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Pamela, LCSW
Pamela, LCSW, Psychotherapist/MSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 747
Experience:  25 years of experience in private practice and inpatient psychiatry;licensed in two states
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Hi. I am a 35 yr old woman with a 33 year old boyfriend of

Resolved Question:

Hi. I am a 35 yr old woman with a 33 year old boyfriend of 2 and a half years who lost his mom 18 months ago. I feel that since then when he's in a bad mood he picks on me. He will goad and push and push until I either explode whereby he'll stand back and say what's wrong with you, you're mad or until I cry whereby he will apologise for his behaviour. It only dawned on me yesterday that I think this is a form of bullying. He refuses to accept that and says my reactions to his goading are to blame. He reckons I shouldn't get so upset. Who is right? By the way I know I get too upset. When we first started going out he would express his anger through name calling or slamming doors and I used to tell him this was not acceptable. If I was angry with him I would not speak to him until I had worked through my anger. Now, however I feel like a child. When he goads me I can't control my anger and will eventually explode, name calling or slamming doors which always makes me feel really bad.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Pamela, LCSW replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer:

I think that you are right that this is a form of bullying, controlling or abusive behavior. When you mentioned that his Mom died, I thought that perhaps he was grieving and suffering from depression and irritability because of it.

However, since you mention that this has going on since the beginning of the relationship, I believe it is more of an abusive situation. Ignoring you when out with friends is particularly horrible behavior. You may want to request that he get some anger management treatment or that you both have some couples counseling.

The current patterns in this relationship are clearly not healthy or good for you, so I would recommend some sort of intervention. IF he refuses to get some help or be involved in couples treatment, then I would recommend that you get some individual treatment to find out if this relationship has the potential of meeting your needs and being healthy for you.


I hope this is helpful and wish you luck.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Pamela, thanks for the response. His anger management has been an issue since the start of the relationship however this subconscious bullying has only been going on since his mom died. So do you think it's more a form of depression and or grieving? Also, it's not an everyday situation by any means. Yesterday was the first time in 8 weeks. However, even once a year is too much for me!!
Expert:  Pamela, LCSW replied 6 years ago.


Yes, I agree that once a year is still unacceptable. It is likely that his anger and "bad" behaviors are exacerbated since his Mom died. That does not mean that they are ok, and he could still get some help on the grieving so that he stops taking it out on you. It could be a combination of grieving and depression and would likely respond to an antidepressant if he is willing.


Good luck!



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