Good advice on Dan's part. I was about to add "Tape recorders are a thing," but by the time you feel like you have to record your arguments, you're being abused and it's time to leave.

Incidentally, abuse voids the karmic debt. Update karma spreadsheet as required.
I really liked your adding the options for SAWN to consider especially the part about if she had supported him while being a student, he would be required to give her time.
This whole letter reads exhausting and depressing. You might be a tone deaf, insensitive ass, but what's certain is that you're unhappy- which tends not to bring out the best behavior in anybody. And if you can't even get a real discussion between the two of you, it's more than likely just over.
Dan. Great answer.
Another gentleman. Won't talk about the money, because it's rude?

I'd initiate a conversation, like now. That you push thru with. Your complaints are valid and she needs to shut the fuck up, and listen.
Suddenly Tone is a word.
Dan thoughts on why she might be so cagey could be on the mark.
You won't really know till you insist that the conversation is not sidetracked, and you hear each other.
Does sound though, that you are done trying.
I'm not sure how viable option #3 may be. If she were only a semester or two from finishing, that fact seems like something he would have mentioned.
this does not solve your problem long-term, but can I state how awesome it is that my partner sleeps in a different bedroom? i can't sleep more than five hours and he needs 9. i don't have to smell his farts under the covers; he doesn't get disturbed when i come to bed at 2 am. and then every morning we get to wake each other up in fun ways.

do you have two bedrooms? maybe that would help.
@6 is terrific. I don't think everybody should sleep alone; I just don't understand why more couples aren't open to the idea, and/or shift in and out of separate sleeping as needed. There's too much emotional freight around the issue and "what it means" if someone heads for the sofa or the other bedroom. It's like the old cornball tradition (less prevalent now) in my rural part of the world, where the woman's gotta scoot over next to the man in the pick-'em-up truck (and the man always drives).
This article seems strangely familiar, in that either its a huge coincidence or someone I know or my girlfriend knows wrote it, and changed a few things. I am in a very similar situation, and I suppose I'd ask the same question to Dan.

I am in a long term (10+ years) relationship with someone that has gotten really stale to the point of endless frustration. Sex, even intimacy (long kisses, any sort of physical intimacy other than spooning in bed) is now nonexistant. Our families expect us to get married, all our friends are married. I am still in school getting my BA in Accounting, but we both work full time and our schedules dont match at all. We barely see each other, even on weekends. We no longer enjoy the same hobbies and interests, though we both put in an effort to try (more like fake) enjoying each others TV shows and knicknack hobbies. Aside from that, what little time we do have together I spend toking up to relax. Its almost the only way I can deal with the frustration at this point. When we first started dating, she occasionally partook in the sweetleaf from time to time, but now she no longer does. While she doesnt disagree with it, she finds ways to passive aggressively chastise me for it when I do it.

Aside from the frustration of not having sex in almost half a decade, we also havent changed on serious life decisions. She hates kids, and hates pets, and wants to eventually move. I still want pets and a family, and like it here. I have no idea what to do. We love each other dearly and have been through a lot, but the staleness (and lack of sex) is killing me. Whenever I try and bring up any of these differences or problems, the conversation either turns into an argument where she tells me to break up with her, or we agree we'll 'work on' our problems...though the work magically never happens.

We share all the same friends, though Ive learned shes either told most of them that I dont work at all and live off her (because the know I am in school), hence why this letter feels suspicious. I am 100% positive that if I were to break it off with her, most of my friends (who arent aware of our actual problems) would see me ass an asshole.

Either way, I feel bad for the LW, and I think I have a lot in common with either her or the LW or both.

There's only one option - dump her immediately and let her parents pay for school.
@8: she tells me to break up with her

What are you waiting for?
@8: "Whenever I try and bring up any of these differences or problems, the conversation either turns into an argument where she tells me to break up with her..."

Take her advice.
@ 11 - Excellent advice, though I would add "throw her out of the house and change the locks"
I have no idea what to do.

If you're able to write that comment, @8, you do have an idea of what to do, you're just scared. It's pretty telling that there's nothing in your comment about making an effort to fix this, through therapy. I suspect that's because you know it's not fixable, because there's not enough there in terms of compatibility to be worth the effort to fix the potentially fixable parts about what's broken.

You can't be afraid of 3rd party's unfair reactions here. That's no way to live. Also, you describe her as preparing to win the battle of the friends in the upcoming break-up, which she seems to know is coming but isn't willing to initiate. It's almost certainly inevitable; might as well get it over with, unless you're very near finishing school and being employable, in which case a strategic brief delay might be in order.
No one is addressing the "she and I love each other" remark. Maybe neither one of them WANTS to break up, because they love each other, he (they) simply want to have a good relationship, not a bad one, but don't have the skills to get there on their own. Maybe counseling might help?
@ 16 - No one's adressing it because the rest of the letter seems to deny it.

If they really love each other, it looks to me like their best option is to break up before they start actively hating each other.
SAWN: What do you love about your girlfriend? Seriously. It sounds as if there's nothing for you to love--not her fault necessarily, but just that you have grown apart. It could be her schooling that is sucking a lot of sexual energy, I don't know. But as Dan suggested, if she's dependent on you while she's in school, give her a chance to find another means of support and then break up with her.

As for you, santiago (@8), someone hating pets is a deal-breaker for me. Hello, love me, love my cat! (That said, I can get with someone not liking kids because I only like them in small doses.) Again: What do you two love about each other? It doesn't seem like you even have a lot in common! You should absolutely break up with her because she's too cowardly to do it herself.
@8; for gods sake, get outta there.
Who cares what others think ..
This Is Your Life.
@16: The romance-industrial complex has lied to you. "But we really love each other" isn't, alone, a reason to not break up. I really love one of my exes--always will, and she me. But we both know we're not compatible, and love can't fix that. Love can do many amazing things, but it can't make the imcompatible compatible. It's the reason to not break up of last resort, after all the others have fallen.
@19 - i think he means stevia.
@ 8 - From personal experience (and as everyone else who answered you said), when someone repeatedly tells you to break up with them, that's precisely what you should do. No matter what their reasons are (manipulating you into staying or shutting up, guilt-tripping you for daring to question their behaviour, cowardly trying to get you to do what they themselves want to do, etc.), anyone who uses this strategy absolutely deserves to be taken at their word.
@20 is spot on. The Beatles lied to you. Love is NOT all you need. It is not enough, on its own, to sustain a close relationship long-term. Sorry. Continue to love each other, if you can, but make the show of that love a gesture of allowing each other a chance at a happier life.
Thanks @21
@23. Think those boys- John, dear sweet John, Paul, George and Ringo were talking bout another sort of love. The right sort.
Loved this letter's last line.
Your relationship is already over. All of your current problems are the result of being too scared to make the announcement.
Dan has given you good advice. Take it. I stayed married to the same man for 27 years until he up and died suddenly. And, really, that was the nicest thing he'd done for me in about 25 years.

It was a horrible 27 years and I regret staying married to him for that long. When you know it's time to end things, end them. But do it nicely cuz it's the right thing to do. But, you ain't want to look back and realize you wasted most of your life on the wrong person. Trust me.
@22 @12 @13

Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately, that isnt something easily done. Weve been together for over a decade, and have known each other even longer than that. It is not easy to up and end a relationship like that.

Weve talked about therapy in the past, but never went through with it. The problem with me being concerned with how our friends will see me if I did break it off isnt easy to shake off. As I mentioned before, while I already work fulltime and contribute just as much to the household and bills, she had convinced (or they just came to the conclusion) that I didnt work, attended school full time and was living off her. Her family, whos opinion I also care about and have been like my own family for years, were also under this assumption until it came up during a visit and I told them the truth. They wouldnt say how they came to that belief, but I suspect it was from her. When I asked her about it she just tells me "who cares what they think".

@19 and @21

Im bad with metaphors, but it is certainly not Stevia. :) ;)
@8: Break up. Like, yesterday.

If you can't stand one another's company, you don't enjoy the same things, you don't have the same plans, and your sex life is dead, there is literally no reason to be together other than "well, other people expect me not to dump her." That's a terrible reason. It's your life, not theirs. You're obviously making one another miserable, why on earth would you drag this dead thing out because third parties might cluck about it? It's none of their business, they don't have to live in your shoes.

@23: See Mark Manson's blog for love NOT being all you need. I mean, John Lennon, a wife batterer, wrote that. Goes to show just how far that crap will get you, IMO.
Santiago @29, if they think you’re mooching off her and just staying with her for her money, your friends (sounds like they’re really her friends — if they don’t know that you work you’re obviously not close) will be surprised and impressed that you showed the backbone to leave her.

Is she your only real friend? Is that why it’s so hard?
@santiagosandiego, of course it's not going to be easy to disentangle your lives after years. But here are the questions to ask yourself:

Assuming nothing changes between you and your partner, could you put up with another year of this? How about another five years? Another ten?

How much of your staying together is because you genuinely enjoy sharing your life with this person, and how much of it is the heartache and inconvenience of starting over on your own? If the scales are tipped in favour of the latter, you need to break up. Don't drag it out any further.
Flee on foot: good company or no company is my policy, I settled for no girlfriend for a few years, in my prime, and it was good, though I really did leave the prior household carrying a cardboard box that didn't contain a beloved one of a kind vest, it was worth it to escape another day of emotional abuse. Crazy is crazy, run.
@29; no it's easy. So what, you just sit in this miserable( sounding) story ?
I broke up after a 30 yr relationship. I knew I didn't want to be with this person anymore. I'd known it for a long time, yet we had children.
I really thought, given my negative feelings towards him, I'd deal with the fall out easily. Think again.

Breaking out of the attachment took a long while. Now, I am happy.
you are what age? Youngish I'd guess. A physical less love is a dry love. You can talk yourself any which way, but you are not getting what good love can give you.
Yes. It'll hurt to untangle the binds. And it would take time.
Guess we get what we settle for. As Thelma or Louise said/ think it was them.
Only you can decide what you're prepared to settle for.
Of course I meant
It isn't easy.
@11: "Let her parents pay for school"? Not everyone's parents are willing to pay for school. Particularly for someone who's been potentially out of the nest for 7+ years and is therefore in her mid-20s. "Hi, Mom, Dad, my ex-future husband just dumped me, can I have thirty grand a year please?" Yeah, that's going to go over like a lead balloon.
@33: "Crazy is crazy"? What part of SAWN's letter suggested that the girlfriend is crazy? MISOGYNY ALERT!
And in response to SAWN: If your "tone" is preventing a meaningful conversation, why not write a letter or e-mail expressing your concerns? She can't go all "it's your tone" from the written word. Or try getting this off your chest at a counsellor's office, who can mediate, and point out when someone is or isn't raising their voice.
@37: "Crazy" is often the only word straight men are allowed to use to acknowledge their abusers as abusers.

The fact that your immediate reaction is to try to take away that option as well is telling.
@39: You can't say "abusive"?

"Crazy" is problematic because, number one, it minimizes actual mental illness. Bipolar disorder is "crazy", but "she got upset because I was flirting with her friend" is also "crazy". Sorry, but that's crazy.

Also, "crazy" is a word some straight men use to completely shut down the discussion. It's dismissive. It often means "I can't handle that she showed emotion," or "I don't want to acknowledge my contribution to the problem, so I'm just going to place her in the wrong by calling her 'crazy'." It can, in fact, also mean that someone is crazy; there are, I acknowledge, women and men out there who are completely bonkers. But by overusing the word to apply to any situation where a man believes a woman is in the wrong, it completely devalues situations where there are actual mental health issues. It's crying wolf. And it's sexist, because women don't throw it around willy-nilly when they disagree with a man's behaviour.

The only thing my reaction to men's overuse of "crazy" is "telling" about is that I don't like sexism, which you already knew. If you mean abusive, say abusive. No one is going to think you're less manly for that.
@ 36 - Of course her parents might not want to pay for her studies. The point is that she might learn something about life if not even her parents are willing to pay. As in: that she hasn't been a good person, and that she needs to stop mooching off other people, to start taking responsibility for herself, to stop manipulating people into thinking they're in a loving relationship with her when all she wants is economical support. Things like that.

Or maybe she won't learn anything, and she'll find herself another guy to support her. But then it will no longer be the LW's problem.

(That is, of course, assuming the LW has painted us a truthful, undistorted picture of his GF and their relationship.)
@40: If you mean abusive, say abusive. No one is going to think you're less manly for that.

False. And if only "thinking you're less manly" was the only punishment. That would be a lot nicer than the world we live in.

And it's sexist, because women don't throw it around willy-nilly when they disagree with a man's behaviour.

It is indeed sexist that men aren't allowed to use any other words to describe their abuse. If women weren't allowed to use words like "rapist" or "abuser," and were only allowed to use "crazy," then crazy is all they'd use too.

For the record, I am by no means convinced that you don't like sexism. Given that you're actively supporting it here, I'm pretty sure you like it a lot, as long as it's not pointed at you. The fact that you only recognize sexism against yourself as sexism is evidence supporting this.
LW as an adult your sleep is your responsibility not hers. Figure out how to get the sleep you need then do it. Whether that's sleeping in separate places, getting a white noise machine, wearing ear plugs and an eye mask, etc. I'm not sure what she's doing that's keeping you from sleeping but I suspect it's just that she's up til late so you end up staying up late too. That's the equivalent of an overweight person complaining that they are fat because their partner cooks fattening food. You own it or you shut up about it.
@ 29 - No, it isn't easy. But once it's done, you'll realize it was much easier than the alternative, which is to become increasingly miserable, to the point that you start hating your life, hating your current GF, and eventually hating yourself for not having done anything to put an end to this situation.
@ 25 - Indeed. It's not like the lyrics are hard to understand.
@29: I got out of an eight-year relationship in September. It was hard. We were living together. But it was so, so the right thing to do. I'm so very glad it finally happened.

If it was easy, fewer people would get to this point in their relationships.

Get started now.
Eudaemonic, BiDanFan is right and you're wrong.

Every man I've ever dated has said one or more of their exes was/is crazy. It's just that pervasive. In all but one instance it's just not accurate (and with that one instance it's probably more like "manipulative, depressive, and co-dependent" rather than "crazy"). I always take the inevitable "ex was crazy" with a huge grain of salt and in some instances it's actually a deal breaker.
@47: It's so nice to know the ways you punish men for admitting they've been abused.

What's it like to be incapable of feeling empathy? It sounds fun.
@ 48 - Here's some friendly advice from a guy: stop with this nonsense already, you're making a fool of yourself.

(I have zero intention of saying anything else on the subject, so whatever you think of my advice, it's useless trying to engage me.)
I prefer the term "crazy" over "abusive" to describe my crazy exes. Given the crazy crazy shit I've seen, when a man uses this word, I assume it's because he, too, has seen some crazy crazy shit.
I liked Dan's answer, I also thought they were fighting about tone because she can tell he wants out but she doesn't want to put more effort in.

I don't understand why the sex dies.. if they were not together because they had great sex, but for companionate reasons, then why not open the relationship? And if they were together because sex was awesome then how does it die?

In my experience, crazy people claim crazy exes. I think it's a pretty common way to shirk responsibility for how a relationship evolved. But I don't think sane people stay with crazy people.
On the subject of crazy, staying in an unhappy, sexless relationship because you're worried about what your "friends" think sounds kind of crazy to me. The fact that the LW is so concerned with the opinions of these people who seem to know so little about his actual life is also pretty nutty. It sounds like the gf has her own issues as well, so this doesn't seem like a clear cut case of one person suffering helplessly under another's crazy emotional abuse. Sounds like they're both just stuck in a rut.
@49, see @50. Eudaemonic is doing us all a huge favor by continuing to stick around and work on transforming people's view of the world and of sexism.

Certainly, in the 1890s, there were plenty of anti-feminist women who said they never experienced sexism; didn't want to wear pants; didn't want to work outside the home; and thought these women who spoke up were outrageous, attention-seeking trolls.

The fact that some men disagree with Eudaemonic doesn't make him wrong about what many men experience.
@47 "Every man I've ever dated has said one or more of their exes was/is crazy. It's just that pervasive"

And your interpretation of those facts is that those men were wrong/lying about their experience? Why not consider the possibility that "crazy" was a euphemism for "abusive," as Eudaemonic suggests? Do you believe it's unlikely that every man you dated had one or more abusive girlfriends in his past?
@Amanda: Both LW and @8 are afraid to leave their relationships, even though the relationships died long ago. They are afraid of being alone, being hated by their exes, losing their joint friends, whatever. I can't blamed them for being afraid - breaking up can certainly be traumatic. But fear isn't a good excuse for throwing away your life.
@Imcompossible: "manipulative, depressive, and co-dependent" rather than "crazy"

Tomato, tomahto.
@8 I'm a bit late but you might want to take the long view of this relationship. If you stay you'll never get what you want or need. Do you really want to wake up at 40 and realize you're in a kid-less, pet less house, sleeping next to someone you don't like, and have nothing in common with?

And I think both LW are confused 'love' with 'familiarity'. You don't love each other anymore it's just you're used to each other and change is scary. But change is also necessary and can make things better for both of you.
Crazy exes...has to be quantified. I've had one or two with volatile tempers, which got old fast, and I might have said, "She went crazy when..." I also have an ex who was actually manic-depressive and just generally had more issues than TV Guide, but that manifested more as sudden rage and reflexively going against whatever I was for at the time, but I didn't think she was seeing polka-dot giraffes or something.
Now I just encapsulate that behavior as 'too much drama.' If I say, 'She'd lose her shit at the slightest provocation, or no provocation at all,' people know exactly what I mean.
It's worth noting that a. some people, especially age 25 or younger, see being overly temperamental as a colorful, almost positive addition to their personalities, and
b. Much like bullying, those who do it the worst are often loudly against it in principle. Like innocence/ rehabilitation in prison, we're simply left to discover it for ourselves, though if multiple people tell you so-and-so's crazy, they're usually ready to also tell you why.
MrE; how you doing?
Hey Cat Brother, good to see you're out and about.
Gender war words, MrE. They do get hard to work with.
@56. I agree and that's the one where I agreed that she fit the definition of crazy. Though once I actually understood the reason for some of her behavior it seemed much less so. She stalked me more than once. Sure seemed like a definition of crazy right? Only months later did I find out that they weren't actually divorced as he had said only separated and had told her he wasn't seeing anyone. Still doesn't exactly excuse stalking but it makes a lot more sense then huh. Unfortunately she had other instances where there really weren't any other excuses for her behavior. So I'd agree to the crazy label for that one yet with an asterisk.

@54 oh they give examples of said "crazyness". Ask a few questions and some critical thinking and it's not too hard to see in most of these cases "crazy" just meant "wanted something I didn't". I had an ex who called one of his exes crazy and the example he gave was her texting too much. Another example of her being crazy was joking about getting married on one of the first dates. Ok not something most people would say but remember I dated this guy too and I knew that he did come on very very strong at first and it was likely she was caught up in his initial romance. Another guy said his "crazy" ex wife had an affair but oh wait this guy also had an affair while married.
And those guys that claim that the majority of people they've dated was breaker. Either they are extremely drawn to people with mental health issues or they have no capacity for taking responsibility for their own behavior in a relationship. In either case not someone dateable. I'd feel the same if a woman said every man they'd ever dated was abusive.
Erica, I don't feel like MrE is doing me a favour. Cause I tune out. I'm happy to get into looking at human differences. Human damage. Human love. Sharing, you know. Feeling into others' stories.
I just freeze when gender war stuff is thrown in my face, and there's no room for a discussion. A chat. Learning.
Crazy is as crazy does. Not at all sure what that means. Just popped into my head.
LWs story, though. Is this modern love? So little time to just hang with each other, enjoy the quiet moments of intimacy?
Paying for her college, and she doesn't love him up. That would not be a situation, I would even begin to tolerate.
What, she thinks he owes her? No. Not liking this girl at all. And LW, think you're being taken advantage of. Her problem, really- how she pays for college.
Hi, Lava. Yeah, I got out of That Place, tied myself to the underside of the vegetable truck when it came on Sundays, and shazam!. Good thing they hadn’t instituted those mirrors-on-sticks to check the underside.
I agree that ‘crazy’ is a lazy word for describing one’s SO’s that’ve acted irrationally, and certainly here on SL there has been notice of people’s inclination to remote-diagnose, ‘Aspie’ being a current favorite, without either psyche training or much knowledge of the subject. When it came to that one ex of mine, I had some good ideas of what she might be manifesting, but by a point I didnt care if she was manic depressive, personality disorder, in need of more or less infanthood tit, or demonically possessed, what it came to was, she was ‘not my problem anymore.’ I submit that’s all any of us can do, decide when to pull the rip cord. I wasn’t interested in diagnosing her, there wasn’t a cure in a syringe somewhere that I could seek out, I just wanted out.

Wyatt Cenak (sp?) of the Daily Show, did a really good podcast on The Champs, where he talks very feelingly of issues like this, largely in the context of his relationship with his mother. Recommended and a free download on iTunes.
@ 53 - Have you read Eudaemonic's comment @ 48 - that sure does sound like "crazy"... according to his own standards.

Starting a war of the sexes on such a ridiculous pretense is not "transforming people's view of the world and of sexism", not one bit. And it's not doing anyone a favour, least of all the person starting it.

Enough said.
@62, It's possible that the guys gave the examples they gave because they felt put on the spot by you asking "oh, really? What makes you call her crazy?" And they weren't ready to say "Well, she had a tendency to scream at me if I came home late." Because they were interested in you, and didn't want to admit to weakness of any kind.
re: tone
fwiw, my husband has often brought up the tone argument, no matter how softly or calmly I'm speaking. (I think) this is because he grew up in a house where the difference between normal talking and upset talking is very subtle. If I sound serious about something serious, he hears yelling. It's just how he's wired. He's not particularly conflict avoidant. I have attempted to adjust for this tone business in bunches of ways over the years, and with little success. There's only so many ways I can modulate my voice. Frankly, it's frustrating for both of us, but we just work around it as best we can.

Dan could be right that she's avoidant, or she could be super sensitive. Or both, I suppose. But it's kind of irrelevant. Tone problems aren't a reason to stop talking. This relationship probably isn't salvageable, but if it was, SAWN and girlfriend would have to push through past the tone issue and identify a way to argue that's at least able to get to the substantive stuff.

+1 for couples counseling. Learned bunches about how to argue when we did it. If you can sort out a "that was unpleasant we can at least agree on that" post argument activity, so much the better.
Good CB. Obsession shifted a little, I hope?
Agree. Though, that's been my children's fathers trip with me, for four plus yrs, that I'm aspie. That the children are aspie trained, that's why they have evicted him from their lives.
He and his black widow spider partner, are in the " field". I mean, like, he never mentioned this diagnosis, till this woman came along. Now, he's looked at me and imposed it. It's crazy making stuff.
My words are only seen thru this filter of diagnosis. Fucking mad shit.
I mean, yes. I have my ways.
Still. I don't care anymore what this poor man and his mad mind come up with.
I Am Free of Him.
@62: Dude, you're ex is hella crazy.
Run. It's all downhill from here, dude.
@67 In my experience those that speak ill of exes do not tend towards understatement. For those that do call this my words of warning. Refrain from throwing around the "crazy" label. It's dreadfully dull, terribly overused, and more than a little red flag waving. The less said of exes the better especially to one's new love interest.

By definition crazy doesn't make sense. When one's behaviors make sense even though they might not be smart behaviors or all that mature its not crazy.
@72, Does yelling at someone for "yelling" (when it wasn't yelling, but "a tonal thing") make sense? Women in our culture often yell / scream at their partners. Is that ever okay? Does it ever make sense?

How would you know whether the guys calling their exes crazy are using "understatement" or not. You weren't in the relationship, so how could you ever know how she treated him?
CatB; the funniest moment in that other thread, and really not a big field to choose from. You sure brought in a nice flashlight.
But, in the thick of it, you open the door, making your inquiry.
Then, nocute, lost in the flames of it all, pauses- turns to you and attends to the issue. Then, remembers one of those girls- the name confusion- had left records in her car. Wrong girl. Nocute, shook her head- then returned to the story.
A true moment.
@62 Incompossible - And those guys that claim that the majority of people they've dated was breaker. Either they are extremely drawn to people with mental health issues or they have no capacity for taking responsibility for their own behavior in a relationship. In either case not someone dateable. I'd feel the same if a woman said every man they'd ever dated was abusive.
Well said, I agree.

@EricaP - "And they weren't ready to say "Well, she had a tendency to scream at me if I came home late." Because they were interested in you, and didn't want to admit to weakness of any kind." I don't believe it's a weakness to be screamed at. I think it's weak to call exes crazy for texting too much.

@Seandr - I believe Incompossible dates men who call their exes crazy. The behavior doesn't belong to his/her exes.
Omg, an argument is happening here? Do you people know the time?
6.10am, Wednesday morning.
Lesson of the day is that love isn't a good enough reason to stay in a relationship if it isn't working. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do (for yourself as well) is set that person free.
You forgot to add "And for god's sake, don't have any kids."
@77 debug
And set yourself free.
I haven't read all the comments - too many, and I don't want to take that long - so others may have covered this more elegantly. However, I do, very very strongly, want to say to SAWN (and $dog I hope you're reading):

1) GTFO - DTMFA now. Tone policing is some of the most manipulative, dishonest and deflecting behavior out there. It's really only second to passive-aggressive (please read the original meaning/definition of this phrase) behavior in terms of being both dishonest and corrosive.

2) Based on the crap being pulled in #1, skip option 2 and option 3, unless you truly are just a month or two away from the end of a lease. Do not prolong this any more. Her expectations (you're a boiled frog bub), your families' expectations and inertia in general are all "conspiring" to maintain the status quo, which is a gradual ignoring of your concerns, desires and issues.

You don't get license to be an abusive asshole (what real yelling would be), but you most certainly have license to express your feelings and your wants & desires (sleep, sex). The equal distribution of labor and money vis-a-vis protestant moralism (further education) is a complete red herring and irrelevant. The fact that this person professes to love you and yet manipulates you to ignore your expressed feelings suggests that either she's not ready yet (immature) or incapable of being an equal partner in a loving relationship.

Seriously. You are not showing yourself the same courtesy you are showing her. Dump her now. If you actually love her and want a shot at a relationship down the road, it might be the wake up call she needs to stop taking you for granted. Yes, I've been here and I'm projecting my own vehemence onto the situation. At the very least begin rejecting the tone-policing immediately - flat out rejecting it. Start mirroring her behavior back at her. Sure, it's pressing down on the stonewalling/destruct nuclear button, but that's the shortest route to a resolution.

Good luck!
@1 - I've actually been there (the tape recorder bit, and writing things down)...yes, the relationship is doomed, but it's a way to set down an anchor point in the fog, and start to find your way back out.
"Ideally, I'd like some sleep
And more opportunity
To get sexual"... LWs last sentence.
He does sound cute, and he's putting up with a cold woman.
For gods sake, boy. Get the fuck out.
@11 & @14 +1M @36 - who cares if her parents don't want to pay for it? since when is it his job to pay for it in loco parentis? Dan's admonition to return the favor (if she did the same for him) is the only case for sticking it out financially for any length of time, and as someone noted, abuse voids that debt. He's most certainly not to stick around out of guilt. The trifecta is Fear, Obligation and Guilt.

On the subject of abuse: my experience of this (which involved the tape recorder and written down conversations) was that the abuse did stem from mental health problems - commonly known as "crazy" - no matter how much you might personally find that term infuriating. I'd say "crazy" is much nicer than suggesting the gaslighting and other crazy-making behavior were consciously malicious (ie, knowingly and deliberately undertaken) - that's a lot more evil than "crazy".

The first Mrs. Finch (with whom I'm on decent terms today) was not crazy or abusive, but most definitely pulled this tone-policing crap for the duration of the marriage, and is my basis for telling the LW to GTFO...yesterday. We might've remained together if I'd known enough to stop tolerating the tone-policing early on.
Relationships. You think it can be this nice, easy going story- with sex.
Then wham. The shit hits the fan. Sex, as Ricardo and I have discussed, can be had outside of love. It's when the sex and love occur tog. That's the fire starter.
All this mad shit, just comes flying out. I signed up for this? I don't think so.
Before you know it, their life is your life and it's all so much noise. And then the sex starts to go. Wtf? Who needs it.
Maybe sex without love, ain't such a bad idea, Ricardo.
Cause this love thing, can stop looking like love, real quick.
@29 - no, it's not that's actually shockingly easy, especially if you haven't already married her and gotten legally entertwined. It seemed utterly impossible to me (14 year long marriage, two years dating before that, with a relationship that predated all of that by a few years) to ask for a divorce, but once I finally got down to it, it was as simple as starting the conversation.
@67 I really hate that so many men feel they can't have emotions or be 'unarmored' without losing their Man Card in our society. That said, I don't think the answer to the situation is to cosign 'crazy'. I absolutely believe there are men with abusive exes who don't have the language, or feel they have the right, to call them that and end up using 'crazy'. (I didn't get the language for years after my first marriage ended, and I still feel awkward as hell saying 'abusive' to anybody that knows my ex -- it feels like character assassination, even though he was textbook emotionally abusive.)

However, there are also guys using 'crazy' when they were the abusive one in the relationship. It's the perfect word to use as an endgame after you've gaslit the hell out of somebody. I imagine there are also gaslighting, manipulative women of all orientations using it about their exes too, but it probably doesn't stick the same way, because women are labeled as the emotional, irrational, and, yeah, mentally fragile/ill ones already.

If guys don't have any other words, let's work on giving them better ones, not ignore the vagueness and red-flagginess of the ones they have.
That's it, Allen. We start to tolerate, shitty behaviour. And it builds.
Trick is, cut it in the bud. Stay independently minded- being aware of this person's crazies. And we all got our crazies bits.
Not let, the falling in love phase, create the relationship.
And listen. And expect to be heard. A relationship, needs to be a living thing.
Just like the people in it.
The routines that can catch one, like living death. And not collapse into each other. Stay in one's power.
Fez, I found it hard to own to myself that emotional abuse was going on.
Reminded me so much of how my mother had treated me as a young person- it all just hooked me in.
RE men being denied access to the word ‘abusive’ to describe women: I call bullshit. At least in this forum, which is the context for the present discussion.

There are 100+ instances of abus* in the letter and comments. The word ‘abusive’ is freely used by both men and women to describe both men and women. (Note also discussion of the degree of overlap between mental illness and abusive behaviour.)
@Incompossible: In my experience those that speak ill of exes do not tend towards understatement.

If you asked me about one of my crazy exes, I'd say she was a breathtakingly beautiful Jewish girl, everyone loved her, very kind and sweet, nonjudgmental, up for having fun. She also came from a truly horrible family (abandoned by her father, mother has narcissistic personality disorder, sexually abusive step father) that left her completely unequipped for emotional intimacy. She'd have seemingly random fits of insecurity during which she would scream at me and cry and couldn't be reasoned with or consoled, until eventually we'd have make up sex. These fights and make-ups seemed to serve some function for her that I never understood.

I once tried to walk away from such a fight and she clubbed me over the head with a backpack full of books. Another time I had 3 exams the next day and told her I couldn't hang out because I needed to study. She lost her shit, showed up at my place, refused to leave, and proceeded to have one of her fits for the entire night. Not only was I unable to study, but I didn't get any sleep for my tests. It was a horrible, insane night for me. It was this incident that finally made me understand we needed to break up. Everything else was way over the head of this simple mid-western boy.

We're Facebook friends now. She never married but seems to have a nice boyfriend. She seems to be on good terms with her mom, which means lots of exaggerated compliments posted to mom's wall to feed her narcissism. I hope she got herself sorted out. Last year we exchanged sexy photos we had taken of each other during that time, and she repeated something kind that she used to say to me then - that I was more handsome than I ever gave myself credit for. I still kind of love her, in a nostalgic sort of way. Like I said, she's kind and sweet and breathtakingly beautiful.

Make of this what you will. You seem pretty attached to your stereotype about men with crazy exes, which is disappointing but not especially surprising. If you continued to stereotype me after getting to know me, I'd consider that a red flag.
@91 seandr

Holy shit. So you're Facebook friends? Okay. You now have the leading post for "most likely to need an intervention and/or rescue mission." Please don't scare me like that, man. You're too valuable to the mission to let go of so pointlessly.
I just call her my ex-from-hell. She probably has a diagnosable disorder. Don’t know, don’t care. She is absolutely NOT a Facebook friend.

Interestingly, most people seem to accept ‘ex-from-hell’ without question. I don’t need to explain or give examples. People are well aware that crazy shit goes down behind closed doors. It’s a thing.

*** *** ***
If I were dating a forty-year-old, divorced three times, all exes were crazy — yep, red flag. The exes may or may not have been crazy but the healthy-relationship-detector seems to be malfunctioning.

If I were hanging out with a 22-year-old non-lesbian who has had only had two or three, two- or three-month relationships because all people in their dating pool are crazy, that would also be a red flag. But a 22-year-old with one crazy ex? Perhaps a fragile high-school sweetie they loved and cared for over several years? Nah. Not a red flag. The ex may or may not have been crazy but the young person might understandably have felt crazy during the relationship and that’s almost to be expected at that age.
@91 - I keep a lookout - not exactly a close eye - on my abusive ex, mostly just so as not to be taken by surprise and to avoid being where I might run into her. NFW am I facebook friends with her....or my not-abusive ex wife. I dunno..not enough water under the bridge (nor can I imagine there ever being that much). The fits of rage leading to physical violence (however ineffective) are familiar to me, and for that reason alone, I'm surprised you engage in that much contact.

What I want to ask the posters who are so constantly approached by men who talk about 'crazy exes' and say it's a sign they are either crazy themselves or drawn to crazy: what are you then implying about yourself with such an analysis?

@89 has the real clue "Reminded me so much of how my mother had treated me as a young person- it all just hooked me in." - for many, abusive/crazy partners are family-of-origin familiar, and that is what draws in otherwise not-crazy people.

@90 - You may be right, but I also don't think the commentariat here is a representative sample, and much of the abusive behavior manifests as irrational (aka crazy). I would never have considered it because the culture tells us men are abusers, not the abused, until a sibling said to me, "you know, we are told to get away from guys who treat us that way". I get that the term is inflammatory and while it does accurately describe the behavior/dynamic sometimes, it is also used inappropriately all the time (as the coupe de grace delivered by a gaslighter - well explained) - much in the same way that narcissistic and abusive are tossed out at men who don't behave the way their female partners want them to (ie, they leave).
Oh Sean, sad sorta story. You were kind to her, though.
My Jewish husband could take to the stage, with his stuff. I was way out of my depth, for way too many yrs.
What was I thinking?
I did love him. I sure as hell, don't now. He was/ is crazy.
People are badly damaged by damaging parents/ step parents.
If I was the Leader. Straight up, I would focus on child rearing as a Big issue, for the group.
Get, that right- you get the population right.
@90: "RE men being denied access to the word ‘abusive’ to describe women: I call bullshit."

Stop calling bullshit on other people's experiences of being treated the way you treat them. What the fuck is wrong with you?
The word ‘crazy’ was introduced @33 IN THIS FORUM.

I have clear evidence that IN THIS FORUM men use the word ‘abusive’ to refer to women without apparent penalty.

I see no evidence that a man would need to use ‘crazy’ instead of ‘abusive’ to avoid attack IN THIS FORUM.

While ‘abusive’ may be a difficult word for men to use in certain social circles (change social circles!) there’s no reason not to call out someone who substitutes ‘crazy’ IN THIS FORUM. How else are people going to examine the idea that what they’re really talking about or experiencing could be most accurately described as abuse? Isn’t that an idea you want brought forward?
@ghost: most likely to need an intervention and/or rescue mission.

More than you know.

It's a physical thing, which you'd get if you saw how beautiful she is. Her eyes, they change from blue to green to violet to grey depending on what she's looking at. She could give a 90% of a blow job with her eyes alone. Who do I think I am to turn down such beauty?
@87: "If guys don't have any other words, let's work on giving them better ones, not ignore the vagueness and red-flagginess of the ones they have."

We stop using the few words we're allowed to use after we're allowed to use some new ones, not before. Attempting to do it in the other way looks exactly like trying to ensure that men don't have any language that will allow them to name their experience.

@97: I see no evidence that a man would need to use ‘crazy’ instead of ‘abusive’ to avoid attack IN THIS FORUM.

Given that you are one of the people who relentlessly attacks men who admit to surviving abuse, and that you do it on this forum, everything you're saying is horseshit. Stop saying that no one does the thing that you constantly do.
Given that as a fellow abuse survivor I am trying to establish common ground... I dunno. Maybe later.
Given that I am a fellow abuse-survivor trying to build common ground... I dunno. Maybe later.

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