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I've been reading several posts here and many of them deal with the subject of one person cheating on the other due in part to a [I]lack of attention [/I] from their partner, whether it be emotional or physical attention. This has made me think about my relationship with my ex and how much attention is enough?

It's been about a month and a half since I've gotten a restraining order against my ex live-in boyfriend. He has severe alcohol problems and anger management issues. He has a long history of cheating on and physically and emotionally abusing former women in his past. I finally got the restraining order against him because he threatened to kill me. This time, a little voice inside me said "no more" as I've already endured his choking, punching, throwing things at me that have left scars, dragging me to the floor by pulling my hair, etc. over the past couple of years. He has brought his ex-wife over to our place when I was at work. Or, he would call her and other women on the phone, telling them how miserable he is with me and how mean, rotten and selfish I am. He lost his job and spent his days drinking. You get the idea!

But, I'm thinking back to conversations that we've had prior to this. He seemed to want soooo much attention, that I don't think it was possible for any one person to provide him with as much attention as he seemed to require.

For example, if I went out for a ciggie break at work and forgot to call him one time, he would become angry and accuse me of sleeping with my boss. If he made me lunch and I didn't thank him enough for it, I was ungrateful and didn't appreciate the things he did for me. It didn't matter that I called him while I was eating it and commented on how good it was and thanked him profusely for it. I mean, how many different ways can one say thank-you! It got to be such an ordeal that I told him to eliminate another fight, maybe I should just make my own lunch from now on. I never asked him to make me lunch in the first place, but I realized that since he wasn't working, he was struggling for a way to feel productive. So, I let him make me lunch and thanked him and thanked him and thanked him.

If he cleaned the apartment and I didn't notice the moment I walked through the door when returning home from work, again, I was an ungrateful *****! I of course would apologize for not noticing right away, telling him over and over what a wonderful job he did, going from room to room hoping and praying that I noticed and thanked him for each and every thing that he cleaned.....but by then it was too late....he would run out the door to go buy more booze because I was so ungrateful and selfish....according to him!

Since his profession during this time was to drink 20/7.....assuming he passed out for about four hours during the course of the day......coming home to an angry, abusive drunk was not exactly sexually enticing! Most of the time, I learned to go into the other room when he was too far gone with booze so that I could remain safe. Many times by hiding in the bedroom, it would give him the opportunity to sleep it off and maybe 2 hours later he would be reasonable again. But, then I was accused of not spending enough time with him and again being accused of having an affair with my boss because, we weren't doing it and according to him, I must be getting it from somewhere!

There were times I tried as gently as possible to tell him that when I came home, and the apartment smelled like a brewery, and it made me sick to my stomach, it was hard to be 'turned on'! I couldn't be in the same room with him because of the stench oozing from his pores! Then of course he would get angry, throw something, threaten to kill me, call me a list of names that I can't mention here, then storm out to the liquor store to buy more booze.

He would come home, watch movies on tv and ask that I watch something with him. Usually it was a war movie or something about people dying violent deaths......well, I'm more of a comedy person and I don't like to watch movies that are violent and angry right before I go to sleep. But sometimes I would watch a movie with him and 10 minutes into it he would be asleep on the couch anyway....which is where he would remain all night.

Sometimes though he would wake up and come into the bedroom where I was sleeping and wake me up by blaring the tv in the bedroom, telling me what an ungrateful ****** I am, and that I'll be sorry one day! Then he would start to cry and tell me that I he loves me. I fall for this of course, then I hold him and try to comfort him, then he would get angry once again and start calling me names again.

I would tell him to go back into the living room so that we can both get some sleep and we would talk about it in the morning. I had to be careful not to anger him further for fear of his verbal abuse becoming physical. So there, I guess I said it...I sent him back to the couch in the living room so that I could sleep. I guess I was selfish and self-centered as he put it. I mean, how dare I need sleep? How dare I not be happy about being woken up 2 -3 times during the night, then have to get up and go to work in the morning? Then in the morning he doesn't remember a thing about what happened the night before, so there is no way to have a follow up conversation as I had promised. The this would go on almost every single day and night!

The point I'm finally trying to make is, that although it takes 2 to make or break it, is it really as much of my fault as he has said it is that he didn't get the attention he felt he deserved? Meaning, is it my fault that we didn't have much of a physical relationship as he wanted? I felt very turned off by his anger and alcohol abuse, and abuse of me. I felt that if I had consented to more active physical relationship with him under the circumstances, I would have been doing it against my will just to 'appease' him. I couldn't do it! And that angered him even more!

I guess I'm feeling some guilt, as I'm considering the fact that I may not be looking at his point of view as clearly as I should because I was so concerned about my safety...both physically and emotionally and trying to keep the peace! I was exhausted all of the time! I'm not sure that anyone would feel sexually aroused under those circumstances, but I'm wondering if I should have somehow tried harder! I'm wondering if something was wrong with me that I couldn't have separated myself from my fears and just given in. I'm wondering if I had, would it have made a difference?

I guess I'm just second guessing myself because what happened is what happened. I'm just wondering if I should have handled it differently, and if so, how? Any insights would be appreciated because no matter how much I try not to think of this, I dream about it at night, and I can't stop these thoughts of guilt from entering in my brain everyday.

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