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Abusive relationship help?

Hi everyone!


I was wondering if you guys can help me. I'm in an abusive relationship and I want to try and fix it. I'm 17 and my boyfriend's 18. We've been dating for almost a year. I don't think he knows that we're in an abusive relationship, I haven't told him about this. I have visited numerous sites to make sure that we are in fact in an abusive relationship and I'm really upset about it, I wish it wasn't like that. He controls me, insults me, gets jealous easily, thinks I'm always cheating and wants to know where I am 24/7. I'm not allowed to wear bikini's if there's a lot of people around or if he's not with me. I'm not allowed to go to parties alone, but he is. I'm not allowed to talk or be friends with any guys, but he has girl friends and if I tell him that, he says "you can't tell me what to do". It upsets me that he has one set of principles to follow and I have a different set? He's allowed to do more stuff and go more places but I'm not? He says it's because he can't trust me, because I have cheated on every ex of mine (it's true, but I never cheated on him and I don't intend to either). He blames me for all our problems in the relationship too. We fight almost every day over the stupidest things. I thought this was a normal relationship until my girl friend said that I'm in an abusive relationship - I searched it up and she was right. 

I need help. I don't want to leave until I have tried to fix us. I know all the sites I've visited have told me how to identify abusive relationships, but never how to fix it? It mostly says that you should just leave? It's sort of ironic, because everyone always say 'don't ever give up' but then they tell women/men to leave abusive relationships without even trying? I want to approach the situation and tell him that we have been in an abusive relationship, but I don't know how. And I want to change his behavior. I know it will be hard, but I'm willing to try. If he doesn't want to accept that we are in an abusive relationship then I'll leave. But if he's willing to try and fix it then I need to have a plan. Does anyone have techniques to slowly but surely turn this relationship around? Any techniques to change these problems? And also how to approach this whole situation with him? I was thinking of looking him straight in the eye and telling him? But how? I don't know how he will react. And if you suggest a psychologist or counselor, I don't think that would be possible? I don't have a job and neither does he. I get like $50 from my parents each month so I can use that for counseling? But I'm not sure where to go? I live in NSW. Can you suggest any places? I'm definitely going to leave if he doesn't want to change, but if he's willing to work on our relationship then I want to help him? 

If you can post ANY help at all, please share your tips or techniques or suggestions! It will be MUCH appreciated. Thank you for listening and helping. You guys are the best Smiley Happy 

Re: Abusive relationship help?

hey spgirl,


Welcome to Reach Out. I think it's so awesome that you're doing everything you can to try and understand and improve your situation. I'm really sorry to hear that it's been so difficult for you. It can be heartbreaking to be in a relationship with someone you love, when you know they're not treating you in a way that's fair or how you deserve to be treated.

1800RESPECT provides telephone and online counselling for people in abusive relationships. They can give you lots of strategies to help you whether you're deciding to stay in the relationship or not. Relationships Australia provide couple's counselling as well as counselling for you if your boyfriend doesn't want to go. They charge based on your income. Headspace also provide face to face counselling and most of the time can bulk bill.

There's also a whole bunch of awesome info and stories here.


There's lots of great info and support out there, spgirl. Having support in your life can make all the difference when trying to manage an abusive relationship. 


Is talking to someone about your relationship something you'd be comfortable doing?


Re: Abusive relationship help?

Hi spgirl,


It’s good you have listened to your girlfriend when she has voiced her concern about your current relationship. It is also really good to hear that you have been proactive in researching and becoming informed on what abusive relationships are. It sounds like you don’t really need any links to websites on finding out what defines or constitutes as an abusive relationship. Your ability to admit this to yourself is a big step. It is especially hard to admit to ourselves (as well as other people) when things aren’t how they should be.


From what I can tell from your post on reach out is that you want to know how to ‘fix this’?

The thing with a relationship is that it involves two people. What is sometimes hard about this is that only one party is aware of the issues and the other person is not. If this is the case than this makes it hard to work on improving or fixing aspects of the relationship that are healthy. But you have already established and mentioned that you want to approach this with your partner. What is important is that you do this in the safest possible manner to look after yourself? The reason I am suggesting this is because as you said you do not know how your partner will react. There is a possibility that your partner may not even realise that they are behaving in the way you have described. This news could be quite a shock for your partner. Raising your concerns with your partner would cause a lot of different emotions for you and your partner, both in the moment and after you addressed your concerns.


It may be helpful for you to contact a professional for help. If it is difficult for you to attend appointments you could always try to talk to someone on the phone or internet. A professional would be able to explore these issues with you and maybe even help you plan how to approach this with your partner.

Here are some links for you to try as a starting point on obtaining help for yourself. Some of these services provide online help, telephone services or may be helpful in sourcing face to face help in your local area. - this link also has a relationship forum where people may have discussed issues similar to yours.


I hope these links are useful for you and please make sure you look after yourself. Your personal safety and health is extremely important.


Re: Abusive relationship help?

Hey NigioC, 

Thank you for your feedback, it's much appreciated! I will definitely call 1800RESPECT, thank you so much! You are so helpful!

I have talked to my friend about all of this, but she can't help me though since she doesn't know much about abusive relationships. My family doesn't know about this, they will just tell me that I will be forbidden to see him. I am definitely comfortable to talk to someone about our relationship, but I don't think he will be. He hates talking in the first place. When we get in a fight, he shuts down and gives me the silent treatment. He keeps everything inside and gets angry easily. I hope he will try, but we have spoken before about psychologists for some reason and he told me that he would never talk to a psychologist. So hopefully he'll change his mind. 

Thank you again!

Re: Abusive relationship help?

Hi LeaLea07,

I'm sorry, but I might have been confusing in my original post. I am a girl and I'm in an abusive relatioinship with my boyfriend who is 18. He is unaware of the way he treats me, I think he might think that it is normal behaviour? I should have made this clearer, I'm truly sorry. Or maybe I'm just confusing myself and can't read properly? 

Sorry again and thank you so much for your reply!

Re: Abusive relationship help?

hey spgirl,


Even if he doesn't want to see someone, it can make a huge difference if you do. It's so great that you're willing to do that.

Let us know how you go.

Re: Abusive relationship help?

hey NigioC,

It might make a difference if I see someone, but will that fix his abusive behaviour? I'll definitely let you know how things go. Thank you

Re: Abusive relationship help?

Hey spgirl, I think it will be really great for you to talk this through with someone on your own at first. 1800RESPECT are really well placed to help you now. You can call or webchat with a counsellor:

And yea, please let us know how it goes... You should be so proud of yourself for reaching out here...

Online Community Manager

Re: Abusive relationship help?

Hey Sophie-RO,
Thank you, I will talk to 1800respect first and see what they suggest

Thank you and I will Smiley Happy

I appreciate all of your replies. You guys are so helpful!

Re: Abusive relationship help?

Hi there Spgirl,  I am unsure if you are ready for this and I hope I Do not upset you.  First off, it really Is great that you have realized you need help, the key word here Is YOU.  Yes your boyfriend does too as if this relationship ends he will just be like this with someone else, possibly worse as he will be taking on more rejection, his problem not yours.  You can not change him, he has to want to change then take the steps to Do so.  If he really loves you he will get help, I agree with you in that loads of people and information tell us to leave the abuser and not how to "fix them", and that Is probably due to the fact that We are unable to "fix them".  Just as you want help and want to Do the right thing, he needs to want to.  They also probably tell us to leave them because once We are on the outside looking in, We see things from a very different perspective.  We start to ask questions e.g.. Is this worth it all?  Do I deserve to be treated in this manner?  Do I add to the conflict?  If so how, and am I willing to change?  You are 17, have your entire life ahead of you.  Please, please, things will just get worse, but if you want to stay, get support, get help have a back up plan as We have seen every day We have no idea how someone will react when They are already abusive.  I always say the next step to emotional abuse Is physical abuse....And think about this...If you were to have a child would you want it grow up in this situation?  Unless you both get help, get out!!!