I am a 21-year-old single female and I recently got engaged to my high school sweet heart. We are fairly young, but believe that we where meant to be together forever. Our relationship has been rocky for years, mainly because we where trying to find ourselves while also trying to maintain a relationship. My fiancé has a temper and does not express himself very well. As a matter of fact, he is verbally abusive at times. His abuse bothers me, but I give him a pass because I know that he has unresolved childhood issues. His father abandoned him and his mother when you was five years old. At times I think about leaving him, but I know that would destroy him. I love him, but I feel trapped. I feel responsible for him. I love my fiancé, but feel trapped: what should I do? Please help.
Trapped in Love
Dear Trapped in Love,
I highly recommend that you seek professional help. I start with this recommendation because you are in an abusive relationship and have become an enabler. Also, you have become a victim yourself. Whenever I speak with women who are in similar situations, I tell them to never become a victim of someone else’s unresolved pain. Addressing your fiancé’s pain should not be your primary objective in the relationship.
Sometimes you have to step back so others can step up. You cannot want something for someone more than they want it for themselves. If you continue on this path of enabling your fiancé to play the victim role you will live a life trying to carry a load that is not yours to carry.
Sometimes you have to step back so others can step up.
Tell him that you want to be present in his life, but not responsible for it. Let him know that your love in unwavering, but your peace of mind is not. This means that sometimes loving others from afar is the best kind of love. He might not understand this, but he has to learn how not to push people away because his father ran away. I admire you for sticking with him and not kicking him when he is down, but I do not want you to get kicked either.
Let him know that your love in unwavering, but your peace of mind is not.
Once again, I remind you that you should never become a victim of someone else’s unresolved pain. With this in mind, seek premarital counseling and let your counselor know how you feel. Feeling trapped is not a healthy emotion. Whatever you do please do not make excuses for abusive behavior. If you make excuses while it is verbal, you will also make excuses when it becomes physical. Get the help that you need and hopefully your fiancé might be willing to get help as well.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.
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