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Ask Naij: "HELP! My Boyfriend Pays My School Fees But He Violently Abuses Me And Makes My Life Hell"

I need an outsider’s advice and I’m just praying that you understand where I’m coming from.

I am a 22-year oldUniversity student and right now I am struggling financially. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost three years now. He is 4 years older than me. Because my mom died when I was a child and I’m not really close with anyone in my family, I’ve always felt like I was alone and had no one to turn to, that is until I met him.

He has taught me a lot about becoming an adult; things that no one in my family ever took the time out to teach me. He’s done so much for me like giving me money to pay my tuition, taking the bus just so I can use his car to get to school and work, and giving me money to pay my rent whenever I needed it.

However, recently he started to put his hands on me. For months I had a bald spot in the back of my head from where he pulled my hair out. I’ve had to call the police on him more times than I can remember and each time they tell me I should press charges. I feel bad and don’t want him to get in trouble. After this happens he’ll stay away for a little while, but then call me crying or show up at my house in the middle of the night literally on his knees saying how much he needs me.

I know he’s just doing whatever he can so that I don’t leave, but at this point in my life I feel like I can’t make it without him. I’m a very pretty girl and everyone tells me that I’m too good of a girl to go through this. My boyfriend has gone through my phone and seen messages that say I deserve better, but his response is always, “so and so is only saying that because he wants to sleep with you, and after you let him you’ll never hear from him again. Nobody actually cares they all just want something from you.”

Whenever there is a problem regardless of what it is it’s my fault. I quit a good job so I could go back to school, and he says I’m a stupid little girl who is always making wrong decisions and then running to him when things don’t work out. When he hits me he says it’s because he doesn’t know how to handle the problems and if I wouldn’t give him such a hard time about everything then he wouldn’t feel the need to do it. He’ll tell me how bad he feels, but in the next conversation tell me he wants to punch my teeth out. This all comes from the man who has told me that he wants to marry me and start a life with me.

When I tell him that I don’t deserve to be treated or talked to in certain ways and I want it to be over, he gives me a guilt trip about how he didn’t put so much time and effort into this relationship to let it go. Like I said before I’m not close with my family and there is only so much help that they can offer. No one else is able to help me as much as he has. If I leave then I would have to drop out of school because I wouldn’t have a car to get there. He knows that so there have been plenty of times where he calls himself teaching me a lesson by not letting me use his car and causing me to miss classes and fail tests, and I hate the fact that he has so much control over my future.

I just don’t know what else to do. Getting my degree is the only thing on my mind, but I don’t want to compromise myself or keep putting myself in danger to attain it. It just doesn’t look like there is any other way. I don’t want this man to cause me to settle and give up on my plans, but I don’t want to be mistreated either.

So, should I just give up on school for now even though I’m already years behind, or should I just take the help that I can get and at the first chance I get high tail it out. Please help me because I’m just doing the best that I can with what I’ve been given.

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