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Coming out of an emotionally draining relationship

Community Member

Recently, something has come up and I have had to decide to leave my house and not renew my lease.

I called my girlfriend to discuss our accommodation situation, hoping to sort something out, but ended up on the receiving end of an ear bashing. This was followed by text messages in a similar vein. She is worried about where she is going to stay, but as soon as I try to help she bites my head off. This is hard for me because I feel sorry for her and still care for her, even though she is abusive.

I am in a difficult situation financially, underemployed and relying on Jobseeker. My work is winding down in December and I am facing a rate cut in January. Next year I am hoping to do study to pursue my vocation.

I have a condition which, if unmanaged, can render me non-functional. As a result of isolation, I have lost my social network. And my family network is strained owing to the support I have needed in the past, which has turned family members against me.

In other words, I am quite vulnerable. However, my girlfriend is dependent on me while sometimes giving herself permission to treat my like dirt. I had to learn patience while she made a habit of berating me. And just when I thought I had things under control, a circumstance has precipitated my moving out - my mental and physical health would not cope otherwise.

I've tried everything in the relationship, trying to be the calm, mature, level-headed one. Nothing has worked. She lashes out at me when she is stressed. Regardless of how I stretch myself to accommodate her, the behaviour never stops. Even couples counseling failed. I already see a psychologist, who sees her as incredibly immature and spoilt.

My dilemma is if I don't try to help her, I will fill guilty, thinking something terrible is going to happen to her if she doesn't find a place to stay. However, if I do help her, she will continue being abusive and could pose a significant risk to me if my decision potentially causes me financial loss.

I'm torn. Despite it all, I still love her. I know there is no future in the relationship because I can't respect myself if I consent to being a punching bag. I tend to be peaceful and conflict averse.

4 Replies 4

Hey Tote442, welcome to our friendly online community, we are so glad you decided to join us here. We know it can be hard to write the first post, so thank you for having the courage. We are sorry to hear of your relationship difficulties. It definitely sounds like things a tense right now and you have some important decisions to make. Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk things through and our community is here to offer as much support, advice and conversation as you need. We're sure that a lot of our community members will relate to these feelings and hopefully some of them will pop by to offer you words of wisdom and kindness.
Please stay in touch

Community Member

Hello Tote442,

It sounds like you have identified an unhealthy relationship and that you need to get out, but still want to be a "nice guy" about it. That is ok, I commend you on being a decent human being and for being strong enough to make the move, nobody deserves to be abused in their relationships.

For a moment consider that being the nice guy in this scenario is possibly part of what kept you in the relationship, being willing to compromise and take responsibility etc. Now consider how the former partner would have responded if you had treated them, the way they had treated you.

I am not suggesting that you switch teams and become an abuser, instead just not be quite as nice as you have been in the past. Your choice, that you made a choice in the first place, to move out and then following through with that action seems to have unsettled her. From what you have said it sounds like she is lashing out as a first instinct which, personally, would make me disinclined to acquiesce to their requests.

I hope that you can find yourself a safe and comfortable space to live, having that refuge can help you start to grow and mend yourself.

Community Member

Hi buddy.

You imagine that you are in a really tough and difficult situation with lots of confusing thoughts and emotions.

Arrrhh - Commitment. It takes a lot of work from both lovers to commit to each others care needs.

Some people may disagree -their own opinions. Do what makes you happy and if she cannot do that for you, please do the right thing for both of you.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Totes442,

You sound like you are in a really difficult situation at the moment, and instead of your girlfriend recognizing that and supporting you, she is making it all about her and making things worse for you. That is not a great trait to have in a partner standing beside you, someone who steps on your back while you’re down, but I can tell from your post that you are already well aware of this fact. You seem to have a lot of insight and emotional maturity and are not only able to see flaws/weaknesses in others but then in yourself, which is admirable. Like you say, she gives herself permission to treat you this way. You are worried about her and how she will cope yet she is not considering you, who is in the more vulnerable position at the moment. Now is the time to be selfish, you need to focus on your right now, what things do you need to achieve to get in a less vulnerable position and prioritize those right now. She is a big girl and can look after herself.