Since more than a year I am in a long distance relationship with a man who I is controlling and emotionally abusive. I started to realize this only recently but since the beginning I found myself feeling more and more stressed and afraid to do something wrong and I start to feel less and less confident about myself. He is criticing me constantly and I have to be extremely careful with what I say or else he will stop talking to me (or hang up the phone) or get angry. Often I don’t even know what sets him off and I never find out because he refuses to speak to me. Now I do a lot of effort to go and vizit him which costs me a lot of money and time (a full day of traveling). Recently he had to be near where I live for his job (30 minutes away from me by train) and he did NOT want to come to me and stay over at my place. Instead he staid in a hotel soooo near and he also did not want me to go vizit him. We were sending text messages back and forward about this, but he never could tell me why he did not want to come or let me go to him. At one point in time he even asked me to give him permission to just go out that evening and so not see me. I couldn’t believe he would ask me for persission like I would be his nanny or guard or something, I just wanted him to come to me and wanting to be with me too. He even broke up with me over text message then, but the next day he said he didn’t mean it and so we are still together. Now my problem is that I just can’t seem to forget it. You must understand that we are normally so far away and that we have to travel far in order to see each other. I also realize it is me who’s doing most efforts to go and vizit him rather than the other way around, but i don’t think it’s that he doesn’t care about me, he seems to really want us to stay together and is even thinking about moving to my country for me, but then how can I make sense of it? I can’t seem to be able to get over this without understanding it, but I don’t know how I can talk with him about it, because I know we will either have a huge conflict about it or he will just go silent on me again and then I will still not know why he did this. Is there any way I could get over this and should or should I not try to discuss it with him and if so how can I bring it up in a way that might not trigger his anger or silent mood? This is very important to me because I keep thinking about what this could mean and how it is possible he did this if he loves me. I just wish I could understand so I can find closure on it.
A: Please ask yourself: Is this really better than being alone for awhile? You’re in your 30s. You are a mature, interesting, and sensitive woman. There are men out there who would be thrilled to have you in their life and who would move the moon and the stars to be with you. Why do you want to even try with a man who can’t make the effort to come by when he is 30 minutes away? More alarming to me is that he creates a big drama when you try to talk to him about things he does that are less than wonderful. Don’t believe his words. His actions have told you quite clearly what you need to know.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jul 2012
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Relationship Way out of Balance. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/07/05/relationship-way-out-of-balance/