You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I have been in a relationship that started out really well. My boyfriend was loving and very sweet for about a year. We got along beautifully. In the initial stages I let him know that I was celibate and he was fine with that. I later found out that he was cheating on me. That's when the manipulation and cruelty started. I tried to leave but just went back.
I understand that this is who he is. What I don't like is that he makes me feel insecure. Sometimes he's sweet to me, and other times he's a jerk and argumentative. I have told him over the course of our relationship to leave me alone if he hates me. At the time of my writing this email, I feel confused. I dont know what he wants from me. I am tired of his mood swings as they make me feel so insecure.
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Do you truly understand who your boyfriend is? I really don't think so. If you did, you would not be surprised or feel confused. Your boyfriend's manipulation and cruelty started well before you found I about his secret. Of course, he had no problems with you being celibate because his needs were being met elsewhere. His kindness and being sweet was his way of keeping you committed and maintaining control of you. Your boyfriend's attitude towards you shifted after you found out that he was cheating. His secret was out about his cheating and he no longer needed to maintain the facade of kindness. That is why he feels free to treat you differently and send mixed messages of wanting you to stay while pushing you away. This is part of a cycle in an abusive relationship. You are giving your boyfriend a whole lot of power and control over you. By telling him to leave you alone if he"hates" you gives him the choice. That really should not be his choice. It is your choice to leave the relationship and you not have to get his permission. If you are being cheated on, made to feel insecure, and treated cruelly, why would you want to remain in the relationship. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to process issues that keeps you in the relationship and feeling confused. You are not in control of your boyfriend but you are in control of yourself if you take it. The choice is yours! —Dr. Sherry
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