She's been with her lover for a year and a few months. They rarely have any conflict or argument. They have “clusters of debates or discussions every couple of months.” However, there is a consistent pattern to how this occurs.
They have a conversation about it, and she responds as best she can—often modifying her approach each time to better suit what he tells her he needs—and then he complains that she doesn't listen or get what he's talking about. When she inquires what it is that he would have her change or do better, he suggests that they give the matter another go around. After that, he'll go on to re-explain.
Again, she tries to give him the answer he's looking for. Still, he either cuts her off, repeats himself, says something completely different, loops back into the same explanation or contradicts himself. Sometimes, after she finishes, he swings back into the same explanation or starts saying the same things about her not listening or understanding.
When these discussions occur over the phone, he may abruptly declare, “Nevermind.” or “I don't even know why I'm trying.” Then he hangs up.
She feels terrible and emotionally weary whenever they eventually reach a conclusion. She becomes really depressed, incompetent, or foolish as a result of never being able to understand or respond in the way he sees fit, no matter how hard she tries.
Because of these conversations, she has missed important deadlines in her school work and daily life. She almost didn't pack all her belongings in time to change places one day because she had to finish one of these conversations or arguments. He tells her she can tell him whenever something like that happens, but if she does, he responds passive-aggressively.
She had enough of it one night. This didn't seem normal to her, and it never has. So, because she's only 18 and hasn't had much relationship experience, she decided to tell her brother about the altercation she had just had with her boyfriend. For all she knew, she could have been crazy.
She tells her 20-year-old brother everything without attempting to portray herself as a saint. She tells her brother about the good, the bad, and the ugly in her relationship with her boyfriend because she did become angry that night. She shrieked, which was unusual of her.
She was weary of being told she needed to communicate her thoughts when she couldn't even squeeze a word in before being informed why she was wrong when she tried. Essentially, her brother tells her that her boyfriend is emotionally manipulating her. He plays the victim, guilt trips her, attempts to control her thoughts, has little regard for her emotions, and says anything he thinks is convenient.
To answer her question, her brother tells her that this isn't normal. He tells her to get whatever belongings she has at her boyfriend's house and end it. She had no idea he was manipulative because she didn't know how to describe what he did to her. The rose-tinted glasses had come off. She gradually began to recognize more and more from the past.
She called her boyfriend back. She told him he was manipulative toward her. She told him what he does all the time and gave examples. She explained how it made her feel. She told him how much it impacts her life and how much it's messed up her schedule some days because she's never allowed to ask to plan the conversation for another time. And most importantly, she didn't let him interrupt her.
He concedes and admits to being manipulative. He apologizes for hurting her, explains why he believes he has these inclinations, and tells her to call him out on his flaws.
She thinks he's not a terrible person at all. When they're not in these situations, he's sweet, generous, romantic, and loving. She loves him so much that she doesn't want to end the relationship. She feels comfortable and safe in his company. But she's unsure if going forward with it will jeopardize her mental health and general well-being.
What do you think? Is her boyfriend's solution putting all of the responsibility and work on her shoulders? Was his response to her concerns also manipulation? Is she right to think they can work together to build a better relationship? You can read the original story on Reddit here.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.