Hello. Trying to escape

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Cartier

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Hello. Trying to escape
« on: July 06, 2020, 11:35:50 AM »
Hello,

I have been in a relationship with a difficult person for quite some time, and it is proving to be difficult to make that clean break away from them.

I will try to summarise as best as I can.

My ex and I moved abroad together. They have an illness (it started off as ME/CFS, but they now have a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease) and a by-product of being ill is that there is a huge burden of responsibility on me to assist them.

We broke up 12 months ago, and are still living in the same home. My ex keeps saying they need more time to get things sorted so they can return back to our home country, but equally they cannot afford to live in the current home on their own, so the net result is that one year later, nothing has changed situation-wise.

They are also now insisting that the only way that they can move out, is if we make house hunting trips back to our home country together because they feel they are too ill to do this on their own, and they are also picking out some awful hovels on line and trying to discuss every step of the decision making process with me.

Their illness tends to be used as justification for everything, so if I retreat to my room, there will be something related to their illness that will be the reason for them walking in to my room without the courtesy to knock, and any attempt to put up even the most minimal of boundaries usually results in them asking me why I am abandoning someone who is so ill, and telling me things like "I am a human being too, just because I am ill doesn't mean that it is okay to treat me like I am sub-human".

They are a highly intelligent person with an interest in psychology, so they seem to be able to recognise attempts to use distancing / grey rock tools. Their conversations will tend to be structured in such a way that simple "yes"/"no"/"don't know" answers do not fit in with the conversation, and that the conversation tends to revolve around their life, their future, their illness, and what they should do.

They have also mastered the art of the "threat". Instead of making a direct threat of suicide or of self harm, it is more done in the sense of talking about what will likely happen in the future when they have finally moved out and they are living in an unbearable situation. It is not done in an angry, hysterical or emotion way, but in a matter of fact way with a rather disturbing calmness about it all.  Because of this, it is difficult to do the usual recommended thing of calling the police because it is not a direct imminent threat that has been made.

It is also difficult to just walk about, because they will then be stuck in a foreign country on their own, so they have managed to create a situation where the only way out (besides waiting for them to finally move, and as part of that endure several trips back to our home country with them), is to literally completely screw them over.

The decision to move abroad was largely driven by them, it is a country that they had expressed a desire to move to for years, yet now they claim that they are only here because of me, and that I should not have moved if I cannot accept the responsibilities of their illness.

There is not much difference between being broken up with them now, to when the relationship was on; they still attempt to exert a huge amount of control using their illness as the reason, and any attempt to be neutral or disengage is instantly recognised and turns in to them asking why I am treating them like this when I know how ill they are.

Their latest thing - which I don't full understand - seems to be to instigate a feud with our neighbour, based on noise. So my ex is insisting that our eldery neighbour has been making so much noise over the last three weeks that they have only had a few hours of sleep in that time, and can I email our lettings agent about it.  They have even done things like throw pans around in the kitchen, and then come in to my room to ask if I had heard the noise coming from the neighbour, and did I think we should go to the neighbour together to complain about it.

It is so, so difficult to keep calm, to not argue or get defensive, and to not accuse them of emotional blackmail.

I had high hopes when reading the toolbox, but unfortunately they recognise the techniques and phrases listed inside it, and are able to react on the fly.

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xredshoesx

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Re: Hello. Trying to escape
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2020, 05:16:15 PM »
welcome to the group cartier-

i am glad you are reaching out for support.  it's hard for me to believe that 15 years ago almost to this day i was in a similar position  with my ex and 14 years almost to this day i made the choice to end the relationship that had been abusive for the majority of the 5 years we were together.

my situation allowed me to use a lease as leverage.  i informed my ex that unless he signed some sort of rental agreement with me i would be putting the wheels in motion to evict him.  he chose to pack his stuff and *poof* he was gone in 48 hours- yes he did try to pull some shennanigans and convince me he would change but i held fast and even though it was harder than hard that first year alone- i made it, and came out much more aware of my power and my strength.  your situation may be a little more complicated because of how your property/ living arrangements are set up, however what would be the outcome if you just left?

it's admirable you care enough about this person to want to see them through a crisis- however it seems like there is no reciprocating of that care.  no matter what this person says, you didn't cause this, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.  the best you can do is take care of you first so if you do decide to remain in a housing situation with this person, that you can put on your own oxygen mask when you need it.  if this person is alluding to hurting themselves, it's ok to take them up on that threat and call the authorities too- to make sure they get the care they *really* need.

your road may be longer to get back to a place where you can have a home and some peace again, but you are worth the work!  hope to see you on the boards soon.

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Cartier

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Re: Hello. Trying to escape
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2020, 07:57:58 PM »
Thank you for the welcome and kind words xredshoesx, and for sharing what you went through.

I really donít know what they would do if I just left. They have no money, and keep claiming that they could not manage to fly back on their own and handle house hunting / moving without assistance from someone who understands their situation.  Obligation played a huge part in the relationship.

My intentions at the moment are to move to yet another country, one where they cannot get a  permit or Visa, and therefore cannot try to guilt me / pressure me in to coming there with me. A lot of progress has been made and just waiting for my employer to start the visa application.

I told my ex that I was likely being transferred to the UAE, hoping that it would shock them in to moving out more quickly and mean that I can just stay here instead of moving again, but after a mini-meltdown and telling me how awful it is to apply for moves abroad before they have had the opportunity to move back home, itís back to them pleading for me to make some house hunting trips back to our home country with them because they insist they cannot do it alone and without someone who understands their special requirements.

It feels like having the life crushed out of me, but it may also be something that I have to go through in order for them to leave.