I am twenty-four years old and have a Bachelor’s degree in public accounting. I have been going with my boyfriend for almost a year. He is doing his internship in medicine. I love him much more than I could have imagined.

My problem is that he is arrogant and says things for shock value. He has become very irritable with me and everything about me annoys him. Now he is annoyed that I don’t read the same kind of books that he reads, that I am not very cultured, and that I live in ignorance…. He realizes that he has been very crude with me and he says he will change, but I don’t see any sign of change. I really don’t know how to manage this relationship anymore. Sometimes I feel so sad and lost!

Dear Friend,

You have invested a year of your life in this relationship and you are understandably reluctant to throw that away. You love this man and want to be with him, but he makes you feel ignorant, sad, and lost. It sounds like you are trying to talk yourself into believing that his behavior and actions are reasonable, but in your heart you know better.

Does your boyfriend make you feel like a precious treasure? When you’re at his side, do you feel that he admires you and cherishes you? Does he respect you and demonstrate pride for all your accomplishments?

Someday you may have a daughter. If your boyfriend were to become your husband, how would he treat your little girl? Would he contribute to her healthy self-esteem, or would he be constantly critical of her imperfections?

Someday you may have a son. Would you want that son to have your boyfriend as a model for his character?

Do you have an equal relationship with this man, or does he always make you feel inferior? Is he kind and considerate of you and others, or does he denigrate you and other people?

If you continue in this relationship, you are silently consenting to your boyfriend’s attitudes and actions. Every day that you stay with him is another day to feel sad and lost. What is truly lost is all the time that you have invested in this relationship. Don’t waste another day!

Any breakup is difficult, but after a yearlong relationship it will be extremely difficult. You will need the support of friends and family in order to put this behind you. Remember that you also have a Heavenly Father who loves you and treasures you. He has a plan for your life. Trust Him. Pray and ask Him to give you the strength that you need to face the days ahead. You will never be alone if you depend on Him.

We wish you well,