I suffered terrible premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that particular day, with my emotions boiling inside me.
My boyfriend and I were play fighting. I’m a small, slim girl going against a built man, who’d leave bruises on me accidentally. It wasn’t intentional or hurtful when we wrestled.
Our play escalated. I did something he didn’t like - I put shaving cream on his beard, so he pinned me to the floor and began to smudge me back.
My wrists hurt while I was held down, and I kept saying, “Stop.” Then I went into fight-or-flight mode and pushed him off me.
He slapped me.
It didn't hurt, but I’ve told him repeatedly that it’s not right to play-slap me. I was furious.
He didn’t understand where he went wrong. Angrily, he offered me a free shot at him, and I took it. I was then kicked out of his house.
He’s not a violent man; I would usually get out of control when play-fighting, so I must’ve asked for it myself.
I love this man to pieces and wanted to apologize to stooping down to his level, and acting immaturely.
I don’t know what to do or how to feel.
Baffled in Brooklyn
You’ve said it yourself: the whole incident was “immature,” but on both your parts. Then it became far worse.
Your mistake is to “play-fight” with a guy who can bruise you without even meaning to, through sheer size and weight. (That’s his immature mistake too).
But you compounded it by agreeing to fight when you felt “off” from PMS, and also by antagonizing him.
He crossed the line when he didn’t respond to your “Stop,” and also slapped you.
It was a draw. And should be the last “play-fight” or “wrestle” between you.
If the whole relationship’s based on immaturity and “not understanding” when each of you is wrong, it’s time to talk seriously with him.
Apologizing is only a start to the conversation that’s needed – about what you feel for each other, and how to have fun and playful intimacy that’s about laughter and warmth, not a test of strength.
If he doesn’t get what you’re talking about, walk away. Or you’ll risk getting hurt more next time. The “built” guy likes to win.
My parents are loving, caring people who recently helped me move back to my hometown.
I had a difficult separation two years ago (no kids involved). I was afterwards diagnosed with anxiety. I sought help and made a lot of progress.
Though my parents have never been understanding of mental illness, I opened up to them about my issues.
Living closer now, I’ve tried to establish boundaries about things that may trigger my anxiety.
They just dismissed it, saying there’s no need for me to be anxious.
My mom’s now making an effort. But my dad’s still in denial that his refusal to acknowledge boundaries is detrimental to another person’s health or comfort.
They’ve recently suffered a loss which my mom took hard. But his answer to her grief is to just move on.
How do I explain that acting like this will make my mother and I feel lonelier and less inclined to speak to him?
Tell him that he’s hurting the people he loves by ignoring their pain.
Then tell him less.
He may feel lonely at being excluded from conversations between you and your mom.
Or, he may’ve lacked emotional intelligence too long.
Forgive him, and you and Mom comfort each other.
I recently started a new relationship that’s currently long-distance. It’s my first serious relationship in eight years.
He's great – so supportive, with constant communication, and is clear about wanting a future together.
However, I can't stop feeling insecure, and terrified that I'm going to be heartbroken.
I'm afraid I'm going to scare him away. How do I stop being this jealous, insecure person and just trust someone to not hurt me?
Get a grip, or you WILL push him away. Neediness and insecurity will keep creating jealous scenarios in your mind, and nothing he says will reassure you. The accusations and distrust will become unbearable.
See a counsellor to shake out whatever old stories continue to haunt your self-confidence.
Whatever happened before has taught you to select better – unless you’ve repeated an old pattern, in which case therapy is essential.
Getting past your insecurity is up to you, not him.
Tip of the day:
“Play-fighting” risks a relationship when it’s really about power more than fun.