DEAR AMY: I met my boyfriend online three months ago. We have not met yet (in person) because he is deployed in Afghanistan. Recently, he started getting really angry over small things. For example, he got mad when a male friend commented, "Y'all are cute" about a Facebook picture where I was posing with my sister. He also got mad because I wanted to go to the gym (because he thinks guys will try to flirt with me). I understand how he might feel about me being around guys, especially when he isn't exactly free to do what he wants. I also understand the fact that he might be afraid to lose what we have, without being able to control it. I try to reassure him and let him know that he has nothing to worry about, and that I am going to wait for him until he gets back, and we can finally be together. Despite my efforts, I can't seem to avoid the stress and frustration, especially when he often ends the conversation abruptly. I want to give us a chance. Can you help?Upset Girlfriend
DEAR UPSET: I'm sure you are a very sweet person. I'm going to do you the favor of giving you a tough and straight answer, which I hope will jolt you awake. Consider this a triple espresso response.
He is trying to control you. Don't let him. He is trying to manipulate you. Don't tolerate it. This is not a safe relationship for you to be in -- even from a great distance. Your vulnerability to manipulation is worrisome, but your choice to question it tells me you know -- you absolutely know in your bones -- that this is wrong and harmful to you. Please share all of this with a close friend or family member.
If your long-distance friend communicates in ways that scare (or worry) you, contact his company chaplain.
Military OneSource is a helpful resource operated by the Department of Defense. Check the website: militaryonesource .mil, or call 800- 342-9647 to speak with a counselor.