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Abusive Relationships/Is my girlfriend controlling or abusing me?


I'm in a relationship with my girlfriend now for 15 months. We get along good, but she constantly gets angry with me. We will have a great day, great night, and when we go in to have sex or go to sleep a lot of times, she gets angry about the smallest thing. This happens about 80% of the time when she has had too much to drink. But lately it's been more frequent and not when we've had some drinks. A few weeks back, i went to her house and wasn't hungry, and she immediately quit talking to me. Last week she drank and told me she didn't feel well. We laid down in bed and she asked if i wanted to go smoke a cigarette, I said it didn't matter and she turned her back and didn't talk to me or touch me all night.  Another day last week, again after some drinks, we were having a great night, and i said something jokingly and again quit talking to me and turned her back on me in bed. She went to sleep on the couch. Packed her bag in the morning, but eventually said she was sorry.  This is ongoing. Just spur of the moment anger. It truly hurts when she does this to me. I try to talk and she says, she's not having this conversation or ignores me.  I sometimes cry when she does this, and she'll say, why are you getting all emotional about this? Like i shouldn't be upset that she just quit talking to me about nothing after having a perfect day/night.  I may be upset about this for a day or two after and she says, i said i was sorry.. But it leaves me wondering if she really loves me, or feels about me the way she says she does. She tells me I'm the best, she wants me forever. But then this happens. Again and again.  It may seem trivial, but it really hurts me and has me questioning if she really cares about me.  I'm really sweet all the time, i treat her with care, love, and respect, and i don't feel like I'm getting the same in return.  She just seems so irritated with me. I've had partners get angry with me in relationships, but it was usually something i had done.  This just seems to happen for no reason. I don't understand why she stays with me if i make her unhappy and angry so often.  I love her, and have good times with her, but i don't feel like i can keep going like this.  I never know if she is going to leave or quit talking to me on any given night.  I feel insecure about her feelings for me, and if i question her about it, she gets angry about that, like i have no reason to be worried.  Please help..

Hi Bret,

Thank you for writing and asking these very good questions.  Relationships are challenging under the best of circumstances but when the silent treatment or unexplained anger continues to happen, then something needs to change. A long period of this type of behavior could be considered abuse and control or it may be just someone not aware of how their behavior affects another person but change is needed for a happier life for you.

First of all, her anger and behavior is NOT your fault and most likely has nothing to do with you. This may be the way she has learned to communicate from past experiences or may be dealing with unresolved personal issues. But in either event, better communication techniques are needed for a healthier and stronger relationship.

If she is not willing to learn new communication skills, then your only choice is to end the relationship.  Living with wondering if she is going to leave or not talk to you only creates more uncertainty and anxiety and is unhealthy for you. Communicating with each other is the only way to learn about each others needs and wants and living with a one-sided conversation does NOT improve or build a happy relationship as you are experiencing.

Seeing a professional counselor may help or researching the Internet on developing better communication skills may be a good place to start if she is interested. If she is not interested in this idea, then she may not be ready or interested in building a healthier relationship. You deserve the opportunity to express your feelings and desires in the relationship and be heard and respected and if that is not happening then moving on may be your only choice. If she is interested in learning better communication skills, then taking the steps to making this happen may help improve your relationship.

Finding a local relationship counselor may be good or an online counselor such Dr. Sherman may help as well:  But what is important is to make change. Either learning new communication skills together or ending the relationship are really your only two choices. Living with the uncertainties as you are doing will NOT improve the relationship and continue to create unhappiness for you.

Learning new communicate skills will take time and effort and if she is willing to do so, then there may be hope in making this relationship work for the both of you. You can't force anyone to change their ways and if she is not willing to work together to improve your relationship, then moving on will move you towards a happier life.

Please write again with any further questions and remember you have the power to create a happy and healthy life. Living with someone who is interested in listening and communicating with you will provide you with the joy and direction you are looking for.

Much peace to you,
Cathy Backlund
Life Coach, Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Education  

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Cathy Backlund, Life Coach in Abuse & Domestic Violence


Are you unsure if you are living in an abusive relationship? Are you feeling confused, angry or hurt and don't know what to do? I can help you determine if you are in an abusive or unhealthy relationship and provide suggestions on how to create a plan for your happiness, health and well-being! Please ask questions to find out answers today! Everyone deserves to live life with happiness and joy, and I am here to help you. Are you ready to find out how you can live a better and happier life? If you are, please ask your questions today!! Asking and finding the answers you are looking for is the first step to improve you joy and happiness!


I am a Certified Life Coach Specializing in Prevention and Education of Domestic Abuse and Violence.

•SPARCC (Safe Place And Rape Crisis Center), Sarasota, FL •CAT (Sarasota Violence Prevention Community Action Team) •Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence •Guardian Ad Litem 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Please visit my webpage for more information and articles about abusive relationships and domestic violence at or I am here with you, while you find answers that help you!

•B.S. from Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA •Core Competency Course from the Shelter for Abused Women and Children, Naples, FL •Life Coach Training from Changepoint Coaching & Consulting Association •Advanced Training from The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology •Sexual Violence Core Training from Florida Council Against Sexual Violence •High Risk Domestic Violence Training by Lundy Bancroft and Sarasota Police Dept, FL •Court Assistance Training from SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Sarasota, FL •Principles of Prevention by The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) •Guardian Ad Litem 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

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