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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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We were discussing after programme about physical abuse in

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We were discussing after programme about physical abuse in relationship. And I expressed that i understand why , as i can familiarise as i was in similar situation last year! When I found out that he was lying to me once again and abused my trust and gambled our holiday money,and for past year when he has a bad time and hits rock bottom I forgive and carry on and thrive on those good moments when I put my blinkers and do not want face that we have problem, i am scared to leave him because i love him and i have no other family. We are known as very loveable couple and i never told anybody about his gambling problem. He got very upset and cannot believe that i could think that he is equal to physical abuse. I then said yes it is i do not have bruises but my emotional state is bruised and hurt and each time I am hurt more and more , I effected financially and I have no money as all my wage goes to bill payments and food . I feel second best and he prefers online bookies than me. I am the one who worry to keep the roof over head . To keep roof over head as all his wages goes to online gambling . I hardly brought myself anything only when we go on holiday once a year I am buy myself new clothes. So he got really upset and do not want to talk ! He is making me feel very guilty about and asked me to leave him! I apologised this morning but he is not listening and ask to stop talking. I did pointed out that sometimes people when they are upset say thinks to hurt each other but if we love each other we should talk and work true it, if he feels that i hurt him that much and cannot forgive me he should leave. I forgave him numerous times and occasions when he spend lost manipulated and lied to me I stuck by him so if he wants he can leave. I will cry for while but I feel i will survive and have to move on. I am not sure what to do or what he will do but i just need to talk to someone. I am scared that he will leave me and thought of being alone is very daunting , he is very nice and he is my advisor and supporter in difficult times and when I get myself in working troubles. I deep down know that we could have so much better if he understand how much his gambling hurts me. I know that gambling for him is the way to spend his free time as he doesn't have that many interest were I opposite can easy entertain my self . So excuses that he is bored while I am working , but when i do something what he likes he still does it. So I am not sure what would you suggest I do or say to him or just leave him and give him time to think and when he makes his decision to stay to carry on as nothing happen. Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
From your description, it sounds like your boyfriend is being abusive. Most people feel that emotional abuse is not the same as physical because it is more subtle and harder to prove. But that is simply untrue. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging and hurtful as physical abuse, sometimes more so.
If you feel you are being abused, then there is a reason you are experiencing those feelings. And watching a program on abuse may have triggered some of the similar feelings you are having in your relationship.
By gambling and putting his addiction first, your boyfriend is sending the message that you are not the most important thing in his life. And that is a dangerous sign. Putting you down and threatening to leave you when you express your feelings to him is also a bad sign. You should never feel you have to give so much in a relationship in order to be in it.
It is very difficult to cope when you are caught in a relationship and you feel you are being abused. You want to hang on because you want it to be better between you. And you hold out hope because you still love him and believe he can be a better person. All of those feelings are understandable. And it is very easy to get caught in an abusive relationship and feel you cannot leave. Your self esteem is low and you feel there is nothing else out there for you because you have lost hope. But with the right support, it can get better.
The only way people do change is if they want to. And at this point, your boyfriend is not seeing what he is doing is wrong. And if he doesn't see how he is treating you as wrong, he is not going to change. Not with where he is now. And it sounds like you have made as much effort as you can to make the relationship work. Yet he keeps hurting you and won't stop. And until he sees what he is doing is wrong, he won't stop.
The first step is to realize that if he is hurting you like he is, then you are in an abusive relationship. You do not deserve to be treated like he is treating you. You deserve better. Any time you are feeling fearful and anxious about a relationship, it is a sign that you are in an abusive relationship. You should instead feel taken care of, loved and safe. Because of that, you may want to consider taking time off the relationship. Taking time to get away from the situation and think through what you want can help you decide how to proceed.
The second step in dealing with how you feel is to see a therapist. You can try to ask if he will go (even though that would really help him) but most abusers do not see that they are the problem, so most refuse help. Talking to someone about what you feel can not only provide much needed support, but it can help you sort out your emotions so you are more clear on what you want and what you need. To find a therapist, talk with your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at:
http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/therapists
Also, consider learning more about abusive relationships and how they affect you. Here are some resources to help:
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/09/28/5-ways-to-escape-an-abusive-relationship/
Should I Stay or Should I Go- Lundy Bancroft
I hope this has helped you,
Kate
May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your advice and you just confirmed what i feared and was feeling. I hope that he will realise if iI leave him to think about it and I guess if he still not see this way that probably is the best to leave each other . This is the first time i asked for professional help and advice . It is very hard and feel as a failure in a relationship . I idolised him To everybody and it will be shock in community and colleagues if we do split up and it is hard, family the horrible feeling we told you so he is not that good!! But guess i just Had to bear it up ! Lucky we do not have children as this would be even much more harder.
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome!
It is hard to realize that you might have to break up, but abuse is always a good reason to do so. And hopefully others will not judge you. That only adds to your hurt. You can always tell people that things just did not work out. Other than that, it is not really something they should be asking you about or that you should have to discuss unless the person is very close to you and you trust them.
Try to be good to yourself. This was not your doing. You did all you could to make it work. And abusers commonly blame their partners for break ups because they are unable to accept blame themselves. But you did not choose to do this, he made the choice for you when he did not treat you like you deserved.
Consider therapy on line or in person to help you cope with this loss. It will help you to feel you made the right choice.
Kate
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