Life Advice



Ask Amy: Reader provides ‘update’ on abusive relationship

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

This is not love. This is control.

Regular readers know that I rarely say this, but – get out.

I’ll come and get you, myself.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7. Their impressive website ( offers a wonderful “chat” function, available all-hours. You could “gut check” my reaction by calling or chatting online with a counselor: (800) 656-HOPE (4673).

Dear Amy: I’m happy to provide this “update.”

I was really surprised to read your response and I was even more taken aback when I realized that everything you said was true.


I stayed with my now ex-boyfriend until we were a little over three years into our relationship. Sadly, nothing changed. Our relationship actually got worse.

The last straw for me was when he flat-out started verbally abusing me, calling me names and yelling at me – in front of my daughter.

I broke it off right then and there.

It took five months for him to move out, begging me to give him another chance. He never changed his behavior during that time, and was still withholding affection whenever he felt like I needed to be punished.


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