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I’m 26 and I think my relationship is destroying me

Community Member

I met my partner in 2011, I was 17 at the time and he was 18. I was outgoing, happy and confident. I met him through a high school friend, he was a bit aloof when we first met, but I quickly fell in love with him.

As time passed, red flags began to appear (which unfortunately I did not see for what they were at the time). He was always incredibly moody and there were many times that I saw him loose control of his temper. He was never physically abusive towards me, but he often got into fights with figures of authority or would take his anger out on inanimate objects. He would regularly ignore me and treat me as if I was invisible, even when it would bring me to tears, he would not acknowledge my feelings. The relationship quickly became very dark for me. I believe I have erased many things that I went through with him from my memory as a coping mechanism. I could not understand why he was treating me this way, I lost all of my self esteem and self confidence and became so depressed that I ended up turning to a psychologist to try and get some help (I was around 19 at this time). With the help of a friend, I finally removed myself from the relationship and with much support from friends and family, I began to move on.

After leaving the relationship, I was very damaged, yet despite it all, I still missed my ex boyfriend very much. Some time after this, I met a man who ticked all the boxes, he was loving, kind and he adored me. We dated for nearly 2 years, BUT I would often see my ex partner around my area. It seemed to me that he had made some big changes in his life, he was taking better care of himself physically and had a stable career (both things he lacked whilst we were together). We started talking again which eventually drew me and my new partner apart and I ended up breaking up with this great guy, to go back to my ex. At first, things seemed great. I was confident our relationship was going to be different this time around.

It has been 2 years since we got back together. I am now 26 and we are living together. Things are not good. Although he has changed to an extent and does tell me he loves me, he shows me no affection, our sex life is non existent and we do not communicate. I feel lonely and unhappy in our relationship. I am depressed and often think of suicide. I know I should leave him again but I am terrified at the thought of breaking up and feel that its impossible for me. After nearly 10 years of this I feel so depleted and hopeless.

2 Replies 2

Hey Janestewart95,

We are so sorry to hear about your situation. We understand that after 10 years in and out of this relationship it must be an overwhelming prospect to end it. We can hear that this is a really difficult time for you in that you want to feel happy on your own but also feel quite scared at the prospect. Please know that you are strong, valuable and you have a right to live free from emotional abuse.

We would strongly urge that you contact 1800RESPECT. They offer confidential information, counselling and support 24/7 for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice to people in your situation who just want to be happy on their own. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 

You might also find some ideas in reading the stories of others. Some threads you might be interested in reading include:

"Moving on after leaving emotionally abusive relationship" -

"Trying to end an abusive relationship"

We know it has taken courage for you to share your story today, so thank you. We hope that you can find some comfort in the forums and please feel free to keep us updated here on your thread throughout your journey. 

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello and welcome to the forums.

I am sorry to hear your partner is not "giving" to the relationship. In fact it is worse because of the effect it seems to the having on you - that you are having suicidal thoughts. Have you spoken with your GP about these thoughts? Or friends or family?

the other thing i really wanted to say is that you are not hopeless. You sound like you are struggling at the moment. Things are easy in 20/20 hindsight and at the time we make decisions with the best of intentions. In my case it was a work related where I went back to one of my first employers as I felt there was unfinished business for myself. After going back, and years later, I felt I made the same mistake again.

The other thing to consider is ... suppose you stayed with the 2nd guy, where would you be today? How different would things be?

The same for me and that job! Will really never know.

Back to you ...

Have you had a chance to talk to him about some of the issues you raised in the post such as not showing affection and about the lack of communication, and the effect it has on you? Or would this not be possible?

There are other things I could ask. The last thing I want you to know is that I am listening and if you want to come back and chat some more ...

Peace and comforting thoughts to you, Tim