My Boyfriend is a Complete and Utter Jerk

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

So my boyfriend and me have been dating for more than 3 years now and we haven’t been truly & deeply happy for about 2 years of it now. After the 2nd year, we started to break up then make up and repeat over and over and over again. We would fight almost everyday and he would always lie to me and never gave me the love and support that I really needed. It even got to the point where I would have to ask him to show me that he loves me and appreciates me and all the stuff that a boyfriend should already do for his girlfriend. Let me start from where I come from and who I am.

I am an Indian girl who has Indian traditional values and parents. Of course my parents did not want me dating at the age of 15 (meaning we started going out during high school) so we had to keep it a secret and we did and he was so understanding of it so much for about a year and after that he just got so difficult. I went to beatings from my dad for him and he still didn’t understand what I was going through and at the same time him and me started dating my sister was diagnosed with cancer.

I had such a hard time all my life and I would always choose him over my sister because he would always want to talk to me and stuff. I will regret that all my life and when I do bring that up when he says I have done nothing for him and all he says is that he didn’t ask me to not spend time with her. He says whatever he wants to me, calling me names, being just absolutely rude to me, not listening to anything I have to say. I still stayed with him through all of it, just hoping that maybe he would change and be better. Then the beginning of my last year in high school my sister passed away and it was the hardest thing for me, I missed school for about a month and was always busy tending to my family and parents. I am the oldest so everyone would always count on me being the strong one, and I did it well, with no help from him … 4 days after my sister passed away he started fighting with me about how we couldn’t see each other and I was always too busy and stuff. It was that time that I was scared for life by him.

He never gives me the support I need, I left for college and I am a few hours away from home while he stayed home. He wants me to text him every second and talk to him all the time and he doesn’t support the fact that I am trying to make a future for myself. I have no help from anyone and if I can’t get support from my boyfriend especially one of 3 years then whom can I get it from? We still fought every single day when I was at school, it got so bad that I would just be depressed and wouldn’t go to classes or get out of bed, I even missed a final because of how out of it I was. And he doesn’t care about any of that. I know it’s my fault for letting it get to me so bad, but after 3 years of having to be so strong, I am just tired.

Then one night when we were fighting he cussed at me and I was done. I broke up with him and we didn’t talk for like a week. Then he contacted me and I replied back and stuff and we started talking and he asked me to hang out and I did. But I told him I was going to date and I would date him too but not exclusively. I think that may have opened his eyes a little but not so much. Then about 2 weeks after I left on a month long vacation overseas where the only contact we had was through email. Then one day he emailed me something just so unnecessary while I was on vacation so I called him and at the end I told him I didn’t want any contact from him for the rest of my trip and that I would call him when I got back home. That I did, then after I got back and got settled and everything, he was trying to be all different, because I told him I’m not getting back together with him until I see that he changes and is a better person and stuff, but he was so sure that he had changed and those couple weeks of not talking just made him realize what he would do to me and stuff. I wasn’t believing it at first but after 2 weeks I got a good gut feeling and went with it and got back with him … and here we are 2 weeks after getting back together and he is still the same as before. He even just the other day told me that getting with me was a mistake that he regrets and when I told him that hurt he was saying that he didn’t mean it the way I took it, is there really any other way to take that? He tells to just shut my mouth and everything between us will be better, he doesn’t want me to bring up all the stuff he has done to me in the past because he wants to “move forward” so I should too, but he brings it up whenever he wants.

What do I do? He just doesn’t know how to make me happy anymore but I can’t find it in me to just leave him. I really do love him and I always will. But I can’t take getting hurt anymore. Please help!

A: I wish there was an easier way for me to say this to you. I know you are sincere when you say that you love him. But you are in love with the wrong person.

We are drawn to what is familiar, not what is better. Your grew up in an abusive home and have found an abusive boyfriend. His abuse is emotional rather than physical, but your psyche is simply choosing a modification of the abuse; he isn’t a genuine correction. There is no evidence that he is either willing or ready to change. Don’t expect what isn’t a reality. Think about it. The best he can do is tell you to forget about his transgressions. There was never any mention of the steps he was going to take to change himself.

I would strongly encourage individual therapy (check the find help tab at the top) to unravel some of the pain caused by him and in your family. You will need this support as you find a way to break away from your boyfriend.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). My Boyfriend is a Complete and Utter Jerk. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/03/23/my-boyfriend-is-a-complete-and-utter-jerk/