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Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am in a relationship with a man my age. We share many interests and values. The problem, I believe, is his lack of respect for me.

I want to be communicated with in a way that shows love and kindness.

He says he respects me, but his behavior does not demonstrate it. He yells, is critical, and is very impatient with me.

I’m confused. He says he wants to be in this relationship (we’ve lived together for over a year), but acts poorly, and while I am not perfect and do often yell back (and feel terrible about it), I also believe I am protecting myself, albeit not in the best way.

If you know anything about battered wife syndrome, do you think that I have it?

Is it me, or is he an abuser?

 

– Oregon Woman

Dear Oregon: Battered wife syndrome is classified as a serious condition triggered by psychological and/or physical intimate partner violence.

Based on what you say, you are in an unfulfilling and chronically upsetting intimate relationship with someone who treats you badly and who – according to you – compels you to defend/retaliate, followed by periods of you feeling “terrible” about your own behavior.

The way I see it, part of the time you are being treated badly, and part of the time you are treating yourself badly.

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