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October 22, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Relationships

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Is our relationship normal?


Hello, I found your website and I feel you give great advice. I know I am young and people always say "you're young, move on" etc., but please give me your honest answer and tell me if this is normal.

I started dating my boyfriend in high school. We were together for 2 years but then he started going back to his partying ways and it damaged our relationship and we broke up. A year later he calls me saying he's mature now, has a job and is doing well. So we decided to work it out - although he's the one that cheated, messed us up, and apologized for it a thousand times. In addition, he always treats me as if I'm the one that hurt him. He's always questioning where I am, always calling me when I'm with my family, and never believes me. Then he makes me answer and if I don't, it's a big fight. He keeps telling me I don't love him the same and it's not true; I do love him but I hate drama and I gave him another chance...not the other way around. He does not understand this.

Is this normal? What should I do? I don't feel happy anymore but I do love him. I have tried talking to him about it but I still feel that he won't understand.

Zory, 22-year-old woman


Dear Zory,

A normal relationship is equal, with the two partners having about half their activities and interests in common, while also being able to do their own thing independently of each other. Is your relationship like that?

An abusive relationship is when one partner has a life, is independent and more or less can do anything, but the other is completely answerable, controlled, without freedom. Typically, such a relationship becomes more and more constricted, until the person is isolated from friends and even family, may lose control of money, and is constantly scared of breaking rules.

If you think your relationship with this man is more like the second, then you can be sure it will get worse with time. It's a slippery slope. There is also something called the "cycle of abuse." One version is at http://www.respect4women.org/what-is-abuse/the-cycle-of-abuse/. See if that fits your history. Note that abuse doesn't need to include violence, but is defined by control, and unequal power.

On the basis of these ideas from me, decide whether you love him enough to put up with his behavior or not. You deserve respect, decency, and love in return for love.

One final thing: look up http://bobswriting.com/psych/relationships.html.

Have a good life,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

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