My Boyfriend Isn't Treating me Very Well

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My boyfriend isn't treating me very well. He is usually very sweet, but lately, he seems to be getting more and more controlling. He hates when I hang out with my friends and wants to know where I am every second. I really love him but I hate how he's acting.  What should I do?

Sincerely, 

Relationship Troubles

 

 

Dear Abused,

I really hate to tell you this, but you are being abused by a narcissistic and control dudebro.  

Dump him. Block his number. Tell someone what is going on. 

You are allowed to have friends and a life outside your relationship. You shouldn’t be under surveillance for hanging out with friends. The sweetness you pointed out? That is part of the cycle of abuse. There are 4 parts to the cycle:

  1. Tension building: tensions increase, there is a breakdown of communication, the victim (you) becomes fearful and feels the need to placate (walking on eggshells) the abuser (boyfriend)
  2. Incident: verbal, emotional & physical abuse. Anger, blaming, arguing, threats and intimidation. An argument breaks out, both of you are shouting at each other. You are both angry. Things are said.
  3. Reconciliation: Abuser apologizes, gives excuses (IE: "I’m under so much stress!" Etc, etc) blames the victim ("If you would just stop doing x,y or z," or something of the like), denies the abuse occurred, or says that it wasn’t as bad as the victim claims (this is also called gaslighting)
  4. Calm or honeymoon period: the incident that kicked everything off is “forgotten,” no abuse is taking place (no surveillance or not wondering where you are every second of the day)

Then the cycle repeats itself. I work with a lot of victims of domestic violence, and I can honestly tell you that every single person I’ve spoken with said it all started with surveillance and the need to control their whereabouts.

Get out before it’s too late. 

Best, 

Bethany

IF YOU ARE IN DANGER CALL 911

National Domestic Violence hotline: 1­-800-799-7233 or TTY 1­-800-787-3224

Online chat 24/7: www.loveisrespect.org

Love is Respect hotline: 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453

Text: LOVEIS to 22522

Check out LoveisRespect's YouTube Channel for videos discussing the complex nature of relationships

*To read more on this topic: No, You Didn’t Deserve It: Spotting the Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Dating Behaviors

 

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BETHANY KILLEN - RESIDENT ADVICE COLUMNIST & SEX THERAPIST

Bethany Killen (she/her), whose time spent finding ways to navigate through her own personal struggles led her to pursue a career in social work.

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