We used to constantly fight because he wouldn’t want me to go shopping or anywhere else with my mom and sister, or go anywhere alone. He works all morning, he gets home around 4:30 p.m., and, if he didn’t find me at home when he got there, he would be mad. Also, if he had to work on Saturdays and my family would invite me to go to the beach, he would throw a fit and we would have a fight, so I just wouldn’t go at all. He usually tells me I can go out with my mom or sister while he’s at work, but he says he will want to come home and have me “be home waiting for him.” Sometimes, I would get home a few minutes after he was home from work and he would ignore me and just be mad, so I tried to make him happy and get home before he did–but then he would still be mad, saying I have no business going out “all the time.”
On one occasion in 2013 I was about four months pregnant when my mother and sister were going to Mexico for a week and I had my own money to buy a ticket. But we fought about it for over two weeks before I left because he “was scared something would happen” and I would leave him alone and he would miss me. But I still went. The day I left he came home early from work, he took me out, and we had a great time. But when it was time for me to leave, his mood changed — he didn’t even want to go say bye to me at the bus station, and he didn’t help me carry my luggage to the car.
Now, in May, my parents and sister are going to Mexico again. They said they would pay for my ticket, and I would really like to go for my cousin’s wedding and go to the beach, but last time he told me that, if I went out of the country again, he wouldn’t be here when I came back. The problem is that he can’t travel out of the country…and also I have a son with him. I don’t know what to do. It would only be for a week. Should I go and enjoy my mini-vacation or stay home? — Not Allowed to Have Fun Without Him
You’re wrong about something — the problem isn’t that your boyfriend can’t leave the country; the problem is that is he’s super-controlling and borderline abusive. And if you didn’t have a son together, my advice to you would be to go to Mexico with your parents and praise the high heavens if your boyfriend was gone when you got back because a man like that is bad news, honey. Real bad news. I’d tell you to leave all his crap out in your yard, change the locks, get a job, and find your independence again.
But… you have a son together and that changes things a little. For one thing, you may not be able to take your son to Mexico without his father’s permission. In most cases, you need notarized permission from the other parent or guardian to take a minor out of the country (you should research to see if this applies to travel to Mexico from the US). And if your boyfriend doesn’t want you leaving the country, I can’t imagine he’s going to give you his blessing to take your son. If he does or if you’re able to take your son to Mexico without his father’s written consent, then great! My advice stands — go away, come home, and start a new life without this controlling man. Stay with your family until you get your feet on the ground.
If your boyfriend refuses to give you permission to take your son to Mexico, you can’t very well leave your son alone with your boyfriend if your boyfriend is telling you he won’t be home when you get back. That could be an empty threat, sure, but why risk it when your kid’s welfare is at stake? Who knows where your boyfriend would take your son or what he’d do with him. I mean, beaches and weddings in Mexico are nice and all, but they aren’t worth your son’s well-being. So, in that case, my advice to you is to tell your boyfriend YOU are leaving HIM because the way you think he loves you isn’t what real love looks like. Real love doesn’t keep you home all day waiting for him to get back from work. Real love doesn’t keep you from enjoying a day at the beach with your family while he’s at work. Real love doesn’t manipulate you with a nice dinner out in hopes of keeping you from going on vacation. And real love sure as shit doesn’t expect a woman who’s months pregnant with his baby to carry her own luggage to the bus. Fuck that. That is NOT real love.
Please, for your sake as well as your son’s, get away from this man. Or, at the very, very least, insist on seeing a family therapist together because this isn’t any way to live. Tell him you’re tired of his trying to control you. Find a job and make your own money so that you aren’t so dependent on him. Work when he is home and can watch your son. Or, better yet, leave your son with your mother or sister or another trusted family member or friend. See a family attorney about child custody and child support. If the reason your boyfriend can’t leave the country is because he’s undocumented or is on parole, discuss that with a lawyer. You need to protect yourself and protect your son. You cannot count on your boyfriend to take care of you. He’s only interested in one person here and that’s himself; he doesn’t care whom he hurts trying to get what he wants (or trying to keep people he “loves” from getting what they want).
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].