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Avatar universal

How can I make my boyfriend stop destroying my self esteem? help me!!

This question requires some explanation and history so I apologize for the length and will try to keep it short but to understand where I am coming from I feel I must explain. I have been with my boyfriend for a little over a year and am also now pregnant with his child. Before we got together I had known him for quite sometime he was always hitting on me but not in away that most young men would (late teens at the time) he called me beautiful not hot, he always was looking at me but not in a creepy way in more of a made you feel like you were the only one in the room kinda way. He made me feel amazing about myself. I was never insecure before I mean I had my flaws that I wasn't fond of but I was happy with me overall. After a few years of being friends we started dating and I was so happy. He treated me great. Made me supper, complimented me, etc. But after awhile when I was posting some pictures on facebook from his laptop I found a folder of nude girls on his computer some dated the night before and some from the time that I was in the shower that morning. Realizing that he is a man after all I wasn't angry or upset more uncomfortable seeing this made me feel like I wasn't enough because most pictures were from before we had made love I thought for a second that maybe I was no longer attractive to him and he needed the help to sleep with me but seconds after the thought was in my head it was out I mean why would he be with me if that was so. So calmly I let him know that I had seen it and that it made me uncomfortable. He agreed to delete them and we had talked about it and I let him know without demanding anything why it made me uncomfortable. He was a little defensive but still acted understanding. I assumed this meant it wouldnt happen again I mean he loved me right? and if so why would he want to make me feel this way again? In my head it was a no brainer give up something that should or in my mind is very unimportant for something that is important right? I was very wrong. A few days later I found a hidden folder (while still not snooping I swear it was incidental) I again calmly asked him about it and explained myself farther it hurt more this time because he was going behind my back he lied to me. Now I am a women that can't stand disrespect if it was important to him he should have stated so to me. Not lied and said he was going to do something he didn't and try to hide it from me. But i stayed calm after all its not like he was cheating but it hurt me and I let him know that calmly.. He was more defensive then the first time and yelled at me. Called me names etc. Accused me of snooping. I explained to him how I found it and that I just wanted the respect from him that I give to him. I wanted honesty. months went by and again and again over and over more pictures and pornsites I found hidden in different ways. At first I didn't snoop just found over time. Memory cards hidden etc.  It began to break my heart. I felt betrayed and disrespected in away I never felt before. Was I not enough for him sexually? was he not happy with our sex life? Was I no longer attractive to him? Was he addicted? And when I asked these questions hoping to bring myself some relief and some clarity on the matter he would become defensive yet again saying that I was being stupid and that I was a idiot even resorted to calling me other more hurtful names especially when I began to cry. I wasn't use to being talked to this way and especially not by him. He use to make me feel beautiful but slowly he was making me feel like I had to compete with these other girls. I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. Even when I slept with him slowly I got less and less turned on by sex. He began looking at these pictures and porn sites before coming to bed and having sex with me. Was I that unattractive that he needed other girls to get turned on enough to sleep with me? What did they have that I didn't? Why wasn't I enough to please him. I slept with him numerous times daily it wasn't like I ever said no to him I gave him oral pleasure whenever he asked and most of the time he didn't have to ask I would surprise him with things I knew he was into etc. My feeling that I had to and wanted to please him became stronger because I began to feel that it was my fault that this was happening. I just wanted to be important again I wanted to feel beautiful again. I began to slowly notice things about myself in the mirror that never bothered me before. little stretch marks on my tights, I had a bit of a belly, I had big boobs but not as perfect looking as the other girls, my *** was smaller then most... Things that I never cared about before were becoming irritating to me. And that brings me to today. Skipping alot of events to shorten this up. I need to say that I love this man more then I have ever felt for anyone in my life but its to much now. At first it wasn't a big deal to me but now its tearing me apart. I don't understand how to make him understand how I feel I don't want to be that paranoid girlfriend always checking up on him but I'm so scared. I can't sleep without walking up to him watching porn. I can't shower without returning to the room with pictures on the screen. I feel he is addicted or something? I can't keep trying to make my body and sex better. I'm pregnant if anything more natural flaws are going to arise from pregnancy that I can't necessarily prevent. How do I explain this to him without him getting defensive with me. I feel so worthly and so horrible all the time. I can't even go outside without seeing a attractive girl and thinking he'd be happier with her comparing her body to mine and all based off the pictures I have found in the past. I lay down at night and all that goes through my head are the pictures of those girls. Every single one of them permanently sketched into my brain. I feel like I'm going insane. I feel like I'm being everything I hate about women paranoid, and insecure etc. I don't know how to shut it off how to make it stop? or how to be ok with him doing this and believe me I tried I tried so many times to reason with myself telling myself what the old me would have told any girl saying what I am saying now but it doesn't work. I can't even look at him with out wanting to cry now. When he touches me its the first thing that pops in my head and even worse when we make love all I can think about is what if he's thinking of someone else. I know I sound completely mad but please try to understand I was not like this before I know its probably my fault for staying with him feeling the way I feel. I just want it to stop the last thing I want is to lose him but I can't continue feeling this way its killing me. I can feel myself getting more and more depressed everyday. I don't want my kid to grow up without her daddy like I did. I want him to make me feel like he use to make me feel about myself. Please help me give me advice anything?
13 Responses
Avatar universal
Did he start this behavior after you got pregnant?  

He probably thinks you were snooping into his things even though you stated you didn't.  I wouldn't blame someone for getting mad if he/she felt someone was being intrusive or snooping into his/her things.  Well.....his situation is out regardless of how you found out.  

"How can I make my boyfriend stop destroying my self esteem?"  Why have you given another human being the power over your self-esteem?  You should be the ONLY one in control of your self-esteem.  To add....looking to people to "pump" your self-esteem up is not very prudent.  You will probably be dissappointed often.  Looking to men to make you feel "amazing" is not the thing to do.  

I am not sure why you are trying to make his problems your problems.  You are busy blaming yourself for his actions/behavior.  He's responsible for his OWN actions/behavior.  

BTW:  My husband is a man and all, but he doesn't have pictures of naked women in a special folder.  Just because someone is a man doesn't mean this behavior is ok or should be expected or done.  Your bf has choices and has chosen to do this.  It isn't a "man thing."  

I will agree in a sense the problem is really you thinking so little about yourself and that this is the best you can get or do in regards to men.  Putting up with name-calling and porn is pretty much saying I don't mind being treated crappy and disrespectful.  

I would recommend separating from this guy and seeking some counseling for yourself.  The problem began years ago when you had no dad around.  Don't keep carrying these issues around and pass them onto your child because it's not fair to the child.  

Do you really want your child growing up watching you go through all this angst with the situation you are involved in at this time?  I can tell you things will probably get worse.  

You need to start thinking MORE about you and this child on the way and less about how you can be more sexy for him, how to explain to him about the "flaws" that increase related to pregnancy, how to give him better and more sex......I mean.......these are NOT solutions.  He has issues. First, he would have to admit this is an issue with him and then be WILLING to do something about it.  You can't change someone who doesn't want to be changed, however, you sure can change your situation.....leave.  
Try reading Steve Gallagher's book At the Alter of Sexual Idolatry.  It sounds like your boyfriend is addicted to porn.  He may sincerely want to stop, but like the enslaved alcoholic, simply can't.  I would strongly recommend counseling for both of you.
Avatar universal
I am a man and basically I see you give him a choice, either you or porn. That simple.
Avatar universal
Your "SELF-Esteem" belongs to YOU!!  ONLY TO YOU!!  Only YOU can give it away!!

Why would You give that up (your self-esteem) to someone who does not have the same Character, Morals, and Standards that You have??

Your Self Esteem belongs to You - You can keep it if You so choose!! or You can give it away, of You so choose.
Avatar universal
I didn't think that giving him that choice at first was necessary. I thought it was a no brainer.. He knew it bugged me and made me uncomfortable so he would stop not wanting to make me feel that way. The same as I would do if there was something I did that bugged him.. Especially something as simple as porn. Which when I was single I watched like Im sure everyone does but I don't see the need for it anymore... After it was obvious this wasnt the case I did tell him it was porn or me he said me.. but then I would catch him again... I'm just scared that it is because of me or an addiction that he won't admit to or if he just doesn't care. As a man would you stop if your gf or wife felt this way? Alot of men have yelled at me for sharing my feelings about this.. Saying I was controlling and psycho... Am I for feeling this way? I just dont know if its a problem within me or within him....
Don‘t let him hurt u anymore-HE'S the problem, NOT u!. U r NORMAL!!. All of us would feel the same way!. He's NOT caring about YOU'RE feelings, so don't feel bad for not caring about HIS (OR his "addictions". There ARE many men who WON'T do this to u or dissmiss your feelings so often. Plus, this behavior WILL get worse and new ones will arise!!. Beauty has an expiry date on ALL of us!!. If this is how he makes u feel at your "prime" age, how do u suspect he will treat u when you're much older, with many many MORE flaws!!. Add to that, the exhaustion of being a parent!?. ALL women want to here how beautiful they are!! We ALL want and NEED postive praise and we DESERVE IT!!!!!......:-)
Avatar universal
No he started this before I was pregnant.. or knew I was.. And I definitely in no way want my little girl to ever have to deal or see this issue within me or him nor do I want her to ever feel this way.. But I also don't want her to grow up the way I did without her father I don't even want to be without him. There are so many factors in me leaving that it makes it harder then it should be. I lost my job and no longer am eligible for maternity leave or any type of income once she is born. I am completely in need of him financially not for myself but in order to take care of her. At first anyway. I also have no place to live no family I could stay with if I were to leave I would be homeless.. In alot of ways none of my options are ideal for my child I just dont know what one is the best or worst..  
Avatar universal
I completely agree with you. Problem is I don't know how to take it back... It was slow to go away but it haunts me so badly now. Even when I get compliments from people about anything I can't convince myself that they are serious or being truthful... I guess I just don't know how to stop him from effecting me this way. No one else ever has before and I have been in other relationships were guys have told me I was to "fat" or called me down one being physically abusive as well.. But its never effected me like this.. I always thought without hesitation that it was there issue and not mine and remained happy with myself... But my current bf is so much different I dont know if its because I love him so much that his opinion means alot to me or if it was in me all along and I convinced myself otherwise....
Avatar universal
You don't sound completely insane. Actually, you sound quite normal for someone dealing with emotional abuse in a relationship that is supposed to be built on trust, and not purposefully being hurtful. Every time you asked your boyfriend to stop seeking out pornography, and then lying to you about it, you conveyed how much it hurt you.

This was a cue to him to stop the abusive behavior. He hasn't, which means he's an abuser.

I know it sounds harsh, but I spent a long time in a relationship like this, and my self esteem almost two years later is only now beginning to blossom again.

Men use this excuse that they can't help it, they're men. But you and I both know if the tables were turned, you would stop doing what hurt him without question. It wouldn't be an issue.

When you say you have stopped enjoying sex, let this be your cue to exit said relationship. Take it from me, your situation sounds exactly like mine. And my self esteem has been shot so much that's it's extremely difficult to even want to enter a new relationship, or consider having sex with another man.

Either your boyfriend will take drastic measures to find a way to stop hurting you emotionally and sexually (self esteem), or you will find a way to stop being hurt.
Avatar universal
Okay. Honestly I cant tell you want to do to make that feeling go away but I will tell you that don't let anyone tell you your in the wrong.. your not. I've been told I was in the wrong for snooping through my husbands things but im just like you a couple years ago (18 at the time) I accidentally found emails on my husbands email.  I made it for him I sent myself a email from his account to see if it would go thought so I wasn't snooping for anything I just needed to use it. Well sure enough he was emailing some chick he graduated with calling her babe and other things. So I confronted him..he denied it said he let a friend use his account(bull cause I had problems with this girl constantly texting my husband in the past)  but anywaya then Idid start to snoop and each time I never told him what I found because I didn't want him to start covering his tracks better. Well that whole summer it was always porn, texts, emails, pictures, always something.  And here I am 3 years later and of course I snoop! Can you blame me? Luckily bhe grew up and relized what he wanted (at least in the flesh) we have recently had issuess with him watching porn and me being uncomfortable about it. I have two kids! (Im breast feeding) but when im not I fit into a training bra! Im covered in stretch marks I feel ugly!  He knows this but still chooses to watch porn knowing what it does to me.. but I think we've finally gotten past it. I told him a couple months ago that when we have sex all I can think about to even tolerate it lately is him being with another girl cheating on me because the thought of him ONLY being with me made me feel so bad for him thats how bad I was feeling about myself.  Well that knocked some sence into his head because he started crying and he has googled anything in weeks ( you can see what the Google and what sites they were on using their Google account)  and i know for a fact he doesn't know I can do that.. and I 100% agree with you if its JUST a porn site and its not that important to him than he should be able to put your feeling above it. Oh and dont let anyone tell you that it dosent matter what hes doing because hes coming home/sleeping with you every night...

I can think of 1000 inappropriate things I could do during the day that cant be justified with " I came home to you...didn't I? (:

Im sorry I kinda used your post to rant about my problems.. but I really do with you the best of luck ..maybe it would be good if he was addicted?  He could get help for it.. it easier to cure an addiction than it is to cure someone who is just a jerk lol
Avatar universal
My ex husband was addicted to porn, then he turned into a nimphomaniac (spelled right?) anyhow, you see how I type "ex husband" he cheated on me. First came the porn. I'm not saying your boyfriend is cheating.  He is just "virtually cheating" on line.

Anyhow, if nothing changes you have to make a change YOU. Don't let him make you feel less attractive! You are in charge of your feelings. For heavens sake you are pregnant! You have a life inside of you!!! Focus on that positivity!! Then..... YOU decide. Keep us posted  

Also you have received great advise!  XOXO
Avatar universal
I am a man myself and I am telling you. I would never do anything to hurt my girfriend and the reason is first of all I love her, second why would I be with her if I need porn. Being respectful in the relationship is the most important thing of all. I would have felt horrible if she did anything of what your boyfriend does. So please, think about it all, he will not stop, he is so addicted that the need of porn is higher than thought of hurting you. If he did it without you knowing, lying to you so many times, he would do it again.  Moreover, look how he behaves when you tell him that you know about his addictions, he turned things other way round, he makes you look insane.
Be strong, there are so many faithful guys over there. Look for another man, dont ruin your life, which is one only.
I feel really sad for all the woman who go through this...
Avatar universal
Hey, your post sums up how i feel right now...
I cant believe how dead on all of this is.
I understand your confusion and sadness. I myself have called a therapist. Im going to let my husband read your post to explain to him how i feel... maybe you should let your man read your post too. Sometimes its hard to put this stuff in the right words in person....
Avatar universal
Great insight on such s ****** situation.... im in a similar situation, not quite the same but even i appreciate your comment.
Avatar universal
My boyfriend is exactly the same. I've been with mine for 25 years I stayed and suffered for the kids. I would of had to leave because he won't. Now he has my cheap housing and my son. I am in such a **** situation I always wish that I had of put myself first, everything would of been better. I have children now all suffering and he sits there like a king Faruke. He is now abusing me by playing loud music late at night, playing the harmonica and he gets me really really angry by saying I am doing things that I'm not doing. Which he has done for the entire 25 years. He now has my house, I gave it to him so he can afford the rent, by taking my name of the rent is cheaper now i have to look for somewhere else to live. Just get out, if his not making you happy just go, I don't believe in staying anymore,
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