Abusive Relationships/Don't understand


My boyfriend has lived with me for 17 years. We have had a lot of problems in our relationship because of his drinking.Here is the problem. As long as I am mean and distant and just being nasty to him, he acts responsible and appropriate. He comes home after work, hasn't been drinking, is the helpful family man. As soon as I let up and show him a little bit of affection to try to get things rolling he doesn't come home after work, when he does come home late he has been drinking. I don't get it. Here it is after 8pm on a Friday night and I am sitting here alone because I was a little bit friendly this morning before he left. I gave him a peck on the cheek. What kind of life is this. I am really at a loss to understand his actions. Does he want me to be mean. It has gotten to the point where we sleep in separate bedrooms. I have ask him to leave many times but he won't go. He does have his own house, but it needs work. He is always where he says he is, so I don't think he is cheating. I could go down to the garage and he would be there with his buddies just hanging out. Could you explain to me why he is good when I am mean and a jerk when I try to relax?

Hi Peg,

Thank you for writing and asking these very good questions. I am so sorry that you are experiencing such events in your relationship. Relationships are challenging under the best of circumstances but when drinking and “odd” patterns develop, then other avenues are needed for a more joyful and happy life.

Since I am a Life Coach and not a counselor, you may want to see one to understand the dynamics of attachment, bonding, abandonment and commitment issues which may help with your question of why he is good when you are mean and a jerk. He may also be responding in ways as he did with his mother—do you see any similarities?

Just remember, his behavior and actions are NOT your fault and you did not do anything wrong. His choice of drinking and behaving in such manner is something that he is going to have to deal with and seeing a professional counselor may be able to help him sort out these issues. All you can do is encourage him to see one. It isn’t fair or healthy for you to be mean just to get him to be nice to you—this only creates confusion and false security for you. So, the next question for you is if he doesn’t seek counseling, do you want to live this way for the rest of your life?

I know that you really like the good times but looking at the whole package is important to do for your life enjoyment and long term goals. Seeing a professional counselor may provide you with the answers you are looking for and here is an online counselor and more information on this website that may be helpful: http://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/
Attachment, bonding, abandonment and commitment issues are most likely the reason for such actions and understanding these aspects will help in your situation.  

Taking this next step of encouraging him to seek a counselor and for you to seek one yourself will most likely provide you with the answers and direction you are looking for. Just remember, you deserve the very best in life and have the power and freedom to make that happen.

Please write again with any more questions. Much peace to you,

Coach Cathy,
Cathy Backlund, Life Coach, Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Education  

Abusive Relationships

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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 www.LifeCoachCathy.com or www.DomesticViolence-Education.com. 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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