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I don't know what's good for me or him
I've been with my partner for nearly two years now, since we finished highschool. Things were never drastically romantic or heartfelt in anyway, and that was okay. We've been addicted to cannabis our entire relationship, and it has established a subsequent co-dependency. He works full-time, I'm studying paramedics full-time and cleaning. We have been 'living' together for nearly a year now. I don't have any posessions here (his home), but I cook and clean for him and buy groceries etc. I study at my 'home' when he works during the day, and come over at night to cook and clean. Problems arise due to the time I spend here being only used for cooking and cleaning and sitting behind him while he games. He tells me he feels smothered, due to working all day and coming home to spend time with me. I feel neglected, due to the fact he doesn't speak to me when we are together, or speaks over me while he Skypes his friends every night. He ignores me physically, turned away from me for up to 6 hours +, not speaking to me, ignoring my messages during the day.. we don't converse and he deliberately refuses to respond when I try to talk about such issues... He has never shown an interest in my passions, problems, or life in general. I don't have a single friend.. I rarely see my family. My 'home' is unoccupied 90% of the time due to my mothers travel. My partner is the only person i've had regular contact with for over 8 months.. I would leave him alone, I really wish I had the willpower but if I don't speak to him, I go days without human contact, and that doesn't bother him at all. It kills me that he is so uninterested in helping me become what he wants, he only demands it. I self harmed for nearly a decade, and have survived suicide attempts and am now suffering with unemployment due to severe scarring and physical limitations from a spinal operation. He condescends my inability to get work, speaks down to me constantly, accuses me of things I would never do and assumes the worst... All i want is for him to be happy.. no matter how hard i try i can't do it.. I'm too poor to provide him anything or pay him proper rent and i feel absolutely awful, i try to do things for him like buy groceries and cook for him and clean but i only receive ignorance.. i don't know what to do.. i don't want to be alone or locked up again.. but i don't want to be a burden anymore
Welcome and congratulations for taking the courage to post. We will all do our best to help, so make sure you check back in when you're having trouble.
What you are describing sounds like emotional abuse. You try to make him happy, and don't see any benefits for your efforts. He doesn't bother to try to make you feel better when you're down, and verbally denigrates you. He has the power over you, and when he behaves badly he doesn't have to worry about losing you because he never has... yet...
Emotional abuse is about control and manipulation: one person having total freedom of their actions and the other person, gradually ending up with none. Emotional abuse is not the same as physical abuse, but it is no less damaging. There are many long term effects of emotional abuse over an extended period of time: loss of trust (in self and others), loss of judgment and decision making, post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, physiological symptoms such as ulcers and migraines... and plenty more.
It's great that you have been thinking already about why you stay because that gives you something to work from. It sounds like your self esteem is suffering (emotional abuse does that to you too), so I would start by joining a group where you can meet like minded people. This can be from a hobby (sport, music, art, craft...) or you can find a group for people who share the experience that you have had (self harm survivors, depression, abusive relationships...) but I think it would be good for you because you'll probably find you feel better when you aren't as socially isolated (abusers like it when you're isolated, you lose 'reality testing' of what is inacceptable). Examine the reasons you stay, and see how you can achieve without staying to be abused. I also recommend a book: 'The Emotionally Abusive Relationship' by Beverly Engel. You can find it on Ebay fairly cheaply and I really really think it would be great for you.
Regardless of your current situation, you deserve to be treated better than this, and the fact that you used to self-harm and smoke cannabis does NOT make you in any way less deserving of respect and an emotionally validating relationship.
You also may not be able to make him happy... He might want to be unhappy... or worse, he might BE happy from the way he is treating you (it can become an addiction that stimulates dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain, so when abusers abuse, they are 'rewarded')
Keep in touch, 🙂
Hi eafie. Sorry to say this, but you're not in a relationship of any description, you're a 'char woman'. It sounds like your needs are more intense than his, and he couldn't care less. I would seriously look at what you want, not what he wants. You are an important person in your own right and you're being made into a doormat for an egotist. I know you say you're lonely without him but you haven't 'got' him. Lazykh has some great ideas about joining social groups. There could be some computer classes in your area if computers interest you, or photography clubs. Have a look online or in your local paper for some social clubs in your area. The self-harm arises from the need to feel, the pain you get when you self-harm tells you, you're a person. If you could make the first step (which I know will be difficult), but making that first step will open the door to meeting people who will help restore your confidence in yourself.
Can I say that if you are studying paramedics full-time then is it possible to address your dependency, because what may happen is that if you apply for a job they will want you to take a drug test, and with cannabis it takes several months to get out of your system, even though you have stopped awhile ago.
I just want to give you that advice. Geoff. x