Dear Patricia Marie, 

My boyfriend and I have been together two years and we plan to marry next summer. The problem is he swears at me all the time. When his angry, it's almost every other word. I've told him many of times that it bothers me and sometimes he will apologise and promises to change, but then he goes back to his old ways, starts shouting and tells me I'm a prude to object. I don't know if the swearing is then going to turn into violence. Am I overreacting?

Patricia Marie says.......

The man your planning to marry has so little respect for you, arguing and belittling you when you ask him to stop swearing. His refusal to listen and the anger he displays is a cause for concern. This isn't the act of a loving man ready for marriage.

Your partner is verbally abusing you as well as dismissing your feelings, and if you allow this behaviour to continue you will begin to see yourself and your needs as unimportant, of little consequence and irrelevant. Verbal abusers use bad language to gain control, and whats scary, as in the many cases of domestic violence, verbal abuse tends to increase over time, as both abuser and victim adapt to it, often leading to the abuser resorting to physical violence to maintain their control.

 Whist I admire you for acknowledging this is a serious problem, it is now time to put a firm stop to this abuse, before the situation worsens. Your boyfriend's G.P could refer him for anger management classes, although be prepared for his refusal to attend, as nearly all abusers are often in denial and blame others for their behaviour. In addition, ask him to go with you to relate (relate.org.uk) to have a few sessions with a counsellor in preparation for a happy marriage.
If he is unwilling to deal with this problem, think again before marrying him.

To help you to recognise, gain a better understanding and respond safely and appropriately to abusers, I recommend: ' The Verbally Abusive Relationship' by Patricia Evans.

The free phone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline is: 0808 2000 247