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To Sam

Is this abuse?

Im 17 my boyfriend is 18. Its a distance relationship. We see each other as often as we can. He is autistic on the mild spectrum. He tells me not to see my friends. He gets upset if i go out somewhere. He tells me not to go out. He demands we skype every night which we do. And he gets upset when i say im going to bed. He used to always shout at me on the phone over things. He would shout if i wasnt back on time, we used to argue alot things went great we havent argued for a long time but we are arguing again, and i love him i really do but i feel like im not happy with how things are again, and he can be a total sweetheart to me at times and i know he has autism but he blames that for alot of things when he does something wrong. He made me leave college coz we couldnt speak when i was in college all the time coz i was busy, he made me leave my part time job, he says hes scared in case he hurts me, be it physically or emotionally im not sure. But i dont know where to turn, he needs help! And im not prepared to leave my head is just all over the shop and i want him to get help. He gripped me a few times once was becuase i was laughing and wouldnt tell him what i was laughing at.
I love him and dont want to leave him......any advice?
Ask Sam



It’s normal to argue sometimes in any relationship but when someone becomes controlling or stops you doing from doing important things this becomes relationship abuse.

Nobody has a right to tell you not to see your friends or pressure you into leaving education and employment. Being pressured into giving up any of these things could cause someone to feel quite isolated. 

It’s always important to make sure you have time for yourself to see family, friends, spend time on activities you enjoy as well as keeping up with work and education in any relationship.

You’ve told us that your boyfriend ‘blames’ his autism when he does something wrong. Many autistic people have healthy non-abusive relationships. Nobody has the right to hurt, scare or control another person no matter what their disability.

It’s always a good idea to let someone know exactly what you need and want in a relationship. Perhaps you could think about what feels right for you and what needs to change in order for you to be able to feel happy.

You’ve clearly explained to us how this has affected your life. It might be an idea to explain all of this clearly to your boyfriend. Writing things down can be a good way to allow him time to think and take in what you have said.

It sounds like you have been doing a lot to try and support your partner but your own feelings are important too. Don’t forget that you are always welcome to talk to a ChildLine counsellor for support.

Take care,

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