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Will My Boyfriend Eventually Hit Me?

Question:

Hello Doctor,

I’ve been in a loving relationship with a man for 5 years now. I am 33 and he is 31. We are not married and we do not live together.

Lately, there have been some episodes that are making me have doubts about him. He has been abusing me verbally for quite some time, degrading me and insulting me with really bad words. But what made me become more alert was a thing that happened about 2 months ago. We were fighting and, because of something that I said, he got really mad, raising up his fist and trying to punch me on the face. It didn’t happen because I blocked him with my arm and at the moment he got scared and didn’t try to do it again.

I’m scared he will do it sometime in the future. That was the first time he tried something like that. Should I break up with him? Please help me, I am not happy with this situation.

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Answer:

I always reming people that, if they are asking the question, it means they know the answer. I suspect this is true in your case. You admitted, in your question, that he was verbally abusive to you and on more than one occasion. You also report that, during an argument, you said something that made him really angry. He then raised his fist and tried to punch you in the face. You blocked him with your arm and severe injury was prevented.

Will he hit you in the future? Let me point out that he already hit you. Even if you fended him off from a punch to your face, he still connected with the arm you used to block him.

No one has a crystal ball and no one can predict an individual’s future actions with certainty. However, if you believe that the actions of the past are a guide to future behavior, the you might conclude that there is a chance he will do it again.

Regardless of what you said  during that quarrel  that he reacted to with anger, there was no excuse for him to raise his hand to you. Couples argue and without violence or the threat of violence. I point this out because you may incorrectly believe that his reaction to you was acceptable. It was not, regardless of what you may have said in the heat of the moment.

Finally, you say that you are feeling scared he will do it again. Any healthy relationship is built on trust. In my opinion, he broke that trust when he started verbally abusing you and attempted to strike you. Can you trust him again? Will you trust him again or will you always be fearful with him?

I cannot tell you to leave or stay. That is a decision that you must make on your own. However, I hope that reading this will help you make an informed decision.

I wish you well.

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