Boundaries. This is another thing that I realise have become increasingly blurred throughout our relationship. Things I thought I would never take from a man, I have, and worse still continue too, examples below…
Coming into this relationship, this was a hard red line for me. I had never and would never be in a relationship with someone who does drugs. I am now in a relationship with someone who does drugs. He calls it ‘self medicating’, and has been using drugs since he was a teen – something he told me he was done with when we got together, and stuck to for the first couple of years of our relationship – his use of cannabis is in fact what triggered his psychosis in the first place.
He now steers clear of cannabis entirely and has done for a decade or two. However, he does abuse some of his prescription medications – sometimes taking a months supply in as little as a few days and at some point (I am not entirely sure when this happened), mine became fair game too – often leaving me with ineffective pain relief (I have a number of health issues) for weeks at a time. He doesn’t understand why this annoys me to the degree it does – but there are two things here for me: Firstly, this use of medication in him creates hellish mood swings and worsens his symptoms, exacerbating the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde situation. Secondly, taking my medication is not only illegal, immoral and stupid, but also in my head shows a lack of care towards me and makes me feel somewhat used. As a result of this behaviour of his I have reduced the level of pain relief I have from morphine to codeine – this means that in reality, I am never actually pain free at all. This also resulted in him having to have detox because he couldn’t cope without my morphine.
The most recent development in this direction is his use of illegal drugs, speed to be precise. The fact he is knowingly doing something for which I have told him numerous times that I would leave is, in itself, bad enough – however he has also stolen money from the household funds and our own wedding fund in order to fund ‘hits’. This most recent addition to this behaviour has really caused me to think – and was the reason for finally starting this blog. On the one hand it shows me that he doesn’t care, his behaviour when high is deplorable (though never physical) and hurts my feelings a lot, I have told him this but he still continues. However, on the flip side, this is the man I love and he takes drugs in order to escape from his own head, his own illness. I cannot imagine what his illness is like, but I know it is hell……can I really blame him for wanting to escape?
This is a hard one for me to write about, but I need too. My boundary before this relationship was that I would never stay with someone who cheated on me in anyway. Now before we get into this one – I have to tell you of something I did prior to this relationship, that I will unlikely ever forgive myself, but it is a part of my past that partially colours this section and therefore in order to be fair, I need to share it. Prior to meeting P (my fiance whom this blog is basically about) I met someone, he was and is married. Despite trying not to, we landed up having a relationship on and off for a few months – I take full responsibility for how much of a bitch this makes me and will feel awful for it forever. His wife never found out, and I never told her – they are still married 9 years later and I hope (though doubt) that I was the only person he ever cheated with.
P has known about this terrible decision since the very start of our relationship – I told him. Up until this point I had been a very fervent believer in the sanctity of marriage, that it is a choice you make for life. Despite that terrible choice – I still am. To me, a relationship can only be successful if each party chooses one another in everything, if they trust each other and work together to make one another happy. As soon as a person chooses someone or something above their wife/partner then they are cheating to a degree even if not physically.
This information is critical because it shows how far this one has been blurred. P has, to date: Been a member of multiple adult (fucking) sites – causing financial as well as personal issues for me, thrown me out of the house in order to chase after another woman (he was turned down, I went back three days later), chosen so many things above me that I have lost count (drink, drugs, money, clothes), put an open invite on facebook when high that he was the man if any woman ‘needed their pussies giving a servicing’ and left it there over his birthday (when i finally noticed it), meaning that most of the people who know us probably saw it.
I am still here – we never talk about these things because if I try, my terrible decision is brought up as evidence that I have probably cheated on him too (which he fervently believes – but I assure you is untrue) and I will be thrown out of the house if I continue the confrontation (I have learnt this by pursuing the conversation and being thrown out on a number of occasions). Also, a lack of sex in our relationship is often met with accusations that I ‘must be getting it from somewhere else’ – despite the fact that I have tried (and evidently failed) to explain to him that for me sex is an expression of love, an overflow of intimacy – therefore if I am struggling because of choices he is making then I do not feel like having sex with him. I feel pressured into having sex with him, he says that a relationship without sex is not a loving one – and that if I don’t love him then I should just leave. Recently, this has resulted in two occasions where I have literally felt as though I were a piece of meat and felt as though I was fucked, that it didn’t matter who I was really as long as he got laid. That has hurt me, a lot. But don’t get me wrong, I have always consented – even if it was out of guilt – he has never forced me.
This one is so far blurred I feel it may as well no longer exists. Is this the actions of someone who really cares about me but has a mental illness? Or simply someone who does whatever they want, that I am convenient to have around? I have been racking my brains trying to figure out where my actual red line on this one is now. I think that it would be him physically sleeping with someone else – but even then I don’t trust myself that I would actually leave. What the hell does that say about who I have become?
I am aware that this one seems pretty minor in comparison to the two above, however I still think it needs writing. Prior to this relationship I would have said that I would never allow someone to control things like the clothes I wear or whether or not I wear makeup and that if someone did begin to try and control these things then I would leave.
However, this one crept up on me too. It started with buying me gifts of clothing he liked (even if I had told him I wasn’t that keen on the item), I wore them so as not to cause offence. Over time this has developed into comments regarding everything I wear, only having perfume he likes (which he has bought me) and only wearing makeup when out with him (which rarely happens) because otherwise it is taken of a sign that I am being unfaithful.
In reflection now, this has eroded my already minimal self confidence to almost nil. I feel scruffy and uncomfortable in most of my clothes or (if I am entirely honest) manly and chavvy. I do not feel pretty, beautiful, womanly, confident – some days I barely feel human and certainly often not fit to be seen.
Old me would have broken up with someone as soon as they tried to tell me what to do/who I could hang out with. When I was younger, I was fiercely independent. In reflecting now I see how this boundary has been eroded too.
It started by turning up at my flat early in our relationship earlier than planned etc ‘because he missed me’. I thought this was adorable at the time – in hindsight, I think it was the beginning of him controlling who I saw and what I did.
I rarely go out without him, and he rarely goes out. Going out without him has simply become such a hassle that it is often not worth it – it either entails strops/arguments/threats of being thrown out for being unfaithful (despite often this being to see my sisters) and having to be constantly tied to my phone or face consequences when I get home.
I know that some of this is his illness, but I don’t feel like he even tries to fight it.
I never ever thought that I would ever allow someone to invalidate my feelings ever again. Being consistently dismissed was a large problem in my childhood and has left me with a whole load of scars – maybe it left me open to this one and potentially means that this is actually my issue.
Often, telling P how I feel is met with verbal aggression and threats. E.g. “If you don’t like it then go” etc. Ignoring my views on something has become normal for him and it hurts me. Drugs, alcohol, food, clothes, actions – all have and probably will continue to be deemed as ‘wrong’.
So…… There you have it. Boundaries. I recently plucked up some courage and tried to bring up this issue, I gave up after the conversation disintegrated into silent treatment and being told to ‘just leave’. Is it so wrong to want to be able to work on our relationship???
Can’t write anymore right now – this has drained me. Feel free to comment/make suggestions/let me know that I am/am not insane.