Is He Abusive?

Published: June 30, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm fourteen years old. My boyfriend is 16. We've been together for 5 months. We lost our virginities to each other. We love each other. The other day we got into a pretty bad fight. I kept talking, and saying things that made him mad, he forcefully put his hand over my mouth. He yelled and told me to quit talking. I started crying, and I could barely move his hand off of my mouth. I started crying and told him to never put his hands on me like that again. He started crying. And he tried to hug me, but I didn't want him to touch me. I was scared. I'm still kind of scared. He keeps apologizing to me. My questions are, is he abusive? Did I deserve to be treated like that? Could this lead to abuse?

Dear Is He Abusive?,

There is no question what he did was abusive. His actions scared you and left you feeling uncomfortable around him. Whether or not you were saying things that were making him mad is irrelevant. He could have calmly talked to you or walked away. His impulse was to physically stop you. Whether this was an error in judgment or a pattern of behavior only time will tell. Most people who are abusive will show signs of remorse early on when the abuse occurs. There will be promises of change but if they are not able to control their emotions they are likely to physically or verbally hurt the other person again. If the cycle keeps repeating itself, they eventually start blaming the victim for their actions.

The one thing you do not want to do is to act like it never happened and move on with the relationship. Keeping silent about dating violence can wind up keeping you trapped in an unhealthy relationship. It is important that you talk to someone about what happened so you are not dealing with this alone. A school counselor is a good choice but it also could be your parents or an adult you feel comfortable with. The main thing is that you have an outlet where you can express what is going on.

If you are still scared of your boyfriend then it would probably be a good idea to listen to these feelings. If you don’t want to break up with him you could back off the relationship. You could agree to take a break or that you will only go out with other couples in a public place. If your boyfriend is truly remorseful he will take responsibility for his actions and recognize that it has consequences. If he really cares about you he will respect your wishes. Saying “I didn’t mean for it to happen,” is not the same as taking responsibility. It is a reflection that he was not in control of his emotions.

 For a better understanding about healthy dating check out TeenHealthFX’s piece on Safer Dating Practices

 

 

 

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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