Dear Love Lounge,
I’m worried about my boyfriend’s behaviour. We met about 4 months ago and things have moved fast. We are crazy about each other and he has moved in. At first it was all very romantic, and he made me feel great. He complimented my appearance and was kind and generous and loving. My family are happy that I’ve met someone but wanted me to wait a while longer before he moved in, worrying I might get hurt as this is my first relationship. I dismissed their concerns as I’m 27 and wish they’d stop babying me. My mum was my carer until I got a PA and my own flat a few years ago, and she can forget I’m not a kid anymore.
In the last few weeks, my boyfriend has been short tempered and a lot less affectionate. Little things about me seem to annoy him. When we’re with friends and family he is fine but when we’re alone he frequently makes comments about my weight and has told me that I’m ‘stupid’ and ‘dense.’ I think he might also have used my bank card as it went missing from my wallet then reappeared. I have cried about this which made him more annoyed so I’m nervous of talking to him about his mood in case I make it worse. I know that couples can ‘have their moments’ as my sister so it may just be the norm?
Hi there, and thanks so much for writing in to us.
First things first, anything that makes you feel this upset and unhappy isn’t the norm. Couples absolutely ‘have their moments’ but you are right to be worried about your boyfriend’s behaviour change. He is being neither kind nor respectful to you by the sounds of it, and this behaviour should not be accepted.
It’s good to hear that everything was great at the beginning. Has anything changed dramatically for your partner since then? Big changes at work, with money or even with family and friends can have a major impact on how we behave. And whilst it doesn’t make what he’s doing right, it might explain the reasoning behind his behaviour.
It is worrying that your boyfriend is only acting this way when you’re alone. This suggests to me that he knows the way he is acting is not acceptable.
Communication is key here. You must let him know plainly and simply (without getting too emotional if you can) that you won’t stand for comments from him that are demeaning or degrading. You won’t accept comments that make you feel bad about yourself – no-one deserves that in a relationship.
At the same time, let him know that if there is anything going on for him that you can help with, you’d be more than happy to. And if you can’t help, you’ll support him to sort it out himself. Remind him that you love him and of how great everything was at the beginning. But to get back to that, he must change his ways and how he treats you.
Tread carefully regarding the bank card – he might have genuinely picked yours up by mistake – and if no money has left your account, it seems unnecessary to accuse him of stealing. Have a chat with him about everything. How he reacts will probably tell you all you need to know about the future of your relationship.
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