Why I won't leave

(France )

It all started after finishing an on-and-off relationship that lasted years and left nothing good. I was living abroad and finally free. We hit it off instantly, we were both foreigners discovering life in a new country, he was charming, cute, attentive, he listened to me, he offered gifts and treated me like a princess. What could possibly go wrong?

At first he would get upset over things like “our date wasn’t as perfect as he wanted” or I wouldn’t leave him alone long enough to surprise me with a present, which of course just made me like him more for worrying so much about me. And although I would insist that I didn’t need any of that to be happy, he would insist he just wanted the best for me. Now you are in love with him too.

I knew he could have a bad temper, he would throw his cellphone against the wall, or kick the dish washer cause it wasn’t working properly. I knew his family life back home was far from perfect, and that he had trust issues. And I did my best to reassure him by stating that I was proud of everything he had overcome to get to were he was. And I meant it.

After almost a year of living abroad we decided to move to his country, it would be a big change, but he promised everything would be perfect. He would take care of everything and I wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. Before we moved he was getting upset more often than he used to, but he said it was because of the stress of the moving, but once we were in his country things would be just fine. And I believed him.

I went to visit my family and friends before moving with him, I was happy and really looking forward to start a new life in a new country. When I got there he had everything ready and he was happy to show me around, and as I was not speaking the language he was eager to help me out settling in my new life.

But soon problems started, he would make me feel stupid while trying to speak the language, saying I was too slow and he would compare me to other people we’ve met on my same learning situation, saying always how good they were and how slow I was. He was actually surprised a few months later when he realized I could actually speak and understand the language, and up until now sometimes I’m still not confident with my language skills in front of him.

Then the problem was that I was not working, he had to pay for everything and if I wasn’t there he wouldn’t have money issues. He always made it look like I was the one spending the money. I never really asked him for anything, I had to ask for money if I wanted to go get a coffee with my friends or if I needed to go to the store and I did my best to never ask for anything else. He would insist about getting me expensive gifts which I always refused as I knew later he would complain about not having money left to finish the month and I didn’t want to be more of a burden to him.

Little by little the name calling started, I was useless, I was a slut, I couldn’t do anything right. He would be upset if I didn't speak my mind or give an opinion, but if I did I was a selfish bitch that just thought of herself.

The he started holding me against the walls while arguing or pushing me. He said once I got a job things would be better for us. We could finally be happy.

So I did, I got a job and I started a masters degree. Which meant I spent all day at work and then I had to come home to work for school. This didn’t make him happy and I even dreaded every time I had projects to work on for school. He would tell me that I should move my fat ass from the couch, that I was always on my computer and I didn’t do anything at home. He would also complain that I didn’t have time for him, that I was always tired.

My job didn’t pay as much as his, so we agreed i would give him a certain amount a month and I would try to help him out whenever I could. At times he would say he felt guilty for asking that much money from me considering I didn’t actually made much, and he encouraged me to save money in case I ever needed. But then he would get upset for paying most of the things, because I was saving money instead of helping him more. I felt so guilty that I insisted that we didn’t have to go out as often or he didn’t have to buy me gifts and I would offer to pay for more stuff, but then he would complain that I was boring and I never wanted to go out, and he would buy expensive gifts for others and then complain he didn’t have enough money left for him.

Threats happened often too, once I didn’t check the price of the ham, the same ham and the same amount we buy every week but I was selfish not to look at the price, the whole time we were at the store he threatened me with what would happen to me once we were home. Every time we were far from home he would threaten me to leave me there, he would lock me out of the house, he would say he would go cheat with other women and insisted he had already done it several times.

He would never admit he physically abuses me, he is smart when he does so. For him being physically abusive means that he has punched me or hit me. He has not. He would throw things at me, he would just pinned me down against the walls, the floor, he pushes or throws me against the bed or the sofa. Still I have been left with marks in my arms, legs, back… invisible ones if you don’t know they are there. It wasn’t until I saw blood pouring out of my lip that I actually feared for my life.

I’ve seen him resisting himself from kicking me while I’m on the floor, just once has he done it. We were on the street and he insists it was my fault cause I didn’t want to give him the car keys, which wasn’t at all true, I wasn’t giving him the car keys cause he was the one to give me the house keys so I could go back inside, I knew he would try and leave me locked outside to wait for him. So he stepped on my left foot while he kicked me on my right leg and then he threw the keys to the floor.

Of course it was always my fault, I had spoken to him badly, I had made him do it. When we fight we mocks me, making me feel stupid, he throws my things and breaks them, and it is while trying to stop him that he has to be physical with me. It is me to blame for his behavior.

I have tried to leave, I’ve made my suitcase a few times. Sometimes he starts begging for me to stay the moment he sees me pack and says he won’t do it again, he once insisted he would take me to a hotel but along the way he convinced me to stay.

Lately if I try to talk to him or even if I ask him if he wants something he gets upset because I'm interrupting him while he works or watches TV. Or he gives me a looks that says "Why are you bothering me?", sometimes he tries to be "nice" and pauses the TV so he doesn't miss anything while I speak. And then he complains that I talk to him and I spend all my time on my phone. I can't even choose what to watch on TV.

He knows he is in control. He has pretended to be helpful to make me dependent on him. He knows that without him I would have it hard to live on my own. I am not in my country which makes it easier for him to get away with it. My friends are his friends, friends who find him nice and charming, and reliable. Friends that have heard him speak wonders about me, how much in love he is with me. Just as I thought he once was when I met him. But mostly I am ashamed. How could I let him treat me like that? How could I be a victim?

Now you know why I won’t leave.

Comments for Why I won't leave

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Sending Love
by: C.

Hey there,

Your story hits quite a few points of what I am currently going through. The line about how you were asked your opinions then called selfish when you gave them really struck a chord. Your opinions ARE worthy of being known. You're not selfish for having them. Just wanted to send some love your way. It's really hard to leave. I'm there now. Just stay strong.


Here for you
by: Anonymous

If either of you need someone to support you please email me.. jojostolz72@gmail.com
I have been out of a violent relationship for 4 years. Non judgemental ear if you need me!!

Thank you
by: Anonymous

I am currently in a similar situation. My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years now. I'm in years as I read your story wondering why am I putting up with this in my own life.

It will be ok
by: J

I can hear how scared you are. But you need to make a plan to leave this relationship. I'm not sure what country you are in but you need to contact friends and tell them what is happening so you can be supported. Contact your family ..they will be there for you.

Leave while you can...
by: Anonymous

I was in a similar situation for 2+ years. I moved away from my family, to a new country, to be with someone I thought loved me and ended up trying to kill me more than once. After I left him and decided to disappear on him, he raped and assaulted a girl, for which he is in prison right now. I always thought that girl could have been me. My advice is not to wait until it gets to that point. If you stay, you might not be as lucky as I was. It might not seem like it now, but every struggle is temporary. This will make you a stronger woman one day. You have to make a decision to leave him and move forward though. You are better off by yourself in a foreign country than with someone who doesn’t appreciate the wonderful woman you are and could be. Seek shelter in God. It did wonders for me. God bless you.

Take care of you
by: Mary

It must be difficult living in a foreign country. I worry that you do not have a support system. I hope you can continue with your job and keep your money. Please try to find time each day to do something that makes you feel good about yourself. The shame you're feeling is his, not yours. Please also think about whether the life you are living is what you want 5-7 years from now. I think abuse only gets worse over time.

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