Abusive Boyfriend

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Sadly I know the answer to my question but I guess I’m looking for confirmation. I have been with my boyfriend for over four years now. The first three months were bliss but since then I’ve been going through hell. He hits me occasionally once every two months or so but what hurts me the most is he calls me stupid, bitch,idiot,fat etc…EVERYDAY. He says I’m too sensitive and I provoke him to treat me this way.and Seems like everything I say and do makes him angry and he always refuses to address the issue saying I’m changing the subject.

I have two children and he says these things in front of them. When i say i need things to change he either says sorry and promises change or the opposite says he doesn’t care and doesn’t need me. We’ve broken up before but i always want him back ..seems when he’s gone i only remember the good. I’m smart enough to be able to look from the outside in and see this as a serious problem. I realize i’m hurting myself and my children but it is so hard for me to just walk away.Is there any hope for change? Should I just give up?

A: Give up. You are in a classic cycle of abuse. He humiliates you. Then he makes promises and things are good for awhile. Then the abuse starts all over again. It leaves you feeling disoriented and questioning your own perception of reality.

If you can’t do it for yourself, leave for the sake of your children. They are watching you. They are learning that this is what they can expect from a love relationship when they are ready to look for partners. They deserve better. You deserve better.

Please don’t be hard on yourself for not leaving before now. It takes most people an average of 7 – 8 attempts to actually leave a situation like this one. Love is a powerful binder even when it is toxic. It takes a lot of emotional resolve to leave. Fortunately, Georgia has a program that can give you some help. Please call the 24-Hour Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.33.HAVEN or go to this link.

After you read this message, delete it from your computer’s history. Sometimes abusers get violent when they discover that a partner is really trying to get help. Use a computer at a public library or at a friend’s house. If you use your own cell phone to call the hotline, be sure to delete your history.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 May 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Abusive Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/29/abusive-boyfriend/

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