38 People Are Sharing The Wildest Thing Their Exes Asked Them To Change About Themselves, And It Will Make Your Heart Break
"I once dated a man who wouldn’t let me wear a dress if it had pockets. I can’t believe I was with him for so long."
Note: This post contains mentions of disordered eating and body dysmorphia.
A few weeks ago, people came together on Reddit to share the craziest thing their exes asked them to change about themselves — and a lot of the responses were completely upsetting.
Unfortunately, it seems a lot of people had similar experiences because the thread sparked the BuzzFeed Community to share their own stories. So we rounded up some of the responses below.
1. "My ex told me that the sound of my voice annoyed humans and animals so I should never speak."
2. "Back in the '90s, I was dating a man who later became the father to my first child. His best friend (who was a girl) and I became super close. One day, she shaved her head and he told us that he thought she looked really cool — but then he turned to me and said I better never do the same. So I marched myself and our friend upstairs, cut my hair off and shaved my head! I loved it so much I kept it for a while. No one will ever tell me I can’t do something. 😂"
3. "My ex said that when I didn’t wear a bra, it hurt him and was a sign of disrespect because as 'his girl,' I shouldn’t have other men looking at me. He said that maybe I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship because of how I dressed. I said he may be right and left."
4. "He demanded that I not plan to name my first theoretical child with him my maiden name even if it was a girl because 'that would honor your (my) family.' He also told me I had to stop twirling baton on my college majorette line after my first year because it meant I got too much attention. I broke up with him, twirled for two more years, and gave my first child my maiden name with my sweet husband’s enthusiastic support."
"This guy also put his arm on my shoulders and pushed me down in photographs so I would look shorter." —Bubbles
5. "I once dated a man who wouldn’t let me wear a dress if it had pockets! I can’t believe I was with him so long."
6. "I have a variety of different laughs, depending on what’s tickled me. Sometimes it’s a cackle, sometimes a deep dirty laugh, and other times, I sound like Muttley. My ex hated every single one of them. Eventually, I worked out that he just couldn’t stand me being happy enough to laugh. It made me incredibly insecure about my laugh(s) for years."
"But it worked out ok. My partner of 11 years loves playing 'which laugh will it be this time' when he shows me something funny. He’s almost always wrong." —Saraheds
7. "In marriage counseling, the therapist asked me what was one thing I would change about my partner, and I said for 'him to be silly and goofy more often.' He said for me to 'lose weight.' So I did. I lost 120 lbs — and he still didn’t like me. So I left him and have never felt lighter."
8. "I have naturally curly hair. When I was in college, I had a boyfriend tell me unsolicited that he preferred my hair straight. When I said I didn’t straighten my hair very often, he said, 'But you’ll do it for me.' No, you jerk, I’m not going to spend over an hour frying my hair for you."
"When I told him as much, he repeated the same thing again, but in a really cringey, cutesy voice. The way I see it, if you don’t like my crazy curly hair, you don’t like the real me and can move along." —wtrae
9. "I once dated a guy who demanded that I not play any religious Christmas songs during the holidays, only secular songs. The weird thing was I was an atheist and he wasn’t. I just liked all the Christmas songs I grew up with, religious and secular."
10. "My ex would tell me I needed to get in shape and lose some weight when I was 93 pounds. I honestly believed I was fat. Looking back at photos of that time is painful because I look sick."
11. "My ex wanted me to change my career. When we met, I was in a conservatory studying ballet with the intention of going professional afterwards. Because professional dancers have such short careers, it’s important to make the most of it, and dance as much as you can, where you can, as long as you can. My job took me abroad quite often, and my ex hated it. He wanted me to leave dance and 'settle down' and was totally unsupportive of my career, despite me training literal decades for it and loving every minute of it."
"Well, jokes on him, because I dumped him, and worked in 86 countries, met incredible people, and now I’m happily retired (at 28) and working on my next career as an interior designer!" —jessicad423895e18
12. "I was a very strict vegetarian for 15 years. Literally — no exaggeration — every single guy but one I dated in that timespan tried to get me to eat meat 'for him' at some point. I knew it was some sick control thing for all of them, like if they were the reason that I broke my vegetarianism then that means they must be *that* important and that I’d do anything for them."
"The only man I dated who never asked me to eat meat is now my husband."—zeeroworeez
13. "My ex told me I didn’t need to be on anti-depressants because I had him. I have bipolar disorder; I need them desperately. He also told me that my family never loved me and said that they’re shocked I’m not pregnant yet (I was 19) because how much of a whore I am. I'm still in therapy because of him."
14. "I’m an engineer who works in construction, and at the time, was managing a department of about 50 employees. My ex didn’t think that was very 'feminine' and told me he’d only marry me if I quit my job and became a school teacher. Mind you, I was paying for most things because I made significantly more than him."
"We broke up shortly thereafter, and I'm much happier without him."—laurac4bd88fd55
15. "My ex wanted me to fight him. He grew up where his parents yelled at each other all the time; I did not. So when he yelled at me and I wouldn't yell back, he would just say nastier things to me to try and get me to 'fight back.' I'm not a yeller, I don't want to be a yeller. I'm sorry if my silence wasn't a good enough weapon. It worked wonders, though because he dug himself quite the hole."
16. "My daughter was 8 months old when I realized I’d had enough of being the butt of every awful 'joke' her dad could come up with. I was told I was being too emotional and that I was overreacting and it was 'just a joke' more times than I can count. My family and friends couldn’t stand the way he treated me and my best friend finally put it in a way that made me get out of that relationship."
"She made me realize that the way my daughter’s dad treated me would seem normal and acceptable to her because that’s what she grew up seeing and that was a lightbulb moment. We co-parent amicably now, but I am so glad to not be with him anymore." —krazykate77
17. "My ex-husband didn’t like the way I spit after brushing my teeth and insisted it was wrong. He even brought it up with my PCP. She thought he was being ridiculous for even mentioning it."
18. "My ex told me I couldn’t breathe through my mouth at night, even though it has always been hard for me to feel like I’m getting enough air through my nose. I found out years later that I have a deviated septum so there was a medical reason I couldn’t comfortably breathe through my nose."
"He was constantly critiquing everything about me and it killed my self-esteem. It took me years to get his voice out of my head." —morganstar
19. "I used to have a boyfriend who would grasp my C-cup breast and say, 'I love you, but these have to go!' He liked flat-chested women and thought breasts could be dieted away."
20. "In high school, I dated this asshole who would always criticize me for everything. He would compare me to his younger sister. He even told me, 'Your boobs are too small. My sister has bigger boobs than you.' Like, WHAT?"
21. "He was convinced my PTSD was a choice, that I needed to 'let that s**t go,' and that I was being too dramatic when I reacted to things that triggered my PTSD. When he started changing 'post-traumatic stress disorder' to 'petty tantrum stupid drama,' I realized what kind of person he was and got out real quick."
22. "I had an ex that told me that I look stupid wearing lingerie. Eventually, I realized that he had serious issues with me wanting or enjoying sex."
23. "I had an ex-partner who wanted to change my entire sexual history that occurred before I even met him. Mind you, I never cheated or was unfaithful in any way, and I was incredibly verbally and physically expressive with my love. But no matter what I did, he needed to know every minute detail of my sexual history and spent so much time interrogating me because, as he would say, 'The truth has got to be better than the image in my mind.'"
"Then he would treat me like a leper after I told him the truth. He was friends with all these people I went to high school with, and yeah, I got around then and in the years before I met him. So what? But because everyone was gossipy and immature even in my 20s, they would tell him all these things about me. It got so bad that whenever he’d ask, I’d lie because I was so anxious that he’d be disgusted by me. I had a note in my phone with all the lies I was telling him about my past, and my anxiety was so high, I eventually had to end it. I loved him, but he didn’t love all of me. He would constantly tell me that every man would feel this disgusted, and it made me stay longer than I should have. Now, I have a wonderful partner, who definitely isn’t thrilled with my past, but makes it known daily that he loves every part of me." —Anonymous
24. "I had a guy tell me he liked girls with relaxed hair and my afro was too unruly. I asked him for the money to go to the salon and blocked his number once I got it."
25. "My ex-boyfriend was extremely jealous. I went to an out-of-state college and he’d demand that I text him every waking moment and that we Skype every night. Then he’d get mad that I wouldn't want to Skype so I can do my homework because there was nothing to talk about. Also, he was pissed that I would paint my nails because he thought I was trying to impress someone. He was jealous when I went to my male debate partner’s dorm room after 7 p.m. despite the fact that we had a huge tournament coming up because 'it’s just not right.' I was not allowed to drink at parties but he was, because 'you’re a girl and it’s different.'"
"There’s an entire laundry list of stuff that he did that was screwed up. I’m glad I got out when I did because I’m sure the controlling behavior would have escalated to physical and sexual violence." —samanthae4ef54d0a6
26. "My first boyfriend never said it out loud but made it very clear that he expected me to be a pretty goth girl with no opinions who gushed over his band and never expected any kind of reliability or compromise from him."
"So I dumped him. And now I have a better partner in a better band." —gemface
27. "In high school, I wanted to get my cartilage pierced. My boyfriend told me 'only whores' get that piercing."
28. "He wanted me to have a baby. This was after three and a half years together where I was incredibly vocal about how serious I was about not having children. He thought I would 'change my mind' because I 'was a woman.'"
"The most screwed-up part is that he didn’t actually really want kids either; his very controlling mother wanted grand babies. I'm glad I got the hell out of that relationship." —ElizaWithaZ
29. "I wasn't the correct 'level of emotional.' Apparently, I was supposed to solely lean on them for emotional support and yet, when I had a panic attack, they would ignored me for an hour to watch TV. Then they told me that they were 'exhausted talking to me.'"
"The kicker is they had frequent panic attacks and I needed to help them but they wouldn't comfort me with mine at all." —nova
30. "It was Thanksgiving and he called me up: 'Hey, let's go see a movie.' I said, 'Umm, it's Thanksgiving. I'm having dinner with my family.' His motto was always 'family first,' but apparently, that only applied to him and not to me. He threw a huge fit that I wouldn't leave my family and go hang out with him. He even threatened to break up with me if I didn't leave and go with him. I told him to fuck off and stayed with my family. Needless to say, he never broke up with me."
"Looking back, I really wish I had ended things then, but I was young and dumb." —SprinkledDonut
31. "I once dated a guy who said I need to be more interesting and stop focusing on being so psychological and using therapist words. He also didn't think therapy would work for anyone."
"Yup, my passion is psychology, I am now married to someone else who enjoys learning and engaging in psychological chats even though he has no understanding of psychology. I also now have my PhD in psychology and couldn't be more proud." —bluedino
32. "In high school, this guy I was dating wanted me to change the sound of my sneeze? He thought my sneeze should sound cuter. I was young and naive and went along with it. His controlling nature only got worse from there, and I noped right out of that relationship."
33. "I had a boyfriend who once told me 'It's time to shave down there.' In retrospect, I should have dumped him immediately but at the time, I was so embarrassed and ashamed of myself that I thought he was right."
34. "My ex told me I should 'bring back the hot version' of myself when we were together. Looking back on my body then, it was the best I’ve ever looked. I had an amazing hourglass body, and he made me think I looked terrible."
"I’m fat AF now but I’m way more happy and secure than I ever was with that asshole."—elieism
35. "My ex told me to stop being so sensitive and that him bullying me was just what boyfriends do. When I said, ‘No, I don’t want to smoke weed,' he forcibly held me down and blew the smoke in my face. He thought me getting upset over that was because I was too sensitive."
"Even his friend was horrified at what he’d done." —lunallee212
36. "He said the ex he cheated on me with the ENTIRE TIME AND GOT PREGNANT looked better than me without makeup. I had awful acne and was dealing with an abusive mother. Needless to say, he cheated on her the entire time they were together."
37. "My ex banned me from wearing heels because they made me taller than him. He broke my most loved (and most expensive) pair of heels so I wouldn’t wear them. So glad he’s gone."
38. "My ex wanted me to be less skillful around the house. I renovated my living room and built my new Ikea furniture, painted the walls, installed a lamp and stuff, and he completely lost it. He was like, 'No, no, honey, you can't do that to me' and wanted me to tell our friends that he made everything."
"I just bursted out laughing and had a party the next weekend. No need to say that he wasn't invited." —JahneKess