I have been with my partner for some years. He is very loving and generous and proud of me. So, I have beautiful clothes most of which he has chosen and most of the time we have a lot of fun - cruises, trips overseas and social events. Living with him is fun… most of the time!
My problem is that if I displease him he shuts me out, physically and emotionally. I spent three weeks in the spare bedroom as punishment for suggesting we get our shared finances in order!
He does slap me around every now and then and I never know what it is I have done to offend him. He verbally berates me and presses my arm so hard it leaves bruises. When he makes up it is as if nothing happened. He makes me feel the most loved person in the world. He tenderly kisses my bruises and says it will never happen again but it does! Life with him can be exciting and great fun but he can change so quickly.
I have been in touch with lawyers but I keep changing my mind so they lose patience with me.
I was holidaying in Taree and read your column and wondered if you could give me some advice? Any suggestions on how I can change my partner’s behaviour?
Carmel (not my real name)
We do not have good news for you. Your partner, as you describe him, would seem to have a personality disorder. First, we cannot see an easy way out of this predicament in which you find yourself. The difficulty is that he has to recognise the problem and then seek treatment.
Your main task is to untangle your finances. It is a shame you allowed that to happen but on the other hand, we realise how persuasive such people can be.
We are sure of one thing. One day, you will decide that your freedom means more to you than any amount of money? Until that day, confide in a friend or relative. Moral support and a safe place to go is most important.
About the aunties
The Manning River Times presents a series of letters under the title ‘Ask the aunties’, focusing on potential scenarios that could lead to domestic violence. While the letters are imaginary, the problems are real for many women.
Image by Julie Hamann