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Is my friend being controlled or (emotionally) abused?

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  • #355064
    Jason
    Participant

    My friend (who lives abroad, this makes it a bit harder to judge, hence my question here) has been with a guy for 5 years now. The first two years they seemed ok, but since then she broke up with him (and got back together again) many times. According to her because “he just won’t let her go”. She would say repeatedly say that “for her it’s over, no matter how hard he tries”. That she calls him her ex, but he keeps calling her his girlfriend. Eventually they always slide back into the relationship, until the next ‘cycle’ or ‘episode’. She once even broke up and moved to a different city, alone, (after they had lived together for a while at her place in a smaller town). But even then they would still end up being together eventually, she saying he ‘convinced himself the city could be ok’ and stay with her a few days a week (his job is still in the smaller town).

    They keep going in the on/off cycle for another year until at some point her complaints became a bit more worrying. She would say he doesn’t show her any physical affection anymore, despite saying that he still loves her. That this makes her feel insecure, unattractive and rejected. That she already has low self esteem and that this makes her even change the way she holds herself around other people. And that she feels she’s to blame for it. That they basically live like brother and sister and for her it’s over, but again “he won’t let her go”. She says it’s hard to rebuild anything new and it will take her some time to feel differently. She breaks up again and he ignores it and keeps acting as if they’re still together. And so they keep going.

    At some point she says she really broke up this time and actually started dating some other guys. I was happy for her that she finally managed to cut it off. But after a month she started talking about her ex again: that he still has the keys to her house and sometimes comes inside her house when she’s at work to ‘check if there’s still pictures of them hanging on the wall’ and he would leave notes for her. That he brought her flowers and gave her a ride to the airport which was “actually handy”. That his mother is very ill and she feels obliged to ask him about it. Because that she can’t be rude to him after “all he did for her”. That she feels afraid to slip back into the relationship again, because like always he just keeps acting like they are still together. That he asked her if he could stay at her place for one month because of a new job close to her house, and that she feels like she can’t refuse it because he still pays part of her rent. She also sent me a picture showing a big cut in her nose. Saying it was an “accident at the gym”. (?)

    No surprise, a few weeks later she announces she’s back with him, saying she wants to give another chance to the person that has been there for her the past 5 years in all the good and bad times.

    My question: Is this just two people who just can’t be without each other and are addicted to breaking up and making up? Or is this a slowly developing (emotionally) abusive relationship? Doe she really love this guy and is she making up his “manipulation” as an excuse to go back to him? Or doesn’t she even realise his behaviour looks pretty toxic from outside?

    I know she has been in a physically abusive relationship before, has abandonment issues, low self esteem etc.

    Where do you start drawing the line between: “if she really wanted to break up she would have done so ling time ago” or “if she really wanted this guy out of her life she could change her locks and call the police” and “she’s being emotionally abused and I as a friend have to take some kind of action?” And if so, what could I do from a distance?

    What do you guys make of this? And what’s his and her role or motives and behaviours? Could they be abusing each other? Could she be abusing him? I find it so difficult to tell. Hope to find some answers from people who know about this stuff.

    #355198
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jason:

    Seems to me that over time, she has told you a mix of truths, half lies and whole lies. Overall, her account is not trustworthy. I think that she has an inclination toward the dramatics, and that she enjoys stirring up emotion in you (ex. sending you a picture “showing a big cut in her nose”, so to worry you and lead you to suspect that her boyfriend caused that injury).

    anita

    #355226
    Jason
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thanks for your reply.

    She is definitely into drama, she can have mood swings and sometimes I think she shows some behaviour that could fall under borderline personality disorder. You are right that perhaps maybe her claims of “it’s over!” weren’t always the truth even (she could be just saying that to herself perhaps, to justify getting some attention from others?)

    But her stories about him not treating her nicely, making her feel insecure, have low self esteem, and not understanding why he wouldn’t just let her go if he wouldn’t even sleep with her, sounded real.

    What would be her motivation to make me (or others) think her boyfriend hit her on the nose if it wasn’t the case? A cry for help? If that’s just a game about getting attention, would she also me making up the manipulative behaviour of her boyfriend to justify why she’s not leaving him? His behaviour looks creepy from the outside, yet she almost talks about it as cute that he came into her house while she was at work and left flowers.

    At what point do red flags outweigh the green flags?

    When I confront her, she just says that’s how it always goes; he keeps acting like they are still together.

    When is what they do cute and romantic and when is it toxic and abusive? I find it so hard to tell.

    Could you perhaps elaborate a but more about what you think are half truths and half lies here? And what would be her motivation to do so?

     

    #355236
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jason:

    “At what point do red flags outweigh the green flags?”- for me, that point has already passed.

    “Could you perhaps elaborate a bit more about what you think are half truths and half lies here? And what would be her motivation to do so?”-

    When a person gives you a mix of truths, half truths and lies, there is no point in trying to figure out which is which. One way to figure it out would be to hire a private detective to do the difficult work of investigating so to find out the truth and expose the lies. As I read your original post I could tell some of what she said was not true but I didn’t bother to try and figure it out because it is hard work and there is no benefit for me in doing that hard work.

    Her motivation: she enjoys talking to you and telling you stories. It makes her feel good. The motivation: to feel good.

    One more thing: neither she nor her boyfriend are healthy people. Most of the time, it is not one partner that is the sole abuser: both abuse each other. It is common for the woman to complain a lot about her boyfriend while she is way more abusive to him than he is to her.

    Talking about motivations: what is your motivation in listening to her and being her friend?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #355244
    Jason
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thanks again for your extended reply. There’s a lot of truth in what you’re saying.

    I’m not sure if your last question was meant in a rhetorical way, but my motivation is that I used to date her 10 years ago, and I’ve seen how traumatised she was from the abusive relationship she was in before we met. She sees me as a person she can trust, I also know her background and other things from her past, and she reaches out to me whenever she’s having a hard time. Including her relationship struggles. And when she’s feeling low she sometimes hints at us meeting again, because when we were together it was “always fun”. Regardless if that would be a good idea or if I would consider it, it would never get to that point anyway because a few weeks (days) later she’s back with her boyfriend.

    It would be very sad if she’s entangled in another abusive relationship again, and I do perhaps feel a bit responsible to find out as she doesn’t have a lot of close friends. I’m not pursuing another relationship with her or to ‘get her back’, I’m just worried as the longer this goes on the more I get a bad taste in my mouth. But I’m not sure what role I could have in this, if there’s any at all.

    She’s a good person with a lot of baggage.

    Does this answer make you see things differently?

     

    #355254
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jason:

    You are welcome. I would like to re-read your original post and the rest of your posts tomorrow morning when I am more focused than I am now and reply to you further then (in about 12 hours from now).

    For now I have this input regarding your recent post: I asked you regarding your motivation not as a rhetorical question. It crossed my mind that your motivation might be a romantic interest in her. I am glad that you are not interested in her this way/ hope that you are not,  for your sake.

    I think that the more you listen to her drama, the more drama she produces (at least in her story telling)  so to.. entertain herself and her audience: you. But most importantly, the more you listen to her, the more you get a bad taste in your mouth, or more accurately: in your brain.

    I am sure she was traumatized/ abused before you met her and dated her ten years ago, but currently she may be abusing another, as is the nature of abuse: the abused proceed to abuse.

    If you would like, you can look up histrionic personality disorder. I have no idea if she suffers from that disorder, but you may have a better idea of this is a possibility. You are welcome to post again before I return.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #355312
    Jason
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thank you again for taking the time and effort to share your thoughts about his. It’s really appreciated. You already provided a lot of new insight and it really helps me understand things better. It’s so helpful to hear someone else’s take on this. I notice that this situation consumes quite a bit of my attention because I can’t come to any ‘conclusion’ as to what to think, and I feel I can’t really shrug my shoulders and turn around since there’s a big element of being worried for someone’s wellbeing or safety.

    As for your suggestion she might suffer from histrionic personality disorder; although she shows some of the characteristics, she definitely isn’t the type who likes to be the centre of attention. Nor would she show exhibitionistic or provocative behaviour or act theatrical. Quite the opposite actually. I would describe her more as shy, insecure, nervous, anxious, doubtful, a bit naif, sarcastic, definitely not seeking any spotlight. She’s beautiful but doesn’t see herself that way. I am by no means qualified to make any psychological diagnose, but for me she fits more in the borderline spectrum, minus the promiscuity and substance abuse. But the fear of abandonment, unstable emotions, mood swings, splitting black and white, low self esteem, insomnia, depression, yes they are there. I do know that BPD has a lot of overlap with complex PTSD and that actually feels very typical for her, considering her traumatised past (loss of one parent, abandoned by the other, loss of brother, chaotic lifestyle in different countries, history of abuse.)

    I would like to add that she is 12 years younger than I am. She’s now in her mid 30s. I stayed friends with her, more like in a big brother kind of way. Someone she trusts and who knows her history and she can ask for advice. She doesn’t have a lot of close friends, and the few ones she has live abroad. We haven’t seen each other face to face in 8 years, all our contact is mostly text and the occasional phone call.

    Maybe it helps to give a but more detail how and why I am worried / confused about her situation.

    So 5 years ago she lives in a small town, he lives in a village close to that small town. They get into a relationship, he moves in with her. They live together for two years. Her big wish is to marry and have kids. He wants her to move to his village, where all his relatives live, so they can have a nice big house and start their own family. She however wants to live in the big city. (And knowing her, I agree with she’s more of a city girl and I always thought that little town was too small for her) They fight about how they see things so differently and “other things aren’t great between them either” (her words) so she breaks up with him and moves to a tiny apartment in the big city (which is 5 hour drive away). According to her he then convinces himself it could be ok in the big city then, after he realised she wasn’t coming back, nor was she going to live in his village. She says he kinda accepts the new reality but she can see he’s hoping one day she would change her mind.

    Then after a few months she starts complaining that he’s not really moving in with her, only stays with her half of the week sometimes (understandable I think as his job is still in his village 5 hours from the city) and that when they are together they argue a lot and he stopped showing her affection (no sex anymore), despite him saying he still loves her. That this behaviour is making her feel rejected, insecure. That she feels like the last woman in the world, absolutely unattractive, and she blames herself for it. That he sometimes stays in a hotel because they argue too much and she refuses to stay with him. That It’ll take time to feel differently and she’s now so insecure it even changed the way she keeps herself with other people. That she generally tends to criticise herself a lot and with others people help, people that mean something to her, it’s really like 1,2,3 to destroy her self esteem. That it’s really hard to rebuild anything and everything else wasn’t that great at times too, so for her it’s over no matter how hard he tries. That they live like brother and sister, but he won’t let her go. That she calls him her ex, he keeps calling her his girlfriend. That they just can’t stay together, she’s constantly mad with him and maybe it’s her who’s a problem.

    Now this is the point where I’m getting a bit of a stalky feeling with this guy. Especially in combination with her saying he’s making her feel insecure and destroying her self esteem?

    They continue for another year like this, probably on again/ off again style. This is where she starts to sometimes hint at us meeting again or she starts flirting a bit. Reminiscing our good times way back and she could use some ‘me time /fun time’ and have a fun weekend together somewhere. Twice I said ‘ok let’s do that’ but as always that conversation wouldn’t go anywhere because in the end she’d still be back with him.

    Until, like I said, recently she tells me it’s really over now and she actually started dating other guys again. That she finally told him it just really wasn’t going to happen between them, whatever they had planned in their future together. She seemed relieved. Of course she also threw in another ‘hey we should go somewhere nice for a weekend’. But before that even takes any shape, here come the stories about the ex again:

    – that he still has the keys to her house and sometimes comes inside her house when she’s at work to ‘check if there’s still pictures of them’ and he would leave her a written message how much he loves her.
    – that he sent her flowers
    – that he took her to the airport
    – that his mother is ill and she feels obliged to ask him about it.
    – that she feels she can’t be bitchy to him after all he did for her.
    – that she feels ‘afraid’ to slip back into the relationship again, because this is how it always goes: he just keeps acting like they are still together
    – that he asked her to stay with her in her house for one month because of a job in her city and that she feels like she can’t refuse it because he still pays part of her rent.

    I call her naif that she’s letting all this happen. And if she really wants it to be over she should at least ask her keys back? And maybe not let him move in again because of some BS excuse of a new job? I ask her if she really doesn’t see how he is weaselling his way back to her? But she doesn’t really respond and it even almost feels like she understands him, because that’s how it always goes. Like it’s almost cute what he does.

    Now.. what am I witnessing here? A cunning woman playing a minstrel in distress? Or a traumatised girl fallen victim to another manipulative / narcissistic abuser who can’t take no for an answer and beats her up and then love-bombs his way back over and over again?

    Did they ever actually really break up at all? Or did that only happen inside her head, was she just saying that to her friends, and for him they are still together all this time? Would she make up his manipulative actions so it would justify her going back (to the outside world), while in fact they were still together all the time? To not have to admit that they never actually broke up?

    After 3 years of watching her going through the same cycle again and again I’m starting to get worried and curious how others would read this.

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to reply.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Jason.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Jason.
    #355320
    Jason
    Participant

    A little add as I can’t seem to edit my previous post:

    edit autocorrect typo: *damsel

    <i>Now.. what am I witnessing here? A cunning woman playing a damsel in distress? Or a traumatised girl fallen victim to another manipulative / narcissistic abuser who can’t take no for an answer and beats her up and then love-bombs his way back over and over again?</i>

    Did they ever actually really break up at all? Or did that only happen inside her head, was she just saying that to her friends, and for him they are still together all this time? Would she make up his manipulative actions so it would justify her going back (to the outside world), while in fact they were still together all the time? To not have to admit that they never actually broke up?

     

     

    And the reason I’m sometimes wondering if her boyfriend/ex even knows how many times she “broke up” with him, is her use of language: “For me it’s over” “I consider myself single” “I call him my ex” “he just won’t let me go”. She never stated something like “we broke up” or “we are not together anymore”.  Now this could also be explained in two ways I guess, either playing games, or not being able to leave an abuser.

    Thanks again and looking forward to your reply.

     

    #355340
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Jason,

    It’s like they are an older married couple: no sex, separate domiciles, shared keys, calling for favors. Are they even separated at all?

    Listen: He’s not a stalker. He pays half the rent. Of course he has keys to the place! If I gave money to a household, I would expect nothing less.

    Also: It’s very easy for her to get it through his head that it’s really over (this time). The next time he opens the door to deposit flowers he should walk in on a VERY shocked other guy already in her apartment who informs him that he’s NEVER HEARD OF HIM. At least have size 16 men’s boots with fresh mud on them at the doorstep. Jeez.

    Lastly: OF COURSE you are entwined in this drama and concerned for her. That’s the plan! I guarantee you that you are thinking more about this relationship than her stale boyfriend. She is in her mid-thirties. Instead of being happily married with children she is bored to tears. Looking at the past. And you looking pretty good in the rearview mirror. Drop the rope. The next time she complains write: “Sounds like a personal problem” and pretend to be sick of the monotony.

    Best,

    Inky

    #355346
    Jason
    Participant

    Hi Inky, thanks for your reply.

    I hear what you’re saying.

    It’s like they are an older married couple: no sex, separate domiciles, shared keys, calling for favors. Are they even separated at all?

    She is in her mid-thirties. Instead of being happily married with children she is bored to tears.

    I agree, this is not the lifestyle she wants at all. She wants to get married and have kids, just not the way he wants it: in his rural village with is countryside relatives far from any city-life excitement and services. And yes it is like they’re an older married couple. However, she made a power move to break up and move to the city, find a job etc, alone. You would indeed think that a sign she’s also strong enough “to get it through his head that it’s really over”. I would expect that from her too.

    Then why on earth would she continue to stay in an on again / off again relationship with him for YEARS, while the quality of the relationship is spiralling down to the point where they only argue and live like brother and sister and are together only half of the week sometimes? While her great wish is to build up something new and get married and have kids in the city?

    And STILL then, when she manages to eventually end it with him and finally goes out on some dates with guys in the city, he’s able to love-bomb her back to shitty ‘older married couple’ style relationship? Why would she stay in something like that when he also makes her feel miserable / insecure / worthless? Is that because she really really loves this guy? Then why doesn’t she move to his village and have kids if he’s her big love and having a family is her biggest wish in life? Why cling to this idea of living in a tiny apartment when her big love is waiting for her in a big house to have her kids?

    BTW I’m not sure he pays half of the rent, I think he helped her pay the deposit when she got the apartment or something.

    As for dropping the rope: so far (the past 3 years) I have always shrugged and continued minding my own business when she appeared to be back with him for the 100th time. Her life, her choice, her decision, whatever. Couldn’t really be bothered. Just was there for her as a friend. But after 100 times thinking ‘ok whatever’, the 101th time I’m just starting to ask myself if maybe something’s not right. Things just don’t add up and all of a sudden I’m worried she might be in a bad place when you put all the 1 + 1 + 1 together.

    Or I might be seeing ghosts and this is chaos is just what she enjoys, who knows.  Therefor it’s nice to hear some opinions from others, like yours, and it’s appreciated.

    Looking forward to hearing additional  thoughts you might have.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Jason.
    #355350
    Jason
    Participant

    I would like to add something that also makes me wonder if she’s happy at all:

    She looks bad. Empty eyes. Pale complexion. Sharp lines in her face. Like someone who’s com back from a war. If I compare pictures of her from 3 years ago and now, the difference is striking and unsettling. Especially seeing a picture with no sparks/light/joy in her soul, bags under the eyes and a big cut on her nose. Absolutely not an image that screams ‘Oh look I’m so happy to (be back) with my true love and life is great now.

    That definitely added to my feeling of ‘hm.. wait a second’.

    #355354
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jason:

    This woman is now in her mid thirties (single, in an on-again-off-again relationship), and you are in your later forties, 12 years older than her (single or married, I don’t know).  Ten years ago, she was in her mid twenties, and the two  of you dated. You learned of “her traumatized past(loss of one parent, abandoned by the other, loss of a brother, chaotic lifestyle in different countries, history of abuse”, and you observed “how traumatized she was from the abusive relationship she was in before we met”. You thought of her as “a good person with a lot of baggage”.

    Some time after you dated her, either you or her moved to a different country. “We haven’t seen each other face to face in 8 years, all our contact is mostly text and the occasional phone call”.

    About five years after you dated her, she entered a relationship with another man . At some point they lived together for two years.  “The first two years they seemed ok”. The three years that followed consisted of breaking up and getting back together multiple times.

    During the five years of her on-again-of-again relationship, the two of you text and occasionally talk on the phone. From time to time she suggests meeting you for some fun: “when she’s feeling low she sometimes hints at us meeting again, because when we were together it was ‘always fun’… or she starts flirting a bit. Reminiscing our good times way back and she could use some ‘me time/fun time’ and have a fun weekend together somewhere… she also threw in another ‘hey we should go somewhere nice for a weekend”.

    To her suggestions to have a fun, romantic, sexual weekend together (which is how I understand her suggestions), you reacted this way: “Twice I said ‘ok let’s do that’ but as always that conversation wouldn’t go anywhere because in the end she’d still be back with him… before that even takes any shape, here come the stories about her ex again”.

    You partly view her as naïve, and boyfriend as a weasel: “I call her naïve that she’s letting all this happen… I ask her if she really doesn’t see how he is weaseling his way back to her?”.

    * It is clear to me that throughout some if not all of your communication with her over the five years of her relationship with her boyfriend, you have felt a romantic and/ or sexual interest in her, and she sensed that this has been part of your motivation to being in touch with her, listening to her and giving her advice.

    I put together all that she said to you and read through it all. I see no evidence whatsoever of him abusing her in any way. I see that he has been pursuing her all along and she has been the one doing the rejecting, again and again and yet again.

    This is how serious he has been about her: “He wants me to move to his village, where his relatives live, so that we can have a nice big house and start our own family. I however want to live in the big city”.

    “He just won’t let me go. For me, it’s over no matter how hard he tries. I call him my ex; he keeps calling me his girlfriend. We broke up this time and I actually started dating other guys. Like always he just keeps acting like we are still together”- she is enjoying having power over him, enjoying that he needs her more than she needs him, that he is willing to do anything and everything for her. Notice: she dated other guys but he didn’t date other girls: for him.. she is the only girl.

    “He still has the keys to my house and sometimes he comes inside my house when I am at work to check if there’s still pictures of us on the wall, and he would leave notes for me. He came into my house while I was at work and left flowers. He brought me flowers and gave me a ride to the airport, which was actually handy. I can’t be rude to him after all he did for me..he still pays part of my rent”- he pursues her hard; he is very invested in her, like she said, he won’t let go of her.

    “I am back with him. I want to give another chance to the person that has been therefor me the past five years in all the good and bad times. I broke up with him and moved to a tiny apartment in the big city. He then convinces himself it could be ok in the big city then, after he realized I wasn’t coming back, nor was I going to live in his village. He kinda accepts the new reality but I can see he’s hoping one day I would change my mind”- he was with her in “all the good and bad times”. He wants her to move to his village, but he wants her so much that he convinced himself that he will be okay living in the big city, as long as he can be with her, hoping that she will change her mind and live with him in his village.

    “He sometimes stays in a hotel because we argue too much and I refuse to stay with him“- she is refusing to stay with him, not the other way around.

    “I feel I can’t be bitchy to him after all he did for me”- but she was okay being bitchy with him before he did all that he did for her.. ?

    “He doesn’t show me any physical affection anymore, despite saying that he still loves me: this makes me feel insecure, unattractive and rejected. I already have low self esteem, and it even changes he way I hold myself around other people. I feel that I am to blame for it. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t just let me go if he wouldn’t even sleep with me. I feel  like the last woman in the world, absolutely unattractive”- I very much doubt this is true: he is too crazy about her to  not show her affection and to not have sex with her.

    In summary: Unlike your evaluation of her being naïve and him being a weasel, I think that he is crazy about her, following around, wanting to live with her happily ever after, and she is the one toying with him, pushing him out of her life and taking him back in, enjoying exercising power over him and against him: she is the one abusing him, not the other way around.

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #355366
    Jason
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thank you again for taking the time and effort to reply in such an extensive way.

    I sincerely do hope that this guy is just crazy for her and they will in fact end up happily ever after. I also very much consider the option that if I would -hypothetically- ask him if he knows how many times his girlfriend ‘broke up’ with him, he probably has no idea what I’m talking about.

    And you are right that although I have no desire to engage in a serious relationship with her again, and definitely not interested in marrying her and have kids with her, (I am single btw), I am not completely insensible to her reminiscing our hot nights and her sending me pictures of (for instance) her wearing the lingerie I bought her back then, which she always kept all these years (carefully hidden from her boyfriend she says) I’m a man after all. But I won’t push myself back into her life.

    The part about her lying about the lack of affection and him making her feel miserable and insecure..  I can NOT imagine she made all that up. She was very upset about it and we talked for 2 days when that happened. If that is all a lie she deserves an Oscar for outstanding acting.

    But if this is the case.  Can you explain to me then why she is sabotaging her own life goals (married with kids, have a normal pleasant life) by constantly pushing him out and taking him back in, enjoying exercising power over him and against him, abusing him year after year? And complaining about it to her friends (including me).

    Why not just move on, and live a happy life? Is she enjoying abusing him so much she would rather sit at home alone in a tiny apartment 5 days a week than to live her happy and fulfilling dream-life married with kids?

    Is there a particular reason you think she likes to stay in this chaotic dynamic filled with drama year in year out?

     

    Tanks in advance

    #355380
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jason:

    She may have been upset that at any one time he was not interested in having sex with her, maybe she was shocked that a man who was always after her refused to have sex with her that one time!

    “Why she is sabotaging her own life goals.. by constantly pushing him out.. stay in this chaotic dynamic?”- because she is mentally unwell, I suppose. Lots of people don’t choose sensibly because they are unwell. Lot’s of people prefer drama on the outside because it distracts them from the drama in their inside: when is quiet outside, it’s noisier inside (in the brain, that is).

    “Is she enjoying abusing him..”?- I think so, enjoying having power over him, enjoying pushing him away and seeing him crawling back to her.

    (I will be back to the computer in a few hours).

    #355386
    Jason
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I can really follow your reasoning. I can also see that she’s not well mentally, for sure. She ‘s had a lot of chaos in her life and can’t seem to steer herself into calmer waters.

    She complains that he doesn’t move in with her in her tiny apartment full time, she hates it that he’s only with her half of the week sometimes. If they stay together, she wants the relationship to move forward: get married, have kids. He doesn’t want that in a tiny apartment the city, she refuses to live in the countryside.

    For that reason they argue a lot (and according to her a lot of other things don’t go well either) and she doesn’t want to stay with him anymore. She tells him to leave and let her find her way.

    He doesn’t accept a break up, because he’s so much in love with her. He would do anything for her to keep her, except move his life to the big city.

    If he is so madly in love with her, why doesn’t he compromise that one thing and finds a new job in the city and buy a house together with her and merry her? He is sticking to his village just as much as she is sticking to the city. She is the one saying, “hey if you don’t want the city, then just let me go. Because I am definitely not moving to a rural place where there’s nothing for me, and we are not getting along that well anymore anyway.” She goes on dating some other guys to finally get him out of her system, he ignores that she broke up with him and starts love-bombing.

    An ex comes inside your house uninvited to check if his picture is still on the wall.
    Some people would say oh how romantic, others would say that’s stalking and you should call the police

    An ex shows up unexpectedly at your work with flowers
    Some people would say oh how romantic, others would say that’s stalking and you should call the police

    An ex refuses to give back your keys and comes and goes as he wishes and leaves notes inside you house how much he loves you
    Some people would say oh how romantic, others would say that’s stalking and you should call the police

    An ex announces he wants to stay in your house for a month because of a project in your city and you feel you can’t refuse because all that he did for you in the past
    Some people would say oh how romantic, others would say that’s stalking and you should call the police

    An ex keeps acting like you are still together, just ignoring the fact that she broke up with you
    Some people would say oh how romantic, others would say that’s stalking and you should call the police

    And all this takes place while she is trying to move on with her live and is actively seeing other men.

    I’m just wondering what is the main argument to say that she just enjoys pushing him away and seeing him crawl back to her, instead of saying that’s pretty creepy if an ex does all that.

    At what point do you say about a girl that’s being harassed in he street that she just enjoys being provocative? (maybe a wrong example but you get the point?)

    I totally see what you’re saying and there’s a very good chance you are absolutely right.

    I’m just curious where the tipping point is between “ooooh how sweet, she must enjoy so much desperate attention from him” and “oooh that’s pretty creepy?”

    Thanks again for your insights and effort to respond in such great detail

     

     

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