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  • #369725
    Saraswati
    Participant

    Hello Everyone…

    I am in a challenging situation where I don’t know how to let go of past hurts in my relationship and move forward.

    I started very casually dating my current partner just over a year ago.

    This was a few months after I came out of a difficult one and a half year relationship with my ex who had an acquired brain injury from a moped accident years before we met. The relationship was emotionally draining and resulted in me having panic attacks whilst driving. We split up and around six months later I met my current boyfriend through a dating app. Although I was feeling much better and my anxiety was slowly decreasing I still felt quite fragile.

    He lived an hour away so I caught the train and spent weekends with him. Being 36 I guess I wanted a serious relationship but I knew I wasn’t quite ready so we kept things simple and fun. After about three months I began to question whether we were right for one another. He was terse, argumentative, demanding and didn’t have any friends locally. He worked nightshifts at a hotel and didn’t seem to have any particular ambition and he drank quite a lot. On one of our dates during the third month we had a romantic swim in the sea and he said he loved me, I was quite taken back as we had only been meeting for a few weeks. When he said he had an accident when he was in his twenties (he’s now 40) and had a head injury my doubts increased, reflecting upon my previous traumatic experience. Red flags began to rear up and I said that we should go our separate ways.

    Soon after this I found out I was pregnant… Despite the circumstances I was really happy to be having a baby. I rang him up and he couldn’t of sounded happier. He said he’d move to my city and we’d get an apartment together and commit to one another. At the time I was in between accommodation and living at my parents trying to figure out a plan and I was afraid of telling them I had got pregnant with a guy I had known for three months, especially after all the hassle with my ex which they were involved with.

    So I began looking at apartments and by the time I was two months pregnant we had moved in together. The whole experience was really stressful. He had to move all his stuff down before the move in date and ended up staying at a hostel and a campsite during the transition. I felt as though I was doing everything – finding the apartment, sorting out the furniture and continuing to work. He would spend most of his time working for a temp agency on and off doing truck driving which he constantly complained about. When he was at home he rarely spoke to me and preferred to spend his evenings on his phone and drinking alcohol.

    Two weeks after we moved in together he went on a bike ride and said he bumped into a girl he met at the hostel and they mutually agreed to go for a drink later that night. Initially I said sure, have fun. Then I thought about it and said hang on, who is she? He said he met her one morning and they chatted, she was a foreign student and he felt they connected and wanted to make a new friend in the city. Which is fair enough but I still wasn’t happy and I felt something was off. I explained that we had only been living together for two weeks and he hasn’t even made any effort to get to know me or connect with me, but he is motivated to see another woman? We were also waiting for some test results for the baby, which could be bad news so I was quite anxious about this at the time. I felt that he had his priorities wrong and should be concentrating on us, as we didn’t even know one another and were about to have a baby together! After my meltdown he decided not to see this woman.

    At this time he also consistently used to turn his phone off when I walked in the room.

    Whilst I lay on the sofa with him I ended up confronting him about this woman and started asking more questions and he goes into a rage pushing me off the sofa and shouting in a huge explosion. I had pushed him too far. We argue and he tries to grab me. It all ends with me crying uncontrollably and asking him to leave, which he does. He apologies afterwards and we continue as best we can. Paranoia eats away at me. What is he doing on his phone? Who is he texting? I reassure myself that he wouldn’t cheat on me and say that it was really honest of him to say he was meeting up with a girl he met.

    Then I looked at his phone. I find inappropriate messages and photos from his exes that he continued to communicate with saying what he wants to do to their bodies. I find a girls number written down with a heart, he met her two weeks after I told him I was pregnant at a festival. His first story was that she was an ex then his second story was the girl kissed him at the festival and then sent him naked pictures of herself. I find a flirty message from the other girl at the hostel – more lies. I find messages of him subtly harassing one of his female work colleagues asking her whether she was sunbathing in the garden and he would to see a photo. Slowly I unravel a web of lies and deceit. I confront him, he angrily explodes and says I’m delusional and nothing has happened and they are only text messages. Our way of communicating is so bad that we never come to any conclusion, he denies everything, refuses to see it from my point of view and I am left feeling betrayed. He says I judge him and criticise him constantly, which is why he gets so angry and defensive over the ‘injustice of it all’. He said I created this problem by looking at his phone.

    At five months pregnant we go out with my friends for a Christmas dinner. At dinner table he sits at the end of the table and refuses to talk to anyone. Afterwards we go to a bar and he spends the rest of the night drinking there, ignoring me, and my friends and chatting up the barmaid. I feel humiliated in front of everyone. In the morning I express my feelings and he seems ashamed of himself.

    The ups and downs continue throughout my pregnancy, my trust issues aren’t resolved and he stays angry and bad tempered the majority of the time. When he does nightshifts I am relieved as I get some space by myself. When we are together he focuses on himself, I realise how self-centred he is – only doing what pleases him and the moment he doesn’t get his own way he responds with angry outbursts and blames me for provoking them. He has never taken any interest in who I am, only focussing on his hobbies in his spare time.

    My baby is now seven months old. My partner is still doing temporary work and finds it stressful to hold down full-time employment. I have major trust issues and we go over the same argument again and again about the same web of lies from the past. We have both admitted we wouldn’t be together if it wasn’t for the baby, but when I have asked him to leave he refuses and can’t believe how nasty I am that I want to break up his family. I am constantly trying to please him and make him happy, but deep down I know that I can never ‘make’ him happy – happiness comes from within. I don’t know what to do.

    The most recent argument was about how every time I come home he’s always masturbating, it literally happens once or twice a week. He says I need to change my reaction and rather than get annoyed with him to try to have sex with him and not make a big deal about it. When I confronted him he got very angry and held my shoulders, pushing me back towards the wall.

    He actually thinks it’s okay to look at other woman to get him in the mood. It makes me feel like I’m not good enough for him, I have quite a high sex drive but he says he’s too tired when he gets home and he can’t because he gets drunk. We only have sex at the weekend. My body image has changed since the pregnancy and he made it very clear he wasn’t attracted to me whilst I was pregnant, often laughing at me and showing me no emotional support. I feel so unattractive when I’m with him.

    Although he has seemed to have stopped the inappropriate behaviour with other women – as far as I can tell, I feel it’s going downhill quite rapidly now and he is not able to control his anger. We hold a lot of resentment for each other. I fear for my daughter and me in the future and wonder how he would be able to cope with a toddler who disobeys him. Because of his head injury I understand things can be very challenging for him but I am struggling to show him any more compassion than I already have…he wants to go to a relationship counsellor but because of the pandemic we can’t and he refuses to do it over zoom. I don’t know what to do. He says I’m being unreasonable and during the arguments he manages to twist everything into it being my fault. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy and I’m being completely unreasonable with my expectations for the relationship.

    Is it doomed? Is he a bad person?

    Any advice would be so much appreciated – even to get a different perspective on it.

    #369742
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Saraswati:

    I will be back to your thread and reply to you in about 10 hours from now.

    anita

    #369763
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Saraswati:

    You shared that you had a difficult and an emotionally draining 1.5-year relationship with a man who had a brain injury from an accident. During the relationship, you experienced panic attacks while driving. Six months after the ending of that relationship, you (36) met your current boyfriend (40) through a dating app., and started “very casually dating” him. keeping things “simple and fun”.

    He worked nightshifts at a hotel, drank a lot, didn’t seem to have any ambition, didn’t have any friends locally, and “he was terse, argumentative, demanding”. During a romantic swim in the sea on the third month of the relationship, he told you that he loved you, and that “he had an accident when he was in his twenties.. and had a head injury”. You were very disturbed by this piece of information, given your ex boyfriend had a brain injury. You told him that the two of you should go your separate ways.

    Soon after that swim in the sea and the breakup,  you found out that you were pregnant: you rang him, he sounded very happy, said that he’ll move to your city, that the two of you will “get an apartment together and commit to one another”.

    At the time you were living with your parents and you didn’t want  to share with them that you got pregnant by a guy you knew for only three months. You proceeded to look at apartments, found one, sorted out the furniture, all while continuing to work.  He stayed at a hostel and a campsite during the transition to the apartment, and otherwise, spent “most of his time working for a temp agency on and off, doing truck driving which he constantly complained about”.

    The two of you moved in together by the time you were 2 months pregnant. When he was at home, he rarely spoke to you, and “preferred to spend his evenings on his phone and drinking alcohol.. consistently used to turn his phone off when I walked in the room”.

    Two weeks after moving in, he told you that he bumped into a girl he met at the hostel and “they mutually agreed to go for a drink later that night”, telling you that he wanted to get to know her as a friend. You were troubled about his motivation to get to know her while “we had been living together for two weeks and he hasn’t even made any effort to get to know me or connect with me.. we didn’t even know one another and were about t have a baby together!”

    As a result of your concerns, he told you that he will not see this woman. Later, you asked him more questions about her and “he goes into a rage pushing me off the sofa and shouting in a huge explosion”. You cried uncontrollably, asked him to leave, he left, but later apologized. You tried to reassure yourself that “he wouldn’t cheat on me and say that it was really honest of him to say he was meeting up with a girl he met”, but then you looked at his phone and found “inappropriate messages and photos from his exes that he continued to communicate with saying what he wants to do to their bodies”.

    You found a girl’s number that he wrote down with a heart, a girl he met in a festival two weeks after he found out that you were pregnant. When confronted with that, he first told you that she was an ex, and later he told you that it was a girl who “kissed him at the festival and then sent him naked pictures of herself”. You also found out “flirty messages from the other girl at the hostel”, and messages he sent to a work colleague, flirting with her.

    You confronted him again, and he “angrily exploded”, again, saying that you are “delusional and nothing has happened and they are only text messages.. he denies everything, refuses to see it from my point of view.. He says I judge him and criticise him constantly, which is why he gets so angry and defensive over the ‘injustice of it all'”, and that you “created this problem by looking at his phone”.

    While five months pregnant, Dec 2019, the two of you went out for a Christmas dinner with your friends. He sat at the end of the table and refused to talk to anyone. After dinner, all of you went to a bar, and he spent the rest of the night ignoring you and your friends, and instead- talking to the barmaid. Next morning, when you confronted him, “he seems ashamed of himself”.

    For the rest of your pregnancy, he “stays angry and bad tempered the majority of the time.. self-centered.. only doing what pleases him, and the moment he doesn’t get his way he responds with angry outbursts and blames me for provoking them”. He also “made it very clear he wasn’t attracted to me whilst I was pregnant, often laughing at me and showing me no emotional support”.

    Currently, your baby is seven months old, and your baby’s father “is still doing temporary work and finds it stressful to hold down full-time employment”. The two of you “go over the same argument again and again about the same web of lies from the past”. You are “constantly trying to please him and make him happy, but deep down I  know that I can never ‘make’ him happy”. The most recent argument you had was about you coming home to find him masturbating 1-2 times per week. He told you that “rather than get annoyed with him, to try to have sex with him and not make a big deal about it”, then when confronted further, “he got very angry and held my shoulders, pushing me back towards the wall”.

    When you asked him in the past to leave, “he refuses and can’t believe how nasty I am that I want to break up his family”.

    “I feel it’s going downhill quite rapidly now, and he is not able to control his anger. We hold a lot of resentment for each other. I fear for my daughter and me in the future and wonder how he would be able to cope with a toddler who disobeys him… he wants to go to a relationship counsellor but because of the pandemic we can’t… I don’t know what to do. He says I’m being unreasonable and during the argument he manages to twist everything into it being my fault. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy and I’m being completely unreasonable with my expectations for the relationship. Is it doomed? Is he a bad person?”

    And now, my input: I spent an hour and a half retyping the above, as it helps me absorb information instead of rushing through it. At first, before I read your whole account, I thought that there might be a chance for this relationship. I figured he didn’t do well in life, didn’t get the education he needed to get a better paying job, or a stable job. He was unhappy with his work, understandably- as many jobs are distressing and harmful to the employees, mentally and/ or physically. I thought that maybe you and him can work together like a team,  and maybe, with your support and a better communication, he can get educational training, a better, more stable job- and feel better for having achieved that. Feeling better about himself, he would be a better partner and father to his child.

    But as I kept reading and typing, I realized that .. he is too far gone from being a decent person. This is not a man who had it tough in life but is willing to work hard so to make his life better- or better the life of his own child- this is a man who is not at all trying to better his life. Like you noticed early on, he indeed lacks ambition.

    He is not motivated to better the work/ career part of his life, and he is not motivated to better his relationship with you. If he was motivated to be a better partner to you, and if he succeeded, that would have made him feel good, and that good feeling would have motivated him to better himself even more.

    But the way he makes himself feel good is by masturbating, and otherwise flirting or sexting or whatever he did (and may still do, or will do) with other women. This means that his way to feel better is sex (and drinking), “doing what pleases him”, being very self-centered:  it’s all about him.

    He refuses to take any responsibility for his actions and blames you instead. He blamed you so many times that you now believe him: “He says I’m being unreasonable.. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy and I’m being completely unreasonable”.

    “Is it doomed?”- yes, I believe it (the relationship) is doomed.

    “Is he a bad person?”- yes, pretty much. But unlike a cartoon character that is always bad, a bad person is not always bad: every bad person has moments when they have a good intention (ex.: when you called him about being pregnant and he was happy and wanting to have a committed relationship with you), and almost every bad person sometimes feels shame (ex.: the morning after the Christmas dinner with your friends). But overall, this man is bad and dangerous.

    I share your concern regarding “how he would be able to cope with a toddler who disobeys him”. I think that you and your daughter are currently in danger and that it is likely to get worse for you and for your daughter if you do not separate from him as soon as possible.

    The danger is physical, as he may seriously assault you and your child- if he gets angry one day/ night after drinking a lot, losing all of his inhibition because of the alcohol, and seriously hurt you or your daughter, causing injury or death.

    The danger is also emotional- your child will be emotionally harmed as she witnesses his anger growing up. I communicated recently with a member whose adult daughter was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because she grew up with an angry, alcoholic father. Even though her mother protected her physically from the father while he was alive, and even though her father died- the now adult daughter suffers a lot and is unable to live a functional adult life.

    Your own emotional health is already in danger as you are doubting your own logical, correct thinking. You are correct and reasonable to think that indeed his behavior is unreasonable and dangerous. Problem is the more he “denies everything”, the more he accuses you of being “delusional” and “unreasonable” and “unfair” to him, the more he blames you for creating the problems that he creates (ex.: by looking at his phone)- the more you will believe him and doubt yourself. The more you doubt yourself, the less you are able to do what you need to do, which is to protect your physical and emotional health. Your child needs you safe and healthy, so that she can be safe and healthy too.

    My conclusion at this point: you need to end this miserable and dangerous situation that you are in. Do it as safely as possible, involving your parents, the police, an agency perhaps that helps abused women, a shelter for abused women perhaps.. whatever it takes.

    Plan your next moves carefully. No longer try to please him, to make him happy, to hope for an honest communication with him- none of that.

    Do not ask him for permission.

    Please plan and execute your next steps carefully and as safely as possible. Post here again anytime you want to. Every time you post, I will attentively read and reply to you.

    anita

     

    #369838
    Saraswati
    Participant

    Thank you Anita for your in-depth response, I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into your reply.

    I am trying to form an appropriate answer…

    I think you have voiced what I am unable to admit to myself – my relationship is doomed. If one of my friends was having the same experience I would likely advise them to think of their daughter and leave. I don’t want her to grow up with a fear that we, as parents have created. I guess I am trying to find the good in him so that maybe we can stay together, but I am coming to the realisation that if we did stay together it will always be a struggle and a stress and like you say have a huge detrimental effect on my daughter.

    However, I want to understand him and his situation more so I’m not throwing away my daughters relationship with her father. I guess I’m not quite willing to let him go without giving him the opportunity to change. People make mistakes and I’m not perfect. I’ve grown as a person throughout my life and I hope I give space for other people to make amends and grow.

    He is well educated – went to private school and later in life (after his head injury) gained a degree in Politics. I think he struggles a lot more with his head injury – with communication, patience and tolerance of other people. He says he is unable to get another job and truck driving is the only thing that pays okay that he can do. But even this he struggles with and makes simple mistakes that infuriate him. He has managed to loose two jobs in the last year because he couldn’t deal with being told what and how to do something. I think he finds general day-to-day life very frustrating and challenging.

    I’ve also noticed he finds being around successful people very hard. I see it when my friends visit, who are successful in their field of work they often make him feel inferior to them. I assume this from the side comments he makes to me and how he describes himself to them, ‘I’m just a truck driver’ etc. So yes, he is very unhappy in his work. He’s exhausted every day. It’s interesting that you highlighted this, as only last week he said he wished he owned his own business and I saw the first ever sparkle of ambition. As much as I would try and be supportive in any new venture he decides to do, if I am really honest I don’t think he has the patience to deal with people with his argumentative nature.

    So, I think he does have ambition, but doesn’t have the confidence in himself to follow through with anything, or maybe he knows that he isn’t capable with his head injury? He has never been to see any Doctors regarding how the accident affected him and I don’t think he ever will. It’s such a complex thing and difficult for me to know the difference between his personality and the way his behaviour is distorted by his head injury. But does this really matter why he is the way he is? The outcome is the outcome and it is not to be tolerated on any level.

    In July our relationship went through a really rough patch and I asked him to leave. And he said he would go and see someone about his anger issues. He asked me to write down all of my issues with him to discuss and I did – brutally and honestly. He called it a character assassination. I didn’t name call and I wasn’t nasty, I just listed all of the lies and the behaviour I found inappropriate. He took the document to a life coach. For a few weeks he became a different person, he was calmer, more understanding and we managed to talk about the things I found unacceptable in the past. This was a huge improvement as before our communication was very limited with him always getting angry and defensive. He said he found it really useful to vent some of his issues and that the guy challenged him. He was supposed to reply to my ‘character assassination’ but to this day never has and everything was brushed under the carpet. He had seen a life coach and I stopped bringing up the past promiscuous behaviour. He bought me presents and tried to make me feel good about myself. After about three or four weekly sessions for some reason he stopped going. I have tried to subtly encourage him to see him again but he always makes excuses – he’s working, it’s too short notice etc.

    He does work hard, he often works 60 hours a week and he pays the rent and most of the bills – he keeps a roof over our heads. He works even though he finds it demanding and very difficult.

    Now as I write this I’m wondering whether when he was trying really hard I didn’t give him the praise or encouragement he needed. I was very unhappy at the time and I was trying to process how he had treated me and bring up my daughter at the same time. Maybe when he was trying really hard to save our relationship I responded not with love and forgiveness but with apathy and resentfulness? He did things to make my life easier – cooked for me, did the dishes, tried to give me a break from looking after my daughter. But because I found him difficult and stressful, he didn’t get a good feeling from doing it therefore gave up trying to continue?

    You’re completely right – he refuses to take any responsibility for his actions and words. When I said that I don’t deserve to be treated like that (when he recently got aggressive and pushed my shoulders down) He says that I could see that I was upsetting him and that I continued to ridicule and shame him and now we know what happens when I do it. He blames me because it was clear that he was getting upset and I went on and on, when he was trying to leave the house to calm down. That’s what he does if he gets too angry – he leaves the house.

    There are so many things wrong with our relationship and his behaviour. But I have given you a one-sided very biased view on it. He does love his daughter and genuinely wants to spend time with her, care for her and treat her right. Unfortunately his impatience and frustrations take over. But that doesn’t stop him from trying. He does her bath time even though he struggles to dress her with his clumsy coordination. He feeds her, even though it’s difficult for him to patiently wait for her to stop getting distracted. He spends every weekend trying to think of somewhere cool for us to go as a family – a new forest walk or undiscovered beach. I feel I’ve only given you examples of his most horrid parts and there is a side where he wants to be a better person and a better father. Saying this I agree that my daughter is not in a healthy environment, the fact that I could count on one hand the amount of times I’ve left her with him alone – never more than an hour – in the past seven months does not bode well. I know that the experiences she has now will stay in her sub-conscious for life and from two years she will actually have a conscious memory of it. I try my hardest to ensure her life experience with me is a happy and loving one. Although he consumes a lot of alcohol he is rarely ‘drunk’ and never out of control. I cannot bring myself to think that he will one day intentionally or unintentionally cause harm to my daughter.

    He still hasn’t apologised for what happened in our most recent argument – he won’t admit he’s done anything wrong. But what he has done is try and arrange for us to see a counsellor together and taken a day off work to go to the appointment. I guess this is progress and shows he is again trying to fix things in his own way. I feel it’s a shame it has to hit rock bottom and for me stop talking to him before he actually does anything about our situation. And I wonder how long will the change in behaviour last this time?

    I feel that I am at a crossroads. I still haven’t processed everything and need some more time to think about what to do. You put everything into perspective for me in your last reply. Thank you for listening to me, I don’t feel I can talk to my friends or family about this and reaching out has made me feel heard. I’ve been reading TinyBuddha for years and it’s got me through previous troubled times. Reading the inspiring blogs helps me focus and think about what I want and it’s nice to read some people have similar life experiences to me. However this is the first time I have ever opened up on the forum and I am sorry they are so long…

    #369840
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Saraswati:

    You are very welcome, and please, do not worry about your posts being long, they are not too long for me, and I have the time and the interest.

    You wrote: “I want to understand him and his situation more”- I will be glad to help you with this aim by suggesting possibilities that you may not have considered:

    He told you that he “went to private school and later in life.. gained a degree in Politics”- did you see any evidence of that private school he supposedly attended, or any evidence of his university degree?

    “maybe he knows that he isn’t capable with his head injury? – did you see any evidence that he had an accident? Any medical evidence of any injuries as a result of an accident?

    He has already revealed his dishonesty, lying to you- there is no reason to trust that what he tells you or anyone-  is true. Look for evidence.

    It may very well be that because he feels that being a truck driver is an inferior job (“just a truck driver”), and that he is “inferior to” your friends who “are successful in their field of work”- he made up having had a head injury, so to explain that he was not.. born inferior, but became so because of an accident- a misfortune, as opposed to an inherent inferiority.

    “He has never been to see any Doctor regarding how the accident affected him”- if his head was hurt in the course of an accident, wasn’t his head examined when he was hospitalized right after the accident? Does he have any papers from the hospital, a receipt of payment made, anything?

    anita

    #370133
    Saraswati
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    Yes I can confirm he went to private school and gained a degree. He hasn’t made up having a head injury. These things he does not lie about.

     

    #370139
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Saraswati:

    I understand that he lied to you, but not all that he told you was a lie. Maybe he told you many things that were true, in between the lies. Questions in my mind:

    – If he suffered a brain injury that significantly harmed him, why is he not willing to see a medical doctor for the injury- there may be a treatment or a rehabilitation plan that’s available for him. He may be able to get guidance as to how to deal with the results of his injury (?)

    – As a father, isn’t it his responsibility to see a doctor on the matter?

    – If that injury caused his erratic behavior, sometimes violent.. isn’t it your right as his partner and the mother of his child, to accompany him to see a doctor and become educated as to what you can reasonably expect from him in the future that is, to find out the nature and prognosis of his injury.. ?

    – How can you possibly have a healthy, loving relationship with a man who lies to you and seems to not have a problem with lying to you… (?)

    anita

     

    #370296
    Saraswati
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    I don’t know whether he was assessed for brain injury after the accident – it’s a very complex injury, some people can have quite discreet behavioural changes and not realise. He mentioned that he went to a support centre but found that all the people were really badly affected by their injuries compared to him. I guess there’s an element of not wanting to know that he’s disabled or affected by his injury in some ways? I’ve noticed his brain injury has effected some of his cognitive ability like multi-tasking, social interactions, planning and controlling his emotions. He gets very frustrated easily and we find it difficult to communicate on a daily basis.

    Yes it is his responsibility, especially if his behaviour has a detrimental effect on his relationships and working life. As regards to whether it’s my ‘right’ to gain the relevant information about his injury. Yes, it is my right (and responsibility to my daughter) to do as much as I can to ensure we are both in a safe and loving environment.

    I find the bigger question and debate is, can I show compassion to someone like him? Is this his brain injury – something he needs support with or his personality – something that is unlikely to change. If I can understand his struggles in life, would we be able to move forward in our relationship?

    Or…would this be me just rolling over and him dominating our life with his frustrations?

    I can’t decide whether I should be showing compassion and understanding or whether I should give up on him?

    Saraswati

     

     

    #370300
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Saraswati:

    “I can’t decide whether I should be showing compassion and understanding or whether I should give up on him?”-

    – I suggest that you give up on him as a life- partner and as one who lives with you and your daughter, and have compassion for him as a person who lives separately from you, and who has no unsupervised time with your daughter.

    “I find the bigger question and debate is, can I show compassion to someone like him?”- yes, show him compassion for as long as he is not hurting you and your daughter. When a person yells at you, hits you, etc.- it is not appropriate to respond with compassion. The appropriate response is to get away from him and stay away.

    “Is this his brain injury- something he needs support with, or his personality- something unlikely to change”- yes he needs support, professional support, but he refuses to look for it. If he looked for professional support, the professional would guide him and you on how to support him.

    Reads to me that he may have truly suffered a brain injury. But think of this: if a man who never suffered a brain injury break your bones=> your bones are broken. If a man who suffers from a brain injury breaks your  bones=> your bones are broken.

    From what you shared, it does seem to me that if you stay with him, you will indeed be “just rolling over and him dominating our life with his frustrations”.

    But I do understand that it is scarier and feels more difficult to confront problems and make changes than it is to roll over. This is why so many people roll over. I hope you can do better for yourself and for your daughter.

    anita

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