My boyfriend of eight years sent his ex-wife an e-valentine. The picture was of a heart that said "You Are Loved." Isn't that weird? They don't have kids together. I guess I don't understand because I haven't been married and this is my longest relationship thus far. He said it wasn't romantic, just supportive, but the fact that he sent it on Valentine's Day is just... too much.

I'm tired of being yelled at and nagged and this on top of everything else feels like a breaking point. I got into therapy and had my first appointment recently, and my next appointment is in a week and a half. I am in a bad position in that my job offers too few hours for me to be able to support myself and the hours make a second job very difficult to find. I'll probably have to find a new job on top of everything and I don't know how that will be because I have depression/anxiety and breaking up will mean losing my health insurance (and medication) on top of everything else because I get it through him. I've been going through my things and sorting out what to take to the thrift store in case I do need to move out so there will be less to move.

He also screams at me a lot, like: When I was overcharged at an auto shop and didn't sort it out right then and there (I did eventually sort it out, but not thanks to him screaming in my face about it.) I emailed him the next day about it, to say it's okay if he was irritated with me, but how he was screaming at me was not okay, and he just dug in more. I told him screaming at me like that was abusive, and he didn't write back after that.
Another example: When I cut my hair, and he didn't like the new haircut. (I was giddy and excited about it when I got home, he saw me and screamed at me until I cried—that was last year.)

I can talk to my sister about it, and she thinks I should move out. I have a group of online friends I can talk to, and they told me he is being abusive.

I don't know. We don't even have sex anymore. He talks to people online about meeting us as a couple (we used to meet women/couples on AFF or Craigslist), and while he's basically wasting their time now, whatever. I don't really care. I come home without calling and he's jerking off in front of the computer. Again, whatever, I don't care. But I guess he has energy to do that, but no interest in me, and that hurts. I've gained a lot of weight due to stress, but I'm working on getting it off just to feel better about myself more than anything. But we've played with women who were bigger than I am now, so I don't really think that's why. Even when I was in the best shape of my life, running 5+ miles several times a week plus other exercise and being on point about food, we still didn't have a good sex life.

I don't know. My hands are shaking writing this and of course now it's way too long for an answer. I'm just really upset, and finding out about this stupid Valentine he's defending sending is just too much.

Other Valentine Ending Relationship

You can stay, OVER—but disengage. Stop thinking of him as your boyfriend. Think of him as your health insurance and the medication you need. Make the best of this bad situation until you're in a position to move out—until you've got that new job lined up, a place to stay that you can afford, and all the other things you will need to get away from him. (Good job, by the way, on getting into therapy. Keep going to those appointments. Don't be discouraged if this therapist ends up being the wrong fit—find another.)

If you break up with him in your head, OVER, it won't matter who he sends Valentine's to, because you aren't his Valentine; it won't matter if he's home messaging other couples or jacking off in front of his computer, since you're not his girlfriend; it won't matter that you two aren't having sex, since he's a roommate and roommates (generally) don't have sex with each other. That title change from boyfriend to roommate will free up mental energy—energy that will be better spent preparing a life that doesn't include your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend.

The yelling and screaming won't be any less unpleasant, but part of what makes being yelled at by a BG or GF or ENBYF so dispiriting is the thought that you'll—at least in theory—be putting up with this shit for the rest of your life. But if you've left in him your head already, the yelling should slide off your back a little easier. Because it's not forever.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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