I am a thirty-seven-year-old woman. I have been living with my boyfriend for three months. At first, everything was working out; but since then I have faced reality, and it seems like he has two personalities. When he’s angry, he yells at me, insults me, and humiliates me. It feels like he doesn’t love me, though he says that he does.

I think that I should leave him, but it really terrifies me to think that I have failed, and I’m not happy. He talks to other women on the Internet. What should I do?

Dear Friend,

We are sorry to hear about the problems that you are going through. However, it is very difficult for us to understand why you are still living with this man. You say that you are terrified to think that you have failed in this relationship, but we think that you should be even more terrified to think of the years of unhappiness and despair that you will face if you do not leave him.

All of us as human beings are born with the tendency to be selfish. From the time we are infants, we care about satisfying our own needs and wants. Most of us eventually mature and learn to care about other people. And many of us learn to love others by putting their needs and wants ahead of our own.

However, some people never reach that stage of maturity. They go through life always putting themselves first. They use all kinds of excuses to justify their behavior, but end up hurting most of the people in their lives.

When you say that your boyfriend seems to have two personalities, we think that you mean that sometimes he’s able to hide the fact that he cares only about himself, but other times he doesn’t hide it at all. In your case, one minute he is verbally abusing you, and very soon afterward he is telling you that he loves you.

Love is much more than an emotion; it is also an action. Your boyfriend may feel that he loves you, but his actions prove that he doesn’t love you enough. In addition, he has anger management issues and is on the Internet potentially scouting for another girlfriend. Frankly, we can’t think of a single reason why you should wait another day to leave him and completely break off your relationship.

Unfortunately, there are many women who tolerate verbal and physical abuse because of their confused emotions. Please read Case 417 at message2conscience.com to find out the advice that we gave to another woman who, just like you, was living with a man who treated her badly. Also read Case 246 to learn the advice that we gave to a woman whose boyfriend was humiliating her, much like your boyfriend humiliates you.

You may feel like you will be alone if you leave, but that is not true. Your Heavenly Father loves you more than you can imagine, and He wants to comfort you and guide you. The best thing that you can do is to begin a personal relationship with Him, by asking Him to forgive you of all your sins in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. Christ loved us enough to put our needs ahead of His own when He died on the cross to pay for our sins. He showed us what true love looks like.

We wish you the best,