I've been in a relationship with a man for 8 months now. He seems great in a lot of ways, we have a lot of open communication and compatibility in many ways. Last night we were on the phone and he started talking about my height, saying things like, "I didn't realize you would be so short when I met you," (even though my profile clearly said 5ft 3". I tried to brush it off, saying "yeah, you've mentioned that before. You're with a petite woman." And he persisted with comments like, "I thought you'd be 5.6" or 5.7," and seemingly amused, "maybe we should get you a trunk to stand on when we kiss," and "you said it hurts your neck when we kiss..." to which I again tried to keep it casual saying, "only if we're having a conversation with you right up close to me (kissing distance)," and he went on about me having to be on my tippy toes while kissing and something about should stand on his feet when kissing...all the while laughing.
I told him that it was undermining, and he said it was just a joke, and I said "at my expense." He said I've said things about him, which I denied because that's not who I am, and again I said it was undermining.
He tried ending the conversation on a "positive note" as he put it, and after we were chatting a bit about nothing really, he ended it saying he loved me, to which out of obligation mumbled it back (not really feeling the love at the time).
There have been a couple of other mean comments upon a breakup we had over the past couple of months, where he said, "no wonder why you're 51 and never been married," and another one telling me that his friends and daughter's think I'm toxic (which in all honesty, couldn't be further from the truth - I'm not perfect but am pretty even kealed and grounded). It felt like he was using that word back because I had in a past argument, saying something like "I'm not doing this toxic dance anymore" with the intention of ending the negative conversation at the time.
He has also been quick to anger and breakups in the past, constantly breaking up when angry. However, what's kept me going back is that he is seeing a counsellor and has been since before he met me, and he often owns his behaviors and later apologizes, and seems to be trying to work on improving things in our relationship.
Do I stay or do I go?
He has put money down on an engagement ring, and there are a lot of good qualities in the relationship (albeit, a distance relationship). We love walking and talking together, very openly about our issues and anything really. He owns his behaviors, as do I. However, I'm concerned about things getting worse with insults like the above. I've always gotten that vibe with him where once you're in, you see the change, which these mean comments are indicative of at this point.
So, do you leave when the person is trying to improve and get help, and seems to have a willingness to grow, or stay and continue to set boundaries and hope for change?
The comment he made last night hit me hard, not so much about being short, as I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin, but the intent behind it - to undermine me.
Any feedback is welcome.
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