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21 Jul 2006

Is it abuse
Hi Cyberdoc,

Am just wondering if you or some of the readers can give me your oppinions on the following:

My bf tends to get abusive (emotionally and only once physically)when he drinks, although it hasn't happened in a while. Last night we were having a few drinks with a couple of friends (him quite a bit more than me). Next thing I get this text from him (even though I am sitting right next to him!) saying that I seemed too interested in asking qu's about a mutual acquaintance's new gf. I had asked a couple of qu's much earlier in the conversation, and the reason I was interested was because he is with an older wonam who has a child. I would have asked these qu's about anyone in the same situation. The text followed on to say that he was very very angry.

BF tends to get quite jealous when he drinks (irrationally), and I knew this is why he was texting - and he really was being silly. So I tried to take touch his hand and give him a smile and move a bit closer to let him know that although I wasn't txting back, he had nothing to worry about. He pulled his hand away and moved away from me in front of our friends. (I just left things as they were and tried to cnt conversation with our friends and bf as before).

When we got home to his house (I am staying with him for 2 weeks due to apartment rennovations), I went for a shower. He comes in while I am showering and gets cross because I was washing my hair (which he thought would take a while, but it didn't) and because I should have let him go first. I ignored this as I didn't want to cause a fight with him while he was drunk.

I sit down to eat the pizza we ordered with him and he starts shouting at me about not replying to his text. I explained that I didn't send one back but tried to grab his hand. He said that he didn't want some limp wrist attempt and wanted an answer. I told him he was being silly as I would have asked the same qu's about anyone. Also told him I didn't want to fight. He started shouting at me again, so I left my pizza (couldn't even eat) and went to bed.

He follows me in there 20 mins later, wakes me up, and asks me to move to the spare bedroom as he has had enough of me and doesn't want to sleep next to me. I moved to the spare bedroom. He then comes in to tell me that he has been invited out and is going out and leaves the house. (I don't know where he went or what time he got back out)

This morning he didn't wake me and didn't say good bye - just looked at me as he was leaving and I was in the kitchen. I got a text about an hour ago from him saying he is sorry, he over reacted and was rude - and that he thought I was acting strangely last night and didn't receive any answer as to why I was and he got mad.

I know his actions are unpleasant - I have sort of got used to his behaviour when he is drunk, but my question is ... is the example of behaviour I have given above ABUSIVE? I am worried that I no longer know when to draw the line and when to just get out? I went to POWA site once and ticked off a number of signs of abuse, but still I wonder if I am over reacting? If it is abuse, why do I battle to leave him? Why do I battle to accept that he does this to me?

Your honest help will be appreciated ...
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

You don't need some sort of technical definition. What you describe is perhaps emotionally abusive, and suggests a guy who can't hold his liquor and is drinking more than he can deal with, and becoming unpleasant within the relationship. How would he react ( approached camly when sober ) to the idea of joining you in some relationship counselling, so you could understand each other, and yourselves, better ? If he's not prepared to recognize that this is a recurrent problem neding help, then consider seriously, ending the relationship as he sounds unlikely to change for the better on his own.
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