Hi Lucia,

I am dating a man who is a womanizer. He is also selfish and violent, and he swears and shouts at me. Am I encouraging his behavior by not leaving him? How do I get him to calm down and not make him feel that I want to run his life or change him, even though I would like him to change a little bit?

I asked him why he only shows his affection for me after having a drink, and he says he is scared I will think he is weak otherwise and will take advantage of this. When he gets annoyed with me, I know it’s because he is chatting to someone online that he feels sexually attracted to, so he will flip the situation and accuse me of sleeping with other men. He always picks a fight just so he can ignore me and spend time with whoever the new flavor of the moment is.

I feel like I am not living up to his expectations. I am not a tanned, tall, dark-haired woman with no cellulite and smoldering looks like the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls that he’s into, but what is he doing with me then? Does he maybe feel that I am as good as it's going to get, or maybe he feels that a woman looking like that is out of his league? Is he just using me to satisfy his lust? Am I the problem here?  -Alida

Hi Alida,

When we are caught up in a situation, it’s very difficult to see the obvious, so I’m going to ask you to look at this from the outside. If your sister or best friend sent you the e-mail above, what would you tell them? Would you say that they should hang in there and try harder, despite the physical, mental and emotional abuse? I doubt it. 

You are not the problem, but the fact that you are willing to be with someone who clearly mistreats you is the problem. You have to ask yourself why you are so into someone who is using you, and is only capable of being affectionate with the help of alcohol. Does this sound like a recipe for a happy, long-lasting relationship?

Attraction (I’m not going to call this love) isn’t logical, but for your own safety, you need to look at this from the outside and realize there is nothing for you here. You want a man who loves and adores you. He is not that man. Move on sooner rather than later.

Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net. Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net. Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on latalkradio.com. Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.