Dear Aunt Gabby: Why is my boyfriend so angry?

Dear Aunt Gabby,

I don’t know what to do. My boyfriend, Freddy, says he loves me and wants to marry me, but I worry that he has changed. We have been together for 3 years. When we first got together, he was sweet and gentle, but over time, he has become angry and mean.

If he gets mad at me, he has thrown coffee on me, grabbed me by my hair, knocked over the table full of dishes, tossed my phone outside in the mud, or taken my car and left me. He yells at me instead of talking and calls me names.

I love him so much! I have tried everything to keep him from getting mad, but he is mad almost every day. I don’t know what I did or why he does that. He says I am not being abused, that I am just stupid.

Call me Confused Connie.

Dear Connie,

You are not confused. You are abused. For your safety’s sake (and his), you need to get away from Freddy as soon as possible. Call a Domestic Abuse Hotline for help, any church, the police station in your town, or your mother, sister, or cousin. Someone will help you. It is what they are there for.

Don’t warn him you are going, where you are going, and don’t call him once you get there. It sounds like his behavior has changed over time, getting worse and worse. You or he may think that since he hasn’t hit you, he is not abusing you. That is wrong.

Abuse starts out by arguing a lot, name calling, yelling, forcing you to comply with his wishes, telling you your friends and family are against him, keeping you from going anywhere alone, and soon, he is grabbing you, punching holes, throwing stuff. Eventually, if you don’t get away, he can become more violent, hitting, beating, or even killing you.

Abusers can be men or women. No one is immune.

The last thing you should do is stay and marry him. Never have children with an abusive guy. You are teaching him that he can do whatever he wants to you and you will take it.

Surely , you wouldn’t want to stand by as he hurts your children. Abusers usually come from abusive homes.

No matter what you did or didn’t do, you do not deserve to be mistreated, ever! Get out now! You can love him from a safe place.

Thank you for sharing with me. Your story may be able to help someone else.

Dear Aunt Gabby,

This time of year feels like Christmas in reverse. Everywhere I go, there are signs and commercials for one candidate or another, some issue I think is stupid, and constant emails to support some party. Everyone I know is talking about some person who is a criminal and their guy who is Mother Theresa in a jacket. I can’t get away from it.

I hate politics! I want to ignore all of it and get back to my own life. What can I do?

Sign me, Fed Up with Politics

Dear Fed Up,

I feel your pain. The worst insult I can think of is to call someone a politician! A politician pretends to listen to you, argues in his head, then tells you what you want to hear and votes where the money is. A statesman (or woman) listens, tells you what he/she really thinks and explains why, then he/she votes for the best of the constituency, knowing that half of the voters will hate it. You’ve never heard of any; they don’t get reelected.

For your particular malady, I suggest turning off the TV, stop listening to the radio, and going to the lake and relaxing. Everyone needs to defuse now and then.

Remember when you couldn’t wait to be an adult? You get to drink, get a job, and live the way you want, right? Welcome to adulthood. Part of adulthood is accepting responsibility for your ideas, beliefs and interests, and voting. Yes, you may lose, but you will be heard.

Everyone is busy. I am retired and busier now than ever. Politics is a nasty word for caring enough to research and make time to vote. A nice word is patriot.

Before Friday, October 12th, register to vote. Then, re-engage, educate yourself on the subjects at hand, and vote on November 6th . is a valuable resource.

Count the days: 30 days from now, the election will be all over. The voices of the adults in Oklahoma will decide your future. Is that ok with you?

Imagine for a moment feeling very strongly about say, medical marijuana, abortion, or racial injustice. Imagine letting someone spend $136 million of your money on a bridge to nowhere. Imagine that you could get fired, abandoned by your family, or even attacked for saying anything. That would be bad, huh?

Already, people are angry with each other over these ideas, and some are afraid to put signs in their yard or march downtown for something they love. Freedoms get chipped away a bit over time, not by an armed overthrow.

Caring people on both sides are demonized and feel threatened. What will happen next?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” wrote Edmund Burke, an Irish statesman, in the 18th century.

It is remains good advice.

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