We’d been dating for nine months when he started to get creepy, and lots of things happened, so I broke up with him.
Everyday I see him crying in a corner at school and he tries to push me into getting back together with him, but I don’t want to.
He’s starting to spread rumours about me, like how I apparently told him to kill himself (I’d never tell anyone that).
All his friends hate me. I do still have feelings for him but I’m scared he might get abusive because of his actions since our breakup.
Scared and Confused
He already IS abusive.
Your “feelings” are of discomfort about how he’s taking things so badly. They’re not about attraction and wanting to be with him, when you’ve already found him to be “creepy.”
Don’t feel guilty about the breakup. By spreading nasty rumours, he’s shown his real character to be weak, and vengeful.
Getting back together would be a big mistake since you’re bound to end it again, and his reaction could be even nastier.
Hold your head high at school, be polite to him and his friends, but avoid much contact. His tears are manipulative, which is typical of even young people who use any means to get what they want. Remember his verbal abuse and whatever else turned you off.
I read your advice all the time, but I rarely share your insight with my girlfriend of ten years because she’s easily angered and hates my mother.
She regularly states that she hates her, and whenever we mention her, it becomes a fight between us.
She's become very abusive physically, mentally, and emotionally. She also hates my family and doesn't want to be around them, and hates it when I randomly stop at my house to visit.
She constantly tells me we’re not going to live with them, we’re going to live alone or else.
I love her dearly, but how do I deal with this? I'm starting to dislike her.
If you and this woman had a decent relationship (and you do NOT), I’d say plan on being a couple living together on your own, and visit your family together.
But her “hatred” is over the top. The fact that she’s also physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive makes it clear that you need to recognize that you’re in a very unhealthy relationship.
Your parents and other family members likely see this, causing your girlfriend to sense their disapproval.
SHE is the negative factor in all this. The love you feel may be emotional dependence after so many years together, or some kind of co-dependence you two share that’s based on her controlling you and you trying to please her.
It won’t work. The fights will get worse. Worse, she’ll isolate you from the people who care most about what’s happening to you.
If you can get to a therapist, do so. If it’s impossible while being in the relationship, end it. You need counselling help to understand why you accept abuse, and to regain your self-confidence.
It IS possible to love someone and also be close to parents and family, but not with this woman as your partner.
It’s also possible to NOT live with your parents once you’re in a healthy union, in order to establish yourselves as a mature couple capable of being responsible for yourselves.
But this too can’t happen with your current girlfriend who’s so domineering, and full of hatred.
FEEDBACK Regarding when older people smell though they “supposedly shower” (Nov. 11):
Reader #1 – “Lack of cleanliness is a symptom of early cognitive decline, but one shouldn’t deprive the doctor of the ability to see and smell it themselves. In order to diagnose, the doctor needs evidence, not someone's second-hand report.”
Reader #2 – “As my grandfather got older, he’d still have his weekly bath (debatable if sufficient, but that was his routine). But he would put on the same dirty clothes that still smelled.
“If Mom was around, she’d get him to change his clothes too, but I guess his sense of smell was diminished plus with some early dementia he didn’t realise that he smelled.”
Ellie – “The kindness of family and/or friends is important to assure that odour doesn’t isolate people. Also, there are homemaking agencies that provide personal care, such as help with a shower and assuring fresh-washed clothes are available.”
Tip of the day:
An abusive relationship is never acceptable.