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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Boyfriend’s anger simmers before often boiling over

by Abigail Van Buren | December 8, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: I have been with my boyfriend for three years, and it has been great. However, he has anger issues that affect our relationship. It started with small arguments, but as our relationship progressed, so did his anger.

He has never hit me, but his anger has gotten worse, and he says cruel things that he later apologizes for. During our arguments, he never listens to me. When the argument is over and I wait a couple days to explain how he hurt my feelings, he tells me I’m overly sensitive and to leave the past in the past.

During our last argument, he asked me how to seek professional help. How can I help him? Am I dumb staying with someone like this? I love him, but I don’t know how long I can last with someone so angry. — Broken In California

Dear Broken: Ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist who can either help your boyfriend or get him into anger-management class. He definitely needs help, and it’s good that he knows it.

Although my knee-jerk impulse would be to tell you to end the relationship, that he is self-aware enough to know he needs help makes me inclined to suggest you stick with him a little longer and see how effective the therapy is. But please know that verbal abusers often become physical abusers if they don’t receive help, and the verbal bashing is terrible for your self-esteem.

Dear Abby: I recently served on a committee to hire a staff member for my organization. Eligible candidates are required to possess a bachelor’s degree or higher. We received more than 30 applications and decided to interview three candidates.

One of them had his phone on and it repeatedly buzzed with messages during the interview. Another, when asked if she had any questions for us, pulled out her phone saying that she had some questions saved on it. She had a notepad, so why didn’t she write down her questions?

It was unsettling that these two couldn’t disengage from their phones long enough to participate in an interview! It made me wonder if they could disconnect from their phones to do the job, if hired. Am I showing my age in thinking that a job interview should be phone-free? What’s the etiquette for this? — Unimpressed In The South

Dear Unimpressed: The “etiquette” is that a job candidate should be prepared before a job interview. Cellphones should be off or on silent mode during the interview so they won’t cause a distraction. Make sure the applicant understands this before the interview. As for Candidate Two, ideally she should have written her questions on the notepad, although members of her generation often put things like that on their phones. A younger interviewer may have let this slide. You didn’t. Next candidate!

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or visit

www.DearAbby.com

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