JRiverMartin, Am I being loved by this person? Yes, certainly deserving of reflection and I have already reflected on that a lot. It is certainly true that his abuse behaviour has been, to say the least unkind, and that plagiarism is dishonest. Especially in this case, in an essay in which the content emphasizes honesty, openess, trust and personal growth, to plagerize such a thing is, well, I think that to say ironic would be being charitable. The question of whether I am being loved by this person is complex, his abusive behaviour remains although much diminished and he has put a great amount of effort into trying to repair the relationship, work on himself, and atone for what he has done. However, the fact that he would plagerize an essay certainly makes me wonder how much of that self-improvement is real and how much is for show. Is he really working on himself, or does he just want to appear to have done so? I suspect it is a mix, although acertaining the balance of ingredients is difficult. Trust is extremely difficult in this circumstance and when I realized the essay was plagerized I was quite crestfallen and very disappointed in him.
I have not yet told him I'm aware of his plagiarism. I let him know this morning that I had issues with his essay and hinted at the fact that, then told him I would discuss it with him tonight. He did not seem to pick up the hint. Upon hearing that I did not receive it warmly he reiterated that it "meant a great deal to him", and informed me that he had "put a lot of thought into it". I'm really not sure what to make of that last one. Also, he removed it from his profile immediately as soon as I gave him a negative opinion of it.
Regarding how we treat ourselves determining others treatment of us, over the course of this relationship I have realized that I had a major problem setting and enforcing personal boundaries and that my inability to do so had allowed others to mistreat me without consequence for much of my life. I feel that lately I have made a lot of progress in learning to stand up for myself in a healthy manner. The lady I see for counselling told me that people come together in relationships because they have lessons to learn from each other and although it may not seem so on the surface much of the time, they always offer each other the perfect compliment to each other for the growth they need to accomplish. This rings true to me and I have been continuing to examine what it is that brought me into this situation. I believe I am just about ready to take the final exam and move on to the next lesson. By that I do not necessarily mean another person, that remains to be decided on the merits of his behaviour, I mean the next stage of growth in life.
The manipulation and dishonesty that you point out is inherent in this act of plagiarism certainly doesn't add anything positive though.
I am tempted to introduce him to this thread and see what he has to say about it. It certainly would be efficient as I have expressed much of my thoughts about the issue here and it might benefit him to see the opinions of others. I do not however, want to hurt his feelings if he thought that what he was doing was somehow a good thing.