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Ask a Woman Unwilling to Settle: My Boyfriend Calls Me Names

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. If you have a question you'd like answered on Conventional Wisdom, you can submit it here.

This week, a woman unwilling to settle shares her wisdom with a distraught woman who's sick of her boyfriend calling her cruel names. October is domestic violence awareness month. Remember, just because he's not punching you in the face doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Verbal abuse is still abuse.

This week's question:

"Every time my boyfriend gets angry, I get called names. 'Bitch' is the most often one thrown at me. I have told him so many times that it hurts me but he says it's only words. Sometimes he doesn't even apologize. Yesterday, he told me a story about his friend. I told him that I had a headache. He started shouting and telling me that I just wasn't interested, that I was rude. I wanted him to shut up. He called me a bitch again! He always tells me that he would never call me anything if I didn't make him by behaving like an idiot. Once he called me pathetic. I told him I didn't like that and he said at least he didn't call me a bitch. I'm sick and tired of explaining how wrong he is. He thinks he knows better. Please help!"


In Pain

To hear what a woman unwilling to settle thinks about this situation,

Dear In Pain:


The simple truth is that your boyfriend does not respect you and he certainly doesn’t value you, your feelings, or your relationship. He is literally shouting this at you. And it’s time for you to hear him, loud and clear.


I realize it’s easy to become confused in matters of the heart. But at the core of any meaningful, loving, long-lasting relationship is always going to be respect. (Trust Aretha to say it like it is!) Without that, you’ve got nothing. And that is exactly what you’ve got right now—nothing.

Your boyfriend doesn’t have the maturity, self-awareness, or emotional development to be the man you want or to offer you the relationship you deserve. (Or at least I presume you expect something more, since you’ve taken the time to write in!)

You are only fooling yourself if you think this guy is going to change. And while you continue to endure his demeaning comments and cruel behavior, you could be out there enjoying the world, meeting new people, and building a life and relationships to be proud of. What are you waiting for?

Take that next step! Show yourself a little respect and leave him and his drama behind you. And while you’re at it, ask yourself one very simple question: why are you in this situation to begin with? If you take the time to sort out your head now, you’ll spare yourself the heartache and disappointment of repeating the same pattern in the future. And at that point you'll be free to meet someone worthy of your time and your heart. Stop being so afraid to take responsibility for your own happiness and make the change now!


lawdawg08 lawdawg08 8 years
Get out before it gets worse. Anonymous Tue 7:05am- you are correct. Its best to remain calm, don't do anything that would put your health or safety in jeopardy. Good luck.
vmruby vmruby 8 years
I say call him a few choice names as you are throwing his abusive sorry a$$ out the door......
mkls6044 mkls6044 8 years
Great advice, except for one thing. His behavior will change- it will just be for the worse. He has made how he sees you very clear. Smacks is 100% right- Now Him: "I called you a b*tch because you are acting like a b*tch" Very Near Future Him: "I slapped you because you needed to be slapped". Please heed the advice you asked for and leave immediately! I'm not sure it will be easy, but please use your friends and family to help you get through this time. Best of luck with a difficult but necessary decision and action!
suziryder suziryder 8 years
You deserve better. You deserve to be loved, to be cuddled, to have your forehead kissed and your neck nuzzled and to be told you're beautiful. You deserve to have your hand held tenderly, to have your waist squeezed when you're standing together, to be called sweet names like "honey bee" and "sunshine." You deserve better. Tell yourself that, and believe it, and then walk away.
RaCheer RaCheer 8 years
My most recent ex called me a b*tch and a whore. Both of which are not even in the slightest bit true. I will always regret not leaving that relationship sooner. RUN!
care0531 care0531 8 years
RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN! WTH are you doing? He needs serious anger managment help and you need to leave him while he gets that.
sparklepants sparklepants 8 years
it's not as simple as some of you are saying she's allowing this behavior to continue and that she's not standing up for herself. it sounds to me like she is standing up for herself and telling him it's wrong and not acceptable but he doesn't care which is probably also the cause for some of these explosive fights. please don't kick her while she's down by telling her she's allowing this. she isn't. likely she's looking for positive reinforcement to end it with the guy and that people in healthy relationships do not have these issues. she's reaching out for help, not to me insulted again.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
I've had bf's in the past who called me names. They are no longer my bf. He does not respect you and he will not change. Leave him. My bf told me I was acting like a bitch one time and I was so I let it slide and he immediately apologized. He has never called me a name in anger or for any other reason. You do not need to put up with anything that makes you feel bad and you are in no way "making" him call you names. Leave this loser.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I agree wholeheartedly: leave him. Personally speaking, my husband never called me names (and we had some heated arguments). The CLOSEST he came to that, and he said it hesitantly, was when he ONCE said,"You're acting like a bitch." I retorted,"No, I am not." That was it. That was the extent of it. I think it happened about ten years ago. :)
sparklepants sparklepants 8 years
i can sympathize with you b/c this happened to me and married the guy. it's so hard to realize what's happening when you're in the middle of it and usually the guy doesn't do it in front of other people so when you complain or say something, your concerns sound more like complaints. we would be talking and then all of a sudden argiung and then somehow the subject would change to what i had done wrong and he would belittle me and somehow it would be my fault. he always seemed to take such great pleasure in making me feel so bad and would rarely apologize unless i did first. i was able to recognize this eventually and left and now my ex is really nice to me. even though we fought all the time and i told him how he behaved, he didn't think he was EVER wrong. we don't discuss it anymore which is probably why we get along now. everyone always asks if i still try to make him understand and my answer is always no. i don't have any fight left in me and suspect the poster is wearing down too. it's exhausting and sucks the life out of you. please do yourself a favor and leave. there are better and nicer men out there who will make you feel fantastic. it's hard at first but you'll be so much happier and proud of yourself in the end. good luck!
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Now Him: "I called you a b*tch because you are acting like a b*tch" Very Near Future Him: "I slapped you because you needed to be slapped"
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Yes. Run, do not walk.
CupcakeGal10 CupcakeGal10 8 years
Amen! Great advice!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
I just had another thought. Abuse issue aside, is this really the type of relationship you want to be in? One that has such an obvious lack of respect? Mature couples who respect and truly love eachother do not call eachother names, not even in heated discussions.
mswindang mswindang 8 years
girl, dump that idiot now. dated a guy like that for 2 years. and each time he'd call me names, i'd warn him but then he'd justify that it was called for... they will never change. and it'll get worse. so leave... you don't deserve to be treated that way.
Briandiesel Briandiesel 8 years
It's such a cliche but I think it rings true: "People treat you the way you let them." I have never been in a relationship where who I was with thought they could use words like that at me. Stand up for yourself..tell him that he can't speak to you like that or its over. But follow through on your word
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
I also echo everyone else, he's abusive, exit the relationship asap. and I also agree with the poster commenting on that picture it is deeply disturbing.
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