Parents Think My Boyfriend is Abusive

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Me and my boyfriend are 17 years old and both will be turning 18 in a couple of months. My boyfriend bit me and left me a bruise on my arm but he said he didn’t mean to it was by accident and he was just playful biting me. Today he pulled my hair and said he didn’t meant to pull it hard he was just trying to get my attention and so. Later that day he took my car keys and wouldn’t give it back to me so i started screaming at him and my phone called my mom by itself and she heard the argument. she heard me screaming at the top of my lungs. I’m not the type of person to yell unless i am very upset. so he takes the keys and throws it on top of a tree and tells me “try and get it now” so when i got it down i turned on the car. I was parked in a parking lot. He took my scarf and threw it out the window and every time i tried to get it he gets it and throws it out the window again and again. then he took my scarf and rubbed it against the car and was cleaning the car with my scarf. after all this he said he was just playing and was trying to get me calm because i was very upset. My parents think he is showing signs of abuse towards me. And they do not want me with him. What should i do or think? Is he really showing signs of abuse?

A: Your parents are right. There is a pattern of behavior here that has physically hurt you by both biting and pulling your hair. He antagonized you by taking the car keys, upsetting you, escalating the situation by throwing the keys in the tree (which forces you to risk injury by climbing). He antagonized you further by repeatedly throwing your scarf out the window, and then provoked you further by wiping the car with it. The excuse that he was trying to calm you is simply a lie. If he was trying to calm you he was doing a horrible job and should have realized it. The fact that he can either not tell that he is making you upset, or is lying and is trying to make you upset is cause for concern.

You do not need to be with anyone that bullies, antagonize, and provokes you and then says he is doing it in the name of calming you down. Whatever his problem is, don’t let it become yours.

Your parents are right and it is time for you to have people in your life who will treat you better.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Nov 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Parents Think My Boyfriend is Abusive. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/11/14/parents-think-my-boyfriend-is-abusive/