Title

Is my girlfriend mentally abusive? - 2017-02-01

His weight gain turns me off! - 2017-01-18

I DON’T WANT TO GO OUT WITH HIS FAMILY!! - 2017-01-06

He wants to stop using condoms but not take a test! - 2016-12-23

Talking dirty - 2016-12-14

Lasting longer, I ejaculate too quickly - 2016-11-05

Getting red hot in the hot tub! - 2016-10-23

My boyfriend is an animal in bed! - 2016-09-28

He only loves doggie style sex - 2016-08-30

I have 2 men but I'm not happy! - 2016-08-25

He is on the small size and I’m worried about sex - 2016-08-03

I'm afraid my past will come out! - 2016-03-07

I don't always feel attracted to my husband, help! - 2016-02-28

Now that I'm pregnant I'm losing my sex drive - 2016-02-08

Am I asexual? - 2015-08-11

Can my Spanish holiday fling become something more? - 2015-04-27

He lets his ex call all the shots - 2015-04-13

I'm worried my musician boyfriend will cheat - 2015-03-23

I don't want to give him porn style sex! - 2015-02-24

Help! Having my breast size criticised has left me insecure! - 2015-02-12

he won't give me oral sex! - 2015-01-03

Do I stick my nose in? - 2014-08-19

Age Gap - 2014-07-29

fat and ugly in bed - 2014-07-24

My boyfriend doesn't want me to lap dance - 2014-07-10

I love him and want his babies but he doesn't seem to want children - 2014-07-03

Should I stick to my plan to never have another office romance? - 2014-06-19

National Agony Aunt Week back mid June - 2014-05-20

Life Falling Apart - 2014-04-22

my girlfriend spends too much time with her ex - 2014-04-17

Please help our sex drives are different - 2014-04-10

He's still in love with his ex - 2014-04-03

To the person who emailed me about their relationship with their therapist - 2014-03-28

Have I put him off with my aloof behaviour? - 2014-03-27

he always wants sex in the morning! - 2014-03-06

My boyfriend doesn't treat me very well - 2014-02-27

I have a problem at work with my OCD - 2014-02-21

Help! I worry about his reaction to my birthmark! - 2013-09-12

a sexual assault is haunting me - 2013-09-05

Week 1 and 2 of Be a Man Magnet Challenge - 2013-08-26

asexuality in my family - 2013-08-22

my husband is having problems with his erection - 2013-08-15

My husband confessed he likes larger ladies and I'm not large! - 2013-07-25

is he going to listen to the office gossip?? - 2013-06-27

she doesn't reach climax, should I be worried? - 2013-06-20

his scars put me off - 2013-06-13

please help I'm worried my weight turns off my husband - 2013-06-06

help! I have sexual thoughts about my foster brother - 2013-05-30

I'm obsessed by a stripper I saw!! - 2013-05-23

Help! His ex has such an amazing figure! - 2013-05-09

I'm 20 years old with the breasts of a 60 year old!! - 2013-05-02

how do I prove my boss is harassing me?? - 2013-04-25

can I learn more from an older man?? - 2013-04-18

Please help my mother drove my boyfriend way!! - 2013-04-11

how do I tell my best friend she has bad breath? - 2013-04-04

I would like more than sex from this fling! - 2013-03-28

my partner has pain during sex.... - 2013-03-07

I lie about being a virgin - 2013-02-28

When I bumped into my ex I could feel a spark - 2013-02-21

I get aroused but can't let go and reach climax - 2013-02-14

Please help I'm attracted to my fianc's best friend - 2013-02-07

My boyfriend loves spanking me - 2013-01-31

Questions about my manhood - 2013-01-24

I found out my boyfriend used to use escorts and prostitutes Help! - 2013-01-17

Should I tell his wife? - 2013-01-05

going through Christmas without my children - 2012-12-20

You are AWESOME - 2012-12-18

I'd love to sleep with the guy I fancy after my office party but - 2012-12-13

Please help my husband's sex drive is much higher than mine - 2012-12-06

I was cheated on and find it hard to trust - 2012-11-29

My boyfriend objects to plastic surgery - 2012-11-22

we had a threesome and it's spoiling our relationship - 2012-11-15

my boyfriend's mother has moved in and it's causing problems in our sex life - 2012-11-08

my boyfriend turns me off - 2012-11-01

My partner has problems with his erection - 2012-10-25

My sister flirts with my boyfriends... - 2012-10-18

my fianc's father is a disgusting dirty old man - 2012-10-11

my husband neglects me in the bedroom - 2012-10-04

Your book on How to be a Happy Human - 2012-09-30

I'm being pressured into sex - 2012-09-06

Stressed out mother - 2012-08-30

My girlfriend has gone off sex - 2012-08-16

I've been seeing someone after my divorce but panicked! - 2012-08-09

How can I help my friend in an abusive relationship? - 2012-08-02

after eight years together he won't give me an answer about moving in - 2012-07-26

My teenage daughter is in a relationship I'm worried will lead to sex - 2012-07-19

I have problems with my erection - 2012-07-12

Help I'm being held back by lack of body confidence - 2012-07-05

I want to get married after five years together but frightened to ask him - 2012-06-28

Help! He takes too long to climax! - 2012-06-21

Fading into a breakup - 2012-06-07

Should I worry about my fantasies? - 2012-05-31

I'm going to lose it over access visits - 2012-05-24

I'd like my girlfriend to dye her hair - 2012-05-17

my wife has changed since losing her job - 2012-05-10

my girlfriend slept with a woman in the past and I'm worried about it - 2012-05-03

I'm worried about him using Internet porn - 2012-04-26

our relationship seems built on sex and it's not enough - 2012-04-19

Never had a boyfriend - 2012-04-07

I'm married and kissed another woman - 2012-03-29

my son hasn't had a girlfriend at 20 - 2012-03-15

what do you do when your girlfriend's friend flirts with you? - 2012-03-08

having difficulties in the bedroom - 2012-03-01

am I being paranoid about this man? - 2012-02-23

Have noticed someone else, help! - 2012-02-16

Is this normal? - 2012-02-09

please explain my dream about sex - 2012-02-02

My friend is going back to a man who cheated on her... - 2012-01-26

I think my boyfriend is hiding something in his past - 2012-01-19

my new girlfriend's sex toy usage bothers me - 2012-01-11

Should I pursue this guy? - 2011-12-22

Is my dream necessarily true? - 2011-12-15

should I have health worries about having more sex? - 2011-12-08

What should I do about my girlfriends flirting? - 2011-12-01

I'm raising my son on my own and need to discuss masterbation - 2011-11-26

My husband ONLY wants sex outside the bedroom!! - 2011-11-17

I am a very indecisive person and it makes me feel stupid... - 2011-11-10

Are my wet dreams normal? - 2011-11-03

My partner says he was pressured into going to a lap dancing club - 2011-10-27

My new girlfriend has never had an orgasm! - 2011-10-20

The pain of the affair kills me every day - 2011-10-13

My brother is useless with women! - 2011-10-06

My teen thinks she's in love - 2011-09-29

Do I have the 4 year itch - 2011-09-22

A question from Bill - 2011-09-21

Dressing for husband & flashing - 2011-09-09

Being a step mum wasn't in my life plan - 2011-08-28

My husband is letting himself go - 2011-08-28

He goes out without me every Friday night - 2011-08-25

My wife wants to go travelling - 2011-08-18

I worry about my friends using fortune tellers! - 2011-08-15

I think my husband is going through a midlife crisis - 2011-08-15

should I give up on relationships? - 2011-08-04

I feel unworthy of love... - 2011-07-28

Missing my sons is tearing me up - 2011-07-21

My sister-in-law might have postnatal depression - it is worrying us - 2011-07-14

when I was a child I was abused by my uncle and can't get over it - 2011-07-07

My fiance was killed and I am finding it hard to date again - 2011-06-30

I had sex with my friend and want more - 2011-06-23

Is it time to leave my marriage? - 2011-06-16

Am I being harassed? - 2011-06-09

Is it possible to forgive an affair? - 2011-06-02

HE DRESSES LIKE AN OLD ROCKER - 2011-05-26

My husband wants to send our teenage son away - 2011-05-19

Your sex addiction e-mails... - 2011-05-12

she spends, spends, spends - 2011-05-05

My relationship problem isn't very funny... - 2011-04-28

Help my husband is thoughtless! - 2011-04-21

MY PAST IS HAUNTING ME - 2011-04-14

I'm a girl whose fallen for a woman with a boyfriend... - 2011-04-07

I am a man after more than sex - 2011-03-31

HIS HABIT IS CAUSING ROWS - 2011-03-17

MY MUM IS STUCK IN HER GRIEF - 2011-03-10

I AM IN A TERRIBLE DILEMMA ABOUT MY SICK BOYFRIEND - 2011-03-03

Help MY BREASTS ARE TOO BIG - 2011-02-24

HELP WITH LOSING VIRGINITY - 2011-02-17

MY BOYFRIEND NEGLECTS ME - 2011-02-17

WHY AM I A LOVE LOSER? - 2011-02-06

HIS NEED FOR BONDAGE IS RUINING MY SEXUAL DESIRE - 2011-02-03

TRYING FOR A BABY HAS DAMAGED OUR SEX LIFE - 2011-01-27

I DO NOT WANT TO KEEP LYING ABOUT ORGASMS.... - 2011-01-20

MY MARRIED BOYFRIEND KEEPS PROMISING TO LEAVE HER - 2011-01-13

HELP ME KEEP MY SEX LIFE EXCITING - 2011-01-06

Ejaculation - 2011-01-06

Ashamed of my virginity - 2011-01-06

Not enough sex - 2011-01-06

HELP ME UNDERSTAND MY WEIRD... - 2010-12-31

THINGS ARE DIRE THIS CHRISTMAS - 2010-12-24

I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE PHONE SEX WITH HIM - 2010-12-16

USING DRUGS DURING SEX IS NOW A TURN OFF - 2010-12-10

YEARS IN AN UNHAPPY MARRIAGE - 2010-12-06

HE BROKE MY HEART AND NOW... - 2010-12-03

I FANCY MY FRIEND - 2010-11-25

IT IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER... - 2010-11-18

WHILE I AGREE WITH SOME... - 2010-11-12

HER DISCIPLINE IS TOO HARSH! - 2010-11-05

LOST THAT LUSTFUL FEELING - 2010-10-29

I AM HARBOURING A DARK SECRET - 2010-10-22

SHOULD I GIVE HIM AN ULTIMATUM - 2010-10-15

SHE WANTS TO STOP USING CONDOMS BUT... - 2010-10-08

HE WANTS TO CONTROL MY PLANS - 2010-10-01

I'M BEING MESSED AROUND - 2010-09-24

ULTIMATUM TIME - 2010-09-18

FANTASY LAND - 2010-09-16

MY THREESOME IS A NIGHTMARE - 2010-09-03

IN LOVE WITH MY GAY BEST FRIEND - 2010-09-03

ON THE VERGE OF ADULTERY - 2010-08-27

CAN I LIVE WITH A TRANSVESTITE HUSBAND? - 2010-08-23

I LACK CONFIDENCE AROUND MEN EVEN AT AGE 40 - 2010-08-23

I HIT MY MAN - 2010-08-12

HIS BALDNESS DOES NOT MATTER! - 2010-08-05

I CAN NOT LET GO OF MY HUSBAND - 2010-07-30

DEVIOUS DATER - 2010-07-23

How do I tell my sister? - 2010-07-15

He has got the manners of a dog! - 2010-07-09

He is good at home, but bad when out! - 2010-07-02

I do not even want to kiss my husband anymore... - 2010-06-24

I fear destroying my relationship because of my jealousy... - 2010-06-18

My sister is having one night stands... - 2010-06-11

Want something raunchy... - 2010-06-04

His dog gets more love!! - 2010-05-27

My man is a foot-freak! - 2010-05-20

I fancy someone besides my boyfriend!! - 2010-04-29

summer anthems - 2010-04-22

feeling unhappy - 2010-04-14

the film Precious - 2010-04-08

First date nerves - 2010-03-26

I am going to lose my virginity - 2010-03-22

What makes you happy... - 2010-03-15

I can't face Mother's day - 2010-03-08

Cheryl and Ashley - 2010-02-27

Strangers - 2010-02-16

He's fab but rubbish at romance - 2010-02-15

Fallen for my 'already-spoken' for neighbour - 2010-02-08

This Week


Is my girlfriend mentally abusive?

Hi Dr Pam, please help, I really need a second opinion on the state of my relationship. I think my girlfriend might be claseed as mentally abusive. Here’s the background, I met my partner 18 months ago, I’m 40 and she’s 38. One thing we immediately shared was the fact that neither of us want children and we both want to travel.

Things got intense quickly and I was spending most nights at hers. About six months ago I lost my job and she said as I was always at hers why didn’t I move it because obviously money was going to be tight for me while jobseeking. Things are great except we get in an argument and she really throws in my face that I’m not contributing my share of the bills. This is usually after some wine when a different side emerges. She’ll then be so sweet the next morning, apologetic, and praises me for how hard I’m trying to find work. So far I’ve only had some part-time work but I try every day.

It’s just given an edge to the relationship which worries me. Especially as she has a drink a few nights a week and it all comes out then. When she nice I feel really good things and optimistic for the future. But when she’s had a few I feel like I’m trapped in that classic bad Romance. What can I do? there is no reasoning with her when she’s had a drink. But this is starting to eat away at how I feel about myself. Thank you Roger



My Response:

Hi Roger,

You’re describing a classic cycle of emotional abuse. Her alcohol use is a symptom of underlying anger or unhappiness. It all comes out once she’s had a few.

This is emotional abuse when you’re trying hard to find work and she rubs it in and digs away at your self-esteem when 'under the influence'.

A couple things strike me – the hard truth is you have given her this power because you continue to put up with this cycle. Maybe because you feel beholden to her due to living at hers rent free.

So it’s up to you to set your boundaries with her behaviour. When she starts on you simply leave the room, tell her that she’ll regret her harsh words in the morning and you won’t tolerate them.

As I always say 'take the oxygen of attention' away from someone and they start to change their bad behaviour.

Next you need to calmly talk to her about how alcohol unleashes this other side. She really needs to think about her alcohol use. And whether she has a problem with it.

If you find she improves when you leave her with her vitriol and go into another room, or have a shower, or read a book in the bedroom (whatever works) that'd be a good starting. It shows her you won't listen to her verbal abuse.

If she can’t change, you need to seriously think if you are so desperate for a place to live you will tolerate this cycle of emotional abuse.

Wishing you luck with this! Pamx