Question: I recently broke up with a boyfriend who was emotionally abusive…
I recently broke up with a boyfriend who was emotionally abusive. Sometimes he would devalue my looks, or publicly humiliate me in front of friends with sarcastic comments, then be possessive and jealous to try to control me and build me up. But I still feel like I need him in some ways and know there are more girls like me who want guys who don’t treat them right. I have physical appearance issues which go back to how he told me he pitied me. I am always trying to convince myself that I am pretty, worthy, smart, and wonderful. And even if people tell me all these things, some part of me still won’t believe it because of that experience.
I’ve shortened your letter, as you requested. You have good insight into relationships, but you almost analyze them to death. Yes, he is not worth your time. Yes, he is abusive. Yes, you deserve more. You see all that, and yet….? I wonder if the real problem here isn’t your search for perfection: Quote: “I am avoiding a friend who has a seemingly perfect boyfriend.” No one is that perfect. “I am always trying to convince myself that I am pretty, worthy, smart and wonderful.” No, you’re not–not completely. I don’t even know you, but I’m sure there are parts of you that are pretty, parts that are not; things about you that are worthy of love, things about you that turn people off; certain things at which you are smart, certain things that escape you; and while at times you may be “wonderful,” there are other times you! are average or below average. That describes me exactly. Welcome to the human race. Go to your newspaper and look at the engagement/marriage section. You will see a handsome couple in one photo; a heavy-set bride and a slim guy in another; a plump guy and a beautiful woman; a plain woman and a hunk; a hot bride and a clueless-looking guy. Look around you in the stores: seemingly mismatched people everywhere. Check out the couples at a party; a quiet guy with an extroverted girlfriend; a tall girl, short guy. Love is mysterious, and it’s hard to define what produces the spark. My suggestion: give yourself a break from love. For the next six months, concentrate totally on a project, a sport, volunteer work, finding a summer job. People are most interesting to others when they are interested in something themselves, and love very often comes when neither partner is looking for it.