If Your Boyfriend Slaps You…

By | 08-Dec-2020

I am usually interested in relationships and the things that happen in them. One of the things I have learnt is that many people do not realise when they (or others that they know) are undergoing abuse, especially emotional abuse. In some cases, some endure even physical abuse. I think part of the reason is that many people are not really prepared to recognise and respond to abuse, so they are sort of caught off-guard.

With this in mind, a few weeks ago, I talked to my 13-and-a-half-year-old daughter about abuse. This is a summary of what I told her and a few comments.

If your boyfriend slaps you, leave. Don’t make excuses for him saying things like “Maybe it is me who provoked him.”
“Maybe he is stressed at work.”
“I have invested 2 years in this relationship.”
“I am 28, where will I get another guy?”
“‘It rains everywhere.'”

‘It rains everywhere.’

It is surprising and sad how often people give this ‘advice’ to people undergoing abuse or other forms of mistreatment. They say there is trouble elsewhere as well, so just endure the poor treatment that you are receiving. I think part of this response is based on personality. Some people are indeed willing to put up with some mistreatment, while others simply will not.

You Have People

I went on to tell my daughter that sometimes people who are physically abused use make-up and sunglasses to cover up the bruises on their faces. They are protecting or hiding the person who is abusing them.

Staying in an abusive relationship damages your self esteem. Do you know what that is? It is how you view yourself. You start thinking that maybe you do not deserve to be happy. You question whether good things can happen to you.

Like I told you some time ago, it is possible that you may soon start disagreeing with your mother. Many girls tend to disagree with their mothers and many boys tend to disagree with their fathers (during their teen years and a little after).

However, even if that happens and later your boyfriend or husband abuses you, do not feel that you have nowhere to go. Even if your mother had warned you against that guy, call her and say “I am in an abusive relationship, and I would like to get out.” Or call me.

You have people.

Recognising Abuse

If he takes your phone and asks you “Who is James that you were talking to? Are you having another boyfriend?”
If you arrive somewhere late and he asks you if you were seeing another man, then that is a bad sign. He is trying to control you.

Another common sign is if he stops talking to you for days or weeks because you had a disagreement.
Don’t feel pressured to apologise when you know it is him who was wrong. The first one or two times you may not be sure that it is he who was wrong, but if it happens a third time and you know for sure he was wrong, that is an abusive person. The silent treatment is meant to control you, so that next time you give in to what he wants so that he does not go silent on you. For example, if he said you two should eat cake, and you said you want maize, he can go silent so that next time if he says you should have cake, you don’t say you prefer maize, because you don’t want him to go silent.

Also, don’t ever beg someone to tell you what is wrong and why he is unhappy. Don’t.

Other Tips

Don’t get kids before you get married. Things tend to get complicated if you do.

Don’t get married before you finish university. Don’t feel pressured to marry (and therefore endure bad treatment because you want to get married soon). You will finish university at around 23. Even if you were to live until only 63, you will have 40 years still to go. Better wait and live happy than rush and be miserable.

I intend to have similar talks with her over time, so that in the event that she finds herself in an abusive relationship, she will recognise it and know that she can and should get out.

Please feel free to comment!