He abuses me emotionally, mentally
I OFTEN read about abused women in your column and I never thought I would become one of them.
You have often spoken about emotional and mental abuse and I think this is what is happening to me.
My boyfriend has never hit me, but he treats me in a disrespectful way all the time.
I fell out with my family, which was very close to me, when I left home to live with him and I have not spoken to my mother or sister for the past year.
I also lost many of my close friends because they did not like him. Now I have no family and no friends.
I am 25 and he is 28.
Shortly after I moved in with him, he left his job so we live on my salary.
I leave home at 6am and get back at 6pm. He never offers to help me with anything. I cook, clean and do the laundry.
He wants money all the time. He is often out with his friends and I am left alone.
He always promises to find a job or take me out, but he never does. If I complain about it, he attacks me and says I am selfish.
When he loses his temper, he calls me awful names and blames me for the problems in his life.
Some nights he doesn't come home and if I try to phone him he does not answer. He has a way of turning my questions around so that it seems as if I am always in the wrong.
I still love him, but I am desperately unhappy.
I have no one to turn to and I often think I would be better off dead.
I had such a wonderful future once, but now my life is a misery and I feel worthless. What should I do? - Can't take any more, Bertrams
DEAR DUDU SAYS:
I am sorry that you are so unhappy. A step in the right direction is that you realise you are living with an abusive, controlling man who has intentionally put a wedge between you and your family and friends.
You need to carefully plan how you are going to get out of this mess.
The first step you should consider taking now is to mend your relationship with your family.
Go and see them, admit you made a mistake and apologise for the hurt you have caused.
They might be angry with you for a while, but given time for the wound to heal I am sure that this will change.
Be honest with them and ask for forgiveness. It is only human to make mistakes and this is the way we learn valuable lessons.
Then you should contact your closest friends and do the same with them.
Sometimes we fall in love with people who are neither capable nor willing to give us the love we deserve. He is obviously using you for his needs in life without any consideration for yours.
This is not a reflection on the sort of person you are, but rather a reflection on what a selfish, unkind person he is.
Ultimately he is not giving you what you need in the relationship, so you should seriously consider ending it.
Ultimately this is the result of decisions you made and you must take responsibility for it. You need to stop allowing yourself to be a victim and take control of your life. Instead of looking after all his needs, start looking after your own needs.
Take charge now!