Being bullied online has become a sad fact about life on the internet for many, but no one expects that bullying to come from the person whom you trust most in the world.
On an anonymous account created specifically to tell this story, a woman approached Reddit’s “Relationship Advice” forum to ask what she should do after discovering her boyfriend had been secretly bullying her on the internet for months.
She titled her post “My boyfriend (19M) has been bullying me online. I feel sick to my stomach“
“This is obviously an alt, but on my real account, I post pictures on a few makeup subs. I get nice comments but I always get rude messages about how my makeup is looking disgusting and Iâ€™m ugly and makeup canâ€™t help an ugly face.”
“That I should kill my self and looking at my photo made them wanna throw up. I even got some scary messages saying they knew where I lived and they sent me my full name and birthday and college I go to. That was really terrifying.”
“Every comment of mine was also downvoted. Someone was doing this to me and it really hurt my feelings.”
“I tried not to take it personally because I thought they didnâ€™t even know anything about me. I tried deleting and making new accounts but they always found me.”
“Well my boyfriend was asleep and I saw the Reddit app so I wanted to see his profile so I could stalk him. I found his real account and I found a couple other accounts too.”
“He was sending me the messages and down voting everything Iâ€™d post.”
“I feel so horrified. Iâ€™ve gone to him so many times crying about these messages, especially the ones saying they knew my personal info and telling me they vomited after seeing my photos.”
“Heâ€™d comfort me and all that. I feel so scared.”
“I donâ€™t know what to do. And Alex if you find this, I hate you.”
DollFace knew exactly what OP should do.
“Don’t even f***ing tell him you know, just bounce! Leave and never look back. Block on all platforms, change your number the whole 9. This is some next level emotional abuse and I wouldnt give him the opportunity to manipulate me and gaslight me any further by confronting him. Scary.”
iWarnock thought all the people calling the boyfriend’s behavior a “red flag” were understating things a bit.
“Boy the red flags were gone a long time ago, this is full volume blasting horn impending nuclear armageddon throw the bannana you were having for breakfast pick up the dog while yelling incomprehensible languages while running to a shelter.
“Seriously, calling this a red flag is like watching your house burn down and going â€˜oh I think I hear the smoke detectorâ€™”
sam_neil felt like he had heard something like this before…
“Yeah, this is literally the D.E.N.N.I.S. System.”
rapunzel2018’s message was clear: GET. OUT.Â
“Move out, dump him immediately. I would not confront him in private about it. He has some deep underlying psychological issues.”
utack hoped no one else would have to deal with this boyfriend ever again.
“Please put a orange warning sticker on him too, so anyone in the future can avoid him. I am seriously afraid he might one day find someone who accepts this”
loring96 tried to understand what might drive a person to act the way the boyfirend did.
“Regarding those deep issues; he likely feels that by attacking you anonymously, youâ€™ll find comfort in him and vice versa, however itâ€™s still incredibly manipulative and shows a level of either emotional immaturity that wonâ€™t work in a relationship or worse sociopathy in which he doesnâ€™t care about you at all and is using this as entertainment”
JordanArsenalfc1 came up with a similar motivation.
“I think in a sick/twisted way your boyfriend enjoyed it when you were vulnerable and went to him for help?? This is definitely a situation you need to get out of ASAP.”
caramelpinapple has been somewhere similar.
“I had a boyfriend who was “turned on by emotional intimacy.” To him, this meant trying to have sex with me when I was crying after a fight. Or when I was hungover and feeling s***ty. Crying and feeling upset and getting felt up at the same time is one of the worst feelings ever. F*** guys who get turned on by hurt women.”
marmalade has had enough of toxic behavior from figures that are supposed to support you.
“People poison their kids over years because they like the attention they get by being the parent of a chronically sick child. I’d say this is in a similar boat, but I bet if you outed the boyfriend he’d have a litany of excuses as to how online stuff doesn’t matter. OP: unsubscribe.”
dlukz knew exactly what the boyfriend would say once he was confronted.
“‘How dare you go through my phone. You are in the wrong for breaking our trust. How can I ever trust you for what you did! Everything that was said online was a joke babe. If you leave me I’ll slash your tires and key your car!'”
Infrastation summed the situation up pretty succinctly.
“It’s called Hero Syndrome: putting people in harm’s way in a manner you know you can diffuse and later help. Criminally there’s about a couple dozen cases a year, but it’s possible that uncaught or non-criminal Hero Syndrome might be more common.”
The book Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People is available here to offer advice on healing after an emotionally abusive relationship.