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3:47 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: Stuck between boyfriends

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I have a new boyfriend. We’re in high school. My old boyfriend keeps texting me with intimate conversations.

My new boyfriend grabbed me and told me to tell him to stop or he’d make him stop.

He didn’t stop and the texts became more graphic. My new guy took my phone and revenge-texted him.

I told the new guy to stop texting and he smashed my phone and grabbed my hair. He accused me of liking the attention.

My old boyfriend never hurt me. I told him to stop texting me, because he’s the one who broke up with me. He said that was stupid.

Some girl told me that my new boyfriend was violent to her and asked if I wanted to see the pictures. I said no, because I don’t trust her.

I want to go back to my old boyfriend, but what if he didn’t mean what he said about being stupid for breaking up with me?

What if my new boyfriend becomes violent with me, if I break up with him?

Signed,

Stuck

Dear Stuck,

We’re sorry you are experiencing boyfriend problems. However, we’d like you to answer the following:

1 - Why do I feel a need to have a boyfriend, at all, right now?

2 - What good qualities do I have? Do either of these guys have the same?

3 - Why am I with anyone who threw my phone, sent revenge texts from my phone, pulled my hair, and accused me of having bad motives?

If having a boyfriend makes you feel worthy in the eyes of others, but not in your own eyes, focus on you. Develop your talents and values.

Become the best version of you, then seek the best version of someone like you to date casually and don’t become intimate. According to statistics, you won’t be with the same guy in five years.

Start by defining yourself in positive terms. You deserve someone to mirror that goodness.

One act of violence is enough to keep that person out of your life. It’ll get worse, according to statistics.

Studies conclude:

• Almost 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.

• One in three teenagers in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from their dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.

• One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a dating partner.

Remember, you are of great worth in the eyes of God, and hopefully in your own eyes.

Signed,

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Rhonda Orr is the president of Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation and host of a podcast at BullyingLifeAndStuff.com. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Write them at Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org.