Even though most of us have at least some insecurities, we have to do our best to not let them control us. If we lose that control, we can end up harming not only ourselves but also our loved ones—emotionally and mentally.

Unfortunately, some people let their insecurities spiral and lash out at their romantic partners. Internet users opened up about their ‘insecure men horror stories’ on r/AskWomen, and their tales show just how bad things can get when jealousy and fear run rampant.

When you’re done reading them all, dear Pandas, let us know in the comments if you’ve ever had to deal with a partner who was insecure to this extent. If you’ve got any tips on dealing with toxic relationships, be sure to share them, too.

Bored Panda reached out to dating expert Dan Bacon, the founder of The Modern Man, for a chat about the impact that insecurities have on relationships. "Deep-seated insecurities result in a person behaving in ways they don’t really want to, but can’t seem to stop themselves from doing. For example: Being overly jealous, clingy, and needy due to having an insecurity about being cheated on or dumped," he explained to us.

Dan said that, alternatively, insecurities can manifest in the person being emotionally distant and pushing their partner away. They might also be "afraid to truly fall in love, due to having an insecurity of being cheated on or dumped." He said: "Whether the person clings or pushes away, the result is the same; the relationship eventually ends in a breakup." Scroll down for the full interview about how to control these insecurities.

#1

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Was in the process of divorcing my husband. He happened to be in the room when I got a phone call with a job offer. I told him the salary, which wasn't glamorous but was a good $12K-$17K more than he'd ever made within any year in the marriage, plus Cadillac benefits (none of his jobs had ever carried benefits).

What he should have said: "Congratulations!"

What he actually said: "Well I'm gonna be making TWICE THAT MUCH!"

His bad, commission-only job with no benefits definitely was not about to start paying twice as much as my new salary.

He came to divorce court bragging that he makes twice my salary. So the judge set his child support payments really high based on his fictitious self-proclaimed earnings.

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sturmwesen
Community Member
4 months ago

Where is that You-just-played-yourself meme?

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Dan, the founder of The Modern Man project, told Bored Panda that the healthiest relationships are the ones where both partners are "brave enough to fully love and trust the other person." Or, as he put it in a more visual way, "It’s basically like going ‘all in’ in a poker game, jumping in the deep end of a pool, or taking a leap of faith and not looking back." In short, it's giving your partner 100%.

The dating expert noted that the person might still get hurt if the relationship doesn't work out, however, he advises that it's still better to take the risk and love and trust fully. It's a better alternative than getting dumped or having a "miserable relationship" because the individual isn't able to love or trust their partner.

Bored Panda wanted to know whether a relationship where one partner is insecure can flourish or if it's doomed to fail. In Dan's opinion, there's no chance of it flourishing. "It will either last and be an unhappy relationship or end with a breakup or cheating and then a breakup at some point," he said.

#2

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories My former spouse didn't like me "reading books and getting ideas"

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Dani Alexander
Community Member
4 months ago

Oh my god, it’s literally Gaston from beauty and the beast.

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#3

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories I wasn’t allowed to talk to guys. Ever. Even at work. Even if they were my boss or a coworker. He even had his dad come over to my house, unbeknownst to me, to let me know how unladylike my behavior was... for talking to coworkers...at work...about work...

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jammer
Community Member
4 months ago

Taliban or Texas?

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According to the dating expert, the keys to controlling one's insecurities are having confidence in oneself and not seeing other men as competition.

"A man needs to know how to attract a woman on purpose during interactions, rather than just fumbling his way through interactions with women. When a man knows how to attract a woman during an interaction, does it and sees that it works, he then feels more confident about his attractiveness to her and his ability to attract her in future interactions," he said. "Once a man knows how to attract a woman during interactions, he then needs to stop seeing other men as competition."

#4

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Oh my god where do I start? the most insecure, abusive man. To list a (very) small amt of incidents:

Not allowed to see family/friends because there could be “guys” there

Tried to go to my best friends birthday party, little did I know he went upstairs and called his ENTIRE psychotic family to come pull their cars in behind mine and block me there so I couldn’t leave?! Lasted for HOURS before he let me go and made me turn on location services so I could only go home and not to the party.

Bought new shampoo that was I guess very fragrant (I couldn’t smell it myself), told me I’m a wh**e and only did it to “show off for dudes”???

We both lived on the same long dead end rd. So anytime I went anywhere he would se my car. If we weren’t together he was constantly watching the window to make sure I didn’t go anywhere without him

When I finally left him, he tried to bust down my (my parents house) door to get in. It took me and my grandmother to keep the door from busting in and we had to call the police

4 years, 2 babies, and a fiancé later and he STILL tries to contact me via fake social media acts.

YES I know I should’ve gotten out. YES I know I should’ve contacted police sooner. I was young, only 17, and I was scared of him AND his family.

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Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
4 months ago

Ugh, this is the sort of story that usually continues with the host saying "...and then, on the 13th of August, Clarissa suddenly went missing. Her family filed a missing persons report, but it wasn't until six weeks later that some duck hunters found her body dumped in a nearby forest."

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#5

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Dated a guy casually/non-exclusively for about three weeks. One day we were talking out front of my house and I noticed my canoe--lying on its side under some stairs--had gotten blown backwards and rainwater had collected. Not wanting to breed mosquitoes, I stepped over and pushed the canoe back to its proper lean.

He. Came. Unglued.

Stomped over yelling about how I should have asked him to do it, got up under the stairs (just why?) still yelling, then stood up, hitting his head pretty hard. Threw a big toddler tantrum. Was bizarre and frankly scary.

Clearly I'd insulted his manhood by doing something to my own canoe that literally took one hand to push over. Not even talking hefting a 50-pound bag of cement or something (which would have been okay, too).

I stayed calm in the moment. Bid him goodbye (he'd been about to leave, anyway). Broke it off via text that evening, which of course made him furious. Big bullet dodged.

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Susie Elle
Community Member
4 months ago

God forbid you actually move on your own, imagine the damage to his masculinity

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#6

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories My Ex hated when I spent time with my family. Threatened to divorce me the day of my fathers funeral because things were not going his way that day. He screamed it at me in front of our two young sons. Dude, I just lost my anchor in life and all you can think about is yourself.? Glad he's my Ex.

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Rick Hoppenbrouwer
Community Member
4 months ago

Keep it up Dude and yours will be the next funeral I attend.

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Dan, the founder of The Modern Man, suggested that when a man starts worrying about another man being more attractive than he is in his partner's eyes, that is "the moment she feels more attracted to the other guy."

He explained: "This is because women naturally feel attracted to the more confident man. No matter who the other man is, you always need to know that you are attractive and no other guy compares to you. In reality, another guy might be more attractive than you, but that’s not the point. A woman wants to see that you believe in yourself and don’t feel inferior to other men."

#7

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Threw a tantrum when I started pondering going to grad school because he couldn't be with a woman with more education. The amount of contempt I developed for him during that despicable display of insecurity cannot be described. But, we're the weak ones, umm k.

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Libstak
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm glad you felt contempt that means you got out and it is the right feeling for the behaviour he displayed.

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#8

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories I had an ex who was pissed at me at a Bath & Body Works because I wanted to get a musky, cologne scented candle. His stance was that it was basically cheating because it ‘smelled like a man.’ And yes, he was serious.

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Francisco Manuel Teruel Gutiérrez
Community Member
4 months ago

First time in my life I heard that a man could be threatened by a candle actually being more masculine than him.

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#9

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories He dumped me because he believed I had slept with 2 more people than him (I hadn’t told him my real number in the first place, it’s no one else’s business, but it was actually a lot higher than 2 more). He stewed on it for 3 years before dumping me because he felt like less of a man - he’s the man so his number should have been higher. He asked me back out six months later because he had slept with 3 people, making his number higher than mine and making me acceptable to date again.

What he failed to realise is that I wasn’t celibate for that six months. His additional 3 didn’t even cover my original, true number, never mind cover the additional people I slept with in that six months. Idiot. A man asking me that question now is a huge red flag and I don’t entertain men like that. I back out immediately.

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Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

What a loser. It's really none of anybody's business how many people you have slept with. It's not a competition. That bloke is an idiot.

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During a previous in-depth interview, Bored Panda spoke about insecurities with British psychotherapist Silva Neves. He said that the goal is for people who are insecure (i.e. they have an ‘I’m not enough’ mentality) to become secure and confident (having an ‘I’m enough’ way of thinking). Self-compassion is a powerful tool in helping this shift happen.

"Insecurity carries the message: 'I'm not enough', 'I'm not good enough,' or even 'I'm worthless.' These are painful beliefs to have about ourselves but many do have those underlying beliefs," the mental health expert shared with us.

#10

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Reader's Digest had these monthly quizzes called It Pays To Increase Your Word Power. It was twenty words with 3 or 4 multiple choice options. I got 1 more word correct than my ex-fiance one month and 2 more correct than he on another month. Both times he berated me for beating him and gave these really dumb excuses for why I gotten a better score. One time he refused to speak to me for the rest of the night.

When I found myself deliberately getting one or two words wrong in order to preserve his fragile ego I realised that wasn't healthy for either of us and broke up.

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Sheila Stamey
Community Member
4 months ago

Good no for you !

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#11

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories My ex and I met at a summer job, when he was in a transition because he was leaving a college he couldn't afford (I never shamed him for dropping, I was actually kind of jealous because I had a horrible time in college). He did not get a job and sat around gaming and eating all day. Needless to say, he gained weight. He always blamed his weight and unemployment on his environment and lack of family support to go places, so I moved him to be with me.

Instead of getting a job and getting active, he proceeded to break me down over several years, pushing me to eat more and dress in oversized clothes that hid my figure. I couldn't acknowledge that I made all the money or it was a fight, I would transfer what little money was left after bills to a joint account so he could swipe his own debit card when we went out. When a gym opened down the street, he got me to buy us memberships but I had to beg and drag him there, where I was not allowed to work out longer/harder than him.

The stress of the relationship ironically had me loosing weight towards the end, and this dude would stand us next to each other in the mirror and tell me how I needed to do exercises to get my ass bigger, and that my belly poked out. Meanwhile his gigantic gut was just hanging out. I didn't care that he had extra weight, I actually prefer guys who aren't super skinny. But in hindsight, he was convinced that anything that made me look good, made him look bad. But in the times when he actually had the means to change things, he never actually did it. So instead, he broke down my confidence until I felt like the smallest, ugliest person in the world.

I am so glad I left that relationship, I am now with someone who supports me and thinks I'm the greatest most attractive person ever. He works toward his own self-improvement, and celebrates all of my victories with me.

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Lauren Caswell
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm so happy this ended well 😊

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#12

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories My ex asked me my body count after talking to him online for 2 months. Mind you we didn’t even see each other in person yet since we lived in different countries. He heard the number and immediately got disappointed and said his dream wife wouldn’t have that many bodies. I was like okay go wank off to the idea of your virgin dream wife then.

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Daria B
Community Member
4 months ago

Wait... are people referring to sexual partners as if they were literally corpses of a disaster/war/crime? What.... the.... actual.....

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"Insecurity can manifest either by making themselves invisible (If I'm not seen, nobody will notice my flaws), or the opposite, by what we call 'bragging': shouting at everybody about how wonderful they are. This is usually to try to persuade themselves that they are good enough,” the expert noted that different people have different ways of manifesting their insecurities. Unfortunately, some choose to lash out at others to feel better about themselves.

"Another way to counter the 'I'm not enough' is by pushing others down, sabotaging other people's success, or attacking people as a way to feel powerful so that they can control their inner pain of 'I'm not enough'. All of these strategies don't work because what they do is either internalize or externalize the belief 'I'm not enough' rather than changing it," he said.

#13

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories While at Walmart once a guy came up to me and asked for my number and I word for word said “I’m sorry I have a boyfriend!” And that was it the guy walked away. I go home to my now exes house and told him about the exchange because I thought it was funny and ended up getting screamed at for hours because I “apologized” and made it seem like i didn’t want a boyfriend and i was sorry for having a boyfriend. Made absolutely not sense. We did not last much longer.

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JuniorCJ82
Community Member
4 months ago

Hopefully "much longer" means half a second.

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#14

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories I drew a picture of a flower on a bar napkin and gave it to my then-boyfriend, and he glared at me and said “when you do stuff like this it makes me feel so small”

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September
Community Member
4 months ago

Well, I wasn't going to say anything but now that you mentioned it. It has been very difficult to tell if you're actually doing anything down there.

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#15

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories "But if you keep your last name, my friends will think I'm whipped," he whined, very masculinely.

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Kanuli
Community Member
4 months ago

Took the name of my wife. I like being more connected to her. 🤷‍♂️

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According to the psychotherapist, self-compassion paves the way to becoming more secure in who we are. Usually, insecurities are learned in childhood. Over time, they become deeply rooted in who we are. However, as we grow and mature, we also become more capable of changing these underlying beliefs.

"Perhaps parents didn't praise children enough, or they paid more attention to the mistakes rather than the successes. As an adult now, people can give themselves a hug once in a while and tell themselves, gently: 'you're doing good,' 'well done,' 'congratulations.' Eventually, the brain will listen and slowly change the message 'I'm not enough' to 'I'm enough,'" he said that, over time, we can all change and be more confident in who we are, as we are now.

"Rather than shouting your praise at other people, it is about speaking to yourself in a loving way. When people are genuinely aware of their successes, they can become genuinely more confident without the need to impose their power onto others."

#16

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Lived with some friends temporarily while I was at uni, and two guys lived there. We all got on very well and became fast friends. One night while one of them was telling an emotional story from his childhood, I reached over and held his hand.

What I didn’t know is the other guy had a crush on me, and in the middle of the night when I woke up to get some water, he cornered me in the kitchen, red in the face and trembling with rage and questioned me about my non existent “feelings” towards the other housemate and asked me “to think about what [I’d] done”. All because I held someone’s hand lol

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Vicky Zar
Community Member
4 months ago

A bit scary

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#17

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Today is my late mothers birthday so this question is very timely.

I got married very young and my mother died of cancer shortly before our one year anniversary (I was 19 going on 20).

My now ex husband stated that I chose my mother over him since I spent so much time with her while she was dying. He also would get upset with me for grieving and crying in the year after she died.

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A girl
Community Member
4 months ago

I was 51 when my mom started hospice. I spent 10 hours a day taking care of her until my brother got off work to relieve me. I was very emotionally unavailable to my bf(now husband). A freaking wreck. BF understood. Supported. Backed off and leaned in as was needed. His father passed last year and he said how appreciative he was to know going crazy from grief wasn't weird. Good man, great husband.

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#18

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories I was dating a guy for about a month when this particular incident happened. We worked in similar-ish fields (paramedic and police officer) and that's how we met. It's also important to note that my paramedic partner was a man. We were set to go on a date one Friday but I cancelled due to a nasty migraine. My partner brought me medicine (being a long time paramedic he had a good idea of what would help) and shortly after he left I got a text from the guy asking why another man had come to my apartment. Apparently he had been sitting outside my apartment all day to make sure I didn't go anywhere or see anyone else. He had met my partner before so he knew what he looked like. And my partner was only over long enough to drop off some medicine and feed my dog. We didn't last long after that.

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There Is No Planet B
Community Member
4 months ago

Scary to think that this guy was a policeman....

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#19

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories High school boyfriend who got mad that I spent time with my family dog. I adore dogs. Broke up with him. Next boyfriend sent me pictures of himself posing with his family dogs or just of his family dogs, obviously we were much more alike in that regard!

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Demi Zwaan
Community Member
4 months ago

How can you get mad at someone spending time with a DOG? I can see why you could be a little jealous when it's a human friend, but a dog?

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#20

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories I had a guy justify needing my phone password because he was cheated on. I broke up with him that day.

I have nothing hide but I have nothing to show you either. People who engage in this behaviour aren't people I can have in my life. I'm a therapist and that's the biggest red flag I see in client. Now there's exception obviously like if you share a. Disabled child or whatever. But this being the norm isn't healthy.

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Yeah, you heard
Community Member
4 months ago

Why would sharing a disabled child mean that my partner is allowed to know all my phone passwords and snoop around on me?

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#21

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories My ex, I was a freshman in college, got mad at me at a barbecue. He looked very angrily the whole time I was talking to people. I was later informed I was too friendly and grinning in mens faces. Literally screaming at me in the car he almost wrecked it.

I was the host, btw.

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

I hope you kicked him to the curb before you got home

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#22

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories My ex broke up with me because my shoes were too bright a color (they were neon orange sneakers) and they would attract too much attention from other men..

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Mark Stewart
Community Member
4 months ago

If only it was as simple as wearing neon orange sneakers to attract the interest of men.

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#23

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Dated a guy who would make fun of me for having rolls on my stomach (thanks) and then maybe 1-2 years after we broke up, we had talked to each other as he still owed me like $2000 that he made excuses for why he couldn't pay. He asked me what I do for a living and I proceed to tell him I got a job at a gaming company and he drops "you were just hired because you are a woman" to which I kindly told him to buzz off and that I was selected in the end out of like hundreds of people and it had nothing to do with my gender. Jealous and insecure men always find a way to invalidate your success.

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Lauren Caswell
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Chatting with my kid today about the post with the woman who was being lectured by a guy about how wrong she was, how 'Zeus only had one son, Hercules'. The woman was a Greek mythology graduate of some kind, and the guy was clearly basing his knowledge of Disney's Hercules (btw I studied Greek mythology so natter about that, amongst other topics, with my kid). Anyway, I said to him "Sometimes that's just the way, there are people who will believe they know better than someone who has studied a subject, or feel intimidated by their knowledge and argue with them". Pause "Although it happens to all groups, there are some that are more targeted than others." Kid: "Women?" Me: "Yep. Other groups too, basically anyone who already has prejudices held against them for things they do not choose" [NB I studied anth too so talk about that a lot with him]

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#24

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories I have a few ! Me and my ex were going to see my gay best friend for some drinks , as I was getting ready I put some red lipstick on and he angrily asked “are you wearing this for .. insert my friends name ! We were only dating for 2 months and as I was getting ready to break up with him after few toxic situations, we went to my friends bday party , I wore a skirt (kinda just to piss him off, he was really controlling and hated me wearing skirts) and after couple of hours of dancing around my friends place he stormed out saying that I am showing my pants to everyone and he is done with me ha! He was crazy!

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Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

Women wearing lipstick and a skirt. I shudder to think what their morals are /s

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#25

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories I once gave a previous boyfriend some crackers and pepper jelly that I made as a snack, he had never had it before and thought I was delicious. Since he seemed to like it a lot, the next time I saw him I brought a jar of the jelly for him to take home....Well he did not like that, started yelling at me "Why would you give this to me??? I could make this by myself if I wanted to" got super angry and smashed it on the ground. It was such irrational behavior that I just wanted to laugh.

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Nathaniel
Community Member
4 months ago

I have never heard of pepper jelly? Is it nice?

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#26

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Dunno if it's just insecurity or sexism, probably a mix of both. My ex claimed he was deeply traumatized when he learned that his previous partner had a couple of one night stands before dating him, said he could never trust her again after she "confessed" to this.

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Marcellus II
Community Member
4 months ago

Wondering if it's insecurity or sexism is like wondering if it's dark or not light.

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#27

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories I got yelled at because me and my friends used "big words" (not English) at a party. He was drunk and worked himself into a rage fit over weird things and this was what surfaced. His lower level of education was never a problem for me, and I didn't know it was for him until then. So bizzare.

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Francisco Manuel Teruel Gutiérrez
Community Member
4 months ago

From when I was 20 yo or so, I've always used (in Spanish) my "biggest words" with people annoying me. Most they are a nuisance, more refined is my vocabulary... Once, I even managed to recite a 17th century poem from Lope de Vega.

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#28

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories Didn’t like that I made more money than him.

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Crazy Dog Lady
Community Member
4 months ago

My husband, to his credit, is all ‘make that money’ mama!

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#29

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories He would get mad if I didn’t text him back in literally 3 minutes. Also saying how I didn’t post him enough on my Instagram… like what?? I’m with you should that not be enough? Lol.

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gellert grindlewald
Community Member
4 months ago

did you dump him? please!!

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#30

I had a ‘stalker x,’ who was insanely jealous and toxic. He said I was sleeping with anyone and everyone I came in contact with, even women. So I stopped talking about people at work. He was jealous of my kids. He took my kids to school in the mornings. He went the long way to see if my car was at work. He claimed my kids was asking where my car was because they didn’t see it. After a couple of times of him saying this, I asked my kids about it. They looked at me puzzled and said he was saying that. He threatened to leave us in Cherokee, threatened to kill me if I cheated, kick us out, then turned around, seconds later, and asked why we were packing. He threatened to kill himself numerous times. That’s just to name a few things. Such a toxic man and relationship. I am married to an incredible man now. So glad there are still good men out there and I finally have one 💜💜💜

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Richard Portman
Community Member
4 months ago

My neighbor had a stalker. It was a nightmare for her, and an ordeal for the rest of us. We tried to help him, but he was stuck. My poor neighbor. He finally moved away. He sent her a postcard from San Diego, saying that he found jesus and was happily married to a christian woman and her two daughters. That guy was bad news.

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#31

I once got home after a job interview and my ex wasn't there, a while later he phones me and says he has a puncture. I found out he had followed me to the interview and on his way he got a nail in his Tyre.

He also used to fight with me because I said he couldn't just show up at my work unless he bought something, because otherwise it looks unprofessional.

The best/worst was when he kept texting me while I was working and asking if I ever had blonde hair. Later that evening I got out the shower and saw him watching porn. Turns out he was convinced that the blonde girl giving major head was me. We looked nothing alike.

So glad that psycho is out of my life.

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Kanuli
Community Member
4 months ago

Well. His insecurities aside. Would it be shocking to someone if your gf/bf really was a previous porn actor? And would it change who they are?

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#32

"Why Do Men Do This": 30 Women Share Their "Insecure Men" Horror Stories My boyfriend gets irritated when I mention the doctor at my job because he is a young male and doesn’t like that I mention a guy in conversation that is “more successful” than him even if it’s just in passing. Even if I just say he bought everyone at the office lunch or something like that

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Otter
Community Member
4 months ago

You didn't say "ex-boyfriend".

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