Edit/Update: The LW contacted me to let me know that she left Jon the Asshole (Yay!) after he (predictably) physically assaulted her (Boo!). She’s doing ok and gives us all her love (which is returned. SO returned). I’m leaving this question up because she’s probably (sadly) not alone in having the question.
About a year ago I got into a relationship with this guy for privacy purposes we’ll call Jon. Jon was really great. He lived really far away. We visited back and forth. When he visited me the first time though he was super mean to all my friends and family.
I thought it was because he was far from home. I went to stay with him (where I am now) very, very far from home. For months he’s been nothing but verbally and emotional evil and mean to me. I was begging him to stop. He never did. Recently, about a month ago, I asked again. I was on that tipping point of “falling out of love” he yelled at me for “asking him to stop being mean.”
I became pretty numb to him, and am now. I started letting myself fall for a guy I casually flirt with online. Who lets just face it, would be closer if I went home and has way more in common/to say to me/is way more my type.
My ticket home isn’t for another month. Now that Jon can sense a problem he’s acting all nice and loving. I said a few times I would try and love him because he throws stuff around when I try to break up with him. How do I tell him I don’t want to try anymore? Should I wait til I go home?
And should I pursue something with casual (bordering on serious) flirting friend, if it feels right?
– Really freaking scared
Dear Really Scared,
Aaaaah! This got caught in the spam filter and I could not answer it immediately! Aaaaah! I am so sorry!
First, do you live with Jon? Does he have access to your living space? Can you get to a safe place that he doesn’t have access to? Call one of the hotline numbers from this post (and read all of the comments in that thread, there is tons of practical advice there for getting out of a scary situation) and make sure you are in a safe place as soon as possible.
Second, get yourself a copy of The Gift of Fear ASAP and read all of it (but don’t let him see).
Third (you can do this at the same time as Step 2, there is no required reading to dump someone’s ass) please break up with Jon, the guy who is “emotionally evil and mean” to you and your family and friends and who throws things. I think it’s smart to be at home with your family & friends (and far away from Jon) when you deliver the news – change your ticket if necessary to get there sooner.
Here’s a script: “Jon, my feelings toward you have really changed, and we need to break up now. Thank you for understanding.” “I don’t think we should remain in contact right now, I will let you know if that changes, but for now I do not want to talk or write back and forth with you. Thank you for understanding.” Then you block his emails, IMs, texts, de-friend/block him on all social media, and never, ever speak to him again. DEFINITELY do not see him again, and tell your family/friends you are breaking up with him and don’t want to have any contact with him so that they have your back. Maybe have a good friend in the room with you when you write him the email or call him to be a witness to what he says and help you stay strong and/or stop you from getting steamrolled by him or sucked back in.
You don’t have to have airtight reasons or explain why to him or get him to “see” or “apologize for” his bad behavior. You don’t owe him a face-to-face conversation or a long discussion. Your feelings have changed, yes? Then that’s the truth. Disengage completely. Do not try to be friends with a mean guy who yells at you when you ask him to stop being mean and who throws things.
The fact that you are “scared” to break up with him makes my heart hurt for you. Get all the support of family and friends on your side, and dump that guy, get some counseling lined up. Today. I’m sorry I didn’t answer this the second it came in, and that I don’t have a time machine to get those weeks back where you were still with this dude.
Once you’ve dumped Jon, maybe you can think about your flirting friend? If he is giving you some reason to hope for something better and to get out of the relationship with Jon, that’s good, but I suggest seeking some counseling and talking about your fears and the things that happened with Jon – how scared you were, how you didn’t know whether you could break up with him – and give yourself some time to process everything that happened before you get seriously involved with someone else. If he’s a good guy he’ll respect that and move at your speed.
Let us know what happens.