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My boyfriend thinks I might hurt him.

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My boyfriend frequently asks if I poison his food. There are other things. Without telling me, he will disappear for 4 or 5 days. He is a tile installer, and says he had an out of town bid. He does not handle money well.
He said he wanted me to handle the money for his business but he has never given me any. Sometimes at night, he whispers “you’re not going to do anything to me, are you?” He seems to be very self-centered, and he has drinking bouts where he drinks vodka and has no recollection of what he has done. He was physically beaten by his mother as a boy and frequently talks about that. He cares for me but seems to feel uncomfortable with me in person, but will call me 15 times a day to chat on the phone. I care about him but the fact that he disappears without telling me is really too much, and his mismanagement of money is also really bad.

My boyfriend thinks I might hurt him.

Answered by on -


Your boyfriend sounds like a very troubled man. His trust in other people (perhaps especially women) has been terribly shaken. He must care for you a great deal to keep struggling to be with you in spite of his fears. He seems to be carefully calibrating the relationship to what he can tolerate. When it gets too hard for him, he distances with business trips but keeps you close through phone calls. His questions about whether you will hurt him may be a reflection of this struggle or may be a symptom of a much more serious paranoia. I can’t, of course, make that judgment on the basis of a letter. The drinking bouts are also a serious concern. Unless he is willing to get some professional help, I very much doubt that the situation will change. The very difficult question you need to ask yourself is whether there is enough positive about this relationship to accept it for what it is.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My boyfriend thinks I might hurt him.

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My boyfriend thinks I might hurt him.. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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