Q: From a U.S. teen: I have never had a boyfriend until I met “Ted” 4 months ago. I didn’t even like him at first, but he was obsessed with me. That creeped me out a lot, but I eventually gave him a chance to show me who he really was. It took 2 weeks to realize Ted was someone I could fall in love with. I did. He always told me I was beautiful and sexy. He told me I was funny and cute. He basically boosted my confidence when I needed it the most. We were both so happy with each other. Except there is this one problem Ted has. He has a bad temper and gets offended way too easily. I learned to speak my words carefully so I wouldn’t upset him, but sometimes there was nothing I could do. He is 1 1/2 years younger than me so I give him the benefit of the doubt.
Alright, so here is my problem…The other night we were getting ready to do a certain activity and the past 3 times we didn’t use condoms. I’m on the pill, but I get sort of paranoid easily. So this time I bought some, but he didn’t like the kind I bought. He said they don’t work. I made him use it anyway. He was right. He got so mad and told me “I told you they wouldn’t work. I’m so sick of people not believing me. But that’s ok, I’m used to it.” Totally shocked that he would get mad at something so stupid, I got angry myself. But I tried to fix things like I always do. But this time he didn’t seem to care. I was so hurt that I left. He sent me a text message the next day telling me that if I wanted to end it then I should just do it. I didn’t want to at all, but the way I read his message made me think that he wanted it to be over. So I said we probably should call it quits. He then sent me a text saying he can’t believe he lost the love of his life and that he felt sick. I immediately regretted my false decision. So I tried through texts and in person for nearly 7 hours that day to explain that I really love him and I didn’t mean what I said. He finally believed me and we made up. But even though we’re ok, he told me that he’s scared I’m going to hurt him again. I never try to hurt people, especially those I love dearly.
I feel so sick that I hurt him so much and that he’s afraid I’ll do it again. I never meant to hurt him and I’m going to try my best to prove that I am an honest person and that I won’t hurt him. We’re together 4 months and it’s ironic because I remember him pleading with me to go out with him and it took me 2 weeks to agree. Now look at the situation. Now I’m the one trying to prove myself because I’ve fallen so hard for this guy it scares me. All I want is to go back to him loving me like he did in the beginning because that’s how I feel about him now. I’m not ready to leave him and I just want to know what I could do to show him I really am the sweet, caring, fun person he thought of me as 4 months ago. I miss the security. Our bond is too strong to just end. I love him so much. I feel horrible and so scared.
Please slow down and reread what you wrote. You are bending yourself into a pretzel to please and win back a young man who is unreasonable and controlling. Somehow he’s turned a situation upside down so that you feel at fault when he’s the one who is being manipulative. Most couples would either get a laugh out of the situation you described or would just get past it. This fellow seems to love you only when things go his way. Making a relationship work takes compromises. Loving relationships don’t require begging and pleading over a difference of opinion or a moment of frustration.
I realize this is your first love but my best suggestion is that you chalk this one up as experience and make yourself available again. You deserve to be with someone who treats you with more respect and who meets you at least halfway when the inevitable disagreements happen when two people are learning how to be with each other.
I wish you well.