• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Between a Rock and a Hard Place



New member
Jun 20, 2014
I created this account purely to vent about this and hear some perspective from others since I have no other support system available to me.
Here's the situation.
My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly 2 years, and there were warning signs from the start that he was emotionally manipulative. However, when we first started dating I was a much stronger person and was able to keep him from controlling and using me. But over the past year and a half or so that has significantly changed.
He has a really bad temper when he's stressed or tired, and he verbally and emotionally takes it out on me. When he's angry about something with work, he'll try to create some reason at home to get mad and yell at me.
For example, last night when I got home from work; I asked him what he wanted for dinner (like I always do) and offered to go get it. He said, "I kinda want pizza, but I dunno. Whatever you want." I told him that pizza sounded good and suggested a few different places. He rejected those, but mentioned one, quickly following up saying that it was expensive though. Thinking he was in the process of making up his mind, I just played some games on my phone and waited. About half an hour later, he's stomping around, giving me dirty looks and saying that he has to eat right now because he's feeling sick from not eating all day. I ask him if he decided what he wanted and he just screams that he doesn't fucking care. I'm freaking out, trying to figure out what he wants and, deciding that he needs something super fast, I just go through the McDonald's drive through. When we get home, he's staring at me like I murdered a puppy and refuses to speak to me. I finally confront him and he just yells and screams and says that he told me what he wanted five times (even though it was only once, and he said it was too expensive and left it there) but that I was too busy playing on my phone to listen. I offered to order what he initially wanted in the first place but he refused and just pouted for a good 30 minutes, during which he tells me about a situation at work that's pissing him off (and is the cause of all the drama, I realize). Anyway, he eventually apologizes and self deprecates until I'm in an ok mood again and all is well and good again in his eyes.
This is a mild situation comparatively. Usually something ends up getting broken, or the tantrum lasts for hours. I'm constantly stressed and depressed(because of him), but I can't talk to him about it because he'll either try to one up me, saying that I can't possibly be as stressed or depressed as him, or he'll completely change the subject.
I show him affection all the time, massaging his back, cuddling, being playful. But when I ask for him to get an itch on my back that I can't reach or work on a knotted muscle, he huffs at me or does it half-assed and treats me like I'm being a demanding bitch. He constantly tells me how selfish I am and that he feels like he's the only one who gives affection in our relationship. I haven't been interested in sex much lately, and he constantly brings it up in a joking way. He'll buy a box of condoms and say, "here's our year supply," and make me feel bad but then just laugh it off.
I lost all of my close friends within the first year of our being together, because every time I went to hang out with them without him it led to a fight. He'd say that I care about them more than him and emotionally black mail me in to either inviting him or not going at all. I eventually just stopped going out with them to avoid the drama.
All of the things I used to enjoy doing, I've given up. Everything that I liked, he seemed to find a way to make inaccessible. If I took my dogs for a walk (he's always too tired to go with me), I liked them better than him. If I went for a bike ride, I'm avoiding him. If I chat on a forum, I'd rather talk to people on the internet than talk to him. Even video games, which was one of the things we had in common when we got together. If I play too much, the game is more important than him. And if we play together and I do better than him, he pouts or throws a tantrum.
I've gained 10 pounds since we got together because he doesn't like me to go exercise without him, and he refuses to go with me when I ask. My poor dogs have to stay in their crate all day because he doesn't like them "hovering around." And our monetary situation is a disaster because he's an impulsive spender.
He can tell I'm not happy and asks if I want him to leave all the time, but it's just a trap. If I were to say yes, it would be explosive. I can honestly say I don't know what he'd do. The last time I didn't try to stop him from leaving (he used to threaten that when a fight wasn't going his way) he ended up going even more nuts and begging and freaking out. I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't think about how much I hate him. But, crazily, I still care for him at the same time.
So, there's the rock. Here's the hard place.
We recently moved to a new place that's a bit more expensive than the last one. If I were to grow a pair and get up the nerve to tell him to leave, (my name on the lease, not his) I don't know if I could afford the rent and bills on my own. I make more money than him, but it's our combined income that keeps us afloat. I have no friends or family to go to, especially with two big, rowdy dogs in tow. I'm honestly at a loss. And I know that it's not just the money keeping me from doing it. I can see my own co-dependence and fear of confrontation and failure keeping me from acting. There's also the fear that if I do try to make him leave, he'll just find a way to make me let him stay, or do something to harm himself if he can't. Every time I've built up the resolve to end things, he manages to break me right back down. I just don't know if I can go through all that again.

Sorry this was so long. It's just that the situation has been going on so long and I don't have anyone to turn to. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Well-known member
Sep 29, 2013
Hi and :welcome:

It's always difficult when emotional situations collide with the real world. I can see a couple of options. One is therapy. It sounds like your boyfriend has a behavioural problem, and you can tell him to get therapy for it. This may end up being couples therapy, or relationship therapy, and so may need to be paid for. Second, you could try and tackle his bad behaviour yourself. This would probably turn into a protracted emotional battle, and you'd have to learn a bit about therapy and analysis, and acquire both resilience and "a pair". He's certainly displaying controlling behaviour, emotional blackmail, putting his troubles on you, all of which are problems if done in excess. And it's a dicey thing, uncertain of success. It sounds like he is deeply insecure.

But the consequences if you don't take action are not pleasant. The cost has already been large, in that it's cost you sources of pleasure, friends and extra body weight - not small things! And if he wears you down further you could lose more, including your self respect.

How long is the lease? Can you sit it out until it comes up for renewal, then ditch him? Or you could find a replacement boyfriend before ditching him, or after ditching him? Or borrow money?

One thing is sure - there are better people out there and you deserve them! Don't give up!


Fenxy whatever you do don't try and fix him yourself or change him or be his therapist, that is really bad advice.
You don't say if it is him or you that has been dx with a mental illness.
I feel upset about how your dogs are being treated and also I am very worried for you.
You may get housing benefit to top up your rent if you want to get him out and you are on a low income.Whatever the difficulties you do need to leave him and f you hate him you know you have to do that.
A solicitor should be able to make him leave your house,get the solicitor to set him a leaving date then ring the police to enforce it.This man is nasty and controlling and he has isolated you from your friends to control you for his own selfish reasons.He is burying you alive and if it were me in your position I would be suffocating from the conflict, lack of respect and abuse.It may seem to you that you are between a rock and a hard place but he hasn't been a rock for you, has he?And as for the hard place, it looks difficult and complicated to get him out of your life but it needn't be difficult.You will be your own person again, be able to come and go as you please, get your old friends back, allow your dogs to move around the house, take them for walks again, exercise when you want and need to and only have yourself to worry about for dinner.Also you will be free to find a man that loves and respects you and treats you right.Don't waste any more time with this one he is a complete bad un.Best of luck.NicolaX