By Laura Smith
Dr. Toughlove addresses a woman who is in an abusive relationship.
Dear Dr. Toughlove
I kind of have the same question as the 21-year-old lady who is engaged from your last column. I am 22, and I am in a serious two-year relationship. But the guy is always abusing my money and sometimes shouts at me for four hours. He knows that I love his family, now it’s like he uses that fact against me. I’m trying to break away from him. But, it’s hard. I don't have a family myself and I know that I don't want this relationship, but I fear being alone. He is my friend, my family. If I were to break up with him, it would be hard for me to make friends. They usually end up pushing me around. How do I move forward?
Fear of Being Lonely
Before I address your situation, I need to preface myself with a disclaimer. Some of the things you’re describing need to be handled by trained professionals. Though I am a bit of an arrogant prick, I’m not arrogant or heartless enough to pretend I am a certified therapist or psychologist. And believe me, even a son of a bitch like myself would have a hard time sleeping if I helped create the next Ike and Tina. Don’t treat my advice like doctrine; it’s helpful satire, not a prescription.
With that said, you have read my column and know how I roll. Do not expect sensitivity.
Dump this piece of shit immediately. Decent men do not steal from their significant others. They also do not scream at them for hours on end. Whoever convinced you that this sort of behavior does not warrant an immediate dismissal helped you as much as a case of Chlamydia.
From what you’ve described, this man views you as figurative punching bag rather than someone he loves. Unless you want to bear the brunt of his frustration—which could stem from anything from a terrible job to a two-centimeter penis—you need to bail: now. I don’t care if he feels like family. He is not acting like it. Leave.
Liking his family may make this decision difficult. However, you’re dating the man, not his family. You should still leave and perhaps, if you like, explain your reasons to them. Tell them their son is an asshole. Tell them he’s a blowhard. Scream “Yippee-ki-yay, motherf****r” and throw his reputation off the Nakatomi Plaza. Do whatever you need to do. But, whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not let them convince you to take this fellow back. That is essentially asking this boy to go Incredible Hulk on you. Unless you want some green fist prints, you need to cut and run.
As for making friends, you should try to find friends in different circles. If all of the typical friends you find take advantage of you, you’re looking in the wrong places. You should frequent places that have the types of people you want as friends. Visit different bars, attend different events and stop settling for any jackass who approaches you.
Also, you need to advocate for yourself, and learn to tell people, “No,” “Shut up,” and “You’re an idiot. Die.” These words are helpful. I use them frequently. They work. And sometimes, they feel pretty damn good to say.
In short, dump this dude, have some self-confidence and find the friends you want. Also, keep your bank information a secret.
These are my words: abide.
If you have any questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org