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03 Mar 2003

How do you stop someone you love from abusing you emotionally?
Hi there. I'm a guy and I'm dating a guy who lives in a different city, for over a year and a half. We had a wonderful relationship; very caring, honest and open, but now I feel like I'm faced with an impossible task trying to make it work. I love him and I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but he's making it almost impossible!

He's under a lot of stress at the moment (so am I, aren't we all?), and he takes it out on people around him. Especially those closest to him. So you can see why I get the brunt of it. He recently had an affar with someone he met on-line, but was very honest and told me about it as soon as it happened. I was, of course, devastated, and am still trying to work through it.

We fought for a long time about it, and he promised to think about my points of view more carefully in the future, and try to keep from lashing out emotionally when he's angry (the affiar occured because I wasn't able to go to his city over the weekend, and he wanted to punish me for that - makes my stomach lurch when I think about it). But he's still lashing out emotionally; it's getting to the point where I don't even feel its worth bringing up issues because I'm only going to get nailed for it. He gets home from school (yes he's 18, I'm 22) and does homework all day. He then chats on-line - he doesn't seem to understand how that cuts me up. I also don't want to deny him that - he kinda relies on those chat friends quite a bit.

I don't want to lose him, and I know he loves me with all his heart, but it's like he doesn't think about anything but himself. I don't want to lose my patience, and fall out of love with him.

I've tried everything and nothing's worked. What do I do? I'm not sure if I'm a victim of emotional abuse, or if I'm just whining too much; but I'm not happy whatever the answer.

Thanks for listening (it's nice to have someone do that),
Mike
Answer 405 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Mike,
He sounds rather immature, emotionally, doesn't he ? That's one of the reasons why peopl advise folks to be cautious about relationships with young people. Even when they're of legally mature age, they take quite a bit longer to become emotionally mature ( as that's not strictly tied to calendar years ),
Young and immaure folks are often selfish and think only of themselves, even if they don't recognize this trait in themselves.
I must be geting really old, but I continue to be puzzled by how many people talk of "love" as some sort of emotion, somehow totally unrelated to what a person does, how they act and behave. So I get questions that say "He beats me, is unfaithful, lies, and is cruel --- but he loves me." Whatever that is, it isn't love. Sometimes 18-year-olds have a lot of things to do, including some silly 18-year-old stuff, online chatting, computer games, clubbing, whatever --- before they're ready to settle down in a genuine relationship.
Living with someone can be relatively easy, if it's every man for himself, and two independent, selfish but trying to be good-mannered, people living in the same place. But relationships are more complex, and involve far more understanding of and carng for, the other person, as well as oneself. Some people are never capable of doing that ; most folks take some time to grow enough to be able to do it.
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