DR. WALLACE: I've been dating a guy for over a year. There are times he is super wonderful, and then there are times when he is super horrible. My best friend knows this guy because he is her cousin, and she despises him. She keeps telling me to stop seeing him. She wants me to call the police and have him arrested for dating violence. She has been with us when he gets upset with me and calls me nasty and filthy names. I admit I detest this type of behavior, but when he is nice, he is Mr. Wonderful.|
I don't really need your advice about my future with this guy because I plan to keep dating him and just hope he mellows out and becomes Mr. Wonderful all the time. But I am a bit confused, and I want to know what "dating violence" really means. --Nameless, Detroit, Mich.
NAMELESS: Liz Claiborne has produced the booklet, "What You Need to Know About Dating Violence." She gives the reader an excellent explanation on what dating violence is. The following information was found in this booklet:
Dating violence isn't an argument every once in a while, or a bad mood after a bad day. Dating violence (or relationship abuse) is a pattern of violent behavior someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. Abuse can cause injury and even death, but it doesn't have to be physical. It can include verbal and emotional abuse -- constant insults, isolation from friends and family, name calling, controlling what someone wears -- and it also can include sexual abuse. It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what race or religion they are, no matter what their level of education or economic background is. Dating violence also occurs in same-sex relationships. Dating violence is a crime and the violator could be arrested.
My dad might stop child support
DR. WALLACE: My parents are divorced, and I live with my mother. Whenever I see my father during custody visits, he is very negative, and I do not enjoy seeing him one bit. The last time I saw him, about two weeks ago, I told him I was tired of him trying to stir up trouble, and that I was not going to see him any more.
Last night, he called my mother and said if I didn't see him, he was going to stop paying child support and would get his lawyer to start proceedings to gain custody of me. What should I do? I'm 17 years old. --Melanie, Lincoln, Neb.
MELANIE: Chances of your father gaining custody of you are slim and none. If the support he pays is important to your mother and you, then I would continue to see him, but spend as little time as possible with him. Do not allow his negative attitude to affect you. Do your best to keep the conversation positive and pleasant.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moline, IL Details
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