Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor
Below is Dr Matt's Answer
Hello Dr. Matt:
My name is Darla. I live in South Dakota and I am writing to ask you for some help because I have been very troubled about this for a long time.
I have been with my boyfriend for about 1 year now and I should say that from the beginning, we never had a happy, typical relationship. We were always fighting and yelling at each other although after our fights, we would always have a very nice, loving period of time, where every thing was perfect.
Last week we got into a very huge fight and I slapped him in the face. I knew it was wrong of me to do this but after I did it, he hit me back. I realized that this is not the first time we have been physical in our arguments. We have thrown things at each other, hit each other, pushed and shoved each other, anything. A few days later, we somewhat made up but now I am contemplating what my options are. I know the logical thing to do is to leave him, but I feel like I might be provoking him to hit me when we fight. I know that there are issues with me and with him as well. Should I pursue to have this relationship or completely just end it?
Whether you "end" this relationship or not . . . the single most important thing you can do is:
Become the kind of woman who doesn't initiate or encourage or prolong outbursts of yelling, arguments, and physical aggression.
If you don't CHANGE your tendencies to do these things . . . then, if or when you move on to your NEXT relationship . . . the same pattern will appear again! Ironically, though the relationship will be NEW, you can expect the same OLD yelling, arguments, and hitting to happen.
Wherever you go, you will take yourself with you. So, to prevent this . . . you must CHANGE.
Now, of course, the same advice to CHANGE is recommended for your boyfriend, but since I'm not talking directly to him, I must talk in terms for of what YOU . . . can DO!
The process of CHANGE does not happen according to the wildly popular assumptions of "brain programming"--NO, life doesn't work that way. If "brain programming" really worked, . . . then most everyone would be doing a lot of good stuff and not much of the bad (clearly that's NOT happening).
Programming your HEAD is also sold under the titles "Positive Mental Attitude" AND "Positive Self-Affirmation" OR "Positive Self-Talk."
To get a brief introduction to what DOES work, read what I've written that this page at my website:
Now, did you notice that I didn't answer your question? I did this intentionally. I apologize if this frustrated you.
In my book, I've written a section about "Asking the Best Questions." Since, your question was NOT the BEST one, . . . I did what I recommend in my book: disappear bad questions, . . . don't answer them AT ALL, and instead, ask the BEST QUESTIONS!
So, regardless of whether you stay or whether you go . . . you happiness resides with the essential goal of: CHANGING YOUR STRIPES.
IF you make the essential commitment to CHANGE and become a woman who no longer participates in fits of yelling, arguments, and hitting, . . . if your boyfriend continues to behave in this contentious pattern, . . . obviously, "ending" your relationship with him will be an easy and clear decision.
But in the mean time: The two of you are suited for each other. You are two peas in a pod. Both of you engage in yelling, arguments, and physical aggression. So, for now, you're getting exactly what you have bargained for.
The truth is . . . you can't really GET BETTER . . . till you BECOME BETTER. This is the way I say it in the "Changing Your Stripes" Manual:
Attraction flows, it cannot be forced.
I'm hoping that you will choose to CHANGE and if you're serious about this essential goal, my book can be a valuable "road map" for the journey.
Matt Moody, Ph.D.
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The Greatest Prize
The book, "Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
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"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
If these principles resonate and ring true,
Changing Your Stripes is a