Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
My boyfriend of several months is really, really great. He’s the definition of a perfect guy. He’s romantic, he’s funny, he does house work… he’s perfect. But lately he has been completely smothering me and its making me scared.
Let me give you a few examples of what’s going on.
As soon as I post something on FaceBook, he immediately likes it and comments on it. Every five seconds he’s texting me to ask me what I’m up to or how I’m feeling.
Then, a few weeks ago I went to work really early in the morning and I didn’t want to text him and wake him up so I left it until my break. When I got my phone and went to text him I had TEN missed calls and 18 texts from him asking me where I was and if I was okay. One of the texts said he was PARKED OUTSIDE MY HOUSE! He was waiting to see if I left or if my parent’s cars were still there because he was worried I was dead.
When I try to talk to him about his behavior he gets all defensive and angry, saying he’s just looking after me, but it feels like he’s stalking me. I jokingly told him he doesn’t need to comment on all my pictures and he got really upset.
What do I do? It’s starting to worry me, especially after the parking outside of my house thing. If i don’t text back as soon as I receive a message he panics and threatens to drive out to my house again. I’m getting nervous and can’t sleep. I feel like I am always being watched and that I have to respond to him immediately or he’s going to lose it.
Dear Worried Sick:
Oh boy. How long have you dated this guy (several months is vague)? Is this brand new behavior or are you just really feeling it has become a problem because the frequency and intensity is increasing?
The #1 thing to understand is that men show you who they are early on in the dating process. Even the most abusive freaks can hold themselves in check for a few months, but within a short time whoever the man really is starts to come out. Men can lie with words, but they cannot lie with actions.
The problem is that women see the real man and don’t like it, but choose to ignore what they see, downplay it, excuse it, and think it will magically by fairy dust CHANGE. Men do not change, they show women who they are right off the bat. Women need to stop ignoring red flags trying to ‘be nice’ all the time just to have a relationship. This guy is getting really scary.
It’s time to put some preventative measures in place. Start by letting everyone know what is going on – your friends, family and coworkers. What he is doing is very dangerous behavior, do not play it off as nothing or chalk it up to his youth.
Some very abusive guys act like this under the guise of “caring about you,” but in reality they are not taking care of their duties and responsibilities in life as they should be. Instead, they are focused on you and what you are doing and saying and who you are with (that’s the chief thing). It’s possessive, controlling and obsessive behavior. Men with obsessions about women turn into stalkers. Even if you break up with them.
You must tell your boyfriend that you really adore him, but that his behavior is stifling and scary. Tell him that you want him to back off and give you space. See how he handles it. That will be a major way for you to determine if this relationship should continue.
The true litmus test will be when you tell your parents what is going on. See how they assess his behavior. I’m a parent too, with a daughter about your age. If you were my child, I’d be ramping up to get you away from this guy immediately, changing your cell phone number and calling my brothers for back up. I’d be seriously considering shipping you off to one of their homes on a different coast for a few months if necessary. Better to be safe than sorry.
There are entirely too many stories in the news about girls and women with possessive boyfriends like this that end up dead. You were worried enough to write to me about it, so please please do as I suggest and tell your parents about the texts and the calls and waiting outside the house thing. Show your parents the texts so they can read them, and express your concerns.
The people that are in your life to protect you need to know what is happening so they can do their job and be watchful.
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