Anonymous asked this question on 5/1/2000:
I have a boyfriend who very rarely will pinch, hit and hurt me for no reason. i dont get bruised or anything though. i think he thinks that i want to wrestle or sumptin, but when i wrestle i dont hurt others that much. but after he does this he will kiss what he hurt better. he also sometimes calls me names for no reason. is this abuse?? if it is what can i do?? i dont want to leave him becasue i think i know why hes like this, his father used to hit his mother and him. and ive been with him for a very long time. what can i do to make him stop?? please help
S_S gave this response on 5/8/2000:
His behaviour is not acceptable, but if he is young it may just be immaturity.
Take him aside and explain to him how it makes you feel when he pinches you or hurts you. Use lots of "I" statements, such as;
"I feel unhappy when you hurt me." or "I'd prefer if you didn't hurt me anymore as I don't like it." Say it assertively and be prepared to back up your statement. Think about what you will do if he asks you "Or What?" Decide that the next time he hurts you, you will a) Go for a drive or b) Go to a friends or c) Ignore him and walk away or d) Do some other thing to disassociate yourself from the behaviour.
Whatever you decide, make sure you do this. To change his behaviour, you have to change your reactions to his behaviour by showing him that you won't tolerate it!
His behaviour may be of a controlling nature and he may actually be trying to assert himself as "boss" in your relationship.
Accepting abuse is often about low self-esteem. The abuse often lowers self-esteem even further and allows for a victim mentality, creating a vicious circle of abuse.
The easiest way to increase self-esteem is to look after yourself. Do something you enjoy, every week, so that you start to feel good about yourself again. Take up a hobby, read a book, attend a class, get a part-time or fulltime job, join a group or take up a sport so that you can have an "escape".
Doing things for yourself will stop you being so affected by his behaviour and allow you to step back and see it for what it is.
And yes, It IS abuse.