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You Asked: Should I Leave My Boyfriend?

Dear Sugar,

At what point do I end a relationship with someone I truly love who has a temper, who treats me badly, but always say he's going to change? And how do I end this relationship when I am always wanting and willing to accept his apologies and take him back? He is my everything and I don't know what to do. Please help! — Reliant Rachel

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Reliant Rachel,

While I hear you when you say you love your boyfriend, I can not reiterate enough that being with someone who has a bad temper and treats you poorly is a disaster waiting to happen — if not a current disaster.

Feeling like your boyfriend is your everything definitely adds an element of difficulty to this process, but Rachel, if all he's offering you are false promises, it's time to end this relationship. The only way he will change is if he's willing to, and it's pretty clear by the desperation in your tone that he's not. Abuse of any kind does not belong in a relationship, so get out before it's too late. You haven't given me much information here, but if you are in immediate peril, you must leave him right away, and if you've been physically hurt in any way, call 911 ASAP.

If you don't live together, this breakup will be much easier. You should immediately change your locks, install a security system, and tell your friends and family that you've decided to leave him so they are aware of the situation. However if you do live together, you must leave the house ASAP, but be sure you have an emergency plan in place first — somewhere to go, an escape route, and someone you can call for support. You should also have an emergency kit packed and easily accessible with the necessities: an ID, money, social security card, passport, an extra set of keys, and any prescription medication. (This is a good idea to have even if you don't live together as you never know when you might need it.)

The The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if you need help finding a safe place to stay or an anonymous listening ear. I don't need to tell you that domestic abuse is a very serious matter, and although you have faith that your boyfriend will change, chances are you're just wishfully thinking. Love yourself more than him, Rachel, and take all the necessary steps to make sure you're safe and out of harm's way. Turn to your friends and family for emotional support, remember that you are not alone, and consider talking with a therapist who is trained in domestic abuse. After the dust settles, hopefully you'll be able to see that being with someone that doesn't treat you well is no relationship to be in. You deserve to be happy, to be respected, and most of all to be loved. Be safe and good luck to you.


Join The Conversation
AlexE70 AlexE70 8 years
dmoser84, do you have any family that lives nearby? Or friends you and the kids could stay with for a while? If so, by all means, make arrangements to go stay with them for at least a few days. Then, go to the police once again, and file an official report. If you have bruises and/or scars please get photos taken to document the abuse. File for either an order of protection or a no contact order. With the no contact order, make sure that YOU do NOT break it by contacting him via phone, email, or text message, or else it will be voided. I'm not quite sure why you're the one who would go to jail if you called the police, unless you fought back and he also has bruises or scars to show for it. If that is the case, then you would both be taken in. I have a mutual friend who had a fight with his gf, and when she called the police on him, they both were arrested because although she had bruises on her shoulders from him holding her, he lost a tooth in the fight. So be sure that's not the case. Then, at your earliest opportunity, leave. Pack up your kids and go. Leave no note or any indication as to where you've gone. Men who have become abusive in a relationship wont suddenly stop being abusive, they will only increase the level of abuse as time goes by. Don't let yourself become another statistic. You're worth far more than that, as are your children.
dmoser84 dmoser84 8 years
I am in an abusive relationship, get out now! I cannot seem to get out of mine. The police here won't do anything and last time he bit me and sprayed poision in my eyes I was the one who had to leave my house or risk going to jail. I am also currently 6 weeks pregnant and he has kicked and punched me in my stomach. He's tried choking me and fights with me over my kids waking up at 8 in the morning (I have a 6 yr old and a 7 yr old from a previous relationship) and little things like that. He constantly makes fun of me when I cry. I am at loss to what I should do now. I can't do anything and he won't leave. He verbally and physically abuses me in front of my kids and my 2 yr old thinks it is normal and tries doing it himself. It shouldn't matter how much you love this man, he won't change I have had the same problem for 4 yrs now and cry 90% of the time.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
Leave. Nothing, NOTHING is worth getting abused for.
AlexE70 AlexE70 8 years
Your best course of action is to find support. Friends and family. Those you trust. Take a breath and inform them of the situation. Then, if possible, talkwith him and explain that the way he treats you is unacceptable. Keep the conversation open with no raised tones. But do not settle for another lame explanation. There is a bottom line and you must stick to it. If, however, it's long past the time for an intervention, then please, by all means, get out. Your safety and well being are worth far more than any hopes of maintaining a fractured relationship.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i'n not in the same situation so i can't directly relate but i can say that you need to put yourself in a safer environment. if you don't - then you're just going to continue living in the situation and that's not healthy for you. i always wonder whether it's a better idea for me to leave my fiance since when he drinks he's like jekyll and hyde - but i haven't made that move yet. it's hard when you're so invested in someone, and you know that when it's good it's good. it adds too much stress to you life though, and you find that you can't function or be happy the way that you used to. there are things that you can do and people that you can talk to about what you're going through though, and it sounds like getting yourself out of there really is the best thing to do.
resamac resamac 8 years
If he was worth staying with he would have already made the effort to work on himself more. Who knows, maybe after you leave him he will realize that he needs to change the way he is. It could really be better for the both of you. & Honestly there are SO many other great men available you shouldn't ever have to "put up" with anything in a relationship. Especially not anger or abuse. My boyfriend has a short temper and in the almost 2 years we have been dating he has never ever lost his temper on me. We've had little spats, but he's never lost his temper.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 8 years
Definitely leave. There are other, wonderful fish in the sea. Good men will build you up and make you feel great about yourself. Listen to everyone else's advice about how to get out, it seems like there have been many women in your shoes.
Lele777 Lele777 8 years
I think we all know someone who has been in or ourselves have been in a situation like this. GET OUT KNOW! He is trying to give himself self-esteem while robbing you of yours. Men like this are manipulative and make you feel like you just can't make it without them, but YOU CAN!!!! It will get worse and escalate into a dangerous situation. You are probably thinking no it won't he wouldn't do that. Yes he will. You will be the one to suffer the greatest consequences. Seek women's empowerment therapy. It helps abused women greatly.
bluestar bluestar 8 years
I've been there too and he will not change. It's time to start believing that and believe that you deserve better!! Breaking up is going to be hard, especially when you feel like he's your everything, but do you really want to be in a relationship like this forever? When people really love you, they encourage you and make you feel good, not cut you down and manipulate you. Remember this though; he's going to try to come back over and over....DON'T LET HIM!!!
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
No one will change unless they want to. He will not change just because you want him to. He has to think something is wrong with him first and he probably thinks he is perfect and only apologizes to get you to stay. Listen to Sugar's advice about keeping an emergency kit. Most importantly make sure you always have a way out if the you-know-what hits the fan. Car keys are a MUST. Please have a spare set hidden somewhere safe just in case you need them. Remember men who try to control women in anyway are insecure and an insecure man with a bad temper is a ticking time bomb. Get out of there as soon as you can and start living for yourself. You are the most important person and you should not take a back seat to anyone. Do not ever settle for good enough. You owe it to yourself.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
:OY: Rachel, There's no easing away... plan, and plan well to leave him for good and forever. He's going to pester you to the limit, Rachel. Alert all family and friends, go down to your local police station and fill out a restraining order. All of this sounds drastic, so is dealing with an unstable person, I should know. Or you could wait for the hitting and stalking... but I wouldn't.
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
He is not going to change. The longer you stay with him, the worse things will get and the more unhappy you will become. I have been in this situation before. You feel like you can't live without him, but that is not love. That is obsession and dependency. He erodes your self-esteem (more so than it already is), and then you feel like you could never do any better than him. This is not true and you will know this someday (hopefully sooner rather than later). Men like this often choose women to date who have low self-esteem because they know that these are the only women who will actually put up with their behaviour. I would tell you to tell your friends and family how he treats you. Stop keeping it all a secret. Tell them that you need their help to get out of this relationship. Then seek some counselling. You know in your heart that the right thing to do is to get out, you just need to love and value yourself enough to do it. Things will get better, and you will look back on this one day and think 'why did I put up with being treated so badly?' Message me if you want to chat. Good luck to you.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 8 years
If you have to ask if you should stay in a relationship, you really already know the answer. I've been there. He's playing you. He knows what he does is wrong, but he knows he can tell you about how sorry he is or how he wants to change, and you'll let it all go, and then he can do it again. Repeat, repeat, repeat. You are basically a doormat. I don't say that to be mean, but you let him walk all over you time and time again, and you accept everything he says afterward. You need to end it now, and cut all ties. Lose his number. Don't see him. Don't accept his calls. It's hard, but cold turkey is the best way to go in this case.
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
thats exactly thats what controlling people with bad temper do. they cut you off from everyone. they take up all your time, energy, and emotion so that you feel like they are your everything which makes it harder for you to leave. they manipulate to get their way and as soon as they don't have it and you threaten to leave they will tell you they love you and need you and will change. obviously that never happens and you wait for the next time and the next time. it becomes a vicious circle and the more time you invest in this guy the more lost you are in his world. you need to get out of there. change your numbers, passwords, emails, get a restraining order... anything you can to cut ties with this guy. don't even give him the benefit of stating his case to you to make you feel bad and take him back. its bullshit. you know its bullshit. but its so hard for you to accept that its bullshit when he's sitting in front of you looking so innocent and really hurt. its all a big game to him. you deserve better and this will only get worse not better. LEAVE HIM.
JustSomeChick JustSomeChick 8 years
Also speaking from experience, get out now. That is not the kind of love you want. You cannot change someone, and he doesn't appear to be willing to change himself. He is just telling you what you want to hear. There could come a time when he will use other means to express his anger or temper, and you do NOT want to go down that road. As for feeling that he is your everything, I am willing to bet there is some type of mind game or manipulation by him that has led you to believe/feel that. Do yourself a favor and leave him!!
kerish kerish 8 years
omilawd omilawd 8 years
GET OUT NOW! I was in a relationship like this for two years, and it was the worst two years of my life. I spiraled into depression, and am still recovering from it...SEVERAL YEARS LATER. He was verbally, emotionally, and (rarely) physically abusive, but I stayed with him anyway. I figured out later that the only reason I stayed with him was not because he was my "everything," but because he tore me down so much and kept telling me that he'd be the best I'd ever have, and I believed it. It sounds like you are in the same boat. Get out before it's too late, I'm serious!
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