Abusive Relationship

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

My boyfriend has an anger issue n I have been the victim for a long time. We both live together and he finds silly reasons to get angry on me or hit me even. He is mean in every way he can be but when I say I will him he apologizes and gives me fake promises. It’s really getting hard for me to take it but I cannot leave him as I feel pity on him, as he has no other family. I need help to cure his problem.

A: Thank you for being so courageous as to write us here at Psych Central. Many times when I get an email with a question there are two sides to consider and it is rare that I make direct suggestions someone should do to change. Your email prompts a very different response. You need to find a way to get out of the relationship as soon as possible.

I have considerable experience in working with angry men in domestic relationships. They are typically not motivated for change, promise they will treat their girlfriends better, but never do, and often escalate until there is a serious medical or legal problem. You deserve more than to be in a relationship out of pity, and he will not learn how unacceptable his behavior is until he loses someone he says he cares about. In other words, you staying allows him to remain unchallenged with his problem. It is time to go.

But do not go without support. Anger management issues with men often involve issues of control and jealousy. In your country you may want to get support from your family and church about how to go about getting out of the relationship. In general the men do not change until something drastic happens – like their girlfriend leaves them.

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

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 May 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Abusive Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/06/abusive-relationship/

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