Dear Abby: I am a 17-year-old girl who has been in a relationship for a year and a half with "Richard." I love him with everything in me, but he is mentally and physically abusive. He is also addicted to cough medicine.
I knew I should have stopped talking to him before we started dating, but he was such a mess I thought I could help him – and I did. He's no longer an alcoholic. He went to jail for seven months because of our age difference, but I refused to testify, so he got out. While he was in there I thought he had changed and wouldn't hit me anymore, but he still does.
Anyone in their right mind would get up and leave, but the one time I did, he pretended he didn't care and I attempted suicide. I don't know what to do. I love him, but I know I shouldn't. – Abused Teen in California
Dear Teen: I'm glad you wrote. Richard may no longer be drinking liquor, but cough medicines contain alcohol, which means he's still an alcoholic. His violence toward women will probably never stop unless he is incarcerated for it, and even then there is no guarantee.
Regardless of how much love you give him, you can't fix what's wrong with him or make him love you back because he isn't capable of it.
Because you are so emotionally fragile, you should seek refuge with relatives who can help you heal physically and emotionally from this experience. If that's not possible, then contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Its website is www.thehotline.org, and the toll-free phone number is 800-799-7233. Ask for a referral to a women's shelter where you can receive counseling and support.
Help is available for you if you are open to it. Staying where you are is not an option because if you do, this man could kill you.
Dear Abby: While riding with my new boss to a sales appointment, he needed some information from his company-issued iPad. He asked me to turn it on and gave me the passcode. When I did, up popped a porn site. He almost wrecked the car grabbing the iPad from me.
Not another word was said until we arrived at the appointment and he looked up the item prior to going in. Nothing has been said about this incident since.
Every time I think about my boss having gone to that porn site before I touched the iPad, I get sick to my stomach. HE makes me sick. Do I resign or stay? – Grossed Out in Ohio
Dear Grossed Out: If the nausea is affecting your ability to perform your job, you should quit. But before you do, be sure you have another one lined up. And when you interview, as tempting as it may be, refrain from saying anything negative about your boss because to do otherwise will reflect poorly on you.
Dear Abby: My boyfriend wants to open the door for me when I am the one driving. I'm thrilled that he wants to be a gentleman, and I love when he opens the door for me when I am in the passenger seat or in front of any other door, as he always does. I am just not comfortable with it when I'm the one who's driving. It seems awkward to me.
Your thoughts? – At A Loss in Colorado
Dear At A Loss: Your boyfriend may do this because he wants to please you, or he was raised this way. Personally, I think what he's doing is endearing. However, because it makes you uncomfortable, explain that it "isn't necessary" and you would prefer he not do it when you are the driver.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.