We had previously spoken light-heartedly about wanting to be together forever and get married but towards the end of the trip, the topic became more serious and he suggested that it might be a way to enable me to trust him properly. I felt so glad that he wanted to be with me, despite the issues I now believed I had, that I thought it was a wonderful idea. We talked about it a few more times and I thought he was right that it would fix my trust issues. Whilst we were on a trip to visit his father (his parents divorced when he was young) in May, we spoke about it again, agreed it would be best, and he broke the news to his family.
After this, everything became much worse. The emotional abuse became far more obvious but I was too trapped in the mentality of him being right and everything being my fault to see what was going on. He flitted between insults and compliments, telling me I was a bad person and broken but said that he was patient and loved me so was going to help fix me. He would bring up things I had supposedly said or done, weeks or months ago, and tell me how upset I had made him feel. I had no memory of these things but he would convince me they had happened and ask me to apologise. At the same time he would tell me I was wonderful, send me huge numbers of messages about how he wanted his life with me and how he had never loved anyone in the same way before.
When we argued, he started saying I was crazy and hormonal. Thinking perhaps my contraceptive pill might be causing problems, I decided to come off of it. As with many women, this made my hormones go all over the place for a while and I became more upset and frustrated that nothing was working to make me happier.
In June we were invited on a trip to France with friends. I struggled to act happy and, whilst sometimes he told me all his friends liked me, other times he accused me of embarrassing him, saying that actually his friends were unsure about me and whether we should be together – that this was my chance to prove myself to them and I was failing. I burst into tears at one point when alone with two of the women. I told them my fear of no one wanting me there and they couldn’t understand where it had come from. They comforted me and told me everyone wanted me there. I felt as though I was going mad.