This is a VERY long story that unfolded over 2 different posts, so I have edited it down a bit,
Hi lovely people. Throwaway account for obvious reasons. You know the drill. I tried posting this on r/relationships but apparently the mods there said it was inappropriate. So I am trying my luck here for guidance.
I’ve been with this guy for 3 years and I moved into his apartment some time last year. I love him to bits but lately I’ve been thinking about packing my things and leaving.
My boyfriend has always been a boisterous type and he’s a turbo nerd. He loves his superheroes, anime, gaming, you name it. Whenever we watch anything, especially anime, he’ll talk through the whole thing often criticizing the relationships the writers made for the characters, talk about his “one true pairings,” and he’ll express how certain set pieces in the story make him feel. I’m not into it really but I’ll take time to watch it with him because he makes it rather entertaining and I support his hobbies and interests. He’ll wear his emotions on his sleeve too. He has no problem laughing, cheering, and crying over what’s going on and I love him for that. I love all of him for that. But lately that’s all changed and he’s no longer the person I once loved anymore.
About 7 months ago we binge watched an anime called “Loveless” based on a recommendation by his friend. It was decent, albeit incredibly fucked up and depressing. The show tackles sex, abuse, memory loss, psychotic breaks, broken homes, love being equal to pain, that sort of shit. However I was moreso shocked that my boyfriend was completely quiet and focused the entire time. He was also quiet the rest of the day. It bled into the next morning too… And even for a few days. He wouldn’t really speak or express any kind of emotion. I tried asking him what was up with him and even he didn’t know. I thought maybe the show was too much for him and he was still trying to process it. So I paid it no mind and hoped it’d clear up soon.
After about 2 weeks he somewhat returned to normal but he wasn’t really all that there. It seemed like he was trying to force his boisterous personality rather than it coming naturally to him. Throughout the next few weeks I’d find him quietly sitting at his PC either playing games or looking at websites and watching videos. I was getting really worried about him. He also picked up the Loveless books and read them. However he would need to take breaks in between each book because each time he finished one he’d be out of it again for a few hours or a day. This type of behavior was way out of character for him. This went on for about 2 months until he finished the last book he had.
Then, one day, a breakthrough happened but not what I expected at all. He began having a soft smile on his face pretty much 24/7. His voice and speech were soft, calming and often times philosophical in nature. He would stare at pretty much everything just admiring it, smile and all, as if he was just high on life and enjoying every little aspect of it. He was a lot more gentle with me when we had sex or being intimate often treating me like a delicate flower that he cherished so much. It was weird. Gone were the days of ups and downs and varying degrees of loud. It made me bitter but I’d be lying if I said he didn’t look content and at peace. So I bit my lip.
At least for a little bit. I missed the man I once knew. I asked him what is going on with him. Normally confronting him about something would make him squirm. Instead he looked away and smiled, blushing a little, and admitted he owed me an explanation. He took me to his PC and he showed me all these blogs and websites he’s favorited talking about otherkin and the different kinds of otherkin that there are. That’s when he dropped the bomb on me.
He is fictionkin to Soubi; one of the main characters from Loveless. Meaning he thinks he is Soubi’s reincarnation. He believes he IS Soubi.
I didn’t know what to make of it at first. It sounded to utterly ridiculous and it is. How can you be the reincarnation of something that isn’t real? A thing some writer or writers made up in their head? A piece of fiction. Yet, like I said before, he seemed much happier. He said Soubi resonates within him at a level that shakes him to his very core. He explained that the show made him have his awakening. He says he has Soubi’s memories and has flashbacks of Soubi’s childhood and such. So I accepted it and told him I’d love him regardless. He was happy with that.
I spent time getting used to the new adjustments I had to make. He’s very happy that he can be “himself” around me more. But things got weirder and weirder. He wanted me to start calling him Soubi when we were at home over his real name. Fine, whatever, then he’d start casually calling me Ritsuka, the other main character, or some type of cutesy variation like Ritsy or his Sacrifice (another thing related to the show). He even wanted me to roleplay as Ritsuka in bed which is… really unsettling because Ritsuka is 12 years old (I told you the anime is fucked up. And yes, the characters are romantically involved in the anime too). He even bought me a cat ear headband so he could “finally take my ears.” For context, in the show people are born with random animal ears and tails. They are supposed to represent innocence and virginity. When the character finally has sex in this world they lose the animal parts. I’ll admit the roleplay was kind of hot but… fuck I don’t know.
Then he started getting more obsessed with it. He grew out his blonde hair so it could be more like Soubi’s. He bought every piece of clothing he could find to mimic all the ones he’s seen Soubi wear in the show and books. He even bought a fake pair of glasses that looked like Soubi’s. He began taking up art like Soubi does (which he’s fucking awful at by the way). He even wants to get a tattoo of the word “LOVELESS” across his upper chest like Soubi has carved and scared into his. I’m SO glad he wants a tattoo but I’m scared it’s going to evolve into him taking a knife and carving it into his chest like Soubi did. I’m no longer dating my boyfriend. I’m 100% dating Soubi in terms of looks and personality and I can’t stand it. It’s absolutely destroying me little by little each day. I don’t want to leave but, fuck, I just want my boyfriend back.
Problem is… I feel like a selfish asshole. He’s so much happier and this change seems to be less obsessive and more healthy in nature. He’s a lot more outgoing now, he goes to social events, charity events, he has more friends, has been excelling at work and he’s even being considered for a promotion, he’s been losing weight and toning up, eating better… I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to ask him to change for my sake but all seems so crazy and unhealthy and yet I’m the one falling apart while he’s living life without a care in the world.
When I did make the post on r/relationships people suggested he may be associating this with trauma he my have had in his childhood and he may be using this fictionkin thing to try and move past it in some way. Others suggested that this is dangerous and could lead to a much more dangerous path. Some also suggested I should try and convince him to seek therapy which I don’t know how I’d do it since he believes he is truly fine and happy. Someone else suggested maybe he needs to just ride it out and it’s a face. However because it was removed so quickly I wasn’t able to get a general consensus on what might be best. I just feel like an enabler now since I didn’t bat an eye.
What do I do, Reddit? I miss my boyfriend.
tl;dr My boyfriend thinks he is the reincarnation of an anime character and has changed completely to the point he is this anime character and has been using it to improve his life significantly while I’m falling apart because I miss the man I fell in love with.
Saying the last couple of days was wild would be an understatement. That same day I made the original thread I stuck true to my word and talked to him about this during dinner. I made his favorite in order to ease the blow but I essentially came at him with the most blunt but nice way I could put it (thanks to the help of you lovely people). I basically told him that I’m happy that his life has improved drastically since this change but I really do miss who I originally fell in love with and I wasn’t sure I could keep this charade up. There was a lot of crying from myself only and he kept his cool and composure as Soubi would. In all honesty it made me more upset. Our fights, although rare, would sometimes turn into a shouting match because he’d usually get really upset and fire back at me. Now he’s calm, gentle, understanding, and it progressively upset me more and more. Yet he continued comforting me which only made it worse. It’s weird how you when you love someone you even miss the bad parts about them when they go away.
After a while I calmed down. The two biggest takeaways from the conversation were that even if he found someone who was fictionkin to Ritsuka he wouldn’t leave me for them because that was another life and, in this life, he has me now. This is important later. The second was that he himself felt that all his life he was putting on a mask and only behaving as people expected him to; including me. He claims he never really felt 100% truly comfortable in his own skin and this awakening was like a switch that needed to be turned on and now he feels like himself for the first time in his entire life. He then told me he understands that I signed up to date the man I fell in love with not Soubi and he wouldn’t blame me for leaving.
I couldn’t blame him either. The truth is I know what that feels like. I was raised a very sheltered life and didn’t really have a personality because of it. I only started coming out of my shell during my college years when I moved out of state to live on my own. I still find the fact it took a cartoon for this to finally make him realize it really concerning and I still didn’t like that it was such a drastic change and I worry about his mental health. He assures me he is fine. I slept on it and I felt moderately better the next day. I decided at that point I was going to just try and change my perspective and adjust to this life. I love the guy. I want to at least try and make it work.
Over the next few days my distain for this Soubi thing died down. I was starting to feel attracted to him again. I started really liking how sweet and soothing he’d become. I’d get twinges of missing the old him here and there but as days went on it definitely became easier to move on from them now and focus on my new life now.
Then… Sunday night happened….
(Editor’s Note: She goes on from there to describe a 17-year-old female to male transgender showing up and her late twenties boyfriend trying to engineer a threesome, which she quite naturally flipped out about. That led to her leaving him and she says she’s going to alert the police about the kid he’s grooming when she’s out of the house.)
My first thought after reading this was that since “fictionkins” that think they are actually anime characters are apparently a thing, the rest of us will eventually be threatened with jail time for refusing to pretend that someone is a Pikachu.
The second thought was the very moment that this guy started talking about being a Fictionkin, she should have headed for the door.
Let me tell you something that’s politically incorrect, but that you see turn out to be true, over and over and over in your life.
The further someone gets from normal sexual roles, the weirder they’re going to get — and there are already some pretty weird heterosexuals.
Once you get all the way out to transexuals, otherkin, furries, fictionkin, people that consider themselves genderfluid, etc, there’s going to be some serious mental illness and/or widescale dysfunction in the mix. You simply just don’t get that far off the beaten path of human sexuality unless there is something seriously wrong with you.
They may be able to hide it for a while, but it’s going to come out. “Oh, but he seems happier this way!” Well, someone might SEEM happier if he thinks he’s Jesus or Napoleon, but how do you think that bodes for him over the long haul? If you’re in that situation and you realize you are with someone like that, get off that roller coaster ride while you can and RUN.