Sixteen and wondering if I am in a domestic mental/emotional abusive relationship
I’m sixteen. Everyone tells me this affects everything: my dad died when I was twelve. He and I had an amazing relationship, he was a great dad. Also I’m the youngest girl in my family. But right now I’m really confused about what’s going on with my boyfriend. He is also sixteen. I lost my virginity to him a year ago. I love him, and the reason I began dating him in the first place was because he was so sweet and he really, really liked me. Being with him made me feel really secure. From the start, I noticed he got frustrated and agitated VERY easily, and blew up over strange things. Lately, things have happened that I feel warning signs from. He demands my facebook and email password and literally stalks everything I do and say. I’m “not allowed” to talk to boys, add boys to my facebook, be friends or hang out with boys. My best friend (a girl) insulted him publicly on the Internet when he instigated a fight, and he told me that if I didn’t cut off all ties from her, he would kill himself. He cuts himself whenever I stand up for what I feel I am entitled to. friend boys, a relationship with my best friend. This has become gradual. It started off by me not “being allowed” to hang out with “friends he doesn’t know”. He gets angry when I go on backpacking trips or don’t want to sit in detention with him. When I read this I know I’m about to get yelled at “obviously you are sixteen and his problems aren’t your responsibility, find a new boyfriend.” but every time I do, I feel so awful that its not worth it. When he is gone from my life I feel physically sick and crushed. One time I cut my arm really badly after we got in a fight and he was ignoring me, because I really wanted to show him the next day how much he had hurt me. It made a lot of sense at the time. I’ve lost contact with most of my friends because I’m always up his ass and I’m lonely… his friends think I’m unreasonable and confrontational but I just try to stand up for myself. After he asked for my facebook password, I asked for his, and decided that if he looked at my things, I am entitled to look through his. I found messages when he referred to me as “the bitch”. He has since told me that that’s how guys are, and I wont find a guy who doesn’t use that word. Every single time something happens now, he will cut himself, snort pills, and threaten to kill himself, or repeatedly ask me if he can die or how he should kill himself. Also…I’m beginning to mimic him. His jealously makes me cautious, so I’ve started to watch him closely and feel uncomfortable when girls talk to him. I’ve threatened to run away, cut and kill myself. I never did these things before. I feel like I am being a petty teenager, but I am so lonely and confused and I used to be so social and outgoing. These days I just want to impress his friends and avoid confrontation. Also, last fall I studied abroad, and when I came back I found out he had slept with another girl three times, and lied for as long as he could about it but finally gave in. he hasn’t done anything like that since, not even close, and he is truly obsessed with me, this makes me feel like his behavior is something id prefer. Somebody who cares way too much rather than hardly any. All of the rest of the time everything is fun, we ride in my car, go to the movies, restaurants, he shows me off to everyone and treats me so well. He texts me every second of the day. But I feel cheated from life most of the time.im lonely and confused. I just want an adult to talk to.
A: You are brave to ask the question. I am not going to “yell” at you for being 16. This isn’t about that. This is about an abusive relationship that is likely to get worse.
What you have told me is that your boyfriend lies, bullies, threatens suicide, manipulates you, has been unfaithful, controls you, restricts your friendships, thinks selfishly about his needs rather than yours, calls you a bitch, cuts himself, and snorts pills.
At any age this would be unacceptable. It is nice you go to the movies and for rides, but any relationship at any age that involves this level of controlling behavior isn’t healthy. You can’t fix him, but you can take care of yourself.
I would talk to the counselor at your high school. You do not need your boyfriend’s permission to do this. You may also want to talk to a trusted teacher.
If you stay in the relationship you will need to change to have a voice and empowerment. If you break up, you will need the same things. Please go talk to you counselor today, and join one of our online forums here at psychcentral.
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Sixteen and wondering if I am in a domestic mental/emotional abusive relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 25, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/26/sixteen-and-wondering-if-i-am-in-a-domestic-mentalemotional-abusive-relationship/