How to choose between two abusive boyfriends

Jingle_jangle asks: I’m a 17 year-old girl. Once I was very confident and self-dependent, but last year I was cheated on by my boyfriend and ended my 3 year relationship. It affected me so much it broke my heart. After that I met a boy and now we have been together a year. He loves me so much but I can’t forget my past and my ex. My relationship with my boyfriend is not in a great state. I try to make things right but I can’t. First I thought he was a great guy but I don’t think now . He abuses me, humiliates me about my past, and he doesn’t understand me. After so many fights and humiliations, the feelings are deteriorating . I don’t want to end my relationship with him but i also want to get my self-respect back .I don’t have friends so I don’t have anyone to talk to and get advice. Please help me!

Hi Jingle_jangle –


I often get questions where someone is trying to choose between two romances – one who’s kind and supportive, and one who’s not as nice, but more exciting.  That’s a tough decision!


But you’re in a different situation.  You’ve got two guys, both who have been jerkish to you in some ways.  The first one cheated on you, and the current one’s abusive and humiliating.


I want you to form a new romance.  I want you to fall in love with someone way better…  I want you to fall in love with yourself, just a little.


Imagine you heard about a dog who one human had neglected badly, and then another who beat them.  What would you wish for that dog?


I’ll bet you’d wish the dog would find a new home.  Somewhere that treats them lovingly and with care.  Or that it just gets away and lives out in the wild.  Either would be better than either of these abusive homes, right?


Well that’s how I see you.


This isn’t an either-or situation.  This is a “How can we get her out of there and move her on to a better life” situation!


Now of course, there’s a risk.  You might be alone for a while.


In fact, I kind of like that idea.


I’d like you to feel your own strength, to realize you’re able to live without a boyfriend, to find that self-respect you’re missing, to – again – learn to love yourself (the way you’d love a dog you’d never met).


And then, from that strong place, I’d love you to find another boyfriend, one who treated you right.  (I suppose it could be the one you were with before, if he’s outgrown his cheating ways, but this current one sounds like his issues are too deep in his personality to change)


But in the meantime, again, I’d like you to have fun being without a boyfriend.  Especially as you are still so young – do this now, before you’re married or have children.  You’re so much freer than you realize!


Now I can’t resist pointing something out.  You chose a name when you joined my pack.  A name you might have picked for any number of reasons.


But it actually applies to this situation!  There’s a wonderful cowboy song from, oh, maybe seventy years ago, about being ecstatically happy to be single.  And it’s kind of got your name!  It was very popular, so you’d be able to find lots of different versions of it, but I’ll push Kay Kyser’s version of Jingle Jangle Jingle.  Check it out, and let these (not very grammatical!) words sink into your soul.


I’ve got spurs that jingle jangle jingle

As I go riding merrily along

And they sing, “Oh ain’t ya glad you’re single!”

And that song ain’t so very far from wrong.


You deserve this.  And so much more!


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