Is it abuse when my partner calls me names?


I don’t think my relationship with my boyfriend is that bad, but some of my friends beg to differ. Mainly, they are concerned about some of the language he uses with me. He can be crass at times, for sure, but I don’t think he usually means to make me feel bad. I tend to look at it like he’s just “being a guy” since it’s how I hear guys talking to each other sometimes. Maybe he just looks at me as “one of the guys” and it’s a comfort thing? For as long as we’ve been together (going on two years now), he has called me “b—-,” “c—,” and “w—-” pretty often. Like, at least one of those at least once a day, and usually way more. Sometimes he says these things when I make him mad, but more often than not it’s like he uses these terms in place of my real name, almost like a playful nickname? I have asked him once or twice why he does it and he says I shouldn’t overthink it and they’re just “terms of endearment.” I made the mistake of telling my boyfriend that my friends considered what he was doing emotional abuse, and he just got defensive and actually did it more, as if to make a point. I don’t see him stopping. Do you think I am being abused?

Hurting Inside


Dear Hurting Inside,

The fact that you are asking if you are being emotionally abused should concern you. If you were at all comfortable with the name calling, the question of abuse would NEVER arise.

I have a few questions, myself, for you. Do you think this is what you deserve? Are you used to guys around you calling the women they love B… C…. And W…? Are you planning on having a family with this man and will you be comfortable with your children hearing him use those terms of “endearment”?

At the end of the day, it is not about your friends’ opinion or your boyfriend and what he says. It all boils down to you! How do you feel? What do you believe you are deserving of?

I wish you all the peace and happiness you deserve and remember, #YouAreWorthy!

Damien Williams is a Minister & Bible Teacher at Ekklesia Bible Fellowship in Kingston, Jamaica. He is also an Educator, Life Coach and Human Rights & Justice Advocate. His day job is as a Field Operations Manager at Habitat for Humanity Jamaica. If you have an issue that you need advice on, send an e-mail to or  

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  1. The tone of the letter connotes pain. I believe if he truly loves and respects you then he would refrain from calling you names.

    I love the last question you ask Damien.

    All the best!

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