Dr. Romance answers a letter from a reader who is in an unhealthy relationship.
Dear Dr. Romance:
I have just read your article "Keys to a Happy Relationship" and would be greatful for some advice. I havn't been with my partner long. We are both in our twenties and we met a few months ago and already live together because it's the only way we could see each other. I moved away from my friends/family to live with him and the first two months were great, apart from me struggling to find work, and money worries. Things started to change after two months when I was bored, unemployed, and he made me feel he wasn't over his ex of 5 years, he has photos on his laptop of them together.
I recently discovered numerous women he text messages, messages on facebook, dating sites, porn making me feel insecure and paranoid so soon in our relationship. Although he hasn't arranged to meet the women, it still hurts and he thinks it's not how it looks, I feel betrayed. Him being unhappy with his weight is the reason he uses for him talking to other women as if 'hey gorgeous' makes him feel better and I don't it seems.
I have packed my things 4 times and he won't let me go, and makes me feel I overeact and he promises he will never cheat. I feel that I never wanted to threaten to leave, argue, check phones, worry what he is up to all the time, things have gone bad so quickly and he seems to enjoy messaging female friends, he never earned trust before he broke it and he now wants a last chance, and broke down saying I was the one and he never thought he would be happy again. I do believe he is sorry I just didnt want any woman getting in the way at all never mind this soon, when I message the girls I know it should be him I question, I just want the truth from them not his lies.
Recent row involved me packing, him unpacking, and I hid his phone to check what he is up to he then took my phone to message a male friend of mine pretending to be me being flirty then admitting it wasnt me and threatened him and asked him to stop texting me. Although he was worried what I would find on his phone, he makes me out to be guilty and judges me at his own/his ex standards. He has been cheated on in the past, I haven't, he says he wouldn't risk losing me, and he hadnt moved me here to hurt me. I am so confused and only reason I havn't left is I have a new job here finally and feel I wasted the past few months job hunting, stressed, then start work, find out what he been up to. I know one side to story sounds different but I am really struggling with what to do now... any suggestions?
I'm afraid I believe he's playing you. He got you isolated from everyone you're close to, and now he thinks he has power over you, he can do what he wants and talk you out of what you know to be true. Get out and get your own place as soon as you can. Don't ask him -- do it behind his back, because he's the type who may turn violent if he thinks he's losing control. Either go back home, or get a place of your own where you are.
When you're safe in your own place, you will have your power back, and you can find out if he can be made to behave. Take a long time to decide whether you can go back to him, and make sure he doesn't control you any more. "How to Avoid Loving a Jerk" and "How to Keep Yourself Out of a Violent Relationship" which will help you understand the problems in your relationship. Don't make excuses for him. You are in a dangerous situation, and you need to protect yourself. Get yourself in a safer situation as soon as possible.
When you're ready, The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again will have the information you need to find a healthier, happier relationship.