It feels like my boyfriend is using me for emotional catharsis

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laun33
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We went through our first sort of ‘rough patch’ recently when my ex of 1 and a half years got in contact with me, asking if we could talk things through. I never got closure, and we firmly established that it would be a friendly meeting, so I wanted to do it - my boyfriend said he didn’t want us meeting though, although he agreed to letting us talk over the phone.

In the days that followed, he kept telling me that he was having ‘moments’. He sent me a photo of him tearing up (to be fair, I asked to see them because he showed me them over a zoom and I thought he looked pretty). He later asked me why I thought he had been crying - I told him I was worried I had upset him. He told me he had been imagining my sadness at the scenario of him dying, because he ‘doesn’t want to leave me alone in the world’. (He had had a doctor’s appointment upcoming that he was worried about).

I was so upset at the idea that he thought I might do something behind his back, or that my wanting to meet with my ex had hurt him. As a result, I got very drunk last night by accident and ended up expressing this in tears over a zoom call. He told me today that when I fell asleep on the camera, he had another ‘moment’, this time in which he was crying at how happy and grateful he was to have me. He told me he liked to add happy and sad memories and thoughts together because it created a more satisfying feeling for him of emotion. He said it was like watching a dramatic show and crying at that.

I didn’t think this was weird until I told my friend, who found it a little off. I just thought I might ask for some second opinions. Idk.
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ashalalabaz
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(Original post by laun33)
We went through our first sort of ‘rough patch’ recently when my ex of 1 and a half years got in contact with me, asking if we could talk things through. I never got closure, and we firmly established that it would be a friendly meeting, so I wanted to do it - my boyfriend said he didn’t want us meeting though, although he agreed to letting us talk over the phone.

In the days that followed, he kept telling me that he was having ‘moments’. He sent me a photo of him tearing up (to be fair, I asked to see them because he showed me them over a zoom and I thought he looked pretty). He later asked me why I thought he had been crying - I told him I was worried I had upset him. He told me he had been imagining my sadness at the scenario of him dying, because he ‘doesn’t want to leave me alone in the world’. (He had had a doctor’s appointment upcoming that he was worried about).

I was so upset at the idea that he thought I might do something behind his back, or that my wanting to meet with my ex had hurt him. As a result, I got very drunk last night by accident and ended up expressing this in tears over a zoom call. He told me today that when I fell asleep on the camera, he had another ‘moment’, this time in which he was crying at how happy and grateful he was to have me. He told me he liked to add happy and sad memories and thoughts together because it created a more satisfying feeling for him of emotion. He said it was like watching a dramatic show and crying at that.

I didn’t think this was weird until I told my friend, who found it a little off. I just thought I might ask for some second opinions. Idk.
very weird, would probably have to run away to a remote island now
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Anonymous #1
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i just skim read but it sounds like a american movie lool idk why it’s so dramatic but if you’re happy that’s all that matters i guess
i’m personally not that expressive idk but who knows maybe i’ll be different in an actual relationship
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Anonymous #2
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So you're allowed to cry in front of him but hes not allowed to talk about how he feels because it's weird and off

Hm
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laun33
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I’m super happy when he talks about his feelings with me! We’ve had a lot of really good discussions where we listen to each other, and I really want him to feel comfortable talking to me if he’s upset, I tell him that a lot. I was just a bit confused about his showing me the crying pictures and him telling me he likes the feeling of being sad about me - he seemed to be enjoying the experience and called it ‘satisfying’ to ‘make himself sad’. Of course, I might be wrong to see something off with it, I’m just trying to understand.
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laun33
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So you're allowed to cry in front of him but hes not allowed to talk about how he feels because it's weird and off

Hm
I’m super happy when he talks about his feelings with me! We’ve had a lot of really good discussions where we listen to each other, and I really want him to feel comfortable talking to me if he’s upset, I tell him that a lot. I was just a bit confused about his showing me the crying pictures and him telling me he likes the feeling of being sad about me - he seemed to be enjoying the experience and called it ‘satisfying’ to ‘make himself sad’. Of course, I might be wrong to see something off with it, I’m just trying to understand. (Sorry meant to send this as a reply but couldn’t figure out how to haha)
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ważzer
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I think your bf feels threatened by the ex
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Final Fantasy
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I can understand why your current boyfriend didn't want you speaking with your ex-partner...
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CaptainDuckie
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Yeah, to be fair, it does seem like your boyfriend didn’t want you guys to meet because he might have been threatened by the presence of him near you. But allowing you guys to talk on the phone was like a huge thing to him or something.


As a result of that, he’s in catharsis that he’s expressing to you because he might be scared that you are going to get back with your ex. So he’s in this spiral where he’s reflecting on the good and bad moments you both had.

This seems like a pretty obvious defence mechanism that he’s doing, I would call it an indirect reassurance route. Since you want him to be comfortable around you with his emotions, he’s done exactly just that. But just in a way that’s supposed to make you have sympathy for him or something.
Last edited by CaptainDuckie; 1 month ago
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