He puts me down all the time

My boyfriend would never hit me I'm pretty sure about that but he puts me down all the time and calls me names and tells me to wear different clothes. He gets really jealous when we go out. He goes off if I even look at another guy, or if a guy talks to me. I know he really does love me but I wish that he wouldn't do that stuff. What can I do


What your boyfriend is doing is abuse (even though there is no physical abuse present at this stage) it is another form of abuse and is totally unacceptable. To be put down all the time and called names and being told to wear different clothes is psychological abuse and very controlling. Loving someone does not include the treatment you have described, unfortunately some people have never learnt how to be in a loving healthy equal relationship and this behaviour is all they know.

However it is important that the focus remains on you first and foremost. You are not responsible for your partner or his actions but you are responsible for you and this is an area that you can do some work on to help you have a fulfilling relationship that does not include any form of abuse. There are courses run by different organisations throughout New Zealand that can help build self esteem and teach us about self worth and self value. This is incredibly important to have because when we have good self esteem and know our worth and value we are a lot more able to stand up and say "No" to any treatment that makes us feel bad. We then take on a belief and mentality that very strongly says that I do not deserve to be treated that way and I will not put up with anything other than good treatment and it then comes easily and naturally because you know it is the truth and you truly believe it.

I know for myself that until I took on these beliefs and this attitude nothing changed for me and it wasn't until I learnt that I am of value and I do not deserve to be abused in any way - ever- that my relationships became based on equality and respect and I was able to really understand and experience what it was like to be in a loving healthy relationship with no fear of being hurt, put down, called names or anything else that was harmful to me.

There are also courses that help teach us about family violence, what it is, what it isn't, how to keep ourselves safe, how to work through it, where to go for help regarding various issues and other things that women face who are in relationships where abuse is present. They can be very beneficial and helpful and you can learn a lot from the other women at the course. You also learn that you are not alone in this and there are a lot of women who experience family violence and just want it to stop and live a life free of abuse. A lot of women who attend these courses can sometimes form friendships with other women on the course and can also become very motivated by being in a group situation. They are a place where there is no judgement, no blame, just a place to grow and heal.

There is the option of counselling with you and your partner if he is willing and can accept that his treatment towards you is unacceptable. If he is able to take responsibility for that and is willing then there is help available for him to access as well.

I don't know if you have talked to your partner and shared your thoughts and feelings with him and how he makes you feel, maybe you feel that he may not be approachable to do this, I don't know. Only you know whether this could be an option.

Please start telling yourself from today on that you do not deserve to be on the receiving end of any abuse, ever. Every time you start to doubt yourself just say to yourself over and over again "No, I do not deserve to be abused, I am worth more than that". Put yourself around people who will support you, love you and encourage you and who will also give you the same message. This can be very empowering and uplifting and very very important when we are working through difficult times.

By ringing 0800 456 450 you will find a list of organisations in your area that will be able to help you. All you have to do is give them a call and explain your situation and they will advise and guide you as to what your options are.



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