Oh Dana! Advice and love column: “You Don’t Own Me”

Dana Buckmir
Dana Buckmir

Oh Dana!
My boyfriend and I have been dating for about two years. He is extremely insecure and it’s been affecting our relationship heavily. He constantly doubts my loyalty, wanting to check my phone, texting me all the time when I’m out asking for my location and pictures to verify. If I don’t answer his calls he gets angry. I feel like my every move is constantly being monitored and it’s suffocating. He always comments on the clothes I wear when I go out saying, “I look slutty.” In his defense, I’m known to be a party girl. I tend to be very friendly and will talk to anyone which contributes to his jealousy. I’ve tried to change my behavior to make him happy, but I know that if I keep compromising I’m going to end up resenting him. How much more do I need to reassure him? Am I too independent or extroverted?
Sincerely,
Social Butterfly

Dear Social Butterfly,
Why are you letting this man control you? You shouldn’t have to change your personality and the way that you interact with people to appease him. You’ve done nothing wrong. The fact that this man is making you question yourself is a huge red flag.

Notice that even though you’ve changed your behavior the relationship hasn’t gotten any better. It won’t. You’ll just keep bending over backwards to accommodate him and it will never be enough. If you think you’re frustrated now, commit another two years to a man who has major control issues. You will never please him because you are not the root of the problem.

I fear that if you stay with this man, you’ll lose yourself more and more until the woman standing in front of the mirror is unrecognizable. Like any breakup, it will hurt to leave but I promise you that with time you’ll feel a weight lifting off of your shoulders. It’s a lot to keep trying to be someone that you’re not to please your partner and never measuring up.

You need to be your authentic self. You sound exhausted and for good reason. He’s holding you back and you deserve so much more than he has to offer. Find someone who fits with who you are and not who they think you should be.

Please be careful. Often abusive relationships begin with a controlling partner and can escalate. Controlling behavior is a form of psychological abuse. Sometimes people who try to exert this type of control over someone do it because they are being unfaithful or have their own insecurities. Either way, it’s toxic. Every relationship is comprised of sacrifice, but there is a limit and in your case, I think you’ve reached it. Be strong and move on.

Dana Buckmir aka “Oh, Dana!” Dana is the author of the memoir “Plenty of Laughs: One Woman’s Journey Navigating the Online Dating Waters. The book is a comical account on dating in the age of technology, including the compelling story of finding love online. You can find a sample of her book at https://danabuckmir.com/Dana wants to help people with their lives, love, and everything in-between! She is taking your questions at Contact@danabuckmir.com All submissions are anonymous.

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