#ReachOutThursday: My Boyfriend Is Physically Abusive, What Do I do?

Posted: November 12, 2015

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Every Thursday, the Women’s Web expert panel with the support of Healtheminds, answers questions from readers facing relationships issues, emotional and mental challenges and other such issues.

In this edition of #ReachOutThursday, a woman in a relationship where her boyfriend is physically abusive seeks advice on what to do.

Hi there,

I am a 30-year-old woman, working in an IT firm. Professionally I am doing very well. I am in a relationship with a man for past 5 years; we plan to marry in July 2016. He is also an Engineer in an IT firm. Professionally we both are doing well. Our parents are also very happy about our marriage. But my boyfriend turns violent when he gets angry. He becomes physically abusive. It seems he is a different person when he is angry. Otherwise, he is the nicest guy on earth. I spoke to his mother about this. She says that things will be fine after marriage. My boyfriend refuses any help in this matter.

Please help

Rohini Sharma


Hi Rohini,

Good to know that you are happy in your relationship.

However as per your version I have a few suggestions to make:

  1. Please do ask his mother if he has been getting violent when angry, since childhood. And if so, then how were they coping with it.

  2. Also ask her the frequency of such violent anger outbursts since childhood. Would he get physically abusive with anyone then or are you only facing the brunt of physical abuse?

  3. Firmly say NO to physical abuse – even when he may convince you that you provoked him into getting angry because of some wrongdoing of yours which may have been intentional or otherwise.

  4. Please remember, no provocative situation (even one in which you may have been completely wrong) can justify physical abuse.

  5. Once physical abuse begins from a boyfriend or husband, it will never going to end howsoever polite or submissive you might become. If you “accept” this pattern in a relationship – just to “keep” the relationship because otherwise he may be pure gold in temperament, its never going to stop and you will be welcoming yourself to a life time of torture and trauma which may turn one into a social, emotional, physical and psychological wreck.

  6. Please do meet a counsellor too with whom you will be able to talk about specific coping strategies in dealing with specific anger tantrums. It will be easier to make him come to terms with his anger and abusive issues now than after marriage. Your mother-in-law is a typical mother who blindly believes that things will automatically improve after marriage. Such issues never get resolved on their own. You will have to take concrete action and demarcate your boundaries politely but firmly.

– Dr. Amita Puri, Psychologist

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1 Comment

  1. Chaitrali Mhatre -

    Think twice before marrying this guy. You are better off without him. I know it is easy said than done, but you might face some trouble now ending this relation. However, if you stay you will face hell latter. What is the use of apology once any of your bone is broken? If you feel he can change after counselling, sure take him, but if it is not going to be so, leave him.

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