Abusive Boyfriend: I Love him!

Dear Readers:

Today, with the permission of an advice-seeker, I am bringing you into my process.  As I have mentioned before, I often have an email exchange when people write to me, because the first question sent usually doesn’t have enough information for me to render advice that’s worth a damn.  Today’s question presents a prime example of when I need to engage with a letter writer and dig into their lives so I can boss them around via this blog despite my utter lack of credentials.

This, my friends, is how we make the sausage.


“L” stands for “Lovelorn,” and if I need to tell you what “R” stands for you should stop reading now because my blog requires a certain intellectual threshold that you clearly do not meet.

L: Here’s my question:  WTF is wrong w me?

R: I’m going to need some specifics. I’m good, but not that good

L: Run with it.

L: I think my problem is that I don’t want to hear the advice you will give me. Because then I will have to follow it. And if I don’t I will feel like crap.  Because you really do know better than I do.

R: Let me help you. I don’t have to write it

L: I’m recently divorced and dating two men.  One is a kind, sweet wonderful guy.  The other one I am in love with, despite that he is a needy, co-dependent, abusive, immature emotional retard.  Can you turn that into something?

R: Yes but I need more details about your description of him

L: Verbally abusive.  “Fuck you, you fucking piece of shit, fuck off”.  Throwing things at me.   Following me, driving by my house, calling my employer.  Followed me out of town when I went to NYC on business.  Now has cut me off – blocked my phone number,unfriended me. We live in the same neighborhood so I see him all the time.  Says he has unconditional love, support and security to offer me and my kids.  And that he loves me more than anyone ever could.  And the sex is passionate and wonderful.  And his penis is absolutely PERFECT.

R: Was your ex like that?  Or your dad?

L: Both were verbally abusive.  In different ways.  Sex was never good with ex.  Don’t know about my dad’s penis.  Thank goodness.

R: I lol’d. Did your mother stick up for you?

L: No. She was verbally abused by my dad in the same way.

R: Are you in therapy?

L: Yes.

R: How long?  Therapy, that is? 🙂

L: Been going for about 3 years.

R: You need a new therapist

L: No I don’t – she’s great.  I love her.

R: Seriously. Really?  She’s great?  She’s not helping you

L: I have been to many.  She helps me a lot.  It’s not that easy

R: You need robin therapy

L: Ok.

R: Do you have children at home?

L: Yes, a boy and two girls.  All under 12.

R: Can I use this exchange?  And by the way, stop fucking the nice guy if you love this abusive asshole. That’s just mean.

L: I care about the nice guy.  

R: Sorry I calls ’em likes I sees ’em

L: I know.  I appreciate it.  He only has so much to offer, though.  But I want to be done with the asshole.

R: Why do you have to be with anyone?  Why can’t you just BE?

L: I don’t know.  That’s another of my problems.

WOW, right?

This is not a funny situation.  AT ALL.  And yet, funny is my schtick so I’m going to have to give it a shot.

Dear Lovelorn:

First, thank you for trusting me with this incredibly important problem, and for allowing me to share our exchange with my readers.

Second, what the fuck is wrong with you, indeed?


If you lived in Portland, I’d get your address and drive to your house to slap some sense into you.  In fact, if you lived anywhere I felt like visiting, I’d fly to where you are and do the same.  Unfortunately, you live in Spokane, and while I certainly do care about your problem, I just don’t care enough to go to Spokane.

I am going to get very real on your ass in a very direct manner this morning, which means it’s AskDesCamp Advice By Numbers time.  I’ll address issues in the order raised during our email chat but first I’ll say this:

You came to me for advice so despite your protestations, I think you have arrived at a point where you know you need help and tough love to rid yourself of this man (I’m going to call him OJ).  You are ready to make a change so listen up, sister: get the fuck away from this psycho before he ruins your life and possibly ends it.  By the way, this is the next birthday card you can expect from your children:


That’s the bottom line advice: stay away from him.  Forever.  Now let’s get into the details…

1. There is no such thing as “unconditional love” except maybe with our children.  When I hear someone say they love their partner unconditionally I see a fool who either doesn’t understand the meaning of the word or a fucking doormat in need of therapy or a bullet to the brain.


Do I love my husband unconditionally?  No.

If he cheated on me, abused my son and burned our house down on purpose with our dog in it (in all honesty I care more about my art than the dog) I can say without a doubt I wouldn’t love him anymore.  So, OJ can’t love you unconditionally, unless he is a pathetic loser who would never leave you even if you shit all over him, hurt his kids and burned his house down.  He’s either a liar or a simpering shadow of a real man.  Sounds like a prize to me!


2. When someone says “I can love you more than anyone ever could,” I hear a subtext of “because you are inherently unlovable.”  What I mean is this: while I know in my heart that I love my husband a shit ton, I can’t say there isn’t anyone out there who could love him as much or more.  Why?  Because he’s so god-damned lovable.  Your man is actually insulting you when he claims his love is superior to any future potential love, so chew on that while I deliver my next little nugget:

3. I don’t care how much you love your therapist, you need a new one, STAT.  If you love her so much, fire her and make her your drinking buddy, but find yourself a shrink who can actually help you.  Your personal history (abusive father, mother who didn’t protect you and abusive ex-husband) is dictating the way you are living your life and you continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.

I’m not a therapist (see disclaimer on home page!!!) but I’m pretty sure that if I was, my job description would include counseling clients to change behavior that makes them unhappy.  This gal has had you for three years and you’re still a mess.  She either doesn’t understand how to help you or she just can’t be straight with you: either way she sucks.


If she were your plastic surgeon and you woke up with breast implants on your knees, would you just shrug it off because “you love her?”  Be sure to call me when you finally decide to pursue a malpractice claim, I can give you some attorney referrals up there in Spokane.

Why do you hate yourself so much?  I mean, that’s really what it comes down to, Lovelorn.  You hate yourself and you don’t want to engage in behavior that will make you happy because you don’t think you deserve to be happy.  You have your parents to thank for that, but only to a point.  You are old enough now to change your paradigm and stop doing stupid shit, like dating psychopathic stalkers who happen to have perfect penises.


I just have to ask: what makes a perfect penis perfect?  Readers, please address by leaving comments.

5. In addition to dumping OJ, you should probably stop seeing the nice guy.  He may be an ideal partner for you someday, but not in your current state of fucked-up-edness.  Most important: you need to learn how to be on your own for a change rather than depending on a man.  You probably won’t be able to do that until you learn your worth via therapy with a qualified analyst, not one who got her license from the Internet in a 2-for-1 deal that also came with a license to perform weddings.

6. This man is abusive.  If he hasn’t hit you yet, I bet he will someday.  Whether or not he does abuse you physically, he is abusing you psychologically and you are worried that he has cut you out of his life?  Jesus Christ on a crutch, woman, take advantage of this!  He has saved you the trouble of a messy break-up.  I bet he’s a crier: does he cry?  Yeah, I bet he does.


Except he’ll be back.  You know he’ll be back.  Which brings me to my final point, and it’s harsh:

7. You are being a bad mom if you ever let this man in your life again.  You are creating a son who will have ZERO respect for women and possibly become an abuser himself.  You are raising daughters who will seek out abusive partners and struggle with self-esteem issues their entire lives.

Lovelorn, if you can’t cut this asshole out of your life because it’s good for you, do it for your kids.  If you don’t, I don’t think you give a damn about them.  Sorry, but while parents are free to enjoy abusive and shitty relationships once the kids are grown, you have no right to subject your children to OJ.

No right at all, and it makes me mad.  I’m actually shaking as I write this.  Please do as I say and get back to me with updates.  All joking aside, I do care.  I care more than you know, so get some help and stay away from this man.  PLEASE.


This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Laura

    As someone who has been there (Yes. Right there.): What she said.

    Believe it.

    No, really, believe it.

  2. jimmy

    Good one Robin!

    1. askdescamp

      Jimmy, you know I love ya but I gotta disagree. Like, strenuously. This is a nice woman who needs to break some old patterns but she is not a vampire. She’s trying to find her way in the middle of a difficult time and I think the fact she reached out to me says she knows something is very, very wrong.

  3. No patience for stupid

    I too want to slap her. I’ll drive and we can stop in Walla Walla for wine afterwards. It’s cute there.

  4. Melinda DesCamp

    When I was in an abusive marriage many many years ago, I picked up a book called The Road Less Travelled which helped me understand that putting myself in a relationship with an abuser is actually a way of feeding your ego in a unhealthy and dangerous way. As long as you get to wear the white hat as the good “guy” in your partnership, you are strategizing almost deliberately to be a martyr. When I read that I was staying in the relationship just to be the “better” half, I was so disgusted with myself that I actually ended the relationship the very next day. This woman needs to ask herself some very humbling questions about what she gets out of this. And yes, a new therapist right away!

    1. askdescamp

      That is a very excellent point, thank you for raising it!

  5. Ali Whiting

    I’ve no idea what to comment. Lovelorn deserves better. The nice guy deserves better. Aholes gonna be aholes.

    What makes a perfect penis perfect is width, not length.

    What?!?! You said to comment!

    1. askdescamp

      There once was a penis found lacking
      who sadly once used was sent packing
      he found no great mirth
      for the dearth in his girth
      left his owner alone sadly whacking

      1. Hedgehog

        The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd:

        With prurient eyes on computers,
        The Supreme Court stared at some hooters,
        Said Stewart the Justice,
        “It’s not porn, it’s just tits,”
        Then he fired back two oyster shooters.

        1. askdescamp

          Very nice!


  6. Jenny

    Robin, you are dead on. Lovelorn may love her therapist and her therapist might be good for your run of the mill problems but she needs a specialist. She needs a trauma therapist. You can give her good advice until the cows come home (hopefully she doesn’t live near any in Spokane) but she is damaged and being rational may seem simple but it’s not. I’ve been there. Domestic Violence ensnares you in it’s sticky web. She needs to spend a few more years with the right therapist to grasp the damage that has been done to her, the way she views the world and right from wrong. This is terrifying, heartbreaking and lonely work and you must have strength that comes from a thousand women (or your dead grandmother in my case). I wish lovelorn well. Lovelorn, in 2011 there were 4,440 domestic violence offenses in Spokane County. You are not alone. Please, if nothing else, call Domestic Violence Advocates in Spokane and ask for help (509) 477-3656.


  7. Ann

    Right on! I hope she follows your advice- if not for herself, at least for her children

  8. Linda

    Whether physical or emotional abuse, it is still abuse. You gave good advice Robin about the relationship and about the therapist. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for 29 years. I chose to stay in it. It was harmful to me and to my daughter. I finally ended it in 2012 and it is the best decision I ever made (other than starting a relationship with my absolute best friend and moving to Oregon). If she cannot do it for herself (some truly are dependent on what they feel is security), then she MUST do it for her children. They will grow up and become involved with people who are “familiar” for lack of a better word. It is a lose lose situation. I agree with the unconditional love comment too. My parter and I always said our love is unconditional, we both know that was something that we didn’t need to say or promise.
    I pray that this woman listens to you and also lets you know how she is doing in the future!

  9. CL

    Dear L:
    No one can tell you what to do, but something tells me you already know. If not, feel free to contact me and I will to tell you what your future will be like. Property destruction is the “gateway” behavior to getting your ass beat, and him ruining your life. I feel really ridiculous whenever I say that to someone, but that shit is true. Things will NEVER get better- ever. They will only get worse. Are you prepared to fuck up your kids’ lives? Lose your friends/ family? Jobs? Car windows? Screen doors? blah blah blah. Do you really want it to get to the point where the police and the district attorney are involved in your life? What about emergency rooms- how do you feel about those? He will come back- it’s only up to you to decide whether or not you’re going to let him. Bottom line is, no one can rescue you except for yourself. That fucking sucks- but it’s true. You’re right, “it’s not easy”, but at some point you are the one that has to make a choice. Good luck.

  10. jimmy

    After further review I apologise for my snap to judgment. I am predisposed to stick up for the nice guy. We boys are so sick of being the clean up just to watch someone we’re developing healthy feelings for validate the asshole time and again. Ladies, stop enabling the douche bags!

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