Is this the first sign of abuse?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend been acting very weird lately we have been dating over a year now and he keeps changing. for example last night we were laying in bed and i got mad so i yelled a little bit and he grabbed me by my neck and head and squeezed me so hard that it started to hurt and i told him about it, he didn’t seem to care because he,grabbed me by my mouth and did it again. Im scared now. i don’t know what to do, should i get him help, or maybe hes just going thru difficult timing with school. i love him so much. But now im worried, i don’t want to leave him, but im scared for myself. Are those the first signs of abuse? should i be really concerned? PLEASE HELP.
Thank you.

A: No one should ever be scared in a relationship of love. The danger sign for me is that your boyfriend grabbed you in a hurtful way twice. Once — if it’s only once — can be understood as an accident. But when you told this man that he was hurting you, he did it again. Nothing he is going through in school justifies his behavior. Nothing you can do will help him unless he sees he has a problem. Trust your feelings. You need to at least take time out from this relationship and to explore others. Find a man who will cherish you and who will never, ever lay a hand on you. Find a relationship where it’s safe for both of you to express normal feelings of anger and frustration without resorting to hurting the other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Apr 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Is this the first sign of abuse?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/04/12/is-this-the-first-sign-of-abuse/