Trapped
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    Trapped

    I'm 17, and I've been with the same person for the past 2 years, and it got incredibly serious. We came up with names for our kids, wanted to get married, we planned college together etc. But recently I just feel like I want something new, I'm young, I should be able to grow and explore myself, I haven't felt so happy with him as I have been before, and our future has become fuzzy for me. He is very emotionally invested and since the beginning has had severe emotional issues and it even got to the point of being suicidal (not currently), and even now he tells me he has nightmares of me cheating on him or leaving him for someone else. He's improved now but still has problems. Because of that he became very emotionally dependent on me, which at the time, being young, I thought it was ok, it was romance, love, and it was. I know it came from love. But the problem is there have been times when he tells me "I do everything for you." and that concerned me because I want him to do things for himself. And when I told him that he just says he doesn't see a point in that. He says things like this all the time, which at the time seemed romantic, but now it scares me. I feel like if I leave him he would hurt himself, or forget about school, or ruin his life, or all of the above. Some would say that this is manipulation, and maybe it is, subconsciously, but I truly believe that he doesn't mean it that way, he just loves me. I don't want him to do those things, I will always love him, he is a huge part of my life and helped me grow as a person, I don't want to see him do those things. I almost feel kind of trapped. I feel like I have to choose between being in a relationship that I'm not happy in, even trapped, or having the person I love ruin their life. I'm finding myself interested in other people and almost willing to cheat, that way I don't have to choose, but I know that's wrong and I'm not that kind of person. I love this person, I still want to at least have a friendship with them and if in the future I decide that's what I need, be able to come back with him, but not if he has hurt his life in terrible ways I'm anticipating.

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    I hate to say it.. but it is manipulation - and he knows EXACTLY what he's doing (whether conscious or unconscious).
    I hate to say it.. but he has been slowly "programming you" to be "stuck". It's called emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can turn into physical abuse.

    Your instincts are correct here. This is a form of programmed control, done every so subtly, more and more the longer you stay in - so that it is undetectable until you're so far in. you feel.. "stuck" and can never leave. You are getting close to that point so you need to get out NOW.

    don't feel guilty about his life. As YOU KNOW DEEP DOWN - you make your own life. You have to OWN your life. Life is what YOU make of it. So why is it YOUR responsibility to make HIS for HIM? no no no. HE nEEDS to make it for him. It's not YOUR obligation. You're not his mother, family, relative, his guardian, or his head of household. To expect that from you is wrong of him and part of the programming.

    Please feel free to look up domestic abuse, emotional abuse, relationship abuse and read up on the victim and perpetrator "profiles" and you will see that it will probably describe your relationship +90% accurately.

    I"ve studied this for over 20 yrs now when I first saw it with a coworker and her husband at her birthday party - i always never understood why victims are victims and why i started to study. I know it sounds harsh.. but "victims" of the "abuse" we picture when we hear that doesn't happen ovenright or in a month. It happesn over a LOOOOOONG period of time of meticulous programming and control (often times thru unreasonable guilt trips).

    If you have any questions about it or want to talk more, please feel free to message me. I can provide links and/or tell you what i know both from study, and from being a victim myself later on.

    Please take this post seriously.. it is not over-dramatizing it. Please do what you know what makes you happy and is the life YOU want (not what HE wants) - and please find the strength to walk away and nOT feel guilty about it.

    Good luck!
    Richey

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    I started dating my first husband when I was 16 and he was 19. I honestly wasn't that into him at first and mostly stayed with him because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. 6 years later we married. 15 years later and 2 kids we divorced. While we dated our relationship became very co-dependent. I basically stopped living my life and focused everything I had on him and expected him to do the same and when he did not I was hurt. What I thought was love was in fact co-dependency, that eventually became 15 years of emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment and serial adultery...that is who he became...I was broken.

    I tell you these things because I have a lot of empathy for your situation. I remember one time when we were dating he failed a pretty important college test and when I went to his house to comfort him he was laying on his bed with a shot gun over his chest. While he didn't say anything at that time about hurting himself, there surely was an implication in the air and eventually after we married he would threaten that several times whenever I said I would leave. That made me stay. The toxic relationship we had for such a long time has left deep scars on my emotional health that is taking a lot of hard work to heal from and doesn't just affect me, but others, too.

    You are young and the fact that you recognize these things tells me you are way further along than I ever was at your age, and that is GOOD!!! The best thing you can do right now is seek a trusted counselor to help you sort through all of these issues so you can make the right decision in a healthy way. Educate yourself on co-dependency and emotional abuse and manipulation. This is way bigger than just you and your girlfriends can handle...you need professional help. He needs help, too, but you are not responsible for him...only yourself. A trusted counselor will help you deal with him. Praying for a GOOD outcome in this situation.

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    Both of us have been going to counseling, in fact when all of these realizations came to me I immediately scheduled an appointment. It did help, but I feel like right now is not the exact right time to end it. I'm just not sure. I've been talking to my boyfriend about my concerns very honestly and it hasn't gone as bad as I thought it would, sure we got into fights about it, but the most important things he was very receptive about. When I told him how I felt trapped he listened, he cared, and he felt bad, he says he's going to work on it, and I really feel like he means it. However, I'm not going to get hung up on giving him more and more chances. If we can't fix this, I'm going to end it, but I still have the overtaking fear of him hurting himself or his life. I forgot to mention that he has Bipolar disorder, and because of that his counselor suggested that we put time in between with the serious conversions. I know that him having that disorder would be a red flag to some people, but just because people are broken, doesn't mean they can't be loved. And the person he is, he deserves it. But if it ends up hurting me, or he doesn't fix what is hurting now, the relationship will come to an end. I'm still just not sure on how to do that, and I am scared for when I do.

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