Relationship Debate: “He Only Pushed Me One Time”

February 21, 2011  |  

Q: Dear China,

The other day, in a heated argument my boyfriend of six years pushed me. He has punched walls and thrown things in the past, but he has never pushed me before. He apologized and said he’d never do it again, but I am aware of the cycle of violence having worked with victims of domestic violence. Should I give him another chance? I really love him and don’t want to see our relationship end due to one mistake.

Punch Drunk Love

A: Dear Punch Drunk Love,

Erm. So the short answer is no, unless you and your boyfriend are toddler age…in which case, I’d say ehhn, just brush it off and let his mama talk to him about “how to relate to girls.” But, since you’re on this site, it’s safe to assume that you two are a bit older in age. OK, first: you are to remember that you are a precious gem, at all times. No matter what the world drops on your doorstep, you have to think of love as a gift that makes the pain go away, not one that makes you FEEL that type of pain.

Repeat these four words incessantly, to yourself until you believe them: love does not hurt. Yelling in relationships sometimes can be the norm…people may get loud or annoyed (e.g.: “hey, come on! stop changing the channel!”), but even yelling can be draining and unhealthy if it’s all you ever do and if the CONTENT of the yelling is abusive in nature. You shouldn’t even stay in your relationship if he yells at you and called you the b-word all the time, for example. You understand?

You should always feel safe when you’re with someone you love. Being around someone who throws things and punches walls? Not safe, ma cherie.

You have to carry yourself according to what you’re worth, and pushing crosses the line. Nobody can lay a figure on you, period. Get out of there quickly. Make no apologies for it. Find yourself a man that can talk to you when he’s upset and leave it at talking. Any man that gets physical with a woman, at any time, for any reason, is not a man. Doesn’t matter if it was “just once,” or “just twice” or just three times.

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