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Relationship Health Message Board

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I have also had the displeasure of being with (and almost escaping from) a controlling boyfriend. It was my first relationship, so initially I thought the way he treated me was normal.

He did things similar to what your BF has done...he'd get jealous of any of my male friends who would speak to me, even going so far as to tell them off for talking to "his woman". I never really wore girly clothes, but my ex did not like when I wore anything revealing in public...when I went to look for a graduation dress, he demanded to come with me and he tried his hardest to talk me out of anything strapless, backless, shorter than floor length, had anything less than spaghetti get the idea.

I tried to leave him once and I explained it was because he was treating me like garbage, and I told him he had a month to learn to act like a normal human being. He did so...for a month. I gave him another chance, thinking he'd really changed. But nope...once that month ended - to the exact day - he went back to his awful behavior. He construed what I said to mean, "You said if I acted nice for a month, you'd stay with me".

With the help of a dear friend (who later became my BF), I left my ex for good. But he didn't go down without a fight...he threatened to hurt my friend, he threatened to kill himself and/or other people and told me for a year after I left him how he still loved me and wished we were still together.

It is very difficult to leave a controller, because they force you to feel like you need them and that they are right when they insult you or belittle you. They know if they can break you down and build you back up according to their liking, you will never leave. You'll take any abuse they throw at you with a smile and figure you've no way out.

It sounds like your BF is working on the breakdown right now. Please do not let him, because once he has his claws in you, you will never leave him. He wants an emotional punching bag - don't let it be you. It took a metaphorical slap in the face from a friend to realize I could leave and that I didn't have to stand for the emotional abuse.

You don't need a counselor or anything, but maybe when your lease is up, a friend can sort of be your emotional support if you try to leave him. Have them be present if/when you choose to dump your controller, and make sure they don't let you waver in your decision, even if they have to drag you kicking and screaming from the room.

A controller will threaten physical abuse when they don't get their way...sometimes they act on it, and sometimes they do not. It's best not to take the chance by going about a break-up alone. My ex was not psychotic enough to try and hurt my BF, but some guys are nuts enough to make good on their threats. Have someone with you if you choose to leave...a friend, a parent, an officer, a relative, anyone. Controllers are less likely to try and attack if you are not alone.

I wish you the best of luck. I know no one wants to pay $2000 to break a lease, and I realize it will be hard to stick it out until December. I hope things will begin to look up for you. Being with a controller stinks.

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