. He controls you with your past transgressions- and you’re letting him. Your cheating doesn’t make it okay for him to abuse you and control you for the rest of your life.

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