Author Topic: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?  (Read 49255 times)

stripey

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #150 on: November 20, 2014, 05:29:14 PM »
Hrrm, I wonder whether if they'd met the OP face-to-face whether different things would be said.

Bearing in mind that the OP even used a different online username to ask for opinions, if you'd met the OP face-to-face and he'd/she'd mustered up the courage to talk about the situation and ask for opinions:

- Would you tell them to 'man up'?

- Would you tell them that they probably aren't the 'alpha male'? (As an aside, such descriptions of pack mentality in canids are several decades out of date).

- Would you them them that 'being whopped by a girl isn't a big deal'?

I hope in real life people respond to people asking for help in difficult situations with considerably more tact and compassion. I don't see why it should be different online- opinions (whether they are actually accurate or not) can still hurt quite a bit. I suspect given the way the opinons the thread has gone, that we may not hear from the OP under this username again. If you were them, how would you even begin to respond or comment to such opinions of yourself?

scrubbyfish

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #151 on: November 20, 2014, 05:52:11 PM »
If the table were turned, no one would even suggest that maybe a lady should stay with a man who shoves her from behind, slams her laptop shut, and barricades her in the basement.  No one would suggest reading a book to make the relationship better. 

Not that it should be much consolation, but they do. I just spent several months -weekly meetings- in a group of women who'd been abused. Women showing up with fresh bruises. Etc. All of us had been told by plenty of people to stay. They were wrong, but they -counsellors, family members, highly intelligent business people- sure did tell us to stay, to read the books, to try new techniques ourselves in an attempt to prevent their outbursts, to empathize with ("understand") the abuser, give the abuser time, look at it differently, and so on.

Something I find helpful: Statistically, most people will leave an abusive relationship about 8 times before they finally leave for good. There are lots of reasons this is so, but it's helpful information for (a) helping an abused person not feel so silly through the process, and (b) giving their supporters more patience and acceptance while the abused person goes through the process.

+1 to Lundy Bancroft's Why Does He Do That?.

Also, it can indeed be terrifying to think of being alone, but it's not that the options are "be happy some of the time with a person who is usually lovely but sometimes abusive" or "be alone, isolated, devastated, depressed, and eternally grieving". And the third option isn't always just a better partner. Find out what -besides a partner- makes you happy, and pursue all of that. Then, whether you have a partner or not is entirely moot for you.

Finally, almost every person who is abusive is usually lovely. Otherwise, very few people would be in a relationship with a person who is abusive. The loveliness is required for the abuser to maintain their option to abuse.

Spork

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #152 on: November 21, 2014, 08:26:21 AM »

Sorry, but I just don't get the lashback on "man up."  (And you don't have to try to explain... I've read the thread.... I'm probably not going to get it.)

I've been this guy.  I've been in this situation.  I'm just not bothered by non-PC speech -- especially if it comes from the heart and no real malice is behind it. 

To me, the whole side thread on "saying the right thing the right way" is a distraction to his real issue.   

Greg

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #153 on: November 21, 2014, 08:58:15 AM »
I'm not sure this relationship can be salvaged in any case.  The thing to do now is to figure out how to evict her from his home.  There may be a legal process that needs to be followed.

A hindsight is 20/20 observation; best not to date coworkers.

In this case, the term "man up" means break up, and follow through as can be safely done.  In this case safely means legally as well.

As Dan Savage would say: DTMFA. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=DTMFA

MustachianAccountant

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #154 on: November 21, 2014, 08:59:31 AM »
I know this guy who’s been with a lovely  woman for the last 4 years.

...and during this argument she pushed/hit him from behind into a wall.  Then later she slammed his laptop screen down on his hands, and after that threw his phone across the room into the wall.

...she locked him in the basement of the house for an hour by blocking the stairwell physically so that he either stayed where he was or he had to physically move her, he chose the former.


Yeah, she sounds super lovely.

...She says these things happen in all relationships...

This is not true. Not even close.
Get out. Get out now...

MustachianAccountant

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #155 on: November 21, 2014, 09:10:27 AM »

I guess I'm the only one on here, but I've thrown things before in frustration, just not in the context of a romantic relationship. I threw my cell phone down on the ground once in a fit of postpartum frustration after my baby had been crying for hours. I've probably thrown other things before. I'm not proud of it, but I am not an abuser. I would be interested in someone weighing in who has training in abuse. Can someone be a thrower without being an abuser? If not, I am rather worried about what rests beneath my psychological surface.

I would take a much harder line about the physical violence rather than the throwing, although throwing something across the room could inadvertently cause physical violence. Say you marry this woman and you and she are in a fight. Perhaps she throws something and a kid walks in the room and gets hit.

Do you think counseling could solve her anger issues?

Throwing things, I think, is a symptom of anger issues that need to be dealt with. However, I suppose you could be a "thrower" without being an "abuser." For example, in your frustration example, you threw your own phone when you were by yourself. That doesn't seem like abuse to me. In the OP's example, the girlfriend threw HIS phone to gain the upper hand in an argument.
Disclaimer: I am not a therapist.

whattodo

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #156 on: November 22, 2014, 10:48:07 AM »
Hi All,
I wanted to take a moment to update this thread.  I am doing so for a couple of reasons.  Foremost, to thank all of the people that have responded in the thread with words of encouragement, support and advice.  I cannot thank you enough for your kindness, it really has helped me a great deal.  Because those individuals asked for me to check in, I am doing so.  Finally, this will serve as a reminder to me as to where I am today and where I am going, I will revisit this thread as a reminder to stay on the right path.

I have done a tremendous amount of learning and have now engaged with more than one method to get face to face help.  Indeed, while the problem that I face is not ‘my fault’  I do recognize that there are parts of me that have allowed things to get to this point and these patterns have and will repeat themselves for me if I don’t do something about them.  One thing that has been made apparent to me is I am very isolated with almost no support network to speak of.  That must change and I will start building that now.  I have also made contact with an attorney.

Those with real experience/knowledge in this area know how hard it is to get out.  I have found that to be true.  I am not out of the relationship.  I tried, but I am exhausted and I just don’t think I can carry out what would need to be done without a better plan in place and the resources of a support network to help me carry it out.  As a result, I am giving her a chance to work on her problems with professional help.  I fully understand how unlikely it is that she will be able to change. 

With that in mind I am starting my plan now and will keep the details of that to myself.  I will fully assess the situation in 3 months and again at 6 months and determine if things are on the right path or not for both me and her.  If they are not, I will get out of the relationship with a plan in place.  Obviously if something happens in the interim, my plans will have to change accordingly.

I have to get into in a better place than I am today.   This will serve as a reminder of my commitment to make that happen.

lizzzi

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #157 on: November 22, 2014, 10:56:56 AM »
Hi, What to do, glad to see you are back. Now listen, you have one big, humongous support network, and that is us here on this forum. Some of us have been in your position, some of us (not me, though) are social worker types and counsellors…and while I know that posting on the Internet is not the same as going down to the diner and having a cup of coffee…we are here for you, and just hook in whenever you need to.

coffeehound

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #158 on: November 22, 2014, 01:19:42 PM »
Hi, What to do, glad to see you are back. Now listen, you have one big, humongous support network, and that is us here on this forum. Some of us have been in your position, some of us (not me, though) are social worker types and counsellors…and while I know that posting on the Internet is not the same as going down to the diner and having a cup of coffee…we are here for you, and just hook in whenever you need to.

+1. 

Keep working that plan.  Even if your partner is able/willing to make changes, I urge you to get her out of the house.  You see, both of you have work to do, and you both need support - but it'll be better for both of you, and your relationship, if the two of you have other friends to talk to, and 'corners' to which you can retreat when you need to.

The attorney is a good start.  I'd suggest talking to either your work supervisor or HR, too.  What you are going through is extremely stressful, and the more folks who know about the situation, the more support you can draw from them.  The knowledge that you're going through a rough time can be helpful for your supervisor, too, in assessing how many projects to assign you - and, who knows, your work might have *free* resources to help you through this!

Thank you for checking in.  Please keep coming back.  And, when you feel ready, maybe you can let us know where you are?  You might find a built-in network of friends from this site in your area.

arebelspy

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #159 on: November 22, 2014, 02:07:29 PM »
I wish you the best of luck, whattodo.  If there's anything I can do to help, send me a PM.
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Allie

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #160 on: November 22, 2014, 02:40:13 PM »
I'm so glad you are seeking support and help.  In many instances, the slow destruction of a social group and a support network is one of the first red flags of an unhealthy or abusive partner.  Rebuilding relationships and seeking out support, both professional and community based, is one of the best first steps you can take if you can't get out immediately.  Good luck and I wish the best for both you and your significant other (not necessarily together!). 

TomTX

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #161 on: November 22, 2014, 03:07:47 PM »
Document, document and collect evidence and recordings if legal in your state. You have a good chance of bein accused as the abuser.

Thebn protect your finances and stuff.

Then file a police report.

Then GTFO.

lhamo

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #162 on: November 22, 2014, 07:08:21 PM »
So glad you are ok!  The silence was worrying....

Good luck getting the help you need and resolving the situation, however it turns out.  Please do keep us updated on how things are going.

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #163 on: November 23, 2014, 09:29:45 AM »
I'm glad you're making the first steps and being careful.  I'll echo everyone else in saying that those of us on the forums are here for you.

Please consider keeping your important personal documents (birth certificate, passport, social security card, car title, computer backup, etc) in a safe deposit box or held with a friend/family member.  Also if you have combined your finances, make sure you have at least 1 checking account and credit card that are separate so you always have access to funds.  That will help you if things escalate and you have to leave quickly.

Bikeguy

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #164 on: November 23, 2014, 09:39:23 AM »
How to get her to leave?   Call the police and have her arrested next time she assaults you. 

Glenstache

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #165 on: November 23, 2014, 10:10:53 AM »
Whattodo:

I'm sorry to hear that you are in this situation. It is a situation with no short term easy way out. Either you stay in the relationship, which is obviously abusive or you go through what will likely be a messy breakup, to put it lightly. I'm glad to hear that you are moving forward on option number two. Being at a point where you have your mind around the fact that it is an abusive relationship is a very difficult hurdle to get over. But it is a watershed realization and I wish you the best as you move forward.

For the last 2 years (yes 2 years) I've been trying to intervene remotely in what I perceive to be at least a verbally abusive relationship including multiple calls to appropriate agencies, interventions, and the like. It has been very difficult and strained relationships. The biggest impediment to ending the situation is the abused person's expectation for the behavior to change. (side note: I have no interest in discussing specifics of this in this forum for obvious reasons). Unfortunately this is generally not the case. The trap is that it is possible to both love a person for the good qualities and have their toxic behavior persist. Here's the important part: you can't pick and choose. If you keep the relationship, you keep the toxicity, the toxicity is normalized, and the situation worsens over time. You should definitely utilize all of the resources at your disposal to help you move forward smartly and safely. 

I'm glad you have reached the watershed where you can extract yourself from the situation. I hope that there is an opportunity for you to put the GF in touch with resources to help her deal with her issues and have a better life as a result- but that cannot be your priority right now.

Zamboni

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #166 on: November 23, 2014, 01:49:15 PM »
Thank you for checking in, and I'm glad you are building a support network.  Please accept my best wishes for a bright future.

stripey

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #167 on: November 23, 2014, 08:41:13 PM »
Whattodo, I am very pleased that I have been proven wrong and that you've re-surfaced in this thread! I admire your introspection on the situation, and your courage in getting face-to-face help- I appreciate none of this is easy and requires grit, which is a quality I hold as equally valuable (if not more so) than badassity itself.
I am too far away to offer any practical help, but please do consider asking members on this forum for face-to-face or practical help. They're a great resource- people who have got (or are getting) finances under control have the ability to help with other important things (I consider helping people in suboptimal relationships an important thing).

Best of luck, and signing out.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #168 on: December 02, 2014, 07:33:17 AM »
Whattodo, I checked back in on this thread only because I hoped you had returned to update us.  You've been on my mind and I'm so very, very happy that the fog has cleared and you see whats going on. 

I'm also glad that you're planning and being strategic by building a support network and getting legal advice.  That's awesome!  You will find that you get a tiny bit stronger every day, though some days are better than others.  Don't be discouraged and stay focused on your plan. 

Once I KNEW my marriage had to end, it started planning much like you're doing.  I talked to an attorney and I started squirreling away money.  I had never lived on my own and I had two children to support.  The school system I worked for asked if I'd teach an extra class for more pay and I jumped on it.  I also started looking at other places to live -- we owned a home together and I had no idea what The End would look like so I wanted to build options. 

Anyway, long story short, it took about 7 months from the Epiphany (this is over) to The End.   There were moments when I stood up for myself and moments when I stayed quiet and kept my head down until the storm passed (if he had gotten physical, I had a plan to call the cops and get a restraining order).  All the while, I built up my strength and my stash and my support network.  He moved out on Jan. 18, 2003 and my life has taken an upward trajectory since then.  Really good things await you.

Please feel free to PM me at any point and if you want I'll share my phone number and we can talk.  Really, truly, don't hesitate.  I'm cheering for you.

davisgang90

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Re: Girlfriend difficulties - end it?
« Reply #169 on: December 02, 2014, 01:04:12 PM »
As you give her another chance (a mistake in my mind) you need to start making your plans for what happens if that doesn't work.

You've received great advice on this board to date, I'll echo some.

Document every infraction (do you have a way to tape one of her tirades?)
Install locks on your doors or some method of blocking it from an unwanted visitor (skymall sells devices travelers can use in a hotel to bar the door)
Consult with a lawyer and know your rights as the owner of the property, her rights as a tenant and what to do in the case of eviction.  Do this now!