Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™
DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Am I Heading Towards an Abusive Relationship?
I am a 19 year old female in the U.S.. I have been in a relationship for almost four years now. My fiance's father was abusive, and I am worried that he might end up the same way. We used to work together at a fast food joint a few years ago, and after an argument he kicked me quite hard. It left a wound about the size of a quarter that bled for a while. He instantly apologized for it, but it still has me worried.
The other time was when I was just joking around and not giving him a sock or something equally menial. He got incredibly angry and slapped me hard enough to leave a mark for some time. He instantly apologized for that too.
Any time that I try to voice any concerns to him, he counters it with something about how hard he works and how he is so stressed. If I try to talk to him about his problems he just patronizes any of my advice. I know I need to make a choice wether to keep loving him or not, but i'm worried my bias might lead me into an abusive relationship. I don't know the signs, and I don't know if I'm just being paranoid. That's why I'm coming for help.
Am sorry for the dilemma you're facing, Jessi, but I think by writing you've answered your own question. Your fiance is violent and had a violent upbringing. You're 19 and have been with him since age 15. Perhaps you don't know what it's like to be treated with respect and kindness and he seems unable or unwilling to see what his drastically inappropriate behavior.
There is never an excuse for violence and it doesn't stop by itself by the victim thinking they can make the person change. That violent individual has to want to change and I see no evidence of your fiance doing that. But I'm concerned with your questioning if it's "ok" to put up with this. I would suggest you speak to someone - a counselor or therapist - someone with whom you can sit down with face to face, to discuss why you would even question if it's ok for someone to slap you and disrespect you in all the ways he currently is.
I don't know if you are close to your family and if they are aware of what he's doing to you. I can't imagine they'd be happy to see what their loved one is going through if they knew.
You sound like a very bright young woman who could have a great life, career, going wherever you want in life. I'd hate to see you stuck in an abusive marriage - possibly with a man who may harm your children if you have any (don't forget, your man learned this from his father and the pattern doesn't look as though it's stopping). Please think long and hard about your situation and how at 19 you've already put up with this for the past 4 years. You absolutely deserve so much better - but you must believe it. See if you can get some counseling to better things for yourself. Good luck.