It’s alarming how many people have been in abusive relationships.
What’s worse is that there are manipulative tactics a person might not even realize qualify as abuse, confided the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwra3078, for instance, was beginning to wake up to what she was putting up with from her boyfriend when he seemed to be trying to sabotage yet another one of her jobs.
When he yelled at her for standing up for herself, the Original Poster (OP) second-guessed herself.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not leaving work to go pick up my boyfriend from the hospital?”
The OP’s boyfriend demanded that she pick him up from the hospital.
“My (32 female) boyfriend (37 male) of 7 years got injured while working in the backyard again and went to the ER via an ambulance (that I paid for since he doesn’t have money).”
“He called me later to tell me he was in the hospital getting treated for his injury and assured me it wasn’t serious, then told me to come to pick him up and take him home.”
“I said I was busy in the middle of a project with my co-workers so I couldn’t leave.”
“He said he had no one to give him a ride and as usual said no to Uber.”
“Then he said my boss will make an exception for me, which might have been true, but I said I was sorry, but I’m fairly new to work, and it would be unprofessional of me to leave like that.”
“He pressured me but I didn’t cave and stopped answering his calls.”
Her boyfriend yelled at her when she returned home.
“I got off work, came home in the evening, and he saw me and screamed at me words like selfish and uncaring for refusing to leave work to give him a ride home and leaving him to fend for himself this way.”
“I had enough and told him that this is the 10th time he had an accident where he needed me to leave work and come give him a ride either home or to the hospital.”
“Also… he knows that I got kicked out of my old job for continuously leaving at random times to come to him for the same reasons.”
“But this is my new job, and I’m making sure I won’t lose it too, since he ‘doesn’t take Ubers’ and says, ‘Just come get me, how hard could that be? It’s not like I’m asking you to carry me on your back,’ every time.”
Her boyfriend continued to argue.
“He was still convinced I was wrong for not dropping work and rushing to get him home and said my true colors are showing and ‘they ain’t pretty,’ like what? What does that even mean?”
“He remained upset and insisted I prioritized work over him, which isn’t good.”
“AITA for not leaving mid-work to go pick him up after he already caused me to lose my old job because of this?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some suspected the boyfriend was trying to acquire pain medication.
“NTA. it sounds like he’s got an addiction to painkillers. Nobody hurts themselves that often unless they’re trying to get a fix. If you want s healthy relationship, know that you’re likely with an addict.” – Legitimate-Scar-6572
“I think he is ‘hurting’ himself to be pain meds.”
“I really hope you did not pay for the other TEN time he had goto the hospital!”
“Also OP, please put an Uber sticker on your car, since he refuses to use an ‘Uber.’
“Also, does he work or is he only living on your income that he has ALREADY in damaged multiple time?!” – IDDQD_IDKFA-com
Others said the boyfriend was simply abusive and manipulative.
“He’s trying to control her. He cannot handle her attention being anywhere but him so he’s trying to get her fired AGAIN. It’s a pattern and there’s no reasonable doubt at this point. OP needs to get away for her own safety.” – buttercupcake23
“I think he’s addicted to the attention. People with Munchausen’s don’t just fake being sick, they can actually harm themselves to get that attention they crave.”
“NTA, OP. Whether his motive is control, painkiller addiction, or Munchausen’s, it is NOT normal or acceptable. You should NEVER be with a partner who insists you owe it to them to sacrifice things for them. You know he would not make the same sacrifice for you.” – JuliaX1984
“If she lost her job, because she had to drop everything and run to get him… then he is treating her like a taxi. He is controlling, verbally assaultive, and manipulative…”
“If she continues to defy him, I can absolutely see this escalating.”
“No one starts a relationship with someone who hits them… it takes time, and an erosion of confidence, ability to leave, alienation from peers and support systems, etc.”
“If he has her in a position where she can’t leave because she can’t afford to, and makes her feel like she cannot say no, then he is already abusing her.” – basketballwife
Some urged the OP to plan an exit strategy.
“OP, this guy is trying to drag you down with him. And he will if you don’t get this anchor off of you.”
“Break up with him. Get him out of your house. Don’t let him ruin anything else for you.”
“I REALLY doubt he just accidentally hurts himself this much. It sounds like he just wants your attention. This is worrisome.”
“Talk to some trusted friends and get out of this relationship. NTA.” – crystallz2000
“Also, OP should pay for landscaping services at this point. One ambulance ride would probably pay for 6 months of landscaping services and home maintenance care services.”
“The cost BF’s activities are wildly unaffordable due to his accidents, not even including the hit on her employment from his frequent emergencies. Stop paying for his accident expenses and stop giving him emergency on-call attention. Get a landscaping service and a handyman service.” – rhetorical_twix
“I had an ex like this. He would always hurt himself and insist I visit him in the hospital, even if I had a test or important class. He knew it was my second run through college and essentially my last chance, and he didn’t care.”
“Threw the whole man away, never looked back. Best thing that I ever did. He still hates me and it feels great.” – iam_four_eels
Though the OP was thoroughly conflicted because of how her boyfriend spoke to her, the subReddit reassured her that she had done nothing wrong. She needed to keep her job to take care of herself.
But she needed to take care of herself in other ways, too, whether that meant setting new boundaries or leaving the relationship entirely.