DEAR ABBY: I’m in a relationship I can’t get out of. My “boyfriend” told me that what he is doing is normal. He says that’s what people who love each other do, and he loves me more than anyone has ever loved me. I have told him repeatedly that I don’t love him.
He stops by my house and follows me to work. He’s also checked to make sure I go where I say, like to the gym and the store. He tells me that all men want to have sex with me and that I dress too sexy (I mostly wear leggings and t-shirts). He has monitored the Zoom meetings I go to.
Everything that comes and follows without my permission or knowledge. He usually tells me about it later, saying he only does it “for love”. This has been happening for several years. Why do I put up with it? I tried to break. It started after a few months together. But he blamed me for staying, saying I would be all alone. Or he would kill himself. Then I found out he filmed us having sex a few times and threatens me that if I don’t stay, people will see.
Please tell me what to do. I have no self-esteem left, and yes, I feel like the whore they made me be. I’m not sure what you can do to help me. I have no one to talk to. — PRISONER ANONYMOUS
Dear Prisoner: This person does not love you. Your boyfriend is an abuser, stalker and extortionist. You are right that you need someone to talk to. Actually, I can think of more than one. Pick up the phone and call 800-799-7233. It is the toll-free number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
A counselor there will be happy to offer suggestions on how to deal with your abuser. During the conversation, ask if his threat to release the sex tape should be reported to the police. (I think it SHOULD be.) PS AND PLEASE stop feeling guilty. If you’re worried that he might kill himself if you end the relationship, don’t be. He has no intention of continuing.
DEAR ABBY: Our son died suddenly a month ago. It was a terrible shock. That same day, his mother (my wife) announced, “We’re done!” as a couple We have been married for 41 years, but our relationship has always been difficult. He hasn’t spoken to me since.
I have two areas of deep pain and no one to talk to to share the agony of losing a child and a marriage at the same time. Family and close friends have been sympathetic, but most don’t know what to say. Any advice would be appreciated. — GRIEF IN TENNESSEE
Dear Mourner: Please accept my deepest condolences on the death of your son. Since you have no one to confide in, it’s important to start talking to a grief counselor about the double loss you’ve experienced. It will take time to get over the sadness you feel after your child’s death. While no one can blame you for your anger at your wife for her bad timing, once your sadness subsides, you may realize how lucky you are to finally be free of an unhappy marriage of 41 years .
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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