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Relationship becoming abusive?

JawfaceJawface Posts: 23 Boards Initiate

I’ve been with my girlfriend for just over a year. I always knew she has high standards about things, and that she can be quite insecure, but it’s gotten worse recently.

Last year, she was in her final year of a very very stressful degree, and throughout the year she would excuse certain things with how stressed she was, such as not allowing me to choose where we went on our (infrequent) dates. Her degree has fortunately finished now, and she has started a job, which she seems to enjoy quite a lot (and has very reasonable hours).

However, somehow we’ve been having more arguments recently - these used to consist of me making a genuine mistake, her getting very very upset, me apologising, then everything going back to normal. This happened until one day when I said a joke that was arguably crossing a line, which caused her to become upset, but I decided to defend my position. She became incredibly upset and had a panic attack, believing that the fact that I was defending what I said meant that I didn’t love her anymore. I jumped to reassure her and she calmed down, but it’s made me afraid to actually talk back to her.

Since then the frequency of our arguments has increased, and I’m not sure why.

I left one tiny speck of food (~1cm across) on a bowl I ate from, and this prompted her getting angry with me, saying that it would block the sink, which is obviously an easily solved problem, you just scrape it into the bin.

I was having a conversation with her housemate while she was in the room, and she asked us to lower our voices, which I promptly did, but her housemate said we weren’t talking loudly; I defended my girlfriend and said that actually we were, but it was too late, she immaturely left the room and didn’t explain why, spoiling the night for all of us. 

Later, while she refused to explain why she left the room (she has an interesting habit of doing laundry instead of talking things out when she’s upset), she insulted my forgetfulness while we were talking about an unrelated topic, even though she knows my memory is something I’m really insecure about. She later explained that she was in a “bad mood”, for no apparent reason. 

I’ve never met anyone who gets annoyed with me so easily, but I know it’ll upset her loads if I bring this up, no matter how gently I do it. Can anyone help?


  • Han93Han93 Posts: 309 The Mix Regular
    Hi @Jawface

    I'm really sorry to hear you're having these problems with your partner! It sounds horrible for you to be in this position where you feel like you can't do anything right.

    I do definitely think you need to bring this up with her. It may upset her but it's not fair for you to be feeling this way and she needs to know that how she is treating you is unacceptable and that it's really starting to upset you. 

    I noticed the title for this thread was 'Relationship becoming abusive?' I think it could be worth having a read of this article: https://www.themix.org.uk/sex-and-relationships/relationships/how-to-recognise-emotional-abuse-in-relationships-24254.html 
    Do you think what you're experiencing at the moment is similar to what The Mix describe as emotional abuse here?
  • AzzimanAzziman Moderator, Community Champion Posts: 1,707 Extreme Poster
    Hey :)

    I think you need to have a chat with her about this, because it sounds like she's becoming more and more unfairly demanding of you now. A relationship is based on trust and respect, but to become so demanding and critical of little, easily fixable things is a problem. It's clearly not making you happy. Have a discussion and see if things change. If things change, then all's well! If they don't, or she refuses to see her errors, then perhaps it's time to move on. There's no point in staying in a relationship if someone doesn't treat you with respectx

    Much love <3
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  • alice123alice123 Posts: 88 Budding Regular

    Thanks for opening up about this. As has previously been mentioned, I think it's really important that you try and talk to her. Although this can be nerve-wracking as you don't know the response, I think it's really important to be able to communicate how you feel in a relationship. If you are unable to do this, then nothing can improve, and you don't deserve to feel like you're treading on eggshells.

    Perhaps you could try and approach the subject in a calm way, asking her if she has felt stressed recently etc and open the topic for discussion outside of an argumentative situation. Although I understand that you don't want to upset her, her becoming upset due to what you're saying may be a cause for change, allowing her to realise that how she's acting is unfair and wrong? 

    Sending hugs x
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