Totally easy and obvious advice.

I wonder if the LW took it though... it's tough giving up the trophy. It doesn't matter if the trophy is full of shit because the outside is so shiny and has your name on it.
Devils advocate: She should be in individual therapy rather than (or may in addition to) couples. Dollars to donuts, I bet you there was a verbally abusive family of origin involved in making her the delightful lady she is today. Fortunately that can be addressed if she is willing. (I started by saying "if they wanted to stay together" but decided she should get the therapy no matter what).
Whether she gets individual therapy or not, I think that the LW should, *after* he dumps her. He needs to figure out why he was willing to work at staying in a relationship with someone who treated him so shabbily.
This woman is an abuser and this guy a victim of abuse. But I think Dan is off the mark commenting on this guys looks. It doesn't MATTER what he looks like (would that be commented on if this were a WOMAN writing about an abusive MAN?) she is STILL an abuser and he is insisting on staying in a bad relationship. If anything, he may be VERY handsome but also doesn't BELIEVE he is attractive. She figured that out and now she believes he will stay even though she is a psycho bitch. I really hope he did leave. Like they say about verbally abusive men: it may start with words, but it still ends with violence.
It's almost like I wrote this to Dan while in a fugue state (minus the physical violence)...

Everyone commenting so far is correct. She needs to be in some serious therapy and he needs to get the fuck out. I agree that it /could/ be looks, but that it doesn't matter one whit.

Run, motherfucker. You'll be glad you did.
And possibly he came from an abusive family as well, which is why he was roped in, and stays, in an abusive relationship.

Therapy for both! But individually so, after he splits.
It's real easy for people here to comment that physical attractiveness doesn't matter/is unimportant.

But in real life it is, and people stay in abusive relationships ALL THE TIME for that one reason.

Sometimes it's good to point it out. Opens people's eyes.
why isn't there a like button on board? There are so many reasons that people stay...looks, money, lifestyle...they are all ok if that is what you want..there is no problem with the reason that you want to be with someone. The problem is when you don't leave when there is a problem. From first hand experience, I can say that no matter how much you like one aspect, darned people come as a package deal.
Dan doesn't say that all people in abusive relationships stay because of looks (duh!). He picks up the particular emphasis on the abusers looks from the letter and I think chances are he's right. My wife is hot, but I wouldn't emphasize her looks that way.
boderline personality disorder or (BPD). These people rarely change even after years of therapy/medication. Get out before your self esteem/life is destroyed.
I dated someone like this once. GTFO, there's no fixing them.
I remember this letter and I do wonder what happened...would love to hear the follow-up.

Everyone calling this out as abuse is correct, but I think @10 has the armchair diagnosis and while people stay in abusive relationships for all sorts of reasons, I think @6 is probably closer to the mark than focusing on her looks. I've seen plenty of matched-looks couples with this dynamic and at least one truly hideous woman who abused the heck out of her average looking husband.
@4: "But I think Dan is off the mark commenting on this guys looks. It doesn't MATTER what he looks like"

It matters to the LW.

"She is exactly what I've always wanted: smart, articulate, independent, and friggin' beautiful"

She's something he's never had before, he obviously hasn't dated much, and he wants to continue feeling so flattered, just without all the abuse. SORRY, not with this one.
I mean, aside from the easy guess, ultimately the issue is that the guy values his partner (his "trophy") over himself.
I'm sorry, CPAS, but you're in an abusive relationship. This behavior is straight up abuse--both physical and emotional. You're worth more--and you will find more when you untangle yourself from this situation.

Please wait...

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