DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Carmen" for a few years, but in the last year she has started becoming violent when we are having an argument. I think this is domestic abuse, but she claims it isn't because I'm a man.
I'm not someone who can take abuse without repercussions. I'm like a mirror. If someone brings violence into my life, I reflect it back on them. So far, I have restrained my instincts -- but eventually I know Carmen will cross the line and I'm going to snap. I have the potential to hurt her badly.
I have tried everything to make Carmen understand how I feel, but she continues to insist it doesn't matter because I'm so much bigger and stronger than she is. When she hits me, it doesn't hurt physically, but the anger I feel is indescribable. I'm at the end of my rope and considering breaking up with her before I hurt her.
I don't want to end the relationship, but I think it's the only way to make her see things from my perspective. Or should I call the cops the next time she hits me? -- BRUISED AND ABUSED BOYFRIEND
DEAR BRUISED AND ABUSED: You may not want to, but it's time to end the relationship before something happens you both regret. Your relationship with Carmen isn't a healthy one. You will land in jail if you respond the way it appears she wants you to.
Please think ahead -- if Carmen resorts to violence when she becomes upset with you, then she very likely will with any children you would have together. She may think her abusive behavior is normal because this was the environment in which she was raised. But we both know it's not -- it's a huge red flag. Run!