Hey guys, I hope you are all okay.
I need some help, this is going to sound strange some parts of it, I’m sorry.
so I have been dating someone online for 7 years. we split up for a year at one point but he wouldnt leave me alone, he never does.
I met him when I was 16 and he was 20 because I used to go online all the time because I suffer with social anxiety and really struggled with making any kind of friends. so at the start it was okay and he would say he wanted to meet me but then he kept making excuses. a lot of things happened, he went on a website imvu and was saying very inappropriate stuff to other girls, and saying he was single and people go on there to date. I told him and he basically blamed me for finding out and that it was a ’joke‘ basically putting the blame on me. he finally said he wouldn’t do it again but then he did it for a second time. He would go for weeks ignoring me and then come back and be fine for a week or two. He would always make comments saying I have lame replies or I should say certain things. He would always make me feel like I’m not good enough Because he would constantly be talking to other girls and meeting lots of them while he got very insecure if I spoke to anyone. One time he even tried to say to my family that I had talked shit about them to him and that he knew me better than I knew myself. he constantly made ‘jokes’ about me being bisexual and liking women. he Acts very immature too . when I try to break up with him and block him I have a hard time because he always manages to contact me in some shape or form (making new accounts) because apparently he has changed and doesn’t do that anymore. He seems to have forgotten the things he’s said to me for the past 7 years and thinks the only thing he did wrong was that on imvu.
in recent years he has become a lot more clingy and jealous. I feel like he wants to control me and I’m tired. I just feel like I can’t get away from him. He constantly makes me do things on our call that I don’t want to do which sometimes makes me feel so disgusting and makes me want to cry but then I feel bad because he says he just wants to feel wanted so I feel awful because I never want to make someone feel bad about themselves But I feel like I can’t take it anymore.
he got jealou over me having dinner with my family before COVID, he got jealous bc he thought the sims was a multiplayer game, he gets jealous if I even talk to someone and says I should be flattered that someone cares about me that much they don’t want to lose me. Before COVID I would sometimes go out for drinks with my sisters and he told me that only single people do that which is not true, my sisters have partners and they go out for some drinks.
I recently also told him I am sick of having an online relationship , I am now 24 and I feel like I have missed out on so much. I have struggled with an eating disorder and anxiety and depression for years and he makes it worse. The worst thing is, he things he is a great boyfriend and doesn’t think half the Things he does is bad or hurt me. It’s all about him. i said I was sick of being in an online relationship and he said he wants to meet but if he had too he would have an online relationship forever bc he loves me and basically I can’t love him enough If I don’t. he also accuses me of things constantly, I’m just waiting for something better to come along or I’m looking for this and that. I’m exhausted with it all
i feel defeated. I feel like no one would actually want to be with me in real life. he has done so many more things than the stuff above but I’m in two minds the one who has had enough and the one who doesn’t know if I’m just wrong, he says he felt worthless when I said I didn’t want to be back with him and he really knows how to make me feel bad or pressure me. I just feel so stuck, I know it’s online but I feel like he will always be there in some way.
and sometimes when I’ve left for a while I start to miss him and I’m not sure why Because I feel awful all the time I’m with him. he gets annoyed when I’m not affectionate with him or if I don’t call him baby, but this just doesn’t come naturally to me, I’m not very affectionate in words, I like to DO things for people
sorry for the long post, I could literally write so much more I just need help with getting away but being able to stay away and not feel bad I guess
I'm so sorry for the delay! The holidays brought about unexpected delays:
Thank you for coming to Asking Jude for advice. I am so sorry for what you have experienced due to your relationship with this man. Based on what you mentioned, it seems like you are going through the vicious cycle of a toxic relationship. He is highly manipulative and exploitative of you, and it seems like you recognize that. I want to reassure you that you are not in the wrong for wanting to leave him, nor are you at fault for his actions. I used to be in a very similar situation, and leaving a toxic relationship can be extremely challenging. However, it is far from impossible. Here are my suggestions:
Recognize that you are not responsible for his behavior or his feelings. You mentioned that he pressures you into doing things you do not feel comfortable doing because he craves feeling wanted. Remind yourself that you do not exist to make him feel better about himself and that it is not your duty to do so. This is not to say that you should not care about how other people feel, just that it should not come at your own expense. If you convince yourself that he is not entitled to you, it will be easier to refuse to give in to his demands. Here is a link for setting (and maintaining) boundaries: https://positivepsychology.com/great-self-care-setting-healthy-boundaries/. Here is another link for avoiding people-pleasing behaviors: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/4-fears-that-create-people-pleasers-and-how-to-ease-them/
Analyze this situation from a third-party perspective. If a friend you loved was going through what you are experiencing, what advice would you offer them? How differently would you view the guy’s actions? How would you help your friend redefine the concepts of love and respect in relationships?
Create a positive self-image. You mentioned that you think no one would want to be with you in real life, and I am certain that that is not the truth. It is likely that your relationship with him has altered not only how you view relationships but also how you view yourself. Building your self-esteem is important for recognizing your worth and seeing yourself as someone who is deserving of respect. A tip on building your self-image includes taking a few minutes to notice your positive features (e.g. your sense of humor, your smile, how empathetic you are). I also recommend training yourself to challenge your inner critic: https://www.google.com/amp/s/ideas.ted.com/how-to-stand-up-to-your-inner-critic/amp/
Spend time with people who truly love and care about you. I know this is restricted due to COVID-19, but I encourage you to have group video calls with your sisters and friends, and spend extra time with those who surround you. You may even consider letting them know about the situation you are going through. This can help remind you that you are not alone and that there are people in your life who value you.
Spend more time dedicated toward your own interests. Stepping away from a relationship can reward you with time and energy that you can now spend on yourself. It can even help liberate you from the constraints he held you under due to his jealousy. If there is a hobby you have been looking to jump into (such as learning to play an instrument, painting, or spending more time in nature), I think now would be a great time to explore it. Here are some recommendations: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/20-hobbies-which-will-make-you-more-productive.html
Lastly, be patient and kind with yourself during this time. You may find yourself missing him and feeling tempted to message him back. Remember that this process will not be easy, and punishing yourself for falling back into old habits can be counterproductive. Instead, give yourself reminders as to why he does not belong in your life, his intentions for reaching out to you, how he has consistently made you feel, and why messaging him back will only continue the cycle of pain and disappointment for you. Know that freedom away from this relationship is entirely possible with patience and strength. I believe in you.
Sending love and support,
Hi, Sarah! One of our team members will be answering your submission shortly.
Hey, Sarah! I'm a member, here, at Asking Jude, not a peer counselor. You have good instincts in asking for help, because, clearly, you do need help. I'm sorry about all of the problems you've been having -- going back at least to age 17. Please... you have to find a psychologist or psychiatrist to talk to you because the relationship you have with this guy is definitely not healthy. And he needs help -- although he sounds like someone who will not go get help. I would tell him in no uncertain terms that you don't want anything to do with him. Please find a psychologist or psychiatrist to talk to. Good luck to you...