Friday, December 16, 2011

Trust me. It's a forest. Ask anyone.

Are your friends and family telling you that you shouldn't let your partner treat you the way they do? Maybe there's something to what they are saying. Maybe you're too far in to see what is happening in your relationship. Perhaps you'll read this and say, "Whatever, lady. You don't know me!" You're right! I don't. So who better to give you a quick glimpse of what's going on than someone with no ties to your life? Do yourself a favor and look at the list below.

1. You are not allowed to have a social media account without approval  (t)  (f)

2. You are not allowed to have friends on said account without your partner also being friends with the person  (t)  (f)

3. Your partner checks your cell phone when you arrive home to see what calls or texts you've made/received  (t)  (f)

4. Your partner has sole access to all log in details for your cell phones so they may later to check to see if you deleted anything before he/she could check your phone physically  (t)  (f)  

5. If you are away from your partner for more than 30 minutes without permission you are sure to have at least 1 voice mail or text message asking where you are and when you will return  (t)  (f) 

6. You feel something strange bulging under the skin on your ass cheek. Upon inspection by a doctor, you're informed that you've been Lo-Jacked  (t)  (f) 

Does the above list look familiar? The last one seems funny, but it's not really a joke. Looking back on one of my relationships in particular, I still find myself asking how in the hell I ended up in the cast of a shitty Lifetime Movie.

Moreover, I have to wonder how I came across to everyone that my ex had contact with. You've heard the saying, "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Well, the greatest trick controlling partners ever pull is making their partner feel like the crazy one.

The first reaction is feeling like your partner is a jerk. It won't take long before you voice that opinion and the rationalization will begin. That rationalization will belong to the controller. "I am entitled to feel this way because you did ____ and that was unfair. You hurt me and now I don't trust you." It's going to be emotional and convincing. Before you know it, you are the asshole.

It could be as simple as forgetting their favorite cereal when you're at the store. Obviously you don't care about them or you would remember they like the Honey Bunches of Oats with almonds NOT the pecans, you selfish jerk! You started out as forgetful, but in the space of time it took to move groceries into the house you've become passive aggressive, a plotter, a schemer, and definitely not to be trusted.

Seeing a friend in this situation is troubling, to say the least. Still, when it happened in my group of friends we didn't think much of it. There is a chance that we ignored the situation or downplayed it for such a long time because our friend is a guy. Go ahead and make the pussy-whipped-no-balls jokes. We did. I'll wait. Alright, great, moving on.

Anyone who has been through this or witnessed it has said pretty much the same thing, "They need to get out of that situation! It's not healthy and it's potentially dangerous!" The same holds true for men as it does for women. The excuses for why they stay sound familiar too. "It's not that bad. I mean what about the kids? It's not fair to leave them alone with her. She's going to make me look like the bad parent. Besides, I couldn't leave if I wanted to. My money is tied up in the house and cars. Plus, what if she does something crazy?"

While I'm not a fan of divorce in the sense that I herd people in that direction as a rule, the most comprehensive list I have found regarding the behaviors of people who are controlling and those being controlled is located at You're still right. I still don't know you. I don't know how much you love him/her. I don't know all of the horrible things you may or may not have done to feel you deserve to be treated the way you allow yourself to be treated. I'm willing to bet that the writers and lawyers and psychologists consulted over at Divorce360 don't know you either. You win.

Here's what I can tell you with a fair sense of accuracy: If you find yourself surrounded by trees and everyone is telling you it's a forest, you may want to start looking for bears because there's a damn good chance you're in the forest. 

It's up to you now. 

Women don’t have to live in fear:

Male victims of abuse can call:

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