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Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: Should I Trust My Boyfriend?

Dear E. Jean,

I hope you can answer quickly! I love my boyfriend. We’ve been together since we graduated from Dartmouth. He’s smart, handsome, funny, and works extremely hard (he’s an investment banker and logs about 14-hours a day); but he does not handle stress well. His job is extraordinarily stressful!

We live together in Brooklyn with my dog, Raisin. Raisin is a rescued Pit Bull, and the sweetest, most affectionate dog in New York. She has beautiful manners, is NOT aggressive, always kisses strangers, wears a big, happy grin wherever she goes and is beloved by all (once they meet her). Her disposition is so tender I am training her to become a pet therapy dog — a “Special Visitor” to children in hospitals.

Last week, my boyfriend was extremely tense, had not slept, lost his temper and kicked Raisin so hard in her back right hip she limped for three days. I told him if he ever laid a hand on her again, I would leave.

Well, last night, I ran out to get some Chinese take out and left Raisin (alone) in the apartment. When I came home, my boyfriend had arrived and Raisin was laying in a corner with both her eyes completely BLOOD SHOT and she had difficulty standing.

He swears he didn’t hit her. But I KNOW he did! I know it! She was perfectly fine when I left. Raisin can’t talk — I am going out of my mind. I’ve been looking online and sudden blood shot eyes CAN indicate “being struck by an object.” Also she is crippled in the front now. What should I do? Do I believe my boyfriend? He swears on his love for me that he had just walked into the apartment before I came back with the food. Help! — Raisin’s Best Friend

To see E. Jean's answer

MY DEAR FRIEND: I was so jolted with fear reading your letter, so frightened for Raisin, so worried about you, it will take me all night to calm down.

Although I have no proof, I believe your boyfriend hurt Raisin. A fiend who would kick a dog so hard that she limps for three days is a brute capable of the most violent, stupid, evil, irrational behavior. (And is v.v.v. capable of lying about it.)

I want you to leave the apartment immediately. Tonight! A man who will kick a dog can not be trusted. Take Raisin, go stay with friends. Tomorrow, take her to the vet. The poor creature may have suffered internal injuries.

After you visit the vet, look for a new place to live. Do not speak to the man who hurt Raisin. He is a head case. Do not call him, e-mail him, I-M him, or see him. Then when you find a new place — when he is at work — move every single item you own out of the apartment.

This is not going to be easy. He will try to see you. He will come to where you work. He will swear he loves you. He will cry. He will sob. He will whimper. Do not fall for it. You know what happened. And so does he.

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and

Join The Conversation
amborsita amborsita 9 years
If I were MARRIED and my husband touched my dog, that would end it immediately. Ultimately said, this guy sounds like a nut bag who, if is capable of getting outraged at an innocent animal, is likely to get outraged at you during a heated arguement. Get your baby Raisin help ASAP and get the hell away from this guy!!!
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
I wonder how she & Raisin are doing. I wish we could get updates on disturbing posts like this. This gave me the chills! :(
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
You and Raisin should not tolerate that. Cut off all ties with him and get yourselves out of there and someplace safe. There's no way that anybody should trust or be in love with someone who abuses animals with such cruelty, regardless of the history you have together. He sounds like a dangerous man, who is also a liar and an assaulter.
judynails judynails 9 years
I think it's important to not blame her for what happened or insult her. There's a reason "love is blind" and she should be applauded for reaching out to us, even if it's unfortunately the second time. Hopefully the love of Raisin is a lot stronger than her love for her guy, and I'm thinking it will be, even if it takes her some time to collect herself and find a new place. It's really easy to say that people are stupid for not leaving abusive situations, but it's harder when it's actually happening to you. Denial is a big part of it, I know in my case abusive relationships only happened to stupid, weak girls and since I wasn't one of those it took me a long time to come to terms with the reality of the situation. She might be similar, especially if she has no one to turn to, and if she's asking and advice columnist about this I'm thinking she needs all the support she can get. I hope the situation was resolved and that she and Raisin are doing ok. ::hugs to her & her pup:: Please post an update!!
yaliyah yaliyah 9 years
Emiily Emiily 9 years
I wonder if she left..I hope she did!! Poor Raisin <3
Sabrina-L Sabrina-L 9 years
He is sick, grab the dog and leave! For your safety and the dogs safety.
medorose medorose 9 years
Omg I almost cried when I read this! I couldn't agree with E. Jean more. Get out!
time_after_time time_after_time 9 years
I started sobbing when I read your letter. I had a pit bull for 15 years and we just had to put her down in may due to complications with her back legs. These dogs tend to have problems with their legs and neck due to their heavy head if they live long. You CANNOT let someone kick them! Any man inhumane enough to kick a dog will hit you one day too. Take your pup and go...
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
Your boyfriend is a b-astard who need to be reported to the police. How do you think he will react the day YOU make him impatient? Well I can tell you he is gonna punch your face really hard and then say sorry. Don't be an idiot, get away with the dog and bring the dog to the vet. At that point I really feel Raisin desserves better than you! You say you love that dog but don't even bring her to the vet when her eyes are blood shot? What the f.uck is wrong with you? Give that dog back to the shelter if you can't take care of it! You should be so ashamed, that poor dog already suffered abuse and now again? so sad...
mirawilliams mirawilliams 9 years
Take the dog and get out. This is classic escalation. And for the love of god, if you decide to stay with the guy, do both yourselves a favour and don't have children.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I hope you took your dog to the vet to ascertain whether or not it was abuse which caused this.
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 9 years
Awwww, I'm so sorry to hear about poor Raisin! I hope she is doing better. Please take E. Jean's advice. A person that can strike a poor animal in that way could very well hurt YOU. I wish you all the very best of luck. I hope you and Raisin are safe now.
Lovaajn Lovaajn 9 years
shame on you for staying and keeping that pooe dog in a dangerous environment. somehow, i have a feeling you won't leave, from what you've already said, and you should be terribly ashamed if you don't. take that dog to the damn vet.
ShelleyVonM ShelleyVonM 9 years
You need to be fair to Raisin. You have a choice whether or not you want to stick around and be subjected to your boyfriend's abuse. Raisin does not have a choice. If you are going to stay with this man, I suggest you find another home(or a temporary home) for Raisin. Raisin does not deserve to be on the receiving end of that jerk's abuse. She needs to be removed IMMEDIATELY before there is irreparable mental and physical damage done to her. Do you want to be the reason why the sweestest, most wonderful dog turns into a fearful, broken spirited void of a dog? Do you want to look back one day and realize you could've saved her? You have the power to rescue Raisin. You rescued her before and you must rescue her again. She is relying on you to help her. The faster you realize that the better. You are wasting precious time.
ReverendZelda ReverendZelda 9 years
If you don't leave now it'll be you or your future children next. Call the police and have this man arrested for the first kick to your dog. That's animal cruelty and he should be punished for it. GO. RUN. NOW.
the-makeup-blogette the-makeup-blogette 9 years
REPORT TO THE POLICE ABOUT THIS CRUEL MAN WHO DID THIS TO YOUR DOG!! The situation is life threatening! He is a Bas-t-a-r-d!!!
controlledspin controlledspin 9 years
The worst part of it is the Raisin is rescued, so he probably has had this abuse before. I seriously think that guy needs locked up. NOW. Report him. That is SICK.
controlledspin controlledspin 9 years
Having a stressful job should be a reason to be INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL for the love and affection of a wonderful dog when you come home, not to KICK that beautiful creature. LEAVE HIS ASS NOW. You are next.
Eternity Eternity 9 years
I completely agree with Jean. My ex kicked my cat, and he was capable of very horrible things. It can be so scary and hard to just leave someone, but I promise you, a year from now you will feel so empowered and thankful that you trusted your heart and did something so strong with such initiative!
toxicbeautyyyy toxicbeautyyyy 9 years
I think he needs anger management. No one should kick a poor dog like that.. HOW FREAKING INSANE. SOMEONE NEEDS TO KICK THIS GUy ANd SEE HOW HE LIKES IT!!
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 9 years
OH MY GOD. animal abuse is only for the lowest of the low- and anyone who would do that is also capable of hitting you. poor raisin-he seems like SUCH a sweetie and the fact that he didn't try to bite your FORMER boyfriend says what a sweet dog he is. follow ejean's advice to the letter!
Sofiababy Sofiababy 9 years
lemassabielle, PJ-- Im with both of you. this has been haunting me. I also had to immediately call my boyfriend and tell him. i swear i got goosebumps. his shock on the other end of the line made me grateful. He didnt even let me finish the "if you ever..." sentence. the first thing he said was "those are serial killer tendencies" and "every guy deals with stress but instead of hitting dogs we burn some steam by running with them and playing with them" [he takes my dog running with him all the time]. you have amazing support from all the sugars & beyond.. everyone agrees you need to make moves NOW.
Sunshine-in-Seattle Sunshine-in-Seattle 9 years
After reading this I sent it to my boyfriend and he was as horrified as the rest of us. His exact words were "Leave now, that's a Lifetime movie waiting to happen". I agree, and hope to get an update on the situation.
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