DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing this guy for nine months. We had a good relationship, but then it hit a bump in the road. He was told some false information about me, and instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt, he immediately assumed it was true. He said nasty things to me, called me horrible names, and we didn't speak for a month. Once we came back into contact, I forgave him for falsely accusing me and put the episode behind me.
My mother is not as forgiving. She told me I can do better than him, and I should forget about him altogether. I tried to explain how I feel about him and how I want to move on from it. She hasn't had a change of heart and says she does not approve of him. So now I sneak around with him and leave my mother out of the loop.
I want to respect her opinion, but I do not want to give up the guy I love. I don't know what to do. Help! -- TORN IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR TORN: I can't salvage this romance and neither can you. There's a term for people who call others "horrible names and say nasty things" to them. They are called "verbal abusers," and the effects of what they say can be lasting. An example would be the way his accusations have affected your mother, who thinks her daughter deserves better, and your relationship with her.
Sneaking around is immature and dishonest. A guy who would help you do that is nothing to brag about. If he loved you as much as you say you love him, he would have apologized not only to you but also to your mother. If he had, she might have changed her opinion about him.