I don’t know what to do. I have lived together with my boyfriend for two years and he’s always been nice to me except he has an anger problem, but he knows about it and is working on changing. But then two weeks ago we got into a fight, it got out of hand, and I ended up telling him I didn’t love him anymore, even though it’s not true. Then he started yelling at me, he was so angry he was foaming around the mouth, I just wanted to leave. Then he slapped my mouth. It’s never happened before. But I got so upset that I just left and I have stayed with my friend since. But now he has called and apologized. He promised it’s not going to happen again. He says he just got really angry because I said I didn’t love him. But I also don’t know because it’s never going to be the same after he’s hit me but I do love him a lot, I just don’t know if I trust him anymore, I also feel really upset he would do it to me, so I really don’t know what to do, my friend says not to go back to him.
“Alice” (not her real name)Dear “Alice”,
Your friend is right. You should not go back. He hit you. It only happened once, but once is one time too many. Physical abuse is never OK. It doesn’t matter what you said to him. He has no right to hit you.
Furthermore, in spite of what he is saying, it is very likely to happen again, and next time it may not be as “innocent” as a slap on the face. He may hit you so hard that you will be permanently scarred or disabled. He may even hit you so hard that you die. Don’t put yourself through that. No relationship is worth it. In fact, your boyfriend should be grateful you didn’t press charges against him.
You mention that your boyfriend has an anger problem. That sounds like verbal abuse. Like physical abuse, verbal abuse is never OK. Extreme anger attacks, yelling, name calling and belittling are things that should never take place in a relationship or anywhere else.
Your boyfriend sounds like a dangerous man. Leave before it is too late, and don’t let him talk you into getting back together. You may not believe it now, but there are plenty of nice guys out there who don’t hit their girlfriends, who don’t yell at them, and who don’t have an anger problem. You deserve a boyfriend who will treat you in a loving way. Love that comes with anger and abuse is not love worth having.
Best of Luck,
Dr. Brit and Catherine
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