Column: It could happen to you

There is something that I really need to tell you. Are you sitting down? Good. You need to know that I am in an abusive relationship. I am telling you this, so maybe you cannot make the same mistake I did. What happened to me can happen to anyone. We all have the same likelihood of starring in our own Lifetime TV movie. For you to get a clear understanding of how I ended up in this type of relationship, let me take you back two years.

George Jr. and I met back sometime in the summer of 2000. I was not immediately attracted to him, but eventually fate had its way and George and I were dating by early November of that year. George courted me very well. He assured me that he is compassionate, and this made me happy because I love a man in touch with his feminine side. He also let me know that he was by no means a bully, and did not like to get involved in the affairs of others. My relationship with George began as a compromise, but as an older lad I was beyond looking for strictly romance and was into a more pragmatic relationship.

The first few months with George went along very smoothly. That is, between George and me at least they did. My friends are another story. They did not like George, and they really forecasted the turn for the worst our relationship would take. But being a man in love, I just assumed that my friends were jealous because I found the right man.

I soon learned, though, that my friends were right to have their suspicions about George. After getting a joint bank account together, I trusted George to spend our money wisely. Unfortunately, instead of donating our savings to charity or spending it on our basic needs, he went ahead and gave it to his wealthy friends. When I confronted George about this, he said that he had to give our money to his friends because he made promises to do so even before we started dating. His reasoning did not hold water with me though, and I soon became upset that while I was living on welfare George’s friends were living the good life we once shared.

Our relationship did not just go sour because of George’s poor investments. There were other things that started bothering me as well. Instead of being the compassionate George promised to be, he started becoming a big bully. The first time he got violent was justified, as he was defending me in a fight with some guys who had threatened and attacked my fragile body. After his victory with those guys though, George just got out-of-control. He realized his ability to fight well, and started using violence to solve all of his problems. He simply refused to talk things out, and decided that messes in his aftermath were better than working to avoid the messes in the first place. Needless to say, I became afraid of George and his temper.

A lot of the problems I am facing with George though, I do not completely blame on him. While I completely believe in taking personal responsibility for your actions, I also think that George’s friends have a lot to do with his poor behavior.

George hangs out with, for lack of a better description, a group of bullies. Perhaps you have met them. Donny and Dick are George’s best friends, and they seem to tell him to do every bad thing he does. They egg him on. George has one good friend, Colin. But Colin seems to be more like the angel on George’s shoulder that he ignores because the devil sounds more appealing. I wish George would make more friends like Colin, and I think he might improve if he did not have Dick and Donny around to reinforce his bad behavior.

I know my relationship with George sounds horrible, but I am hoping some good will come out of it. I am hoping you will learn from it like I have, and not make the same mistake I did. I am doing my best to get out of this relationship, but it is so hard. I have found some help in my Doctor, Howard Dean, and he and I are working on a goal of getting me out of my relationship with George by November 2004.

-The writer, a junior majoring in human services, is a Hatchet columnist.

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