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Her boyfriend is isolating her.

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I met a man online a year ago, and after some time, as friends, we got together. It’s been about eight months that we’ve been seeing each other. He is intelligent, handsome and fun. I really feel close to him. We have shared many good times together.

Over time though things have become strange. He started by questioning my whereabouts, my friendships and he has accused me of seeing other men. He says that he doesn’t “trust” me. If he can’t get me on the phone, he has a fit. I have noticed that he gets upset when I make plans with other people. He expresses this by distancing himself from me and saying things like, “I’ve never been in a relationship like this before,” “something is wrong, I can just tell” and lately, “I don’t trust you.” He’s broken up with me twice. I have never looked at another man and I would never be unfaithful. I’m just not interested.

I have tried to reassure him, and I have modified my behaviour, too. I don’t see my two male friends. And I’ve become anxious about making plans with other people. This isn’t right. I have other friends and I think it is healthy to do so. I haven’t given him any reason, that I can think of, to distrust me. And nothing that I do seems to help. When I defend myself, we argue and then he says that I’m” really difficult,” yesterday he called me a “man crusher” because I didn’t answer my cell phone (we were heading into a movie) and I didn’t answer my phone. He said the fact that I didn’t answer my phone was “suspicious” I said, I can check the message later. He made me check it and asked me who it was. So I did but I told him that this was over-the-top and that answering or not answering my cell phone was my decision to make. Ie: If I’m out for dinner or at a movie, why would I answer my phone?

Anyway, my world is becoming smaller as I try to reassure this man. It isn’t making him feel safer and it is making me feel isolated and like I’m doing something wrong. He’s great in between these episodes and I feel very attached to him. But he is really hurting me with this and my self-esteem is getting lower with each episode. I have tried to suggest that he has “trust issues” that he needs to look at but he blames me. I’m losing my perspective on this, he twists my words and revises history, which makes me doubt myself. No doubt, he’ll break up with me after yesterday but he’ll be back and I now see that this is a pattern. I’m not sure what to do!

Her boyfriend is isolating her.

Answered by on -

A.

As nice as this man can be, you know you need to end this relationship and move on. He is controlling you and manipulating you. He is isolating you from friends with his unreasonable jealousy and distrust. He takes no responsibility for his part in the tension between you. This is emotional abuse. The next stage in a relationship like this is usually violence.

There’s no point in trying to reason with him. He isn’t reasonable. There is no point in trying to show him his part in it. He will twist your words. Probably the best thing to do is to tell him that he is absolutely right; that as wonderful as he is, you aren’t really ready for an exclusive relationship. By taking all responsiblity on yourself, you protect his fragile ego and, most important, protect yourself. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t entirely true. What matters is that you extricate yourself without setting yourself up to get hurt.

Please take a look at websites that talk about domestic violence to get a fuller understanding of what you are dealing with and how best to take care of yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Her boyfriend is isolating her.

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Her boyfriend is isolating her.. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/08/24/her-boyfriend-is-isolating-her/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.