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You Asked: Am I Just Young or Dumb?

Dear Sugar--

I've been seeing a new man now for just over a year and a half, and he is starting to be different. He is 14 years my senior (I'm 20), and we have lived VERY different lives. He is used to dating strippers, and models-not my physique at all. (I’m 5’5” 140lbs -very athletic/muscular build) When we first started getting to know each other, I was dating someone else and we went out as friends. My ex was very mean to me and cut me down every chance he got. One night I had enough (after he publicly humiliated me in front of all our friends) and I broke it off. Soon after I started dating this guy.

He told me everything hook line and sinker that I wanted to hear-telling me that I was beautiful, my body is fine/hot, that I didn't need a guy like my ex in my life and that I could do so much better. Now, this far into our relationship, he’s telling me that he's not all that attracted to me anymore, but that he loves me and wants to work on it. It's gotten to the point that he is giving me ultimatums (lose 20 lbs or it's over between us). He only tells me this after being to a strip club, or running into an ex. On the flip side, if he isn’t telling me that I'm unattractive or fat, he is telling me how much he wants me to be his wife, and have a family with me. I have had only one seriously relationship before him, so I don't know if I'm just young and dumb and wanting so badly to be in “love”, or is this normal behavior? --Confused Caroline

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Confused Caroline--

You're not dumb at all Caroline, but I have to be honest here, I think you're doing yourself a huge disservice by staying in a relationship with this man. First off, why is he hanging out at strip clubs and seeing his ex-girlfriends all the time, especially without you? Has anything changed that is making him all of a sudden treat you this way? I happen to feel his ultimatum is absolutely unacceptable -- nobody should be commenting negatively about your weight, especially someone who loves and cares about you. If this man wants to be your future husband, he needs to let go of his controlling and manipulative behavior.

Since you have only been in one other relationship before, I can see how you wouldn't realize this is a borderline abusive relationship. You deserve to be with someone that worships you for the person you are -- the person he fell in love with a year and a half ago. While I am sure you care deeply for this man, you need to care more about yourself right now.

Have you tried talking to him about how his words are making you feel? Perhaps you can suggest couples counseling? If nothing changes, I wouldn't wait too long before cutting the cord before you waste any more time on a man who clearly doesn't deserve you. Good luck.


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