Dear Sue Ellen,
My name is Maria and I have a question. I met the most wonderful guy last year. For me it was love at first sight. He was so kind and sweet to me. I had never been treated with such love and respect before. We fell in love and he asked me to marry him. It was so romantic. We are planning to get married in four months and have a big wedding. I thought the wedding plans were supposed to be done by me and my Mom, but he is trying to control everything. If I disagree with him when he says he wants things a certain way he gets very angry. I know he doesn’t mean it, but he hurts my feelings. He told me the wedding was going to be a disaster if my Mom and I do all the planning but I always ask his opinion about things. Sometimes he calls me stupid. Am I doing something wrong? Should I be more open to what he wants?
We need to talk about abusive relationships. People that are angry and abusive in relationships aren’t always mean or violent. Sometimes they are sweet and kind. In fact, they go out of their way to be nice sometimes. They are romantic and too good to be true. Did you get that? They are too good to be true because they are not what they seem to be. Have you ever watched a spider spin its web? A spider is meticulous and creates this beautiful web. Once you get trapped in the web it is very difficult to get free, but if you don’t remove yourself from the web, the spider will destroy you.
In my mind, I see you as a beautiful young lady, full of hopes and dreams. It saddens and concerns me to think your boyfriend is beginning to show signs of being an abuser. Calling you stupid is abuse. Trying to control you is abuse. Victims of abuse are controlled mentally by their abuser. The abuser will verbally assault his victim by saying things like “you’re stupid” and “the wedding will be a disaster”. Abusers blame their victims and then punish them verbally or physically. This is a serious situation you are in.
You love this guy. I get it. But he doesn’t know how to love you back. Please reconsider marrying him at this time. You should postpone the wedding, at the very least, and get help. If he is willing to go to counseling with you, there is hope. If he gets angry and tries to mentally or physically punish you for postponing or cancelling the wedding, you have a big problem. His behaviors won’t get better after you are married. In fact, they will get worse. Then, if you have children they will grow up being abusers or victims just like their mom and dad.
Please email your parenting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.