Boyfriend Is Abusive

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My dilemma is about my relationship of 3 years with my partner. He has ADHD (according to him). Every now and then when something triggers the disorder I ended up his emotional punching bag. He says very hurtful things and at some point it lowered my self esteem. I had been depressed early this year, lost weight, slept less and can’t find the reason to live (but never attempted suicide or hurt myself, I just wished I would die.) Eventually I overcome everything but now it is happening again. He puts me in high state of happiness and takes it away when his mood changes. He can be hyper/energetic in the morning after yoga exercise and very low in the afternoon for minor reasons. Since he tends to say hurtful words, later on when he comes back to his senses he don’t remember much of it. It is difficult to ask for professional help as he never consider it and he is a Psychiatrist himself specializes in Child and Adult mental health. Help please as I am emotionally drained.

A: ADHD is about concentration, focus, and distractibility. It’s not about being mean to someone you love. It’s not usually wise to try to diagnose oneself. We can’t see what others see. Your boyfriend would probably benefit from having an evaluation by another doctor who is not in any kind of professional or personal relationship with him.

That being said, your problem is not your boyfirend. Your problem is that your emotional state depends on your boyfriend’s mood. I urge you to take a look at why you let yourself be a punching bag. Why do you let his comments lower your self-esteem? Clearly he isn’t very smart about himself. Why do you think he is smart about you? Surely 3 years of mistreatement is enough to convince you that he isn’t going to change and that you can only expect more of the same if you stay with him.

At 35, you need to be thinking about whether you want marriage and a family. Please think hard about whether this man offers you the kind of future you want for yourself. Is he a good role model for children you might have? Is your relationship something you want children to copy in their treatment of you, of each other, and of their own partners someday?

If you can’t either change the dynamics in your relationship or extricate yourself, I hope you will seek out a counselor to give you emotional support and to help you confront whatever it is that makes you accept unacceptable behavior. You deserve better.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Boyfriend Is Abusive. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/01/19/boyfriend-is-abusive/

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