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Is It Abuse? - Erin - Jun 24th, 2008

Question:

I’m not really sure if my boyfriend is abusive.

Everything was really nice in the beginning, he was a great boyfriend. But now he is always suspecting that I did something wrong, was flirting or cheating on him; and I don’t get to see my friends anymore – if i ask, he gets mad. He is always implying that I am such a slut, and he’s even called me that. He pushes me into doing things I don’t want to. He says he’s sorry after I start crying, but if I don’t do it, he gets mad at me. He’s always telling me I’m ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ or calling me an idiot when I have accidents, like dropping a cigarette. I have no privacy: he checks my phone, emails, everything. He even tried to go through my fifth grade journal. And if I simply want my privacy, he says I’m ‘hiding something’ from him and gets angry. I can’t talk to my friends anymore. I have to pretend I don’t have a phone. And I’m not allowed to have any guy friends or even talk to any guys. And I can’t wear certain clothes. Yes, these clothes are small, but when I get ready he tells me they’re slutty and I have to change into something too hot for the weather and watch other girls walk around in smaller outfits than my original one. And he gets angry out of nowhere and starts to ignore me or interrogate me. I’ve even had to tell him I slept with guys who I didn’t actually sleep with, just so he would leave me alone about it. And he thinks I still will get with them, even though I have no contact with any guys. But he talks to girls and in messages I’ve seen him ask them to hang out, give out his number. And there was one he wouldn’t even let me see. I wonder if he’s cheating, because he won’t even hold me anymore or let me cuddle with him.

But here’s the thing: every time I try to leave, or tell him I’m going to, he apologizes and promises that he will change, and he tells me he really does love me, he can’t be without me, and he would do anything for me. And for a little bit, he acts like it, he treats me nice, he holds me, kisses me, tells me good things, says he’s sorry. Then it always goes back to how it was, and he interrogates me and disrespects me.

What do I do? Is this abuse, or is it just a rough patch or something? How do we get out of this vicious cycle?

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Answer:

The answer to your question is Yes, he is being emotionally abusive towards you.

First, he is going to great lenghts to control you in every way. You are not allowed to wear clothing of your choice or have your own friends. He invades your privacy by looking into your journals and E. Mails. He is always suspicious of what you are doing, who you are talking to and where you are going.

Second, he tears at your self esteem and self confidence. He calls you names by telling you that you are a "slut," calling you "stupid," and forcing you to confess to things you never did. It seems that you go along with him just to appease him and that is dangerous for you. There is no way to appease a bully and, later on, he will get worse and could even begin to hit you.

Third, his apologies when you threaten to break up with him and his promises to improve the ways he treats you are typical of abusers. Your problem is that, when he begs forgiveness, you feel sorry for him and take him back. Typically, he treats you better for a short while, and then falls back into the abuse.

This is not a "short patch" of trouble in your relationship. This is serious abuse and the only thing to do is end it: break up with him and ignore his begging. You deserve to be treated much better than how he treats you. Stop convincing your self that all is well. All is not well. End things now before it’s too late. Too late is when he will harm or even kill you. You think it’s not possible? The cemetaries are filled with women who never believed their abusive boy friends or husbands could go that far into violence.

Best of Luck

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