Dr. Schwartz, My name is Jessica. In order for me to explain my situation, I must start from the beginning.
I met my boyfriend 6 years ago right after I graduated high school. It was magical for 4 years. He never said anything degrading or demeaning to me, never touched me violently, never treated me in any ill manner at all. For 4 years it was like a fairly tail with him, even though we lived with his rather large family. He held me on a pedestal, we joked, played, we were the best of friends, and we had an amazing sex life. As a matter of fact, this is the only man that has ever wanted to make sure I am satisfied sexually before seeking his own gratification...
Then we bought our first house together, alone. Almost immediately after we bought our home things slowly fell apart. He lost his job, leaving a large financial burden on me and, as he found no job possibilities for some time, he fell into a deep depression.
I started working more to keep our bills paid and he started drinking heavily with friends. Then his friends introduced him to drugs and it started getting worse. He would fly into these unfounded jealous rages when I came home from work, accuse me of cheating on him, and steal money off me. Then he began calling me names on a daily basis, like whore, slut, fat ass, retard, bitch, etc. Then he started hitting me. He beat me pretty severely quite a few times. Once he kicked me in my legs for an hour with cowboy boots on, once he punched me so hard in my temple my face split open and I passed out, waking up later in the bathroom covered in blood. Once he held me over the basement stairs with a knife at my throat, once he held a shotgun to my head.
But all it took to leave him was something small. I cooked for over an hour, made a beautiful meal for us, and he brought his friend home. So I served them both a plate and he took one bite, chewed it up, and spit it in my face. The next day I got ready for work, made him a cup of coffee, gave him a kiss goodbye, said I loved him and left with just the purse on my back. I didn't go back.
We were apart for nearly a year when, one day, he called me and said he wanted to give me my things back. I met him and he loaded my car up and we talked. He seemed changed. He quit doing drugs and drinking and was cleaned up, shaved, and his hair was done. He was wearing my favorite cologne, some I had bought him our 3rd anniversary. I kissed him. All the good memories came rushing back to me from before we had that house, and I couldn't help myself.
Unusually, I had never been physically attracted to anyone else before or after him, even though I did have a few flings after I left him. So, seeing him like he used to be before things went sour struck a chord.
Dr. Schwartz, we have been living together for a year now since we reunited and he hasn't gone back to drugs. However, financially, we have been having some difficulty lately. I lost my job 4 months ago when I started college and he works and pays all of the bills and never sees a dime of his own money.
I feel terrible that I can't find a job that works around my college schedule but I can't quit school. More than anything, I want to be a doctor. Anyway, since the financial stresses began, he has been starting to snap at me when he's stressed, calling me a gold digging whore, saying I use him for money, calling me a fat ass. I cry all the time. It hurts taking his money. He doesn't make much and he pays all my bills, even my car and cellphone. I don't ask him to though. The only time I ask him for money is when I'm out of gas. I don't even ask him to buy food. I go to food giveaways at churches. I don't want it to end up like it was before.
Tell me, do you think he is abusive or do you think it was the drugs that made him do it? Ever since he started calling me names again I have been terrified he will start hitting me again, even though he has never laid a finger on me since we have been back together.
Please help, I need advice.
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