Boyfriend has become controlling and he hit me
MY BOYFRIEND and I have known each other for two years. I am 24 and he is 27.
For the most part he is a wonderful person and everybody loves him. He is very popular with friends. Our families have known and respected each other for many years.
We have even spoken about marriage and children. I know he loves me and I feel the same way about him.
At the beginning of this year I noticed a change in him. He wanted to know my every move, who I was with and what I was doing. It started becoming irritating. To keep the peace, I went along with all his demands, but found myself with fewer and fewer friends.
He even got it into his head that I was having an affair. He should know me better than that by now because I am not the sort of person to cheat.
We went to a party recently and I caught him kissing another woman.
I asked a friend to take me home and when I was leaving, he grabbed my arm and hit me in the face. I was so hurt and humiliated. The next day, he phoned and apologised and said he was drunk. I know he had not had one drink.
I am now having serious doubts about our relationship. I cannot see myself living with a man I do not trust and who I am scared of.
The problem is that so many people are hoping that we will get married. For our parents it will be a dream come true. They always pressure us for a date. I honestly don't know if I can disappoint them all. I haven't seen him since this happened, but he continually phones me, apologises and says how much he loves me.
What should I do? Sad and Scared, Johannesburg
You are wise to consider this relationship very carefully before getting married. I am sorry but your boyfriend's behaviour is typical of an abusive person. He is a cheat and a liar.
Being in a controlling relationship is stressful enough and once it escalates to physical abuse, it will get worse. He is charming at first but slowly becomes domineering and before you know it you are not in contact with anyone else in your life who loves you.
He will knock your confidence right out of you, verbally and physically. Eventually you will believe you are ugly and worthless and that this is the sort of relationship you deserve. Someone who supposedly loves you should not hurt you.
You don't need to give reasons to anyone if you decide to end the relationship. All you need say is that it was not working out. You can't sacrifice your life to make others happy. They might be disappointed but they will get over it.
If he treats you this way now, how will he treat you after marriage?