My boyfriend and I both work in a hair salon, both in our mid-20s. We’ve been together for four years.
I took further courses for six months in New York, and returned back to the same salon and to our relationship last summer.
On my return, I noticed something I’d previously overlooked - that he was slow at his work, he rarely spoke to his clients, and he often looked sullen.
While away, I’d learned that it was very important to chat with clients and listen to what they want, if you want to build a loyal clientele and good income.
When I gently told him what I’d learned, hoping to help him, he yelled at me and became very agitated. From then on, he was yelling at me frequently over small things.
At one point I said we should break up, and he accused me of cheating while I was away on my course (completely untrue).
We carried on like this, with him yelling and me crying a lot for weeks, but when I asked why we should stay together if he’s so upset with me, he hit me.
I was too stunned and ashamed to tell anyone. It happened a couple more times, and I finally went home to my parents a month ago.
He’s been phoning me and begging me to come back. He says he got upset because I was so much more confident after my New York course, he was sure I’d cheated with someone.
He’s promised that he now believes that didn’t happen, that I just wanted to help him get ahead at work.
I know one should never accept abuse, but does his reason make sense? Am I partly to blame for what happened?
You are not “to blame” for being hit. His so-called reason is the same one every abuser uses, which is that you deserved to be hit. Why? Because you were “confident?”
It makes no sense, and never does. What he’s shown you is his own weakness. He can’t handle your suggestions, hasn’t grown in his job, sees that you have, and has to bring you down by yelling and lashing out physically.
You give lip service to “never accepting abuse.” But you’re ready to accept his poor excuse, which belittles you further through blame.
This is a classic example of how a cycle of abuse becomes part of a couple’s relationship.
End all contact with him, or he’ll drag you down again.
My boyfriend recently lost his closest uncle to cancer. We’ve learned that his cousin (the uncle’s youngest son, aged 22) who is on welfare plans to scam the welfare system and government by not claiming his inheritance, through some bizarre scheme he’s planned.
Morally, I believe this is wrong and should be reported. However, he’s just lost his father, so is it best we mind our own business?
There’s another moral ground to choose by honouring the uncle through trying to help his son mature through his loss.
Your boyfriend could show empathy for the young man by spending some time with him, and hearing his rationale for being on welfare.
He could encourage him to develop whatever are his talents, skills, and interests. Hopefully, he’d then recognize the advantages of using his inheritance to achieve a life that’s more rewarding for the long-term, than welfare dependency.
If he still pulls the scam, reporting welfare fraud is then an option.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young woman who’s unsure about her boyfriend’s proposal (Dec.4):
Reader – “A man with no hobbies, friends, or social life without her?
“This is a red flag. The situation could, or has already, caused her to feel suffocated.
“I think these two don't have enough chemistry and compatibility - both necessary for a relationship to grow.
“Ultimately, she won't be happy with this man. It's settling for a wrong match like this that causes many divorces.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the busy mother whose close friend was dying across the country and she was "conflicted " about not being able to go to her (January 3):
Reader – “Remember all the office papers that fell to the ground during 9/11? Those papers had seemed so important the day before!
“Find someone to pick up your children after school, make a day trip across the country to touch, kiss, and talk to your dying friend.”
Tip of the day:
Once physical abuse is tolerated, a cycle of abuse becomes part of the relationship.