Dear Sue Ellen,
I saw this thing on TV about domestic violence and it said one of the danger signs of an abusive relationship is isolation. It said abusive partners would try to keep you away from your friends and family. It made me uneasy to hear that because my boyfriend wants me to move away from all my family and friends to a town where I don’t know anybody. I love him, but I don’t think he should expect me to do that. I try to talk to him about it, but he keeps on pressuring me to go. I think I want to build a life with him but I really don’t want to move. Should I stay or should I go?
This is going to be really easy for me to say: Don’t go!
The thing you saw on TV is right. Abusive partners DO try to isolate their victims. Does that mean your boyfriend is abusive? Since you brought up the subject, let’s talk about abusive relationships. An abusive relationship is when one person controls another person using criticism, emotional manipulation, threats, blaming, physical violence, anger, force, charm, lies, fear, monetary control and/or isolation as you already brought up. An abuser will seem so charming and trustworthy at first. He (or she…yes there are lots of women that are abusive) will seem too good to be true. They are so appreciative but then, over time, subtle controls start. Eventually a victim feels powerless to escape because they are mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically trapped.
You say you love this guy and you want to build a life with him. Why wouldn’t you want to go with the person you are planning your future with? There must be more to this story. If some little voice inside you is telling you he really isn’t the one, please do yourself, and him, a favor and break it off. How he handles your breakup will show you what kind of man he is. Are you a little bit afraid to make him angry? Deep down do you think he will try to harm you if you end it? You don’t have to be honest with me, but your life depends on you being honest with yourself.
Let’s talk about love. Love is good. If love is the core of your relationship with your boyfriend, you will be able to work this issue out together. Love is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful. Love does not insist on its own way. Love is not irritable or resentful.
Here is one more question for you to ask yourself. Do you want this boyfriend of yours to become the father of your children? If you go with this guy and he is abusive then your children will grow up in an abusive home. Is that what you want for your future? You have lots to think about.
Please email your parenting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.