Dear Barb—Cover Story

Dear Barb:

I have been in a serious relationship for two years.  The problem is, I am beginning to wonder if this is an unhealthy relationship.  Most of the time I feel anxious because it seems my boyfriend doesn’t trust me.  My mom has noticed a difference in me since Jay and I moved in together.  I love Jay and I don’t want my family and friends to dislike him, so I try to build him up and hide some of his behaviours. 

 Jay is a very moody person, if someone says something he does not like, he will have an angry outburst.  I know what not to say to trigger his moods, but other people do not.  My sister has expressed to me that she is hesitant to talk to Jay because he is so volatile.  He has never hit me, but he has punched holes in walls and doors.  I am not sure what I can do, or if I can do anything to help him.  Maybe I should just move on.  Looking for some answers.  Thanks, Emma. 

Hi Emma:

Thanks for your email.  According to my research, most of the characteristics you are describing indicate you are in an “unhealthy relationship.” I believe you already know this, but perhaps you do not want to admit it.  It’s easier to stay in your comfort zone hoping he will get better.  You need to face the fact that you are not happy, and things are not going to change if you continue to cover for him.  Realize that you deserve better.  You are worthy of being in a healthy, loving relationship where you can be yourself, this relationship is not providing that for you.  There are many benefits to ending this relationship.  To begin with, your relationship with your family and friends will improve, and you will feel better about yourself.  No one wants to live their life in fear.

Take the time to think this through, and plan what you will say when you are ready to end this relationship.  Make sure you do it in a safe place.  Obviously, he tends to be violent, as indicated in your email.  Share your plans with family and friends.  Your family physician may be able to direct you to some resources, such as a counselor to help you work through this and move on.  There is a good chance he will come back begging for forgiveness and trying to convince you he has changed.  Stand your ground.  Realize that ending this relationship is best for both of you.  Hope this information is helpful.

Best of luck Emma.