Why do I still love my cruel uncaring boyfriend

I've tried talking to my mum, but she just says I should dump him and move back home

I've tried talking to my mum, but she just says I should dump him and move back home

Dear Bel,

I’m 26 and my boyfriend and I go back eight years, living together for about five.

We share two cats and matching rings inscribed with our initials and ‘ever-lasting love’.

We’re very different: I’m shy and if we go to a party I’ll beg him not to leave me alone; he’ll forget five minutes after we arrive and afterwards act baffled at my reaction.

A year ago, on holiday, I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with acute (now chronic) pancreatitis.

He reacted very badly to this news, in fact, he refused to hear it — literally sat in the corner of the hospital room with his fingers in his ears when the doctor came with the results.

Unfortunately, the condition didn’t get better and I ended up in hospital for almost two months, followed by eight months with a tube in my nose. I have bucketloads of pills and it’s very depressing.

Now, at home with my boyfriend again, things are rapidly going downhill. I’m not allowed to give the pain-relief injections to myself, for fear of addiction, so he has to. It must be a horrible task but the way he does it is getting worse and worse.

Once he’d be gentle and soothing; now he gets annoyed, slams it into my thigh before I’ve relaxed, then leaves to watch football until after I’ve passed out.

If I try and talk to him he says things like, ‘I’m not your therapist,’ or ‘Aww . . . does the little kiddie have a problemie-woblemie again’

He won’t ever finish a conversation; instead he’ll just break off halfway through a sentence, say ‘Never mind’, and walk out.

I’ve suggested we go talk to someone together, but he insists that any problems we have are all mine and nothing to do with him. Which of course sparks another argument.

All this came to a head when he walked into my study recently, slammed his ring down, and said he thinks we need space. As far as I can tell he wants us to live together but have no physical contact (other than the needle).

I keep asking if he wants to break up, but he says he doesn’t. But neither does he want to be together. When his mother invited me for Christmas, he uninvited me, saying I wasn’t welcome. Whenever I say he’s not being nice, he insists he’s just being practical.

I’ve tried talking to my mum, but she just says I should dump him and move back home, and I don’t want to do that either.

Stupidly, I still love him and don’t want to lose him, so keep waiting for him to come to his senses. What do I do


Clinging on to a relationship is understandable; women especially find it very hard to admit failure and let things go.

Not that I am trying to imply that you have failed in any way. But I wonder if you will read through your letter again, here on the public page, and try to read as if it were from a stranger. Then imagine how your partner will appear to everybody else. I guarantee you that few women will think you should stay with this man who is treating you so badly.

Perhaps some people (especially men) will murmur that the poor chap is obviously upset by your ongoing illness and finding it hard to cope since he did not sign up to be a nurse. And it is certainly true that having to do unpleasant physical tasks (like injecting) can be off-putting.

You have both been through a lot. But what is that phrase engraved inside your rings Take a look at it now. The truth is people who genuinely feel ‘ever-lasting love’ do not shrink from illness or old age in someone they care for.

Your boyfriend’s lack of understanding of your shyness and the fact that he just abandons you at parties indicates a fundamental selfishness and meanness of spirit. Far more important, his response to that first, traumatic diagnosis speaks of an extraordinary immaturity and insensitivity.

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He administers your necessary injections in a brutal manner and subjects you to either indifference or mockery when you try to talk to him. I find it shocking that, after all the years together, he chose to ‘disinvite’ you from his mother’s at Christmas.

Honestly, he sounds just awful — so listen to Mum! There’s no doubt in my mind that your mother is right. She must see the way you are treated and wonder — as I do — why on earth you stay with this unsympathetic and uncommunicative man.

Oh, I forgot . . . you say you ‘love him.’ But what precisely do you love This is the point at which you have to start seriously to cross-examine yourself about the real nature of your feelings.

Do you love him — or are you afraid of starting again After all, you’ve been together since you were 18.

Since you’re so shy, are you terrified you won’t meet another boyfriend Are you clinging to sweet memories of how he was when you met If so, I suggest you replace that rosy dream with a snapshot of the overgrown toddler sticking his fingers in his ears and saying ‘Shan’t!’ and ‘Go away!’ each time you need him.

You cannot go on humiliating yourself by accepting this treatment and living under the same roof as a man who neither loves or respects you. He has already said he needs space, but is obviously too cowardly to make the break.

You are the one who must be decisive and brave — so call time on this relationship which has obviously run its course.

Go home to your mother as soon as possible. Teach her how to give you the injections and I suspect you will soon feel relieved to be free from your boyfriend’s mockery. At 26 you are perfectly placed to make a new start as well as learn how to cope with your ongoing condition.

Have you looked at an online support group (dailystrength.org/c /Pancreatitis/support-group) for information Often such forums are a good way to make new contacts, even friends.

You don’t say if you have a job, but in any case, it’s important for you to make as many fresh starts as you can, and meet new people.

I know that, as the song says, ‘breaking up is hard to do’. But sometimes it is the only honest action. Fix your mind on a blue door opening on to the rest of your life. Pack your bags and walk through.

I'll never get over losing my daughter

Dear Bel,

Mourning: Another reader contacted Bel to say how she is struggling to recover from the loss of her daughter (picture posed by model)

Mourning: Another reader contacted Bel to say how she is struggling to recover from the loss of her daughter (picture posed by model)

Is there a future for people who have lost a child I was a widow when my 50-year-old daughter died. It’s not two years yet — and people think I am coping so well, but I’m not.

I have thrown myself into things — going to the theatre and cinema, meeting friends and even laughing and joking in public. But at home in private I have this terrible aching hole inside me and feel everything is pointless now.

She and I were best friends, saw each other every day and went everywhere together. I cannot listen to music or look at photographs any more. Though I am helping to organise my granddaughter’s wedding, I feel just numb.

I’m fortunate to have a lovely family and my health is pretty good. My GP gave me some pills (surprise, surprise) but I will not take them as I do not believe in them.

My problem is that I torture myself thinking things like — I could have been a better mother . . . why didn’t I do this or say that

I am a Christian but I cannot understand why the young have to die while the old are left to suffer from ill-health and loneliness.

Honestly, I don’t know what I expect you to say, as no one can possibly have any answers, but it’s helped to put this down on paper.


Although it would be wonderful if you could find some comfort in your faith, you are not the first believer to discover how very hard that is.

You’re right that there are no answers; philosophers and theologians have been wrestling with the problem of pain for centuries.

What can I write which will let you know how much I (and countless people reading this) sympathise with your pain, your sense of loss

Time echoes with the cries of men and women who have mourned their children (of all ages) and screamed, ‘Why’ at the pitiless sky.

We feel there is a ‘right’ order of events and that our children should therefore outlive us. But it doesn’t always happen — so there is nothing to do but bow the head before the cruel tricks of fate. We have to accept the universe because there is no choice.

But the day comes when we do lift our heads (perhaps noticing the sweet perfection of spring flowers) and reflect on what our beloved dead would want for us.

Surely your wonderful daughter would want you to feel that life does have a point — and that learning how to live with this grief is a part of that purpose

Surely she would say that you cannot be alone when she is always with you But please realise that the last thing she wants is for you to have these regrets — which is where true pointlessness lies. How could you have enjoyed such a loving companionship had you not been the best of mums

I hope that in time (and your bereavement is still very new) you will come back to life properly, just as now the buds are struggling to burst out on the bare trees.

It might be worth my mentioning a wonderful charity, The Child Death Helpline, which offers a freephone telephone service (staffed by trained bereaved parents) every evening from 7-10pm, Monday to Fridays from 10am-4pm, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays 1-4pm. The number is 0800 282 986 — and they have many, many calls from the parents of adult children.

The equally brilliant Compassionate Friends offers a similar service: call 0845 123 2304 during the day from 10-4am and evenings 7-10pm. I really would try — as I know for a fact that people find such telephone helplines very helpful.

You have a family to support you, but sometimes it is easier to ‘burden’ a stranger with talk of your loved one. People find it so comforting to hear the gentle words; ‘Tell me about your daughter.’

After all, her name may bring tears to your eyes, but will always be music to your ears.

AND FINALLY… A picture of human kindness

I enjoy seeing which letters published on this page get the most response. Though I could publish a question about a difficult marriage every week, I welcome subjects which speak of the human condition in a more unusual way.

That’s why I was glad, two weeks ago, to choose a letter from ‘Eva’, who was full of sorrow at the thought of her treasured possessions being thrown away by strangers after her death.

Her letter prompted a large response, which surprised me. Many readers identified with her feelings, because they too have no children.

Most agreed with me that it’s good to de-clutter while you still can. But there was sadness there, too — made just that little bit better by the realisation that the situation is quite common. I love it when people read this column and discover they are not alone.

The most moving response came from Jessica, a mother of three young children, who wrote: ‘I read the letter from Eva who is afraid of her items being thrown away, as she has no family. ‘Luckily, I come from a huge family, so hopefully this is something I’ll never have to worry about. The thought of someone’s pictures being thrown away is so sad, especially pictures from special occasions.

‘So if Eva is desperate to make sure her belongings don’t go in the bin, then I (we) as a family would look after her pictures. It would be amazing for my children to tell their children: “Our mad mum wanted to look after a stranger’s albums!”

‘Please pass on this email to Eva and I will happily tell her about me and my family, and if she wouldn’t mind us looking after some of her pictures, then we would be very happy indeed. Got to go — the baby has decided he wants to learn how to roll!’

Why did that letter make my eyes wet Because it expresses the human warmth and kindness I find so often in our readers.

Sadly ‘Eva’ did not give me an address on her posted letter. But if she is reading, I want her to know how much people care.

Bel answers readers’ questions on
emotional and relationship problems each week. Write to: Bel Mooney,
Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT, or e-mail
[email protected] A pseudonym will be used if you wish. Bel
reads all letters, but regrets she cannot enter into personal