Every week, Dear Prudence answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members. R. Eric Thomas is filling in as Prudie for Jenée Desmond-Harris while she’s on parental leave. Submit questions here. (It’s anonymous!)
Q. Confused in Oklahoma: My fiancé and I have had our fair share of ups and downs over the year we’ve been together. I’ve moved in and out of his house three times in the past 10 months. The last time, he assaulted me for several hours and then thought I should be the one to move out (again) because he had been on the lease longer. I moved (he paid for movers).
I have since found out he has type 2 diabetes (he never told me) and that the assault was a “diabetic rage.” He was admitted to the hospital and put in the ICU to get his insulin under control. They also had to cut off half of his leg, below the knee.
Here’s the deal: My friends, family, and co-workers all think I should put him in my rearview mirror and say I’m an idiot for even THINKING about working things out. He obviously wasn’t controlling his diabetes and I paid the price. I still love him and “think” we could still be good together. We were hitting our groove and doing so good until the assault. What would you tell your daughter?
A: I don’t know what the definition of hitting your groove is, but I’m concerned about what’s hidden in the phrase “our fair share of ups and downs.” While the assault may have been out of character for your boyfriend, I wonder how healthy your relationship really was. You love him and that’s fair, but look at the data: The year you’ve spent together has been riddled with trouble. What steps are either of you taking to address some of the core issues? On top of that, he did not tell you about a medical condition that, from your letter, it seems he was aware of. This resulted in a situation where you were in danger and were assaulted.
I don’t think there’s a safe path forward for this relationship and I think you deserve much better. Right now he needs to focus on his medical and emotional health, and you owe it to yourself to focus on healing emotionally and moving on without him.
My brother has turned his life around, gotten sober, gotten a job and a new girlfriend. I am glad about that, but I still don’t want him in my life. When I was 17, he broke in while I was babysitting our younger siblings. They were upstairs asleep. My brother started trashing the kitchen looking for money. I went up to stop him, and he slammed me into the wall and put his arm over my throat. I almost blacked out. My brother got scared off when he heard our neighbor driving into the garage next door. When I could, I called my parents. They came home but didn’t call the cops. Now I am the one getting ostracized by the family.