“Very Confused” writes…
I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years. He has some control issues and is very jealous. Sometimes the fighting is just verbal and sometimes it does become violent. Everything I do is wrong, according to him. I don’t dress the way he wants me to and we argue over our kids. I have one of my own and he has 2 by 2 different women. He says my daughter is mean and hateful, but I still love him. I’ve left him a few times but I always came back thinking if I stay and work harder, maybe we can make it. Now he says he won’t put anything into this relationship any more and if I can’t do only the things he allows me to do, then he’d rather be without me. He’s really not a bad person and has some likeable qualities. I’m stressed out and depressed and I don’t know what to do. I feel this is affecting my daughter, too. So, where do I go from here?
I see so many red flags in your letter and they all mean this is not a good place for you. This man does not love you, no matter what he says; he just wants someone he can own. So, do you want to be a piece of property or do you want to be treated with respect? Which footsteps do you want your daughter to follow? If she sees a man demean you or hit you, she’ll think it’s okay. It is not okay, not ever. You are her role model and I think you know this is not good for her. It’s also not good for you. I don’t believe in your heart that you love him, I think you’re still there because there is a certain safety in a familiar situation, even when it’s a bad one. And don’t defend him. I’m sure Hitler had some likeable qualities too but he was a bad person. You deserve to be happy and your daughter needs to feel safe. When a man has control issues it can be dangerous to leave so I am not saying pack your bags. But if you left before and came back on your own, maybe it will be safe to leave again – you have to make that judgment carefully. If he really says he’d rather be without you and doesn’t care, and only if you’re sure he won’t want his “property” back, then take the opportunity to leave and create a positive and healthy environment for you and your daughter. And wait for the right man to come along – one that respects you and loves you unconditionally.