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Q

I have been with my boyfriend for a year. The relationship started out as really fun, but more and more I get nervous and sometimes scared because of my boyfriend’s angry moods.

A

Hi Misshim, first of all, I think it’s great that you have put this into words. When you are in a stressful relationship, it can be hard to order your thoughts and feelings. Writing them down or speaking to someone is the first step in trying to make sense of what is happening for you.

There are definitely some signs in your relationship that your boyfriend is not behaving respectfully or safely towards you. Your boyfriend is being critical towards you and has recently called you an abusive name. It’s a shame because it sounds like it was fun in the beginning.

Relationships are heading down an unhealthy path when the balance between unhealthy moments, like the ones you have described, outweigh fun and healthy moments.

At the moment it doesn't sound like you're having much fun at all. In fact, you have said you feel nervous, scared and guilty. It’s important to know that these are the kinds of feelings that can really wear you down, can affect how you feel about yourself and can even make you feel physically sick if you don’t act on them.

You have a few options for helping yourself with these feelings:

  1. If you feel emotionally safe and there are still some times that you can reach your boyfriend, consider being assertive about your experience of him. Choose a good moment, and explain that you do not like his critical comments, his moody behaviour and that you are not willing to accept his abusive name calling. You could choose to say that these disrespectful comments and his moody times are wearing down the good times in the relationship and that he will have to take responsibility for them in order for you to consider staying in the relationship. It's really important that you only consider this option if it feels safe to do so.
  2. If you don’t feel that you can talk in this way with your boyfriend because you feel too nervous, then you could choose to send him a text or email stating this.
  3. Finally, it's a good idea to speak to a trusted adult about what you are experiencing, like a school counsellor, family member or adult friend. When you are stuck in a relationship like the one you are describing it's very hard to hang onto your own reality and experience of the relationship.

I don’t hear you blaming yourself for his behavior at the moment which is great, but be aware that if you do start to blame yourself, this would be a sign that the relationship is affecting your self-worth. I do hear you feeling guilty though, because of your boyfriend’s family background. It's important to know that no matter what has happened to your boyfriend in his past, he is not excused from calling you an abusive name and making you feel scared and nervous. Only he can change this behaviour but you do not have to put up with it. You have a choice in this as well.

For more information, check out our relationships knowhow.

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This resource is tagged with:
relationship bullying abuse and violence