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“I Kicked Him in the Balls and Now His Friends Think I’m Crazy”

Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s essay comes from “His Take” contributor, Dennis Hong, who writes about relationships and other topics at Musings on Life and Love.

A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend and I went to a show with some friends while we happened to be in the middle of an argument that had begun a couple days prior. We both got pretty drunk and ended up having a very public and heated fight at the bar. I ended up throwing a couple knees towards his manhood which was obviously not well received. We have since talked extensively about what happened and why, and now we both feel happy and comfortable again.

The problem is his friends who were with us that night, and the BFF in particular, think my guy is insane to still be with me after I put him through that kind of humiliation. I admit it was bad, and I absolutely regret it, but I can’t change what happened. It wouldn’t be as bad if similar, less intense, situations hadn’t happened a couple other times as well. We’ve been together about three years and I’ve had hundreds of awesome nights with these guys, but now they only care about the couple bad ones. Is it possible to win his buddies back over or am I doomed to carry this mistake around the rest of our relationship? — Queen of social disasters

First off, since it takes two people to get into a fight, I’m thinking both you and your boyfriend could work on your anger management skills, or at least learn about this new-fangled concept called civil discourse. I’m glad you came to an agreement about this particular issue, but I have a feeling these nasty fights are likely to happen again, given the pattern you’ve established. Before you even start worrying about his friends, you two need to come to a firm agreement that you will not show up anywhere in public before you’ve settled all your pending arguments. Unless you’re in junior high school, there is absolutely no excuse for airing your shit out in front of everyone like that. Actually … I retract that. Most seventh-graders I know behave with more maturity than the two of you. And they can at least blame it on puberty, which I’m assuming both of you are well past.

Seriously, vow to sequester yourselves until you finish an argument if you have to. Or vow not to drink within seven days of a nasty fight, since alcohol and civility clearly don’t mix for either of you. Whatever you decide, figure something out now, because much like forests, it’s way easier to prevent the fire than to have to deal with the raging inferno and its smoldering aftermath.

Now, let’s talk about the matter of you kneeing your boyfriend in the bits. I don’t think words can properly describe my reaction to this part of your letter, so I’m going to let this little guy stand in for me:

While you might argue that it also takes two people to get kneed in the groin (one to provide the knee, and one to provide the groin), I can’t for the life of me figure out how an argument could have devolved to this. Since you didn’t give any details about what he said to instigate the knee, and since you’re taking responsibility here, I’m going to assume he did nothing to warrant it, and that it was simply a, ahem, knee-jerk reaction on your part. If that’s the case, you have a pretty steep hill to climb with his buddies. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of his BFF ever forgiving you, but you’re probably going to have to do some serious groveling. I’d suggest that you approach him privately (sober) and explain that, yes, you and your boyfriend have gotten into nasty fights in the past, but you really do care about each other. Tell him that you feel horrible about what you did, and that you hope someday he can forgive you, as your boyfriend has. That’s pretty much all you can ask for. And if all else fails, offer to let the BFF punch you in the ovary as payback.

No, just kidding. Don’t do that. I just wish you could know the agony, both physical and psychological, that is a kick to the groin for a guy. Seriously, my own balls died a little on the inside as I was reading this.

Dennis Hong is a teacher of juvenile delinquents, freelance comedy writer, group blog overlord, and internet entrepreneur. His personal mantra is: “Always stay positive in life (except when taking a drug or STD test)!” You can read more of his musings on life and love here.




Comments on this entry are closed.

JK JK November 21, 2011, 8:10 am

I was already laughing, and then I saw the photo of the cat, now I can´t stop!!!
It seems to be a recurring theme that alcohol and fights don´t mix. And it would seem alcohol and LW and her BF don´t mix either.
I don´t drink so I have never seen the appeal to getting drunk, especially not knee-my-BF-in -the-groin-in-front-of-his-friends drunk, but it really does sound as if LW should take a (permanent?) break from alcohol. And if I were the LWs BF I would take a permanent break from her.
Great advice Dennis.

avatar Addie Pray November 21, 2011, 8:18 am

The other recurring theme? Why, balls of course! Hee hee, balls.

avatar Morgan November 21, 2011, 10:08 am

It has been a very balls centric couple of days on DW.

avatar DDL November 21, 2011, 8:13 am

Honestly, I’m confused about why you’re so concerned about his friends – they aren’t apart of the relationship. I’d be concerned as to how your BF really feels about what happened, and how he deals with his friends saying you’re batshit crazy. And, yeah, as Dennis said, try to come to some sort of agreement about how you’ll conduct yourselves in public when in the midst of a fight.

If I were you, LW, I’d stay away from his friends for a while, especially when drunk and in an argument with you BF. You’re not going to win them back by behaving in a despicable manner. If you do go out with them again, stick to events where drinking and brawling will be kept at a minimum – a theatre performance,a restaurant, etc. But you’ll have to show his friends that you don’t alway act on impulse and that you can conduct yourself in an appealing manner.

avatar ReginaRey November 21, 2011, 8:19 am

LW, I once had a boyfriend with whom I used to get in heated, public fights whilst drunk, too. Do you want to know what was at the root of the problem? Well, it wasn’t the alcohol. Being drunk just made it easier to fight…it wasn’t the REASON we were fighting. And it wasn’t that our fights just took longer than most people’s to work out. The problem was…my boyfriend and I weren’t right for each other. And I’m suspecting, nay I’m pretty confident, that you and your boyfriend aren’t right for each other, either.

Kudos to Dennis for his great response, but I’m not sure there’s really anything to “fix” here, unless you count moving on as a quick fix. I’m not willing to believe this was a one time thing. If something of this magnitude happened, then it stands to reason that similar things have led up to this. Getting into public (or really ANY) fights on a regular basis means you’ve got something fundamentally wrong with your relationship. And very likely, it’s not something you can fix. Much more likely is that you and your boyfriend are incompatible. You two probably both have quick tempers and the need to be right…and those things aren’t very likely to just “go away.” They’re a part of who you both are, which means that these kind of fights aren’t likely to just stop.

Would anger management work? Maybe. But you know what? For me, the girlfriend who once got into public shouting matches with her boyfriend, what worked was breaking up with my boyfriend. I never repeated that kind of behavior again, without him. We fueled the worst in each other, and once we moved on, we were both much more mature, better behaved people. And you know, I’m willing to bet your boyfriend’s friends aren’t just peeved about the kick-to-the-balls things. I’m pretty sure they’re probably fed up with more than just that.

Think long and hard about this, LW. Even hundreds of awesome nights aren’t enough to make up for some pretty bad relationship behavior.

FireStar FireStar November 21, 2011, 8:36 am

I disagree. When one partner attacks another – particularly with the intent on doing the most harm there is a lot that needs fixing. What she did wasn’t unfortunate – it was criminal.

avatar ReginaRey November 21, 2011, 8:38 am

I meant “fixing” in regard to “fixing” their relationship. I think the relationship is a goner, honestly. In regard to “fixing” personal problems of hers? Yes, there’s a lot to work on.

avatar Painted_lady November 21, 2011, 9:38 am

I agree on the condition that this has never happened with another boyfriend. I mean, that doesn’t excuse it even if he’s the only she’s ever done that to, but she may have a pattern of abusive behavior. Her nonchalance may be indicative of this being a pattern of thinking this behavior is okay, or it may be that it’s okay with this boyfriend, but either way she’s not handling her anger well.

I still say she needs anger management counseling because she’s out of control of her anger, but if this is the only guy this has ever even close to happened with, she definitely needs to do both of them a favor and leave. I’ve had a very similar experience to you, RR. My ex, who I dubbed the Vegan on here, used to make me so angry I would make big scenes in public, and that has NEVER been my style – there are a couple of places I’ve never been back to because I was too embarrassed. Shouting for him to take me home, storming out, crying at the table, just generally acting like a big ol’ drama queen. It took forever to get it through my head that this was not the behavior of someone who was in a happy, healthy relationship. Never done that before or since.

avatar ReginaRey November 21, 2011, 9:41 am

I agree. I don’t think therapy or anger management could HURT her at all, of course. If this is a pattern that’s repeated itself before this relationship, this is obviously something that needs to be addressed with a professional…before she gets carted off to the slammer.

avatar SpaceySteph November 21, 2011, 9:46 am

I agree with you Regina. As I was reading the letter, I was thinking “I sure hope someone tells her the relationship is not right.”
I never kneed my ex in the balls, but when we fought (heatedly, in public, drunk or not) it was a symptom of a much bigger problem- we were not right for each other.
You shouldn’t be having these huge, violent fights with your significant other. Yes fights happen, even the best couples will get into an arugument now and then. And for years I tricked myself into thinking that we just fought louder and harder because we had more “passion.” What the fuck ever. We just didn’t belong together.
Take some time apart from your boyfriend to work on your problems (like thinking kneeing a guy in the balls mid-argument is ok; like thinking taking your argument drunk and public is ok). You might find that after the “passion” wears off, you see he’s not good for you and you aren’t good for him.

bittergaymark bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 4:53 pm

It’s not the relationship that is at fault here. Seriously, it is her. End of story. She is the one at fault here. Shifting blame to relationship is a foolhardy waste of time that ONLY allows her to further shirk her responsibility…

avatar Callifax November 21, 2011, 8:20 am

I want to point out that physical abuse can go both ways – women can physically abuse men – and I can’t help but feel like this falls into that category. Kneeing your boufriend in the balls because you’re in a fight – and the LW admits that it has happened before! – is violent and abusive and should not be tolerated. You should seek therapy or anger management to figure out how to better deal with arguments in your future. And don’t expect his friends to forgive you – honestly, I wouldn’t if I were them. Just count your blessings of your boyfriend is kind enough to forgive you, and make sure it never happens again.

avatar Kerrycontrary November 21, 2011, 8:28 am

Yeh, I just keep thinking what the response would be if it was “Dear Wendy, my boyfriend and I got in a fight at a show and he hit me. My friends now hate him”. No one should ever get physical during an arguement, guy or girl.

FireStar FireStar November 21, 2011, 8:33 am


bittergaymark bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 4:44 pm

Agreed. Whoa, Dennis, whoa. Yours was a surprisingly lame-o answer to a very serious issue. Think about it, if a man kicked a woman in her privates, it would be considered abuse. END OF STORY. It would be abuse. And it should be considered abuse. But here… you so sugarcoated this news, Dennis, it simply left me astounded. This WAS abuse and the LW needs to get a serious grip on herself and her issues ASAP.

PS. Newsflash to the LW — Um, his friends no longer “think” you are crazy. They now KNOW you are crazy — and they now know this without any doubts, too. You. Are. Crazy. Frankly, I grow rather weary of hapless women penning in here about how they went and acted like deranged bitches and then conveniently blaming it all on the alcohol… Alcohol doesn’t make anyone act like a fucking bitch. All it does is perhaps diminish a deranged bitch’s inhibitions — thus freeing her to behave more like what she truly is. Here’s to hoping the man in question has already MOA.

avatar Marie November 22, 2011, 12:30 am

Agreed.I love how when a woman gets violent its all “just work on your issues”. But if a man were to get violent everyone is like “OMG CALL THE COPS!!!!”

avatar Flake November 21, 2011, 9:48 am

Completely agree with this one. There is NO excuse for physical violence in a relationship.

avatar Flake November 21, 2011, 9:52 am

Oh, and yes, if it were my friend, the LW would always be that “psyco” chick that kneed a my best friend in the nuts.

Heather Heather November 21, 2011, 10:06 am


I was just going to say, if some guy wrote in and said “I just got into a fight with my girlfriend and slapped the shit out of her in the face, but I’m REALLY sorry and her friends are all in a tizzy about it”, the reaction wouldn’t be even similar to this. We wouldn’t be relatively calm. We would, for lack of better words, crucify the guy.

Seriously LW, you need to seek counseling. What you did was absolutely wrong.

Kate B. Kate B November 21, 2011, 10:31 am

Big THANK YOU. Kneeing the guy in the balls is an attack, just as if he had slapped her in the face. Completely out of line.

avatar Vathena November 21, 2011, 11:01 am

I agree completely. The whole time I was reading this, it’s exactly what I was thinking. “I got really drunk and slapped my girlfriend in front of all her friends, and we have huge public fights all the time, but for some reason her friends don’t like me. And rather than be concerned with the fact that I’m capable of violence against someone I claim to care about, I really just want her friends to be cool with me! Until the next time it happens!” Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the response would be a little less jokey if the situation were reversed. LW, break up with this guy, lay off the booze, and consider seeking some anger-management counseling. For real.

avatar Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 5:54 pm

Maybe this is where I’ll have an unpopular opinion, but I completely disagree that we can just reverse the situation and come to an equivalent conclusion. Men are physically stronger and bigger than women. That’s the basic truth (well, fine, not ALL men and ALL women, but on average). As such, you can’t just reverse roles and say, “Well, if a guy did something like this-and-this, he would be arrested.” To me, a guy slapping a girl in a fit of anger is WAY more serious than a girl throwing a knee (as described, and with the non-consequences described) at a guy in a fit of anger.

bittergaymark bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 6:03 pm

Lord, your views here would almost be funny if it wasn’t all so sad and pathetic. I mean, no wonder nobody actually takes men seriously when they are abused. Those with the power to actually educate people about this issue chose instead to dismissively laugh it all off as some big joke… To err on the side of caution WITH an abuser is to err a lot.

avatar Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 6:10 pm

Prove to me (hell, provide me with anything more than a smidgen of circumstantial evidence) that one incident of groin-kneeing constitutes abuse in the way you’re making it out to be, and I’ll be happy to keep discussing this with you.

In the meantime, you can keep making all the ad hominem attacks you want. It doesn’t change the fact that WE HAVE NO FACTS in this situation.

bittergaymark bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 7:07 pm

Okay, Dennis. You’re right. You’re absolutely 100% right here. In fact, we should always give potential abusers the benefit of the doubt. So, from now on, whenever a women writes in fearful of her safety, lets just tell her to chill the heck out. Hey, it’s probably not as bad as she says. Moreover, it’s also very doubtful she is truly blameless, too.

Just like in this letter.

I mean, really, all we have to go on here is the confession of the LW and the alarmed and aghast reactions of the boyfriend’s buddies… They’re probably a bunch of pussies.

avatar Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 7:26 pm

No. In that case, when a woman writes in fearful of her safety, instead of attacking her and telling her to chill the fuck out, we offer what help we can. As I was doing here with this LW.

In your analogy, YOU’D be the one telling the woman to chill the fuck out. As you are the one attacking the LW here.

See what I’m getting at?

And thank you. Of course, I’m 100% right.

bittergaymark bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 7:34 pm

You’re one hundred percent something all right. But right isn’t the word I was thinking of. Try delusional. I’m sorry, but you are wayyyyyyyy out to lunch on this issue. Look through the responses. More significantly look at some of the thumbs up numbers… 57 to one calling it an assault. 62 to another. It’s not a witch hunt either. It’s people being logical and using common sense.

avatar Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 7:51 pm

There is no common sense to go by when all we have to go are the words of an anonymous letter writer.

I think you’re kinda losing site of my argument here. I never said that what she did wasn’t inappropriate. I think it was very inappropriate. And I’ll agree that she probably needs to get therapy.

However, to say that it’s the equivalent of a guy getting angry and slapping his girlfriend and that she should be arrested is simply too much of a stretch.

A bunch of people read it as her viciously attacking her boyfriend, with intent to do harm. I read it as her losing her cool, throwing a couple knees at her boyfriend, and while humiliating him, not really hurting him much. Especially given the fact that the knees were thrown in a very public setting, and no one stepped in to restrain her, I just don’t think it was as serious as everyone’s making it out to be.

Logic dictates that we give her the benefit of the doubt.

avatar EricaSwagger February 10, 2012, 11:23 am

Maybe people would take men more seriously if they started acting like men again. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel bad when a guy who lets his girlfriend manipulate him gets punched in the face by her.
If he’s a big enough pussy to let his girlfriend push him around, he deserves to get hit, in my opinion.

My boyfriend has never and would never hit me. But I know that he could. He could hit me, and if we fought, he would win. Knowing that keeps me from treating him badly. Not for fear that he’ll hurt me if I don’t, but just out of respect for him as a man and as someone I hope will be a provider for me someday.

If I were to ever hit my boyfriend, I’d expect him to show his dominance in some way. Because if he didn’t, he’d basically be saying it’s okay to treat him that way. Which it’s not, obviously.

avatar EricaSwagger February 10, 2012, 11:15 am

I know this response is WAY late and by now completely irrelevant… But I agree 100% with Dennis. Women are not as strong as men. It’s just biology. It’s in the animal world, it’s in our world. It’s just true.
As such, When a woman hits a man, most people typically respond: “Crazy chick, let’s get you home, you’re clearly not handling your drunk very well tonight.”
But when a man hits a woman, you’d be hard pressed to find someone that thinks it’s okay. A man can really do damage. Not saying a woman can’t, but realistically, men can inflict way more damage than women (as long as we stay away from the balls).

Basically I’m just agreeing with you, Dennis. I’ve held this opinion forever. I brought it up in a class once and was reamed out by my professor and half the students. I’m a scientist at heart, I base most of my social opinions on science. In regard to physical strength and ability (NOT intelligence), in general, women and men just aren’t equal, it’s plain as day. Thank you Dennis, for being man enough to say so on this site.

avatar leotheshark November 21, 2011, 7:58 pm

Inappropriate and totally unacceptable? Of course, but some of the comments seem to be out to make the LW a serial abuser or something– which we don’t have any evidence to support.
I’m not saying this because it’s a male victim though or because (we assume) she’s weaker. I acknowledge that physical abuse doesn’t just depend on physical size and is made possible by a host of other factors (like emotional manipulation and abuse) but we only have knowledge of one drunken incident, and yes she should still be responsible for her actions and the bf would be totally in his right to leave over this incident if he chose, but the claims being made don’t seem to have enough evidence to support them.
So yes she probably should look into anger management and new strategies for arguments, but I wouldn’t call the advice given irresponsible.

avatar Flake November 21, 2011, 9:43 pm

This is one incident that was witnessed by others that she has to acknowledge. As is the case in most of these situations, if their arguments have escalated to violence in public, one can fairly assume that this has happened behind closed doors.

bittergaymark bittergaymark November 22, 2011, 12:25 am

Very, very true.

avatar leotheshark November 22, 2011, 3:12 am

But we don’t have enough evidence to definitively say that– nor to say that the opposite is true either, of course. However claiming someone to be an abuser is an extremely serious accusation, which I feel people are throwing out too easily based on lacking evidence and the tone that they are inferring.
That said, I will admit that I find her seemingly unconcerned tone worrying and think it would be at least a healthier sign if she focused more on that part of the incident.

avatar leotheshark November 22, 2011, 3:13 am

But we don’t have enough evidence to definitively say that– nor to say that the opposite is true either, of course. However claiming someone to be an abuser is an extremely serious accusation, which I feel people are throwing out too easily based on lacking evidence and the tone that they are inferring.
That said, I will admit that I find her seemingly unconcerned attitude worrying and think it would be at least a healthier sign if she focused more on that part of the incident rather than what the friends will think.

avatar Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 5:48 pm

I stand by my answer. The LW said that nasty fights had occurred before. She did not say that she had kicked him in the balls before. I chose to give her the benefit of the doubt.

I think what she did was absolutely ridiculous, but I also feel like we as a group are going down the witch-hunt path again. If the physical attack was an isolated incident, and based on how she described it, I just don’t think it warrants the calls of domestic violence and the arrestable charges that people are throwing around. Those are pretty serious fucking accusations to make, ya know. And wholly inappropriate for us to be making.

avatar Nadine November 21, 2011, 7:23 pm

I typed out lots of comments but they didnt load, and it was really annoying. But basically, I really think you needed to be more responsible with your advice. Saying things like “it takes two to make a fight” is really, really not true in so many situations. Also, if you choose to give her the benefit if the doubt here, why not assume you know nothing about her physicality, and that she may in fact be bigger than her boyfriend?
At least the other commenters here called out assualt as assualt, and this LW needs to get to therapy, and leave her boyfriend alone.

avatar Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 7:28 pm

No, the responsible advice would be to refrain from making mountains out of molehills.

avatar Kerrycontrary November 21, 2011, 8:25 am

I think I’ve told this story on a similar DW letter before…but I get mean when I get really drunk. Last Halloween my boyfriend had a huge blow out fight on the platform of the DC Metro. I don’t even remember it, but apparently it was pretty bad. and it occurred in front of HUNDREDS of people. My boyfriend and I were not the type to typically fight drunk, but it happens to everyone. After that night, I honestly have not gotten drunk. I may drink and get a little tipsy, but I make sure that I never feel drunk or out of control. That was over a year ago and we haven’t had anything similar happen since.

It will take time to get back in his friends good graces but you need to realize that they probably are looking out for your boyfriend’s best interests and don’t enjoy seeing him with someone he fights with and who may be abusive (hey you physically attacked your boyfriend, what happened if he had hit you in public? How would your friends feel?). The only thing you can do is prove that you are past this sort of behavior. And I think you should start with slowing down on your alcoholic intake so you don’t get out of control.

landygirl Landygirl November 21, 2011, 10:55 am

I must be the only person on earth who has never been in a public drunken brawl.

avatar Flake November 21, 2011, 10:56 am

Me neither.. Been drunk twice in my life, never to a point of not being responsible for my actions.

JK JK November 21, 2011, 11:03 am

I´ve never even been drunk

avatar Kate B, November 21, 2011, 4:57 pm

Me, neither.

bittergaymark bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 5:25 pm

Oh, I’ve gotten pretty smashed, but I’m very much a mellow and bemused drunk. If anything, I tend to get a wee bit too sentimental, but that’s about it. All these people who get violently drunk? They have plenty of other issues, methinks.

avatar Adaas November 22, 2011, 1:11 am

I agree. I don’t have embarrassing, public brawls when I drink. I had no idea so many people allowed themselves to get so out-of-control.

FireStar FireStar November 21, 2011, 8:29 am

Am I reading this right? You are upset his friends don’t like you after they witnessed you assault your boyfriend? That is the problem you think you have? I have some advice. Get your ass to therapy. You know those men everyone hates who physically abuse their women? That’s you in a skirt. You must be out of your damn mind to assault your boyfriend – I don’t care what you were fighting about. You should go to therapy to address your rage and abuse issues and your boyfriend should listen to his friends and run like crazy away from you. Yesterday.

avatar Bluebella November 21, 2011, 8:30 am

Holy Batman, LW.

I’m putting myself in the BF’s friends’ shoes, and if a girlfriend of one of my friends kneed him in the balls, I’d think that she was pretty darn crazy as well. To me, this falls in the same category of if one of my guy friends slapped his girlfriend. Totally not okay.

Not to say your BF’s not at fault. At the very least, if this type of embarrassing fighting in public is a regular occurrence for you guys, one of the two of you should have the maturity to physically walk away until everyone’s cooled off a bit.

I like the advice Dennis gave a lot. I think at this point, you should extend the olive branch to his friends, and maybe with time, they’ll change their opinion of you. This isn’t one of those quick-fix situations.

avatar Guy Friday November 21, 2011, 9:13 am

“Not to say your BF’s not at fault. . . ”

No offense, but as many people have pointed out, if a guy had written in a similar letter (about striking his girlfriend during an argument), and I or anyone else on here responded “Not to say your GF’s not at fault here too”, HELL. WOULD. FLY. I know what you’re trying to say here — or at least, it seems like you’re trying to say that both parties are at fault for the arguing part — but as soon as the LW escalated it to physical violence, she became 100% at fault for it, the same way that a guy who escalated it like that would be 100% at fault as well. I don’t care what someone says or does; violence is simply never the answer to any argument.

LW, I really do try hard not to be harsh on people who write in for advice — Lord knows my life is screwed up enough not to judge other people — but you shouldn’t be worried about the friends not liking you; you should be worried about the friends (or anyone else at the bar) calling the police. At the very least, it’s misdemeanor battery, and those cases have a 3 year Statute of Limitations in most states. If your BF was my friend, not only would I be HIGHLY unlikely to ever forgive you for something as violent as that, but I’d likely be working on convincing my friend to pursue his legal options here. Quite frankly, you better hope against hope that none of his friends are like me, because otherwise you’re going to be shown the door long before you can file an update to this letter, and I’m not certain I or many people here would have sympathy for you if you were. **If you want to keep this guy**, forget his friends for a moment, and get yourself to therapy TODAY. Like, as soon as you read this. Don’t hesitate. Enroll in a Batterer’s Intervention course, an Anger Management course, and perhaps even an Alcohol Treatment course. Get real progress done ASAP. And, honestly, you take some shit from his friends for a while, because you’ve earned it fully. If you can’t do that, walk away now.

FireStar FireStar November 21, 2011, 9:23 am

I’m with you. If it were my friend – male or female – we would be talking about the need to press charges.

rainbow rainbow November 21, 2011, 9:28 am

Me too. Specially because you can tell she’s not sorry she did it, only upset that it made her look bad with his friends. I’m guessing if she had done it in private she wouldn’t have a problem with it.

avatar Bluebella November 21, 2011, 9:49 am

No, you’re right, I did come across as sexist. I kinda combined my two thoughts…

What’s unclear to me is if these previous fights have gotten physical. She said, “similar, less intense situations have happened before”. If they’ve got a history of screaming at each other publicly, no physical violence, then I think yeah, it takes two to tango in those instances and they really should have worked out a better way to fight before now.

But I do think violence crosses a line and I agree, like you said, when one party escalates it to physical violence, they become 100% responsible. The LW crossed a line, a BIG line. I would never dream of laying a hand on my BF in a fight, even a drunken fight.

parton_doll parton_doll November 21, 2011, 9:53 am

I completely agree. If this guy was one of my friends, we would be having an intervention right now about how he needs to get out of this relationship. It really disturbed me that the LW said she threw “a coupe of knees at his manhood”. It only takes one knee to make a man go down … the rest is just malicious punishment.

avatar 6napkinburger November 21, 2011, 12:42 pm

That part really confused me and made me wonder if there was some faux/mini knee groin action going on. If movies are to believed, doesn’t the guy fall down to the floor wrything in pain from legitimate “I’m being accosted by a stranger” knee-to-ball action. And then how do you do it again? If it was a real fight, you’d kick, not knee. I feel like i can’t quite visualize what happened here, with her doing it more than once. Maybe she made it sound worse than it was, and in reality she kind of “psyche” kneed him a couple of times? Otherwise I don’t get (a) how she’s not aware that she beat the shit out of her boyfriend and that’s really really not ok; (b) how it worked.

parton_doll parton_doll November 21, 2011, 12:53 pm

I also couldn’t quite picture multiple knee-ings. I thought too that she may just be trying to be funny with that remark, but I have accidently kicked dance partners during lifts and let me tell you, that’s not something I’d even joke about doing repeatedly (and they are just acquaintances and not in a relationship with me).

avatar Flake November 21, 2011, 12:54 pm

Unless it was playful fighting, it is still creepy.. It’s like a guy pretending to slap a woman in the face, i. e. raising his arm and making the gesture, but stopping before he actually makes contact. Not as bad as actually hitting someone, but in the context of a fight, still wrong.

avatar 6napkinburger November 21, 2011, 1:05 pm

Agreed. Only in the context of my bf joking that he was cheating on me/hated me, would i jokingly pretend to knee him, if that. Thought probably not, because its not my style and i think its crass/classless. But either way it would be him joking and me joking. Not us fighting. I’ll admit, I get really really angry when i’m mad. And it my worst moments, I’ve thrown throw pillows at him. Not kidding when i was doing it either.

And to be totally honest, one time, I kind of pummeled him with a real pillow from the bed. Not in jest for me, I was freaking pissed as hell and was legitimate swinging it, but he had handed me the pillow and told me to have at. And he kind of half smiled/half defended himself until i tired myself out and then he hugged me and asked if i felt better.

So I understand the impulse. It might be an unhealthy impulse, but i understand it. But you have to keep it in check and figure out healthy outlets that work for you and your partner.

avatar Flake November 21, 2011, 1:17 pm

:) I am sorry, but I am one of those people who absolutely doesn’t see the need for violence. I just don’t see how grown people can resort to that, no matter how emotional they get. Some ex-BFs have even accused of indifference when, instead of breaking dishes on their heads, I chose to walk away. While I also understand the impulse, I do not understand the need to inflict physical pain on a person I am supposed to love. BTW, that is my personal opinion only.

katie katie November 21, 2011, 9:02 pm

i read it as she was TRYING to knee him, hence the “couple of knees”. maybe she did eventually get him, but i know when i have accidently kneed my boyfriend rolling over in bed, he never does the falling to the ground puking kind of movie reaction…

so maybe she tried a few times and just kind of clipped him once.

bittergaymark bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 4:48 pm

So true. This was the worst bit of advice I’ve ever seen in print. And trust me, that is REALLY saying a lot.

avatar Elle November 21, 2011, 8:35 am

LW, physical violence is never ok. No matter how angry you are, no matter how drunk you are. You don’t mention if your BF retaliated in kind during your fight. I think you would have mentioned it if that were the case. This proves my point – he doesn’t have a problem, you do. I would tell your BF to break up with you as well.

You sound so nonchalant about this. What’s going on in your mind is probably this:”I kicked him in the balls and he’s still with me. I can do whatever I want, and this loser will stay with me no matter what”. Until your BF comes to his senses and dumps your ass, do what Dennis says, and I hope you never ever hit another human being for the rest of your life.

Budj Budj November 21, 2011, 8:50 am

Unless that fight was about him cheating and passing an incurable std to you I don’t think kneeing him in the balls (twice) was acceptable.

I agree with other commenters saying this is more of a sign of an issue between you and your boy friend. Take some time to reassess the relationship from an outside perspective and see if you two actually even make sense. If you do make sense together….then stop drinking so much – stay in control. After sufficient time has passed his friends will get over it if you are right for each other.

avatar ReginaRey November 21, 2011, 9:04 am

I wish assessing whether you make sense together was easy. I thought my ex (the one who I used to get in drunken screamfests with) and I made SO MUCH SENSE. Even throughout what was obviously an unhealthy, codependent, emotionally abusive relationship…I thought we’d end up married. You can convince yourself of a lot when you’re as deluded as I was…so I hope this LW realizes that her assessment of whether they “make sense” might not be 100% accurate.

Budj Budj November 21, 2011, 9:20 am

I just mean she should attempt to look at it objectively. I realize not everyone can do this (separate their “ego” / “self” from a situation), but if you can do that – it is a good way to reassess a situation.

avatar silver_dragon_girl November 21, 2011, 9:21 am

Oooh, idea for an article! Wendy (or a guest contributer) could do a sort of “how to assess your relationship” guide, maybe with some questions to discuss with your partner, or to find honest answers to yourself. Stuff to help you evaluate the state of your relationship objectively.

I would really love something like that :)

avatar Taylor November 21, 2011, 9:46 am

Great idea SDG!! I wholeheartedly second it!

avatar Mainer November 21, 2011, 10:10 am

Question 1: Have you even kneed your boyfriend in the nuts? If no, proceed to Question 2. If yes, stop reading. Seriously, it’s over. Don’t go to Question 2. Just don’t even bother.

Question 2: If you answered yes to Question 1, why are you even here? You clearly can not follow directions. Maybe that is yet another thing that is making your relationship fail. Are there other things you choose not to listen to as well? If you answered no to Question 1, I apologize for going off like that. It’s just, a knee to the dick is not something that should be tolerated. Sorry for wasting your time. This question can still be about listening though. Do you listen to your partner? Would you even knee them in the junk for not listening? I hope not. Then you would be in with the yes people from Question 1, and you don’t want to be there. You can move to Question 3 now.

avatar ladiejoy November 21, 2011, 5:37 pm

mainer. pfffft. :(

avatar McLovin November 21, 2011, 9:07 am

“I’ve had hundreds of awesome nights with these guys, but now they only care about the couple bad ones”

I hate people that see themself as the “victim” when clearly they are the reason for all the drama swirling around them. His friends aren’t cool with you hanging out with them anymore? No shit.

avatar Flake November 21, 2011, 9:57 am

Yes, and the lesson to the LW is that it takes a minute of insane behavior to ruin hundreds of awesome nights.

bittergaymark bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 4:50 pm

Well, gee. I wonder how many guys who’ve gone on to KILL their wives and girlfriends had many, many awesome great nights with friends and family, too. Maybe they should also simply be forgiven for their bad nights as well.

avatar Nadine November 21, 2011, 7:19 pm

Not to mention, that even if all they did was scream at each other, I wouldn’t hang out with them. Drama couples are the fucking worst. Stay home, sort your shit out, leave me out of it.
Or the ones (like I’ve got right now) who explain the emotional abuse theyre experiencing from their boyfriend when its just the two of you, but insist on dragging them along to group activities and you are expected to play nice.

avatar Allison November 21, 2011, 9:09 am

Look, they have every right to think whatever they think about you. If I had a friend whose girlfriend tried to knee him in the balls when they got into a fight, drunk or not, I’d think he was crazy for staying with her, too. I imagine that you’re downplaying this because you’re a girl, but this is pretty similar to a guy trying to hit his girlfriend, which I assume you’d take more seriously.

So, yes, I think you’re going to just have to deal with what his friends think about you. No sympathy here. I think that you also need to deal with your anger problems, for your sake and your boyfriend’s. Most people don’t resort to violence in their fights, so something is up.

avatar cporoski November 21, 2011, 9:12 am

LW, really think about if it was reversed and your friends saw your boyfriend punch you in the face at the bar. Even if he was nice other times, would they forgive him? You are an abuser and once is one too many. Get help now and get out of this relationship.

avatar silver_dragon_girl November 21, 2011, 9:14 am

Well, gee, I’m just *shocked* that they think you’re crazy. As others have pointed out, how would you feel if you’d witnessed one of your friends assaulting his girlfriend? Hmm?

Yeah, when the shoe’s on the other foot it wouldn’t look so excusable, would it?

More to the point, what would you tell that friend to do? Get help? Seek therapy? Would you tell the girl to end the relationship? You probably would; we all probably would.

I also agree with ReginaRey up there: If you fight this often with your boyfriend, you may want to examine the relationship. I, too, was in a relationship where yelling, silent-treatment-for-hours-after, fights were the norm (once every week or two). Things never got violent, but I was always very aware that they definitely had the potential to do so. I should have left. That’s not healthy. I advise you to take a closer look at the nature of these fights and discuss them with a professional.

avatar convexed November 21, 2011, 9:15 am

Getting in a drunk fistfight is one thing. Admirable or foolish, drunken fistfights can be fair. Kneeing yr boyfriend in the balls is never fair unless he is assaulting you and you are acting in legitimate self defense. Though I’m into gender parity, many guys feel a knee in the balls, especiallly in public, is humiliating, because it is meant to emasculate, to call his masculinity, and dignity, into question, and to mock it. That it occurred to the LW, drunk or not, to introduce this element of disrepect into a fight does not speak well for how she values her boyfriend. Not because manhood is sacred or balls are sacred, but because if she loves her boyfriend, even in a moment of anger she shouldn’t want to see him publicly hurt and embarrassed like that. She would care about his standing with his friends, and want to do her part to enable him to feel proud of their relationship, not ashamed. This whole incident, regardless of the alcohol, speaks to a girlfriend that thinks her boyfriend is disposable, his vulnerabilities hers to target in public as a way to punish him or get what cheap satisfaction she needs in a fight. Not cool. The friends should not be expected to just dismiss these kinds of incidents, and neither should the lw.

avatar Painted_lady November 21, 2011, 9:46 am

I think the equivalent for a woman would be if the boyfriend ripped her shirt off and grabbed a breast to hurt her. There’s a combination of sexuality and public humiliation to it that just makes my skin crawl.

avatar Eagle Eye November 21, 2011, 12:37 pm

Ugh, talking about skin crawling – I just know that the update to this letter is going to make me sick when she tries to explain her violence away in some way that (she) thinks is okay…

rainbow rainbow November 21, 2011, 9:17 am

“The problem is his friends who were with us that night, and the BFF in particular”
Nope, that’s not the problem. The problem is you. And the fact that you were physically violent and you don’t seem to regret it except for the part where it affected your image.

Do you think you can get away with kicking people just because you’re a woman? What if they kick you back? Are you going to stand there and take it because you started it, or will it suddenly be unacceptable?

This relationship is doomed. I don’t see how you can respect eachother ever again after this. Get your ass to anger management and don’t drink when you’re in the middle of a disagreement with someone for the next year or so.

JK JK November 21, 2011, 9:23 am

Perfect response, especially the 1st paragraph.

avatar Meredith November 21, 2011, 9:27 am

Ok–you say you feel bad about what you did, but you’re all peeved and don’t understand why his friends hate you now? Yeah, you obviously don’t feel that bad if that’s what you’re concentrating on after this whole fiasco. Here’s one of my few romantic theories: Some guys like the crazy. You, my friend, are the Crazy. Your boyfriend is the Guy. His friends are the normal ones thinking, rightfully so, why the hell is he with her? The violence did not occur bc of the alcohol or the subject of the fight or bc it was that time of the month. It happened because you have some serious rage issues that you haven’t addressed AT ALL. You think everything is fine just bc you and bf talked everything out? No, it’s not ok, it’s happened before and will happen again. His friends don’t like you because they know it will happen again, even if you’re so sure it won’t. I’m sure because I have people like you in my life and have seen them rage and be violent with their husbands/boyfriends for years. Quit making excuses… get some individual counseling, you might need to be on medicine too, I don’t know. And please stop drinking so much. If alcohol triggers the rage then you need to cut way back if not completely. The ONLY way these friends will ever like you again is if you do a complete 180 and prove over the courses of several months probably years that you are a beneficial and positive part of your boyfriends life. Get help or I promise you’ll have a lot more worries then your boyfriend’s friends not liking you.

avatar bethany November 21, 2011, 9:35 am

Kneeing your bf in the groin is abuse. Simple as that. You’re physically hurting him in anger. It’s not like you were joking around and accidentally kneed him. You reacted to anger in a physical way, and that’s not acceptable. Not only that, but you’ve done it before!! You have bigger problems than his friends not liking you (and they’re right to feel that way). You need to work on yourself befor you can even begin to worry about what other people think.

bagge72 bagge72 November 21, 2011, 9:50 am

I’m sorry, but I would have to agree with his friends, and If I were one of them, and my friend still wanted to date you after that, I would be nice to you in person, but probably would be talking behind your back with my friends about how crazy you are. Unfortunately that’s usually what happens, and I wouldn’t expect them to change those feelings until about 4 or 5 years into your marriage where they think it is safe, and he probably isn’t going to divorce you.

I love this double standard aswell, because if I had a friend that was a girl, and her boyfriend tried to punch her while I was around I wouldn’t hesitate to try and punch him more than once. I hope he has a friend that is a girl that will stick up for him that way.

avatar amber November 21, 2011, 9:57 am

When you say a couple of bad nights, what does that mean? A bad night shouldn’t be a public fight that leads to violence (or potential violence since I’m confused from your description as to whether or not you made contact with his balls, even suggesting you’re going to hit someone isn’t ok though). And like an earlier commenter said if this fighting when you are in public thing is a habit you guys have, getting physical was probably the last straw for his friends. No one wants to be friends with that couple who you know is going to fight and ruin the night for everyone. And no one wants to see their friend stay in a relationship like that either.

avatar mlippart November 21, 2011, 10:04 am

This letter, and some of the replies, blow my mind. How can the LW not see the abuse here? How could certain responders say things like “maybe you’re not right for each other?” If a man did this, in a public place, he’d be in jail and everyone here would be saying MOA. What’s the difference? I like how she made clear she didn’t knee him once, but “a couple” of times. Like once wasn’t enough? She shouldn’t be worried that his friends don’t like her, she should be thankful that her BF doesn’t hit back (at least, it wasn’t mentioned in the letter). For his sake, I think you should break up with him, quit drinking, and go into therapy, in that order. And pray you never date anyone who is like you.

avatar Taylor November 21, 2011, 10:25 am

Yep…first thing I thought when I read this is was: how is this different from “I punched her in the face and now her friends think I’m crazy”? It’s not, well, actually the knee to the groin could be worse – most men I know would prefer a punch in the face to a knee to the groin. It’s not ok to hit. Ever. Either way. That’s the rule.