Behind Every Incel, There Is An Emotionally Abusive Ex

Let me preface this by saying, I am NOT entitled to a relationship. Nobody is entitled to a relationship, or a girlfriend.

However, once someone agrees to be in a relationship with you, you owe each other respect, honesty, empathy, and affection, and if you realize you can’t provide them those things, you have a responsibility to exit the relationship.

This is very difficult for me, because I’m talking about someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, and how they turned into a monster.

Those who are close to me know I’ve had to break up with my fiancee and longtime partner, a few months ago. I’ll give them a pseudonym, let’s call them, Alyx.

Things with Alyx and I started off positive. We met several years ago, at Dragon’s Gate, in Orange County. The moment I met them, I thought they were the most beautiful person in the room, and I had no chance with them. To be clear, Alyx was assigned female at birth, but uses they/them pronouns, so this may get grammatically confusing.

We bonded over many things we had in common, including a troubled home growing up, similar senses of humor, and a love of art and jazz music. Alyx opened up and told me about their emotionally abusive step-father, and I told them about my own past.

We started dating when they were still in an open poly relationship with their previous partner. To be honest, there were red flags, and signs that they might be financially (and emotionally) taking advantage of that person. So, I tried to establish healthy boundaries, making sure Alyx would be self-sufficient, before moving in, or talking about a bigger commitment. It was also for their benefit; if they were going to be financially dependent on me, while still continuing to be poly and carrying on multiple relationships, how could that not cause conflict? I would never be sure if they were truly attracted to me, and they would never feel safe enough to be honest with me, because their financial security was tied to our relationship.

Then the accident happened. In 2015, I suffered a serious accident at work, which then manifested into several other conditions. It took me over 7 months to fully recover, and I developed PTSD through the experience. Nevertheless, Alyx took care of me. Alyx was there, moved out of their other partner’s home and into mine, and stayed through the entire ordeal. Alyx even agreed to become monogamous with me.

Yes, there were warning signs, and I was a little concerned that they might leave me for another partner, but I dismissed those thoughts, because Alyx was there for me. They took care of me, and I thought our relationship was different than all the others they had been in.

Eventually, I fully recovered. I got another job, and things were looking up. I changed my career and my entire life for them, getting a stable job because they said they wanted a house. They weren’t the only reason I changed careers, but they were the main reason, because I had to take care of them now. I took them on a vacation, and proposed to them in the middle of a rainforest. It was a beautiful vintage ring, and they were tearing up in the video.

Things continued on, and to be honest, things got a little rocky. The job was stressful, and unfulfilling. The political landscape was stressful, to say the least. I was also stressed out because I was tied to my job, being the only income for the both of us. If I lost my job, or didn’t save enough, we would be putting ourselves in financial jeopardy, and sacrificing any chance of a peaceful retirement. I kept asking Alyx to look for a job, to apply to jobs, and their first reaction was, “As a feminist, I have a right to not pursue a job.” And that’s not an exaggeration, that is word for word what they said.

I thought, maybe they needed more time, and a gentle nudge. I even said that if they got a job they could use my old car for work, and I would buy a new one for myself. However, months went by, and I started to reply, “You know if you have a choice not to pursue a job, I also have a choice not to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t contribute in the relationship.” That got to them, and they started saying they were applying to jobs. However, when I asked for details, they didn’t talk about it. There were no jobs that they were interested in, and nothing they were looking forward to.

In an entire year, they didn’t get a single job interview.

This was stressful for me, because I was the one solely responsible for our income, and if I lost my job, we could’ve become homeless.

From the outside, they just sat at home playing Final Fantasy 7, and I asked them if they felt they were depressed, and wanted to get therapy, but said no.

One day, we had an argument, and they stormed out. So, in a moment of rage, I went onto my computer, which they frequently used, and opened their Gmail. I know, it’s not ideal, and I would not have done it if I had any other option.

When I logged in, I found Alyx had not applied to a single job the entire previous year.

And believe me, I looked. There were no emails of resumes in their Sent folder. There were no receipts for job applications in their Inbox. Nothing in their trash or junk to indicate applications that were discarded, and not even a, “You must verify your account” email to a single job application website.

I felt betrayed, and when Alyx came back, they started a conversation to try and smooth things over. So, I asked, when was the last time they applied to a job, and they said, “Uhm, about two weeks ago.” I started peppering them with questions, until eventually I couldn’t keep it in anymore, and accused them of not applying to jobs and for lying to me for the last year. Of course they were defensive, but when I said, “Do you think I would make that accusation unless I had proof?”

A wave of realization rolled over them, and they started crying. I told them that I wanted to take them to their mother’s house, and have the weekend alone to clear my head. I was on the fence about what to do. I felt betrayed. This wasn’t a little white lie about a surprise birthday party. This was an ongoing campaign of lies over an entire year.

Alyx messaged me on Monday, and begged me to come over so we could talk face to face. They said they would work to regain my trust, and that they would get a job, and also start going to therapy. I was still a little uncertain, but I was willing to take a chance.

It took another few months, but Alyx did get a job, a really good job that was well suited for their skills. Also, I was true to my word, and let Alyx use my car for free. Things were picking up. Eventually, Alyx wanted to go back to finish their degree, and asked if I could help support them financially. I said of course. I was happy to do it, because it was an investment in our future.

However, we had been together for 5 years at this point. With any relationship of that length, the sexual energy starts to shift. We went from being excited about being with each other, to being excited about getting 140 pens for only $7. The spark just wasn’t there like it used to be. The last time we had sex was summer of 2019, and it was getting to the point that we only had sex 3 or 4 times a year.

As time went on, Alyx wanted to go out less, and our social circle shrank as Alyx seemed to have something negative to say about everyone we met. Our liberal friends weren’t liberal enough; our white friends were all automatically racist because they were white; and so on. We became more isolated. Alyx’s moods were increasingly volatile.

So, in October of 2019, with our sex life not being in the best of shape, Alyx turned to me and said that they would like to try experimenting with polyamory, and they felt that additional energy would come back and help our own relationship. At this point, I was willing to try anything, so I said yes.

Then I found out some information about the person Alyx wanted to have a relationship with, specifically that he had an incurable STI. I immediately said, “Whoa, hold on, I don’t feel comfortable about this anymore.” I told Alyx how I felt, and while having an STI isn’t a death sentence, it’s certainly a damned inconvenience. However, Alyx’s response was not one of concern, or thoughtfulness. Alyx became defensive, and said they were going to continue on with the relationship, regardless of my feelings.

There’s a concept in the poly community called, “Poly Under Duress”. Author and journalist, Andre Shakti, writes that Poly Under Duress is, “in essence, means you’re monogamous but are being subjected to an ultimatum by a person who is taking advantage of your obvious devotion to them. That ultimatum is “polyamory or bust”. This is a manipulation, not a relationship, and it’s definitely not the kind of behavior that you want to continue greenlighting.”

At the time, I didn’t know this, and I convinced myself that things would be better as time went on. However, I was unhappy, and it was around this time that I started having suicidal ideation, again. Alyx chose to have an additional romantic and sexual relationship with someone without my consent, which showed that the person I loved, didn’t respect my consent, and I couldn’t trust them to respect my consent going forward.

They were a consent-violator.

Looking back on it, I feel Alyx lied to me about how the new relationship was going to improve our relationship, including our sex life. Instead, the opposite happened, and Alyx withdrew from me, spending more time with their boyfriend than with me, their fiancee. Even though I was the one who made Alyx dinner, and paid for 3/4 of their schooling, they told me multiple times that they couldn’t spend time with me, because they had a date night with their boyfriend. This wasn’t a one off thing. This happened multiple times over a span of three months.

So, in January, I told Alyx I wanted to surprise them, by taking them out for dinner. I was trying to get a little excitement back into our relationship. Instead, when I tried to hold Alyx’s hand that night, they recoiled, and made a huge deal out of it. This is my partner, my fiancee, why wouldn’t we want to hold hands with one another?

I tried to confide in Alyx, and told them that I just felt like I couldn’t do anything right lately, but instead of having an empathetic response, Alyx just said, stand-offishly, “That’s not me, that’s you.”

As the conversation went on, we came around to the topic of gender, and Alyx dropped casually and cavalierly, “I’m thinking of becoming a man, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out.”


Now, to recap, Alyx had been openly nonbinary for years, but now they were talking about changing to a gender that I was not attracted to. If you’re attracted to a trans person, that’s fine, but I was not attracted to men, and the way in which Alyx was discussing this was so cavalier that it made me feel like they didn’t care about our relationship ending.

In addition, I am engaged to a person, who I am paying for 3/4 of their monthly expenses, 3/4 of their school tuition, while they are emotionally cold to me, sexually distant, and having sex with another man. Oh, and by the way, they might be changing their gender and ending our relationship as soon as I run out of money. That is so stereotypically humiliating to someone, that if you put it in a screenplay, or a porn, or a porn screenplay, it would be dismissed for being too over the top.

I was emotionally shocked by all this. This was not a cuckhold fetish for me, this was devastating.

I reacted, and on this, I have to accept some culpability, because I yelled at Alyx. I yelled at them, once. I was overwhelmed, and I yelled at them. To be honest, Alyx had yelled at me plenty of times in the recent past, it was becoming a common occurrence.

Then February of 2020 happened, and you might guess where this is going. Covid!

The entire state went into lockdown, and it was exceptionally stressful for me, because I was high risk for Covid. Most people have a 2% chance of dying from Covid, whereas I (due to preexisting conditions, had a 10% chance of dying.

However, Alyx’s response was not supportive. When official word came that the state would begin a 30 day lockdown at midnight, Alyx quickly started packing their bag, saying they had to go, or they would miss their window for a vacation with their boyfriend. They literally started packing their bag to run away from me, their fiancee, and drive 6 hours to visit their boyfriend. I was emotionally devastated by this, and I even said to them, “I will remember this.”

Alyx left, and I went to bed alone.

But then, a few hours later, Alyx came back. They were there when I woke up, and I was so happy, because it meant Alyx picked me, and Alyx cared about me.

However, that wasn’t what happened. A couple of weeks later, Alyx told me the truth, that they only came back because their boyfriend told them not to come. It’s hard to describe how I felt, knowing that my partner was only with me because they had nowhere else to go. It feels like you’re worth less than nothing. It feels like nobody could really love you, because if they did love you, they wouldn’t have tried to abandon you.

The next several months were very difficult. We were fortunate to keep our jobs, but kept cooped up in our 1-bedroom apartment. Alyx became cruel.

Throughout this whole time, Alyx gaslit me, saying that the reason our relationship was suffering was because of the argument we had in January, even though our relationship was falling apart before then because of their actions and their choice to pursue another relationship without my consent, but Alyx chose to blame me to avoid any responsibility. They even tried to make me believe that when I lose my temper, I don’t remember what I say or do. This is not true. I remembered what I said when I yelled at Alyx, and I remembered what I did when I was upset, but my therapist said that Alyx was trying to lay the groundwork for convincing me I had said or did things that didn’t happen, and that is a form of abuse called gaslighting.

It’s hard to unravel what happened in those 9 months, because Alyx lied so much. Over the next 9 months, Alyx would insult me, rebuffed my affections, refused to even touch me, disregarded my concerns, and just generally acted like an all around asshole. Alyx treated me so poorly that it made me depressed and suicidal. I tried to tell Alyx this, verbally, and in writing, but Alyx consistently dismissed my emotions.

At one point, they mocked me online in a chat room for it. I know this because I told Alyx how I was feeling, they went on their phone, and then turned to me and said, “I’m making fun of you in the chat for what you just said.”

During that whole 9 month period, Alyx did nothing to try and improve our relationship. I reached out to them so many times, and they just didn’t care. They did nothing.

I tried to tell Alyx how I felt, but every time I would try to tell Alyx how depressed their behavior was making me, Alyx would say to me, “You’re not depressed, you’re just trying to control me!” They took my reality, and replaced it with their own, which is the textbook definition of gaslighting abuse.

I’ll also point out their hypocrisy, while I wasn’t allowed to watch Rick and Morty because they didn’t like the show, they were still free to have an open affair with someone else without my consent.

I even tried requesting little things to make the poly situation better by setting boundaries like 24 hours notice before a date evening they had with their boyfriend, or Alyx and I could go on regular date afternoons, but Alyx refused to respect these requests, and turned them into arguments. Every conversation was an argument, and they fought me on the tiniest things; I asked for these things just to help me feel comfortable with the situation they forced us into, and they repeatedly said no. That showed me that I couldn’t trust them to respect my boundaries.

A perfect example is I would tell Alyx how I was feeling about the situation, and I would make the request, like having us have a regular date afternoon so we could affirm our bond and our relationship. Alyx said no. Then I would say how important it was to me, and Alyx would start yelling about how they didn’t have enough time, escalating the argument. And then we would start arguing and yelling at each other.

Eventually Alyx relented, and agreed to the date afternoon, but Alyx explained the reason they said no, was because they envisioned it being a rigid, uncompromising event, where it would take up the entire day. I never said that, and I never gave any indication that it would be that. I just wanted a 1 or 2 hour event where we could go on picnics, but Alyx heard the request, and without asking questions, immediately made up a story in their head about the worst case scenario.

Time and again, they would start arguments, or escalate these arguments, like the ones I listed above, and then would blame me and my temper for having the arguments.

When I tried to voice an opinion, Alyx would shut me down, saying, “I don’t care.” or “Who asked you?”

Even though I told Alyx how unhappy I was in the relationship, Alyx would repeatedly make shitty comments that because of my anxiety and my PTSD, that they expected me to wake up one day and break up with them for no reason. After talking with friends, and family, and therapists about it, I realized that is shameful behavior, that they would weaponize my PTSD against me, while absolving themselves of all responsibility of their abusive actions.

And also, let me ask this, if I broke up with Alyx for no reason why did I do the following?:

  • Why did I tell Alyx for a year and a half that I was not happy and not comfortable about their relationship with this other person?
  • Why did I tell Alyx verbally, and in writing, all of the things that I wanted to fix in the relationship?
  • Why did I bring Alyx to 2 separate couples counselors?
  • Why is it whenever they said they were too tired for dinner and asked if we could order in, I always immediately said yes?
  • Why did I continue to support Alyx financially during this period, including paying for 75% of their college tuition?
  • Why did I give Alyx full access to my passwords on my computer, as a sign of trust?

When Covid restrictions did start to ease, they drove up to visit their boyfriend, in my car, and spent money from our joint credit card on dates and visits with their boyfriend without my consent, and without even asking me. I was so angry that I told them I no longer wanted to pay for part of their tuition, and while they agreed at first, I later found out that they set up small monthly payments to their college, trying to slip past me, under the radar.

This had become what I had always feared, that Alyx would take advantage of me financially and emotionally, and yet, I still held out hope. I still believed that Alyx would turn around, just like with the job search, and would be willing to work on things.

By October (about 9 months after the argument), I realized that we needed to go back into couples counseling. We went to see a couples counselor that we trusted, and saw during the injury. It was in this first meeting, that Alyx said to the counselor and I, that because of the argument we had in January, and because I yelled at them once, they were afraid I was a physical threat to them. They were afraid I would see them as a man, and start hitting them as a man.



Suddenly, all of Alyx’s behavior over the previous 9 months made sense. They were goading me on because they assumed I was going to just start hitting them.

Now, to be clear, this line of thinking is a psychological phenomenon called Catastrophizing. According to Psychology Today, “Catastrophizing is a cognitive distortion that prompts people to jump to the worst possible conclusion, usually with very limited information or objective reason to despair. When a situation is upsetting, but not necessarily catastrophic, they still feel like they are in the midst of a crisis.” In addition, it’s been documented that people who believe a catastrophic incident is coming, often create that condition without realizing it.

To add to this, when Alyx said I was a physical threat, I simply asked, “Based on what evidence?” and their exact response, word for word was:

“I don’t need evidence.”


Alyx just made up a story about me in their head, and then mistreated me for 9 months based on that story.

I felt floored by this. I thought our relationship was over, and I didn’t know what to do. I simply went into the bedroom, and left them be. I cried for 3 days, only coming out to the living room to work on my laptop, and then going back into the bedroom, to give Alyx space. Eventually I decided I would just leave them be, and then I would end the relationship, in our next couples counseling session.

I specifically felt I needed to end the relationship in the couples counseling session because I felt Alyx would make up another story about me, and I needed a witness for my own safety.

In that session, with the couples counselor as witness, I asked Alyx, “Have I ever assaulted you?”


“Have I ever threatened you?”


“Do you see me as a physical threat?”



“Because of the argument we had 9 months ago.”

And I was about to end the relationship, when the couples counselor asked me, “What is something you could do to support Alyx?” This is a really good approach to diffuse conflict, it’s actually discussed in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I thought for a moment, and I said, “Well, I could go out with Alyx while they’re wearing a binder, and protect Alyx from anyone who might harass them.”

Now, a little context, “Wearing a binder” means when a trans man who was assigned female at birth, goes out and wears clothes or bandages that flatten their chest. A lot of trans men are harassed or assaulted when they wear a binder.

Well, upon hearing this, Alyx broke down crying and was so relieved, because all that fear and anxiety was shown to be false, and they were reassured that I would protect them. So, after 9 months, Alyx starts crying in my lap, and making funny voices again, and everything is fine, and I am NOT fucking fine.

I am pretty fucking far from fine, because I have just learned that I went through 9 months of emotional abuse, from the person I loved, because they made up a story in their head about me, based on inaccurate assumptions. To add to it, this story could have been cleared up with a 5 minute conversation, but Alyx chose not to tell me what was going on in their head. It took me a day to process this, but I screamed out, “WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THOSE NINE MONTHS!”

Despite having this realization that they were wrong, Alyx’s behavior towards me did not improve.

Alyx continued to insult me, and berate me, and openly continued their poly-under-duress relationship against my consent. When I objected or tried to bring up how their behavior was making me feel, Alyx would make comments that I was just a naturally angry person, and would be angry no matter what they did, which is another example of gaslighting.

Alyx did try to sleep with me, once, on my birthday, after a year and a half of rejecting me, but by that point, I was so emotionally fragile and beat up that I felt I couldn’t trust them, and refused to sleep with Alyx.

What was even worse was, after Alyx acknowledged that I wasn’t really a physical threat, Alyx refused to apologize to me for the way they behaved. Whenever I brought it up, Alyx said, “I wasn’t wrong, that was how I felt.”

Now, people are entitled to their feelings and their emotions, but when you start projecting your emotions onto other people, and assume things about their character that aren’t true, that’s the definition of delusional.

Delusional – A delusion is a fixed belief that is not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence.[1] As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or some other misleading effects of perception, as individuals with those beliefs are able to change or readjust their beliefs upon reviewing the evidence.

 Bortolotti, Lisa (7 June 2013). “Delusions in the DSM 5”Imperfect Cognitions.

It took another couple of months before I finally put my foot down.

While consulting with my therapist, I wrote up a list of the 10 things I would Need to stay in the relationship, if Alyx was going to remain polyamorous. Now, 10 may seem like a lot, but they were simple things, like let’s have weekly date afternoons, and stop shutting me down when I try to voice an opinion. All 10 of these were absolutely essential to me staying in the relationship, and of those, Alyx agreed to give me 5 1/2.

That was not good enough, and I was not willing to accept their abusive behavior any longer.

So, the next morning, in our couples counseling session, I broke up with Alyx, but even that didn’t stick. Alyx turned on the water works, and started crying.

Alyx argued that they weren’t being given a choice, but I would say they had 3 choices: they could continue to be polyamorous and give me those 10 things; they could not be polyamorous and not give me those 10 things and we’ll just chalk up the last year to Covid; or they could be polyamorous and not give me those 10 things and leave. They chose the third option.

They even had the gaul to cry and say to me, “I don’t want to lose you.” after doing everything possible to lose me. Unfortunately, seeing Alyx cry stirred something in me, and I agreed to give it another month, but even that was just a ploy.

Alyx used that month to convince someone online to move out to Los Angeles, from Missouri, so they could move in together and share rent.

That’s how good of a manipulator Alyx is, that they convince people to completely uproot their lives for them.

I admit, I always suspected that Alyx would one day leave me over money, but what Alyx wound up doing was so much worse; they systematically demeaned me, belittled me, and undermined my own sense of self worth in an attempt to obfuscate the fact that they were using me.

It’s very difficult to admit that the person I loved made a conscious decision to manipulate me and hurt me. Alyx even doubled-down on this behavior, changing their online screen-name to MxMonster_, bragging about their monstrous behavior towards me.

And the crazy thing is, if at any point they had said, “I was wrong.” or “I’m sorry.” or “I made a mistake.” I would still be in a relationship with them. Just once, but Alyx refused to ever admit they were wrong, something I did frequently. They were so… I guess self-obsessed, that they would rather sabotage the relationship, than admit they were wrong and save the relationship.

After over 7 years, I felt that I did not want to do this, but recent events forced my hand. They slept with another man, and did so without my consent. I contributed several thousand dollars to help pay for school, which I don’t see Alyx ever paying back. They also engaged in a series of lies to me called gaslighting, and tried to convince me that I was paranoid, and that I was not remembering reality correctly, and Alyx’s treatment of me made me suicidal.

AND I found out from Visa that Alyx tried to charge over $200 in items from Target to our joint credit card, after we broke up, which I would be financially on the hook for. To add insult to injury, Alyx lied to me when I confronted them, and said, “I didn’t do it, but if I did do it, I would have a right to do it because you make more money than me.”

I loved Alyx. I would have protected them. I would have kept them safe, and loved them until my dying day, but I didn’t get Alyx, I got Alyx’s emotionally abusive step-father. I got Alyx’s stepfather and their toxic, narcissistic behavior.

Apparently, within weeks, Alyx was already in another relationship with some sugar-Momma in British Columbia.

The worst thing they ever did, was make me hate myself, because Alyx hated themselves, and needed everyone else to feel the same.

In the end, I’m glad I broke it off.

Now, 7 years later, I’m an incel, not because I can’t find anyone to have sex with, but because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to trust someone like that ever again. Alyx emotionally crippled me, and I don’t know if I’ll ever recover.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.