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How can I save this relationship? watch

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    I'll try and keep this short, but basically I am in a very unhappy relationship and I don't know what to do.

    We have been unhappy for quite some time now, probably about a year, and it has got to the point where I just have no idea what to do and I am completely and utterly lost.

    My OH and I have been together for 5 years and used to be so in love it would make you sick. But the past year or so has gone so far opposite. It started I suppose after he came back from Afghanistan (he's in the military) about 3 years ago he started being pretty rubbish to me, we had a break for a couple of months, I saw someone else briefly, regretted it, we got back together and started to work it out. It was fine for a while, we had a blip in which I had an ectopic pregnancy, had to get an abortion but he was still there for me and we worked it out like couples should do.

    I then decided to do a Masters degree which he supported, and told me he would help out by paying for somewhere to rent (as I couldn't afford it) which would mean that we could live together. This was great, he also bought us a dog when we moved in which was although stressful was nice and we were like a little family. About 3 months in, he was training for a course that he wanted really badly, and was unfortunately medically removed from it.

    This was a year ago. After that, things went rapidly down hill. He became very snappy with me, started to go a little bit mental over small things, became funny about me going out with friends, spending money, etc. We had a couple of small breaks, threatened to break up with him as things were getting so awful. It also turned out that during this time, he had a new car on finance, new bike on finance and had taken out a loan to pay for the rent and bills - which he didn't need to do - and started taking this frustration out on me, that it was my fault he had no money as it was me doing the degree.

    After the degree I decided to go for a job in London as I couldn't get one near Bristol (where we lived) and live with my parents again. He works in the South West and had such bad money troubles that we couldn't afford anywhere together and quite frankly I thought space would do us good and we could save some money and get back on track.

    He then started resenting me here because he had to drive so far to see me. His parents moved back from living abroad and he started to say he was coming to see me, then actually go and see them which I obviously got very upset about. This caused a rift between me and his family, as they thought I didn't want him to see them which wasn't true, it was the fact that he never saw me and lied about it. He didn't invite me to stay with them at all, which I would have happily done. We started to argue pretty much every weekend after this, with him being nasty to me about how his life had turned out and it was my fault.

    At Christmas I went to stay with his family, trying to make amends and show that I would make an effort to be with them too, however I read a text from his mum and him, being really horrible about me and my family and how awful I was and that I have 'baggage'. Which is not true, the only baggage I have is him! I haven't seen his family since, and I know he has a tendency to make things up or exaggerate things to them about me to get out of things. So now there is an even bigger rift between me and his family.

    Since Christmas, he tried to do his course again and was kicked off for something that wasn't his fault, and since he has started to become very abusive towards me. Being nasty, then making me feel bad about something and twisting things to make me the guilty one. For example, he lied to me about buying me a Christmas present, a bag which was on order for 6 weeks. He said he couldn't afford it so that's why he lied about getting it for me, but turned it around on me when I got upset saying I was high maintenance because I was upset I didn't get my bag -I was upset because he lied to me about it. On Valentine's, he shouted at me in a restaurant because I ordered a coke and not wine and said I had ruined the evening.

    It's just a cycle of the same thing every weekend. He no longer looks at me when I get upset or even cares, because he's so irritated because it happens so often. I'm even getting annoyed at myself! He expects me to just get over things, but I can't. I don't get anything from him when I'm upset so nothing ever heals, especially when something new happens each weekend. He gets angry because I cry, I cry because he gets angry. This weekend he threatened to leave me twice, packed his bags, said things like I stop him from doing stuff, he's done nothing for someone of his age (he's 24!!!), wished I cheated on him so he could just end things, that he's not happy and I deserve someone better.

    Then the next minute he says he's sorry, and why don't we get matching tattoos... He always does this, lashes out at me, realises what he's done and apologises and says lets start again. I've tried this but then he does do it again, then I cry again. I feel like now we've done it so many times he no longer cares.

    I have confided in my friends and their automatic response is leave him. I really, really, don't want to. I know he's going through a rubbish time, with his job letting him down all the time, not having his own place, not wanting to stay at my parents, tension between me and his family (only caused by him). I want to be there for him, but he won't let me, he just bottles up then takes his frustration out on me. I'm looking for a job near his work so we can move back in together and afford somewhere, I love him so I'd do anything for him. He just seems so self-absorbed and destructive now I feel like I'm just an after thought or someone to lash out on.

    I just can't take whats happening, it's making me ill- anxious and panicky all the time. Always crying because nothing is sorted, which makes things even worse as I'm so hyper sensitive all the time. I've tried to talk to him about things, I tell him I'm there for him, we think we've worked it out and then he's just nasty to me the next time I see him. I so want things to get better and to work out, when we're happy it's the best thing ever, he's the love of my life and we've been through so much together, but he is so self-destructive and lashes out on me all the time, it's just going round in circles and we're losing sight of what we had.

    Any comments suggestions welcome, anyone who has been through something similar and (hopefully) worked it out please help as I am just so upset this is happening and would do anything to make it better again.


    To be honest I think this is really a discussion you need to have with him, it may just be the way you've worded it but it seems like the closest you've gotten to a proper conversation about this is just him shouting his feeling at you. I know how you feel, the relationship I'm currently in now was ridiculously destructive and unhappy for a long time, but we sat down and told each other what was going on, worked out why the things I did p*ssed him off and why the things he did p*ssed me off. Now, we're stronger than ever, because it made him realise how close he was to losing me. Don't let him bully you into not saying anything and not saying how you feel, it's obvious you both love each other very much because you wouldn't still be together. Developing a better relationship with his family will be an issue you need to address, if you want to be with this man for the rest of your life it's going to be difficult always avoiding awkward confrontations with them, especially his mother. If in the end it doesn't work out, at least you can say you tried your best, maybe now isn't your time. I hope everything works out well for you, with all the effort you've both put in over the 5 years you've been together, you definitely deserve to be happy together

    oh. hard one. try to get back on track with your finances. also, since he has gone Afghanistan, he could still be remembering what has happened. my cousin went through the same thing. he came back totally different and so so mean!! you need to make sure he is calm, and keep him away for a while. ATM, he is probably still remembering Afghanistan. so sorry, if i didn't help. best of luck.

    What you're going through is tough. It sound like a challenging situation for you both. The fact that you love each other comes across strongly in your message. What is also clear though is that right now that your OH is being abusive towards you. It's essential that it stops and that you put an end to the cycle. He is behaving badly and it is hurting you!!

    As the poster above insightfully mentions, it seems that he has unresolved trauma from Afghanistan. He needs to move forward and will require help with this. This task is almost certainly too much for you to support him through alone. It may also be quite a long process with which a therapist could definitely help. If he saw a therapist he would be able to start working through very deep issues which, untouched, will continue to cause turmoil for you both in your lives. My advice would be to strongly encourage him to seek outside help and to support him with his recovery process and make your feelings as clear as poss to him. Do things together that are good for you both like taking walks, relaxation, and being outside. But also make sure to define your limits and stick to them. Best of luck to you
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