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Today’s essay comes from “His Take” contributor, Dennis Hong, who writes about relationships and other topics Musings on Life and Love.
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.
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.
Addie Pray November 21, 2011, 8:18 am
The other recurring theme? Why, balls of course! Hee hee, balls.
Morgan November 21, 2011, 10:08 am
It has been a very balls centric couple of days on DW.
Brandon January 29, 2023, 8:51 am
I am a guy and I have dated a girl that has hit me in the balls in public before. I am not really sure what I did wrong but we were standing outside of a bar and my old college friend walked by and gave me a hug. My college friend was a girl. My girl friend assumed I was cheating on her or something I guess and started pushing me around and stuff as my buddies were trying to calm her down as they knew the college friend since we went to the same college and where in the same friend group. She broke free on there grip and she had on some thick steel high heel shoes and went at my balls about four or five times. Of course I fell to the ground in pain. My buddies where wincing even though nothing happened to them. A couple nights later they were BEGGING me to break up with her that her actions could never be forgiven. They have not talked to her since that night. I think it is possible for you to get those buddies back but it is gonna take a long long time for them to come around if they are like my fiends.
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.
Gary December 22, 2017, 4:57 pm
He’s a good guy for forgiving a violent act but it is a worry for the future. Given her violence, he’s taking a risk staying with her and as there are plenty more fish in the sea, why stay with a violent one? It doesn’t matter what his friends think but if I was one of them, I wouldn’t talk to her again. Zero tolerance where violence is concerned.
Ian Morris May 9, 2019, 10:16 am
A very biased response, typically in favour of the female (should we be surprised?). Why does the bf need anger management? People have arguments all the time. The issue is her violence! End of!!
The dude hopefully dumped this vile bitch and moved on.
No-one should have to tolerate that and no-one has to. If your partner is violent, leave them. Plenty more out there.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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…
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.
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 November 21, 2011, 8:33 am
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.
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!!!!”
Flake November 21, 2011, 9:48 am
Completely agree with this one. There is NO excuse for physical violence in a relationship.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 November 22, 2011, 12:25 am
Very, very true.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 7:28 pm
No, the responsible advice would be to refrain from making mountains out of molehills.
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 November 21, 2011, 10:55 am
I must be the only person on earth who has never been in a public drunken brawl.
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 November 21, 2011, 11:03 am
I´ve never even been drunk
Kate B, November 21, 2011, 4:57 pm
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 🙂
Taylor November 21, 2011, 9:46 am
Great idea SDG!! I wholeheartedly second it!
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.
ladiejoy November 21, 2011, 5:37 pm
mainer. pfffft. 🙁
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 November 21, 2011, 9:23 am
Perfect response, especially the 1st paragraph.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Painted_lady November 21, 2011, 10:06 am
Listen, LW, a couple of years ago my dad shoved my brother in anger. He’s always had massive anger issues, but he never became physical until then. He didn’t think he had a problem until I posed him a question: if I had come overthat night and instead of hearing he had shoved my brother I told him my boyfriend had shoved me in anger into the kitchen cabinets what would he do? Think about the male in your life you’re most protective of, whether a friend, a sibling, or a kid you used to babysit. What if you had to watch a woman knee him in the groin in public? What would you think of that woman?
I think there’s a strong likelihood that you and your boyfriend are totally wrong for each other. But no matter what, you need help learning how to manage your anger. Violence is not okay, and the physical pain it causes is only part of it. The disrespect, the contempt, the hostility you display is worse and far more hurtful. That you *would* knee your boyfriend in the groin is far worse than the physical pain when you *did* knee him in the groin.
cookiesandcream November 21, 2011, 11:58 am
Thank you for saying this, especially the second paragraph. I think it’s important for the LW to read that.
Heather November 21, 2011, 10:12 am
Sorry LW, as stated in my previous comment, you will get little sympathy from me. You physically abused your boyfriend. There’s no way around it. While both of you are responsible for the arguing in public (a huge relationship red flag in and of iteself), you absolutely escalated it. And his friends have every right to think you’re batshit. Abuse in a relationship isn’t ok, guy or girl. And you clearly don’t SEEM upset about what you actually did, just that it made you look bad with his friends. If I were any of his friends, I’d be telling him to GTFO of the relationship, the same I would do if a male SO struck one of my female friends, especially if I had witnessed it.
twiglet November 21, 2011, 10:14 am
does the phrase “throw a couple of knees towards his manhood” mean you made an ugly threatening gesture, but did not physically connect, or does it mean you actually kneed the guy in the balls? Neither is good- but if it was the first then dependent upon the context-it’s something you, him, and his friends might eventually move on from.Suppose he’d been taunting you all night- it might explain why you might act as if you were going to kick him. I wouldn’t like someone acting like they were going to punch me, but I ‘d see it as a whole different thing from someone actually punching me. Which was it? I don’t think, from the letter, that this is clear.
SpaceySteph November 21, 2011, 11:39 am
I agree with you and have been struggling with this in my response. It isn’t clear if she actually DID knee him in the groin or just made the gesture. If it was just a gesture, its less severe and deserves a backseat to the larger issue of a terrible relationship.
If she actually connected knee to manhood, and especially if she did so more than once, than the physical abuse she’s inflicting on her boyfriend is the main issue here.
I am inclined to think that from the phrasing “toward” and also “couple times” that it was probably the gesture, because “toward” does not imply contact, and because it stands to reason that once you knee a guy in the nuts once you don’t get the opportunity to do it again (due to him running away, doubling over, slapping you back). Not trying to defend her, just trying to figure it out.
cookiesandcream November 21, 2011, 11:54 am
I’m not trying to discount your opinion, it’s just that I don’t think that’s the main issue. The main issue is that whether the knees made contact or not, they were “not well received.” Even the threat of violence can be just as emotionally damaging as actual violence. Plus, acting like you’re going to hit your significant other is a form of domestic violence as well.
savannah November 21, 2011, 7:54 pm
I know. I’m wondering what the response would have been with a different title, which i’m assuming is written by wendy or dennis and not the LW, because to me it’s just not that clear weather or not that there was physical contact. Like “We got into a huge public fight and now his friends hate me’. I mean either way they should break up and she needs to deal with some issues, but I’m just curious how much the title sways people.
LeahW. November 21, 2011, 10:24 am
I have to disagree Dennis, here. I don’t think it should be you who talks with the BFF (at least not at first) but your boyfriend. As much as it feels terrible that these guys who formerly accepted you are now treating you badly, the issue isn’t between you and them but your boyfriend and them. You said it yourself, they think your boyfriend “is insane” to still be with you. Way to trust his judgement!! They might not understand why your guy chose to forgive you but it’s not his job to explain it to them. You didn’t feel the need to share in this letter what lead up to the fight or why you feel it’s now resolved, and your boyfriend isn’t obligated to share those details with his friends, either. But what he should do is call them on their lack of respect to both of you: “I know [girlfriend] was acting totally out of line at the bar, but she’s apologized and I’ve forgiven her for it. We’re working through our issues and as long as we’re dating I expect you to treat her with respect.”
Things will probably die down after a while. After all, their probably pretty pissed on your boyfriend’s behalf. The thing is, they may never accept you the way that they used to and there’s just nothing you can do about that. The most you could hope for (and your boyfriend explicitly ask them for) is for them to treat you decently when you’re around.
Flake November 21, 2011, 10:51 am
I am sorry, but I so disagree with this.. The issue is that the LW seems to think that it is acceptable to blow up and argue with her BF in public, to a point of physical violence. And seriously, just because she is a girl she should not get the “get out of jail free” card. What if the genders were reversed?? Would you tell the woman, “oh yeah, your friends just saw you being physically abused by your BF, so if they have a problem with it, but you don’t, just tell them to butt out and treat him with respect”.
The boyfriend’s friends do not owe her any respect at this point if only because she clearly doesn’t respect them or herself.
mlippart November 21, 2011, 10:51 am
“treating her badly?” Did you read the letter? She physically abused this guy! She assaulted him, in public, in front of his friends! How is them reacting to this, like a normal human being would (trying to get him to leave her) treating her badly? What kind of treatment do you think she deserves? Again, I repeat: if this was a man writing in, would you say that the GF’s best friends are treating him badly?
How much respect does an abuser deserve? If I punched my girlfriend in the face do I have a right to demand respect from her friends? If I don’t get it can I hit them too? Or are there people on this board who actually think this wasn’t a big deal? I am baffled by your response, to be honest.
FireStar November 21, 2011, 11:32 am
Absolutely agree with you. I’m more than a little shocked at how blase some commentators seem to be. I’ve seen the DW community lace into other letter writers over poor choices but this is the first letter I’ve seen where the “poor choice” leads to criminal behaviour and physical violence and yet some of the comments seem to be far more sympathetic than I would ever have guessed. I know if it was my friend “respect” is about the last thing the abuser could expect from me.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 5:11 pm
My comment below elaborates, but this is why I don’t think the knees were really all that serious (much as it makes me cringe to even type that). If she really was physically violent with him (i.e., really trying to hurt him), I really don’t think his friends would “only” think that she’s crazy.
Either way, we’re commenters on a dating advice site, not the police. As crazy as the LW comes off, it’s simply not our call to say that she should be arrested for domestic violence or whatever you want to call it.
But that’s just my opinion.
FireStar November 21, 2011, 6:12 pm
No one is acting like the police – but there is no point in pretending this was horsing around gone awry or anything to have a giggle at. By her own account, her actions constitute assault which is why the kid glove treatment is so shocking. Criminality is determined by the act and the intention behind it – not by whether or not it gets reported by the victim. Sadly, domestic violence is hugely under reported.
I just hope the boyfriend has a friend like Guy Friday above.
oldie November 21, 2011, 11:33 am
Seriously? If the group I hung with had witnessed LW physically assaulting her bf when we were all out together, and he came back a week later criticizing us for not treating her well, I’d suggest excluding both of them from the group. Why should they become known as the group that gets into bar fights, just because LW can’t behave and her bf no longer has the balls left to walk away from her. She and he are too much drama. He could come back when she was gone and he had returned to his senses. Treating her badly? What are you thinking? Couples do not have a right to repeatedly display their worst, socially unacceptable behavior in front of their friends in a public bar. It makes the whole group look crazy. And she is to be given a break after doing this multiple times? What fun is it for the friends to go out drinking with a woman who is a really nasty drunk and doesn’t no when to stop drinking?
bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 5:03 pm
Agree with all of you. Seriously, if the friends of the Boyfriend are any kind of real friends at all they will all simply refuse to ever be around the LW again. I know I would. I’m sorry, now wait, I am so NOT sorry, but I have a ZERO tolerance policy when it some to physical abuse.
Nadine November 21, 2011, 5:38 pm
Purple thumb. Lots and lots. She abused him, the friends obviously cant convince him to leave, so they are doing what good friends do: stay friends, show they disrespect the abuser (LW), and wait in the wings for when it all blows up again and the boyfriend needs friends he can trust.
Nadine November 21, 2011, 5:40 pm
(Above comment to LeahW)
Flake November 21, 2011, 10:38 am
First off, chances are that BF’s best friend and their other friends already thought you were crazy (after the first “similar, less intense, situation”), and this incident was the last straw. I have friends like that. It’s a couple, and every time we’re with them, we are just waiting until the fight starts. And it starts every time they get a little more than tipsy. It is feels horrible to be a witness to that, although they have never gotten physical with each other. But, were that to happen, you better believe that that one night will ruin all the other “awesome” nights.
And seriously, how can you even be worrying about your friends opinion of you???? Do you really not see that as far as all of his friends are concerned, you are a crazy bitch who finally snapped and kneed him in the balls in front of everyone? As someone has mentioned, you should be thanking God that noone called the cops on you, because I sure as hell would. If you let that happen in public, god knows what you let happen in private when nobody’s watching. And the sad thing is, I know that if you are reading these responses, you are probably thinking, “what’s the big deal, we fought, we talked about, made up, and are happy”, and that everybody is too hard on you. Even though you say that you are sorry, nothing in you letter actually shows that. YOU are not concerned that you humiliated the man you supposedly love, his BF is (which is what best friends are for). You should be worried about what you can do to earn the respect and the trust of your boyfriend, not his friends. There’s just so many things wrong with your reaction to this.
So, no, there is absolutely nothing you can do to make his friends believe you are a good GF, or even a good person. And you can be sure that every time you leave or turn around, they will ask him why he’s still with the crazy chick. And I hope that they will get through to him. Because there’s nothing happy or comfortable about this relationship.
crazyayeaye November 21, 2011, 10:51 am
Oh Dennis, the cat was just a stroke of genius! Seriously, I can’t stop laughing. Thanks for giving that to start the day.
Landygirl November 21, 2011, 11:05 am
On a side note, I like your new picture, Wendy.
Ktfran November 21, 2011, 11:11 am
I noticed that too, but didn’t know how new it was or if it has been mentioned. I like the photo as well Wendy!
neuroticbeagle November 21, 2011, 11:09 am
Love the cat.
Rachel November 21, 2011, 12:23 pm
Love your name. My avatar is a picture of my own neurotic puggle.
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com November 21, 2011, 11:15 am
My reaction is that YES public arguments happen to all couples —at some point. You try to avoid them but it happens. A comment is made over dinner with friends and it triggers a sensitive area and you’re hurt. You may have some heated whispered words to the side and probably your friends notice. You may even make a few not-so-subtle jabs (VERBAL jabs) in your BF’s direction. Or teasing and debate that go beyond playful and start to sound mean. There’s an undercurrent of dischord and people pick up on it. All of that happens.
Past that, you’ve lost me. When you get into an obvious, loud, vocal argument or rather BEFORE you do, it’s time zip it or pack it up and go home.
Physical violence? Kneeing someone in the balls. It’s off my radar altogether. Ooh, wait, I do watch Jersery Shore, so there is that.
To answer fairly though (the question of how you move past all of this), I think anger management is a great start. I also think, and some will disagree, that some matches have a volatile element that is insurmountable unless you are willing to put in a LOT of work (i.e. counseling and behavior modification). Different relationships bring different things out of us and while I think you should seek out anger management lessons for yourself first, I also think that you should seek out a partner who brings out the best (not the worst) in you.
silver_dragon_girl November 21, 2011, 11:41 am
Totally agree on the description of a “normal” public disagreement. It’s more of an undercurrent you can’t hide than actual screaming and shouting. That’s not at all “normal.”
6napkinburger November 21, 2011, 12:54 pm
Ha, i think it depends on the audience. I once had a somewhat loud, very angry argument with my BF which covered about 20 blocks of manhattan. (yell at each other, one person storm away, the other follow. Rinse lather repeat.) Was it our finest hour? Most assuredly not. But. While we were in “public” aka outside, we weren’t around anyone we knew. We might have been making the construction guys uncomfortable, but hey, they make me uncomfortable all the time.
And I’ve witnessed tons of very very heated couple arguments on the streets. While not “awesome”, I’d say that they’re not so abnormal, as long as you aren’t embarrassing yourself, your partner or anyone you know.
MELH November 21, 2011, 11:29 am
This morning I got to work, opened up dearwendy, and I’m pretty sure I made the same face as the cat before I even saw the cat…
cookiesandcream November 21, 2011, 11:48 am
I agree with the comments about the domestic violence aspect of this letter. First of all, it’s clear that you and your boyfriend have issues resolving conflict. You got in the middle of an argument that had “begun a couple days prior,” and instead of working it out in private, it escalated while you two were drunk and at a bar with all of his friends. Since your argument ended with violence, I would agree with those who are recommending therapy or anger management classes. Just because you “both feel happy and comfortable again,” it doesn’t mean that you don’t need a third party stepping in because the feeling of happiness and comfort don’t cancel out how the situation occurred and was handled.
Second, I was really bothered by the tone and wording of your second paragraph. When you say that you regret what happened but then continue onto say “but I can’t change what happened,” it seems as if you aren’t really acknowledging how serious the situation was. The “it is what it is” attitude signals, to me at least, that you’re not interested in changing the fact that you two have been violent in the past. It really sounds as if you’re making excuses for yourself, especially when you admit that “it wouldn’t be as bad if similar, less intense, situations hadn’t happened a couple other times as well” and wonder why your boyfriend’s friends “care about the couple bad [times].”
Third, the most astonishing fact of this letter is the fact that your question is if you can win his friends over. LW, winning his friends over is probably damn near impossible by now, and it’s the least of your problems. The fact that you’re making excuses for yourself, got into a public fight, and have a history of escalating violence is a sign of domestic violence. It might not be the “stereotypical” man controls girl, hits girl and humiliates her in public scenario, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a form of domestic violence.
LSS86 November 21, 2011, 1:00 pm
I’m just shocked nobody called the cops and had you arrested for assaulting your boyfriend at a bar. That should be bartending 101 – “If a patron becomes violent, call the cops immediately.” In fact, I think that IS in bartending 101.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 5:06 pm
Okay, all sarcasm aside, I personally didn’t read it as her actually assaulting the boyfriend. I mean, God forbid I should actually defend someone for kneeing her boyfriend in the balls (Note to self: Shut up, Balls! I’m trying to stay impartial. Don’t make me come down there and slap some sense into you guys.), but keep in mind that this whole thing happened in public… in front of all his friends. If she really did assault him, I think the consequences would’ve been way more severe than… uh, the non-consequences she’s had to face. If he had really been hurt, I don’t think anyone else at the bar–and especially his friends–would’ve been okay with that. No, it seems to me that she did this more for show and more to humiliate him than anything else. And in that sense, mission: accomplished.
Not to condone what she did, of course. That was still absolutely ridiculous and absolutely uncalled for. But… in the interest of being non-judgmental, I wouldn’t categorically state that she assaulted her boyfriend, or that this could even be considered domestic violence. I just don’t think it’s our call to make.
bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 5:20 pm
Huh? Strange backpeddle here. Dennis, she plainly states that she did, in fact, knee him in the balls. Nowhere in her blase’ letter does she even remotely imply that it was soft or gentle kneeing that would demonstrate to others that she so didn’t really mean it. At any rate, you have a decidedly curious view on what makes something assault — that much is very clear.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 5:35 pm
No backpedal. As inappropriate as what she did was, “assault,” being that it is a criminal offense, is a pretty serious charge to be levying, and it’s simply not our call to make.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 5:41 pm
Okay, I just looked it up because I’m anal like that.
Technically, she did commit “assault.” However, whether or not it’s criminal assault (i.e., subject to arrest) is debatable and not our call to make.
bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 5:48 pm
Who the fuck cares if it’s criminal? The point is that she is CLEARLY a lousy girlfriend. Good partners don’t ever assault their partners. End of story. I mean, by your logic, Dennis, say a guy backhands his girlfriend — is that also okay so long as he pens in a vague letter that obscures whether or not he actually drew blood… Seriously. I just don’t get you on this letter at all, man. But agree to disagree, I guess. Still scratching my head though…
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 6:01 pm
Oh, I agree that it’s a fucked up relationship. I’ll even agree that they probably shouldn’t be together (though I don’t feel it’s my place to tell them that, since that’s not what she asked about).
Nonetheless, *I* the fuck care if it’s criminal assault we’re dealing with, because that’s what a ton of people here are accusing her of. And that, to me, is equally fucked up. We can’t just go throwing around accusations like this.
Lousy girlfriend? Yes.
Criminal girlfriend? We can’t say.
LSS86 November 21, 2011, 7:08 pm
I can’t find any literature online that says there exists a form of assault that is any less than a misdemeanor, so I don’t really know what this distinction between assault and criminal assault you’re referring to is. If there is a weapon involved, it’s a felony; no weapon, it’s a misdemeanor – that’s what I found. The actual laws are, I’m sure, much more complicated. But I cannot find one source anywhere that says an action such as kneeing someone in the groin is NOT a criminal activity. Can you link to where you’re finding this information?
bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 7:12 pm
Yeah, as LSS86 pointed out, considering her action to be an assault really wasn’t making that much of a leap.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 7:32 pm
It comes down to intent to injure. Based on the LW’s letter, I’m not convinced that she really intended to injure him. I’m also not convinced he was actually injured. Humiliated? Yes. Injured? Meh.
bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 7:37 pm
What?! Okay, I’ll bite. How do you go to kick somebody in the balls and NOT intend to injure him? Seriously. Just stop now, Dennis. You are only making yourself look more and more ridiculous…
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 7:56 pm
Have you ever dealt with someone with serious impulse control issues?
Again, I’m not arguing whether she fucked up here. I’m arguing whether it was a criminal act. I say no.
bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 8:11 pm
Yeah. I have, actually. That guy had SERIOUS impulse control issues and beat the fuck out of one of my best girlfriends so badly she had to have her jaw wired shut. It was, um, not pretty. To this day, over ten years, later she still has breathing problems with her nose… And, yeah, he so didn’t mean to do it. It all just got out of control. There was no intent the very first time he slapped her across the face either, back before they were married. Back when she still was always making excuses for him. Way back then, his impulse control issues were her favorite excuse to rationalize away his shockingly bad behavior. Brilliant move that turned out to be…
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 8:18 pm
Look, dude. That’s the point I’m trying to make here. “That guy” you’re talking about… clearly abusive. Clearly needed to be… well, arrested.
But, can we really say that the LW is the female equivalent of this guy, after just one incident? No, we can’t. Yet, that’s what people are implying here. Again, witch-hunt mentality.
(Clearly, I’m doing a shitty job of getting work done….)
bittergaymark November 21, 2011, 8:26 pm
Dennis, my point is that almost all abusive relationships start out with very small instances of abuse… You didn’t even so much as suggest to the LW that she was perhaps on a dangerous path. That physically attacking her boyfriend in public meant she should focus on her problem — and not the minor consequences of it. This was an especially glaring lapse in light of how blase’ she was about the whole incident. The fact that she assaulted her boyfriend? No big deal to her. Not at all. Instead her only beef was that her boyfriend’s buddies suddenly aren’t being so nice. Could she possibly be any more narcissistic? And the fact that her boyfriend is still with her, says nothing about the severity of the attack. I mean, how many battered women stay? Sadly…. Most.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 8:35 pm
I really don’t think she sounded all that blase, personally. In fact, it sounded like she felt pretty horrible about it. Maybe that’s where you and I interpreted the letter differently.
Based on what she wrote, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that this was a one-time mistake. I can tell that you’re not.
Either way, I felt it was more important for both of them to deal with their anger issues together, rather than specifically suggest that she seek help for potentially being abusive.
FireStar November 21, 2011, 7:54 pm
When she admits to a criminal act – I’ve gotta say – her behaviour gets to be called criminal.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 7:57 pm
Uh, you’ll have to tell me where in the law kneeing someone in the balls is automatically a criminal act.
FireStar November 21, 2011, 8:05 pm
Nothing automatic about it – there are two elements to establishing a crime -actus reus and mens rea – the act of the crime and the intention to commit it. She admits to both in her letter – she kneed him and intended to knee him – multiple times. Once an act violates a criminal code it qualifies as a crime. Committing a crime is not the same as being convicted of one. Is that where the confusion is arising from? If a man rapes me in a parking lot then that is rape. I have to report it for him to be convicted of rape – but the rape happened at the time of the initial attack.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 8:10 pm
Fine, I’ll grant you that. She committed the crime. But is it worthy of her being labeled abusive? Is it worthy of her getting arrested?
I don’t think any of us can say.
FireStar November 21, 2011, 8:24 pm
I can. It may be my training but I am absolute in my convictions. You assault someone in the circumstances provided by the LW you should be arrested. If that was my friend I saw assaulted in a bar, I would have called the police. Our laws exist to protect us all. But in particular for this LW, the most productive thing we as a community can do for her is to express in no uncertain terms how egregious her behaviour was and to impress on her it was criminal in the hopes that she will be shocked by her conduct and will seek appropriate counselling so that she does not assault another person again and, in doing so, risk ruin to her own life.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 8:36 pm
Fine. If those are your convictions, then I can’t argue against them.
Addie Pray November 22, 2011, 7:23 am
Kneeing someone in the balls is definitely criminal. Whether the boyfriend will press charges? Who knows, but what she did is definitely criminal. It’s called a battery. I think it’s obvious the only reason some of you aren’t considering it *that bad* is because it happened once and it was the woman who did it. I’m sure if the boyfriend and kneed the LW in the crouch or slapped her or something, even if just once, everyone would agree that’s illegal. The intend is definitely there, Dennis. An example of lack of intent would be if LW and her boyfriend were wrestling and she accidentally kneed him. Here, she intended to lift her knee up and hit his balls. That’s intent. She may not of meant for him to never have babies again, but that’s not the level of intent required. She intended the physical contact, which was not wanted. Done.
savannah November 21, 2011, 5:28 pm
I don’t know if it’s our call to make but I also read it more like you than other commentators if only because of the of logistics of actually kneeing someone in the balls. If it was assault I don’t know how she could have done it more than once as she states ” I ended up throwing a couple knees towards his manhood”. In my experience (unfortunately/fortunately from self defense) a man usually falls to the ground when you hit them in the groin and its hard to then hit the guy again.
Again as other commentators have stressed if a women felt threatened at all by her SO we would all be advocating MOA, rather than contemplating the way in which he was physical towards her…
Nadine November 21, 2011, 5:52 pm
I think that, to some extent, we can think about this as a group of guys out for a night. Most guys would not yell “domestic abuse” if they saw their friend get attacked by his girlfriend. They wouldn’t for the same reasons some commenters here arent: girl on guy violence isnt seen as a ‘problem’. Some people don’t see red flags as clearly as other people, or they dont see them for certain issues.
If the incident was as LW described, it was abuse. There was a physical altercation. Just because there was a group of guys there who decided it wasnt abuse because of their own gender bias, doesnt mean the LW is not an abuser.
Flake November 21, 2011, 9:52 pm
That’s the point: his friends are NOT ok with what she did.
SGMcG November 21, 2011, 5:55 pm
I’m trying to think of a scenario that gives you a free pass for kneeing your boyfriend…in the groin…in public. Other than re-enacting some sort of stunt fight for a performance at Universal Studios Theme Park with the supervision of stunt professionals, I honestly can’t think of an instance that excuses your behavior LW. Even if I delved my mind into some purient, kinky thinking, kneeing your boyfriend in the groin in public, in front of his friends, is pretty much an act of uncontrollable lunacy, and I think the crazy label you’ve gotten is rightfully earned.
Is it possible to win his buddies back over? Woman, you need to get your priorities in order and focus on reassuring your boyfriend that nonsense like this doesn’t happen again. If your boyfriend’s buddies actually see that your boyfriend is happy and is willing to go the distance with you, then damn whatever label those guys give you – because what you have between you and your boyfriend is all that matters. The fact that you’re more focused on what they think about you, rather than what your boyfriend thinks about you, speaks volumes of how dysfunctional your relationship is. You and your boyfriend need to evaluate the three years you had together, because your one night of abuse is really enough for your boyfriend to MOA from you…and his friends are just trying to show him that.
Ruby November 21, 2011, 6:17 pm
If it was my friend, and their significant other assaulted them in public, I wouldn’t like them very much either and probably wouldn’t want to forgive them…or hang out with them again.
Also, what if the tables were turned? What if it was your boyfriend who punched you in the face, or something equally humiliating and violent as a kick-in-the-balls, in front of your friends! Do you think your friends would be so keen on forgiving him? They’d probably call the police and report him!
His friends may never accept you again and I don’t blame them.
I agree with the comments about going to therapy and trying to figure out how to not be so violent to someone you care about in public or private!
mBookish November 21, 2011, 7:46 pm
As someone who’s been on the opposite side of this, I can tell you it’s really embarrassing to have someone, who’s supposed to care about you, disrespect or attack you in public.
Dennis Hong November 21, 2011, 8:07 pm
Alright, as much as I love debating people, I need to get back to work, so I’m just gonna leave it at this:
It was ONE freaking incident, people. And from the way it sounds, it wasn’t a serious one, at that. Was it messed up? Oh, absolutely. Was it humiliating for the guy? I bet. Does the girlfriend need to learn to control her temper? Of course.
But, does she deserve to be branded a criminal and compared to physically abusive men who hit their girlfriends? Sorry, I’m not ready to make that call. No one can. Not from the one letter alone.
Adaas November 22, 2011, 1:36 am
Why does “once incident” matter? If a guy shoved or hit his girlfriend “just once”, what would you say then?
Joe Steansky August 20, 2019, 3:15 am
It is assault. Very simple for a lawyer. If he pressed charges, she will be in court. Probably a fine and a record for assault.
She is lucky he has not pressed charges. I wouldn’t bother. You wouldn’t want to hit me however. I hit back. Not women ever. I laugh in their face if they try and tell them to fuck off. Simple.
Dennis, get your shit together bro and call a spade a spade.
Adaas November 22, 2011, 1:36 am
Why does “one incident” matter? If a guy shoved or hit his girlfriend “just once”, what would you say then?
bittergaymark November 22, 2011, 2:04 am
Yeah, I really thought the whole “one incident” thing was a load of b.s. Hey, by that argument, damn near any transgression should be forgiven so long as it only happened once. “Yeah, I robbed a bank, but just the one.” “I banged my best friend’s husband — but only once!” “Okay, okay, so I shot the guy, but only the one time, that one afternoon!”
mlippart November 22, 2011, 2:18 am
I am curious, Dennis, on how you’d react if a man punched a woman in the face in front of you. If it happened once, and this was the only time, would you call the police? If so, what is the difference? And please, PLEASE don’t go into the whole “it’s different because men are bigger/stronger” nonsense. I had a friend who was abused by his wife for years- and he was much taller/stronger than him. But he never fought back, so she would just wail on him, and he would cover up and try to get away. No one ever took him seriously. Not his family, not the police, no one. The pain part is only part of it- control plays a role in this too. If she attacked him in public, what happens in private? As BGM pointed out, abuse starts small- the fact that, regardless of anything, you didn’t stress how much of a dangerous path she could be walking, was pretty disturbing to me (I would have to agree with him on another point, as well- this must qualify as worst advice I have ever read at DW).
Your comments about how “it takes two to be hit in the groin” were not funny at all. It takes two to be punched in the face, as well. It takes two to be shoved down a flight of stairs. One can argue a question of degrees, but the intent in all of these is the same: to hurt someone. VIOLENCE AGAINST YOUR PARTNER IS NEVER OKAY. Why is that so hard to apply when the gender roles are reversed? I am just baffled that you don’t have a problem with women attacking men. You say it isn’t the same thing. Why not? Have you ever been kicked in the groin? Have you ever had someone humiliate you in public like that (another thing you brushed off, incidentally)?
And then the gall, the brazenness of this women, to complain that these friends are treating her like she’s crazy. I know I’ve repeated myself like four times on here, but this really struck a chord with me.
Dennis Hong November 22, 2011, 2:00 pm
As I said before, I do not consider this situation to be the female equivalent of a man getting drunk and hitting her girlfriend, so your turning-the-tables line of questioning doesn’t work. If I saw a guy do what you described, I would absolutely call the police.
As I interpreted this letter, however, the incident seemed more humiliating than physically harmful. Hence, my reluctance to accuse her of being abusive. This:
Just doesn’t sound like he was actually injured, which leads me to believe that either 1) she wasn’t really trying to hurt him and the knees were more for show than anything else, or 2) she’s exaggerating. For the record (dude, what kind of messed up record are we keeping if I have to acknowledge this…), I have taken blows to the balls before. I used to play hockey without a cup. I don’t anymore. I can assure you that if she really connected two hard knees to his balls, the consequences would not have been as seemingly insignificant as she described. No fucking way.
Of course, there is the possibility that she’s downplaying how badly hurt he is. I can’t deny that possibility, but given that she’s the letter writer, I chose to take her words at face value, instead of trying to read more into them than is really there.
I continue to stand by my assertion that this incident does not prove definitively that she is an abusive girlfriend. As such, I’d recommend she work on her anger management, but I would never suggest that she should be arrested for domestic violence. Nor would I compare her to the guy who gets drunk and purposefully punches his girlfriend.
Flake November 22, 2011, 2:06 pm
As I mentioned above, how would you react if you saw a couple arguing at the bar and a guy raising his arm a couple of times toward the woman, pretending to hit her but without making contact? I know that in that case I would react exactly like his friends have. I would tell the person to re-evaluate that relationship, and no, I would never forgive the “almost” abuser.
Dennis Hong November 22, 2011, 2:12 pm
Exactly. You would react just like his friends did and call the dude crazy. But, you wouldn’t call the police and automatically brand him as abusive.
And that’s the exact point I’m trying to make. As fucked up as what the LW did was, and as sketchy as the situation you posed is, it’s simply not enough to conclude that your hypothetical guy is actually capable of domestic violence. Thus, your particular analogy, as uncomfortable as it may be, is more appropriate than the analogy of the guy punching his girlfriend in the face.
Flake November 22, 2011, 2:28 pm
No I wouldn’t call the police, but I would definitely mention the abuse angle. If she lets this happen in public, who knows what goes on in private? And since he is a guy, I can see how he would be hesitant to report anything to police. And if he is a big guy, he would face even more prejudice. That is where friends come in. They give you perspective. And if his best friend tells him that he also thinks that she’s crazy, that may all the validation he needs to act.
For the record, in the case I mentioned I would label the person abusive. And most of the barmen I know would at least call the security.
Basically, I think that the last thing she should worry about right now is what his friends think of her.
And sorry, I just can’t help to think that if that paragraph was:
-“I ended up throwing a couple of knees towards HER STOMACH 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 part about them both being happy and comfortable would not fool anybody.
Dennis Hong November 22, 2011, 2:36 pm
If that’s how you would do it, fair enough. I just tend to look at advice giving in this sort of setting as more like being a counselor/public defender. My job is to help the letter writers and reserve judgment, not attack them and tell them what horrible humans they are. It sort of comes with what I do for a living.
rainbow November 22, 2011, 7:47 am
Something that really bothers me about these “men are guilty until proven innocent, women are innocent until proven guilty” standards is that they’re really hurting the LGBTT community.
I’ve seen women seriously abused by their female partners (who were bigger and stronger “like a man”) get laughed in the face by the police when they try to report it. And men beaten up by their bigger male partners get told “well just hit him back, like a man!”.
It seems that in order for it to be abuse you need a big strong drunken manly man and a fragile damsel in distress. And it’s sopeoperaish and seriously fucked up.
I don’t think you’re doing the world any favors by giving the LW a pass just because she’s female.
rainbow November 22, 2011, 7:58 am
Also it reminds me of the time a “friend” of mine told me I hadn’t been raped because the guy was as tall as me but skinnier, and I could have stopped him if I really wanted to.
I’m not putting your advice to LW on the same level of WTF as this, I guess you mean well, but it’s a good example of what happens if you start giving people a pass because of their sizes. (Sizes we don’t even know in this case. You’re just assuming he’s stronger than she is).
Elizabeth November 21, 2011, 9:44 pm
I completely agree that LW assaulted her boyfriend – and I wonder how long it will take mainstream media to catch up to that philosophy/reality. It is disturbing to me that tuning into any TV show can still show “acceptable” violence against men. Just yesterday, my 11 year old daughter was watching an iCarly where Sam (a girl) beat up Freddy (a boy) for for a “humorous” part of the show. Had the situation been reversed. it would have been “A Very Special Episode”. Those of us clicking “like” to the arguements that LW perpetrated violence should also be making our voices hear to those that make TV shows and commercials that portray female or male violence to be cute, funny or acceptable. It is not. Maybe if LW didn’t grow up with these images, her boyfriend would be safer.
Fabelle November 22, 2011, 9:01 am
Violence of any kind is never acceptable, and I agree with whoever brought up domestic violence in the LBGT community– I know a lesbian couple where both parties are completely abusive to each other, had to get the police involved at one time, etc. & almost all of their fights escalate into violence. This LW does sound psycho, and her question is definitely NOT the one she should be asking.
Despite that– it’s the question she asked, so I don’t blame Dennis for focusing on that & avoiding the larger issue. If he doesn’t feel comfortable labeling this girl as an abuser, then he doesn’t have an obligation to make that call. There’s more than enough people in the comments who DO feel comfortable bringing up the domestic violence issue, and who seem to have more knowledge and info where they CAN give advice on it.
Jay November 22, 2011, 9:28 am
Whoa! If this is not crazy, I don’t know what is.
RunsWithScissors November 22, 2011, 11:11 am
The whole LW being an abuser thing aside, if this was my guy friend’s girlfriend, not only would I never be able to be won back over, but I would be on the look out for nice, non-abusive gals to pair my buddy up with when he and the LW broke up.
jubietta November 22, 2011, 10:03 pm
LW, I think the answer is yes, you are going to carry this around for the rest of your relationship. Your actions, being physically aggressive to the point of kneeing (or attempting to knee) your sweetheart in the balls, is using force to gain compliance and it’s abusive. As the survivor of abuse I understand the process the injured person can go through in making excuses, minimizing, or justifying the actions of the person who’s supposed to love and care for them. The issue — and this is why it doesn’t matter whether it was “the first time” or not, who was which gender, and whether you were drunk or not — is that your actions invited PAIN, FEAR and HUMILIATION to come in to your relationship and get comfortable. Those feelings don’t go away. They cannot be forgotten. They will be with you two until it’s over.
My recommendation is to leave. Go and get your head on straight. Figure out what ingredients went into a situation that leads you to treat the person you love like dirt. If, with both of y’alls heads on straight, you still love each other and want to make a go of it, build a new relationship with new roles and boundaries. Then you can offer apologies for subjecting his friends to the shrapnel of your bad behavior which they may or may not accept. At the least you will no longer be mistaken for crazy.
And Dennis, I know you meant well and it looks like this one ate up a huge chunk of your day trying to defend your advice, I’m sorry you went through so much frustration. I think you were in over your head with this one, and saying that you were “just answering the question the LW wrote” as an excuse for not calling this situation what it was does a disservice to the community, and they called you on it. One of the best parts of Wendy’s advice is when she calls a spade a spade and doesn’t let a letter writer bullshit their way past accountability for their actions.
yMaryn November 24, 2011, 8:44 am
What I get from this letter is that this couple gets into drunken fights a lot, that have probably been escalating until the LW did something that was completely crazy and out of place for what their fights usually are like. What worries me is that the fights may continue to get more and more violent, potentially making either of them abusive (LW has the edge here of course but apparently they are both kind of violent). My advice in this case would really be to break up before things get MORE out of hand. What if in the next fight the LW knees him in the balls and really injures him? What if she doesn’t but his friend call the police anyway? What if in the heat of the argument he hits her? I think that there’s a lot of therapy needed here, but mainly we are all getting that the relationship is really toxic and clearly not right.
And I was also disturbed about how lighlty she wrote about kneeing her partner and how he forgave her… If this situation was reversed, and even if Dennis won’t admit to it, we would be telling the woman that she shouldn’t make excuses for her partner and that abuse is not acceptable. I keep thinking about this poor guy and how he got humiliated in front of his friends and a lot of strangers and just want to tell him “Dump this abusive b****!!”
LW November 24, 2011, 1:33 pm
WHOA.. Just to clear a couple things up.. This was an isolated incident. I got drunk and lost my shit. Not that it makes the situation any better. I am absolutely not trying to justify my actions. IM pissed at MYSELF about this. Im not trying to make it any better. And you guys seem to think I was beating him up in the parking lot, but the knees didn’t even land.. when I referred to similar things happening I meant fights. The good ole one person yelling at another and the other person yelling back. Were not violent. I’m not violent. Which is why Im completely aghast at what happened and want to know if there’s any way to get past it. We both stopped drinking for a while. We talked about the real reason we were pissed at each other which, for the record, you guys don’t even know. We have all made mistakes. Things that as soon as they happen make you want to hide in a closet until everyone has forgotten your name. And that happened to me. Should I just jump off a cliff and be done with it because I fucked up? I’d rather deal with what happened as maturely as the circumstances permit and not let it screw up my life..
Dennis Hong November 24, 2011, 7:47 pm
Thanks for clarifying. I’m glad I reserved judgment about your alleged “abusive” tendencies and stood by my response.
Unfortunately, though, I think everyone’s already moved on from this discussion. If it matters to you, you can always email Wendy an update on your situation, since she often posts those….
Avida January 3, 2012, 2:44 am
Still the same actitude:
And you guys seem to think I was beating him up in the parking lot, but the knees didn’t even land.
You don’t understand it was an single instance of violent sexual assault. The fact that they don’t land is not important. Do you understand that you tried twice?
Is like a robber say: But I did not succeed. Should abusers that peek the wrong victim be justified?
Be glad his friends did not step up to defend him from you, nor did they call the police.
Dennis: Did you learn anything from the comments? do you read what Rainbow wrote?
Do you understand that is not a question of size?
Do you understand that slapping some one is not like kinking some one in the testicles?
Do you understand that is common for victims of bullies on the USA to loose one testicle due to this kind of attacks?
Girl You need therapy and Dennis you really need domestic violence training before giving advice.
This will grow if she don’t take full responsibility.
JadeStep96 June 14, 2017, 3:06 am
A grown woman like you should know better. My two nieces had far more maturity as toddlers as to know the big rule: “Hiting is NOT acceptable.”
The both of you clearly can’t control your drinking or your anger in public no less. I see this as Physical Abuse. You where angry so you went and assaulted the most sensitive area in the Male body because you knew it would cause the most pain. You need therapy and need to stay away from him. You acted out in violence and worse, in public. You should be assumed of yourself and I don’t blame his friends for being angry and not trusting you. You assaulted him because you knew you could get away with it. If he hit you he would of been in cuffs within seconds no questions asked. You have anger issues and need to seek help. Don’t expect his friends to forgive you. Go seek medical help. You got off scott-free without a single charge brought against you even though you committed violent sexual assault. A few eye-opening comments is nothing to get upset over.
suzmwick June 14, 2017, 7:47 am
This is a toxic, childish, going nowhere relationship. Grow up and move on. This will only lead to increased violence. You need to work on your maturity level, what you want in a relationship, and the minimum requirements in a boyfriend. If it’s necessary to get in a physical fight in a bar, I’d say your both trashy and need to go forth a find a different type of trash or take some time to grow up.
Bittergaymark June 14, 2017, 9:53 am
This was a fascinating read. A memorable look back. Wow, Dennis and I really REALLY got into it. I still stand by everything I said. PS — The LW update so doesn’t change my stance on this letter.
Fyodor June 14, 2017, 10:57 am
You were two billion percent right. Dennis’s response was a grossly irresponsible thing to post here as “advice.” Intimate partner violence against men is a real and widespread issue (if much less severe and widespread in objective terms than violence against women) and the “ho ho ho, isn’t that wacky” response reaffirms to victims that their problems won’t be taken seriously.
Ron September 16, 2017, 5:28 pm
The LW update was the sort of obvious lie intended to make internet strangers think better of her. When the update totally changes the original… The title isn’t “I playfully aimed a kick in the direction of my bs’s balls, but he and I know I wasn’t trying to hit him, but his friends over-reacted” shortened, of course.
Ron June 14, 2017, 10:27 am
LW was (hopefully no longer is) a violent drunk with extreme anger management problems. She is well advised not to drink. She shows the signs of being an alcoholic.
carl September 16, 2017, 2:55 pm
A couple of knees to a guys groin is assault…possibly damaging and long term . The train left the station people /idiot! If a guy took a stab at this ding bat missed a few organs or missed a potshot at her brain that needs therapy?…..no way!!!!!!# press charges and file an order of protection. Dump her now!!!!
carl September 16, 2017, 2:59 pm
I realize im late but this fool by now has moved on or is fatally asking for inevitable trouble. sorry. Cant fix crazy..crazy is being around idiots like this.
Bittergaymark August 20, 2019, 8:51 am
This is a wild crazy read of a thread. Fun look back as I wait at the airport.
Eric October 24, 2021, 11:23 pm
Are you kidding? It’s ASSAULT and BATTERY, cut and dry. Acknowledge it or be full of it.