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I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years, and we just moved in together last month.
Our relationship is really great overall. We have a lot of fun together, are on the same page with where our relationship is headed, confide in one another, and hold each other accountable.
He has two kids from a previous relationship, and I have an excellent relationship with them as well. We talk about marriage and starting a family frequently, and we both know we are going to be together for the long haul.
Unfortunately, he also has a problem with anger. Before we lived together, he would have these huge anger outbursts about every 6-8 months. He would get really angry at me for whatever reason, and begin to name call, scream, curse, and say really hateful and hurtful things to me.
I would cry and apologize for what I had done wrong, but it never helped. He would shut down and not talk to me for a few hours or a day, and then he would be perfectly fine and act like nothing happened.
Since we've moved, however, these outbursts have been much more frequent. He's been getting so angry with me over very little things (ie: not dusting the right way, accidentally breaking a lightbulb, when the bedframe got broken in the move, etc).
I have tried to be really patient with him, and I try really hard to remain calm and even when he is angry.
When he got upset with me for accidentally dropping a light bulb last night, I snapped and yelled back at him. I told him that I was tired of walking on egg shells around him and that it feels like sometimes, he just wants to be mad so he picks any little thing to blow up over.
He said he wanted to sleep by himself so I slept in our spare room. I am really upset about this still and I do not know what to do. Please help me.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. You have good reason to be concerned. While I know you love your boyfriend, you need to think very carefully before moving forward with this relationship.
This is a pattern of abuse. Unless he voluntarily, on his own, seeks out and follows through with indepth, long-term therapy, these anger patterns will continue, and get worse. I am sure he's a good person, but that does not change the fact that you are not safe in a relationship with someone who behaves as he does when he's angry.
You're getting clear warnings about this relationship. I encourage you to heed them, and take them very seriously.
This is not something you can fix, with all of the patience, kindness, apologies or confrontations in the world. It is up to him to change the pattern, and as I mentioned, this will only occur if he takes the intiative to get help and follows through on a long term basis.
Make your own personal/emotional safety your top priority. You're the only person who can truly take care of you, and you are worthy of care, respect and kindness.
My very best to you,
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