Dear Aunty Lisa
I’ve started seeing this man and we’ve had an on/off relationship for about two years.
At first it was just sex with no strings attached but we have now decided to give things a proper go.
Everything was fine at first – and I’d still say it is… sort of. At first he used to treat me like a princess.
I could still go out and party with the girls at the weekend and do the things I wanted to do.
But over the past few months I’ve noticed that he’s getting really funny about me going out, telling me to change before I leave the house as I look “cheap and easy”.
He also told me I’m no longer allowed to speak to my male friends because I’m with him now.
I’ve tried telling him that this isn’t normal behaviour as I’ve never cheated on him or given him any reason to think that I would.
He has smacked me across the face a few times if I’ve asked to go out for dinner or meet my friends for a coffee.
Have I possibly made the worst mistake of my life?
Aunty Lisa says
Yes, I’m sorry to say it sounds as if you have. Things aren’t fine and I don’t think there’s any way back from it.
One slap across the face would be enough for me to ditch this man and run for the hills.
Telling you who you can and can’t talk to and what you can wear is all about power and control. It’s not healthy and it’s not love.
What often happens in these situations is that you’ll stop going out because it’s not worth all the hassle you’ll get at home.
You will also stop getting in touch with friends because you’re frightened he’ll react badly.
Then you’ll be looking at clothes in a shop and choosing them based on whether they’re going to meet with his approval or not.
You will not be able to live your life as you want to. It’s mental abuse and now it’s physical abuse, too.
I’ve spoken to many women who’ve been the victims of domestic violence and it’s amazing how many
of them sound exactly like you. They all said things like, “At first he treated me like a princess and was such a nice guy”, or “he loved me so much he just wanted me all to himself”.
It’s not love. Yes, we all make certain compromises when we’re with someone, but not to the point of cutting off all our friends and being told what to wear and who to speak to.
Trust your instincts and get out of this relationship – if you don’t do it soon, your self-esteem will be so battered that you’ll find it harder than ever to make that decision to leave.