He's rude and flirts, but says he loves me and I want to believe it
I AM 23 years old and my boyfriend is 24. We have been seeing each other for six months, on and off. I knew when I met him that he had a reputation for being a player.
He said things were different with me and that he loved me more than he had ever loved any woman.
Our relationship was difficult, though. He would often arrange to meet me and not turn up. When we were with his friends he would act as if I weren't even in the room.
I often caught him flirting with other women. This caused us to fight and I would always be the one to apologise. He twisted things so that it always seemed I was at fault.
He accused me of being possessive and jealous. I am really not like that, but to keep the peace I would admit to whatever he was accusing me of.
A few weeks ago we were with some of his friends, who I really do not like, and he started shouting at me. He made me look like a fool. I was so embarrassed that I phoned a friend to come and pick me up. After that I did not hear from him for quite a while, but he has started phoning me again.
He says he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. As much as I know that he is not the right man for me, he knows how to charm me.
I still have feelings for him and I think perhaps I should give him another chance and perhaps it will work.
Could he have changed and realised his mistake? - Don't want to be gullible, Braamfontein
DEAR DUDU SAYS:
No, I don't think he has realised his mistake and, no, I don't think he has changed.
He is patently a manipulative, abusive man with no manners or sensitivity.
You said your relationship was difficult from the start and I think it just got worse as time passed.
Why should he change? If you do decide to give the relationship another chance the two of you have to discuss the problems you experienced in the past.
You need to set boundaries and explain what you both are looking for in life.
Couples who constantly fight are normally in a power struggle and it never achieves anything.
For him to verbally abuse you in public is unacceptable. It is disrespectful not only to you, but to your friends.
You are individuals and need to take responsibility for your own actions.
Differences doesn't need to lead to abusive behaviour.
If you decide to go back to him without dealing with your problems you will continue to live a life of hurt and unhappiness.
Ultimately you have to make the decision, but remember - only you can make yourself a victim.