Do you feel uneasy in your relationship, like the guy you’re dating has you on edge all the time but you can’t quite put your finger on what is wrong? Does he get mad at you for stupid things? Is he moody? Do you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around him because you don’t want him to snap at you?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, he sounds like a total jackass. But more importantly, you could be in a verbally abusive relationship and you might not even know it yet.
Many women hear the words “verbal abuse” and they immediately think “No woman in her right mind would put up with that kind of crap.” But many smart, confident, successful women do find themselves in verbally abusive relationships because this type of abuse isn’t always easy to detect at first. These men don’t yell and scream and hurl insults on the first date. In fact, these men can be very charming and charismatic.
Their abuse starts out in very subtle ways. Then, they step it up over time becoming increasingly manipulative and controlling. A woman in this situation grows accustomed to the abuse, adapting to it in a way that makes it difficult for her to see it for what it is.
Here are just a few behaviors that you might not recognize as abuse right off the bat:
* He refuses to talk to you or listen to your feelings or concerns. He basically ignores you when you want to talk to him about something that is important to you. It’s not like he ignores you once in a while when he’s watching a game on TV. He does it all the time.
* He contradicts most of the things you say. He never agrees with you or affirms your viewpoint.
* When you get upset, he tells you that you’re too sensitive or that you overreact to everything.
* He judges you and criticizes you all the time but then says “I am only trying to help you.”
* He insults you but insists that he is “Just joking.”
* When you point out to him the fact that he is doing these things to you and that it is hurtful, he refuses to admit that he’s done something wrong.
The very subtle nature of verbal abuse is what makes it so incredibly dangerous. It can go on in a relationship for weeks, months, or even years before a woman fully understands what is happening to her.
And abusive men do have “good days” when they are kind and caring and funny. These men aren’t always crazy and controlling. These “good times” make it harder for a woman to recognize a guy’s behavior as abusive.
In fact, many women blame themselves when a guy acts in an abusive way. They think “Maybe I did something to set him off. Maybe I am overreacting. Maybe I’m too sensitive. Everyone else thinks he’s a nice guy so I must be crazy.”
But you aren’t crazy! If you are dating or married to a verbally abusive guy, he is slowly sucking the life out of you and you need to get out of the relationship.
If you think you might be in a verbally abusive relationship, I highly recommend you read the book The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans. It provides an in depth look at verbal abuse, what it is, how it makes you feel, and how to respond once you realize that you are in a verbally abusive relationship.
Study Reveals that Women Find Different Men Attractive Depending on Where They Are in Their Menstrual Cycle
You might be familiar with the study that revealed that women who are ovulating prefer men with masculine, rugged features. Whereas, women who are at other points in their cycle do not show the same preference. Here is a link to an article about this study in case you haven’t seen it:
I really wish I could take credit for the alternative take on this study that I came across this week:
A study revealed the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.
If she’s ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged & masculine features.
If she’s menstruating or menopausal, she’s more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth & a spear lodged in his chest while he is on fire.
No further studies are expected.
There comes a time in every woman’s life when she moves in with the man she loves and finds herself surrounded by a mountain of “man junk.”
I’m not talking about a guy’s big old butt. I’m talking about all the junk in his house or apartment — the old posters, DVDs, bizarre figurines, beer mugs, trinkets, Mardi Gras beads, wires, and plastic pieces from old gadgets that that he threw in a box in his closet.
In fairness to men, they don’t see these items as “junk.” This clutter is their personal treasure, a special little slice of their bachelor past. They believe there is intrinsic value in that can opener they picked up at Oktoberfest 2002 or the swimsuit model cheese plates they got for their 21st birthday.
And in their defense, some of these items might be worth something someday to someone, somewhere…maybe. That old rusty electronic thing could be a valuable antique if you hold on to it for another 500 years, couldn’t it?
The problem is that we, as women, do not want to eat, sleep and live our life amidst a mountain of man junk. We want to live with him, not with his statue of Chewbacca.
So, sometimes no matter how much we love the man, the man junk has to go.
But what’s a girl to do? Out of respect and courtesy for the guy we love, we can’t just throw away his man junk when he’s not around. We can’t erase his precious past with one trip to a nearby dumpster no matter how much we want to. If we lose his junk in this rash and thoughtless way, we might lose him too.
So we have to take it slow, removing the junk a little at a time, deliberately, and with great care so we don’t destroy his ego right along with that ugly sugar bowl in his kitchen.
Here are your main options for getting rid of man junk:
#1: Donate it. The Salvation Army can be your Salvation ladies. Every month, hold up a few of his items and say to him “I wonder if someone out there would get more use out of this old mug than we do?” Many times, he’ll agree with you and then you can get these items out of your life without feeling guilty about doing it. (Just be careful not to dump his dirty movies in the church donation bin or you’ll give a nun a heart attack.)
#2: Create a “man cave” for his “man junk.” Find a special nook in the house where his furry chair covers can rest peacefully, alone, far away from you and anyone who might stop by to visit. While a man cave might seem like a painful concession because you’re giving up valuable space in your house, over time you’ll find that it’s worth the sacrifice because you can just shove all his crap inside the room, shut the door and forget about it. Then, he can go into his man cave, surround himself with furry furniture and roll around in old Farrah Fawcett posters until his heart’s content.
There is one more way to deal with man junk, but it is for extreme emergencies only. When he owns an item that you despise and even fear, an item that keeps coming back from the dead like a zombie, showing up in the living room again and again no matter how many times you try to bury it, it’s time to use the old “woops, I broke it” routine. You can rip that smutty pornographic poster right down the center “by accident” when you walk by it. But remember, ruining his stuff is not cool so this tactic is for extreme emergencies only.
The key to excavating a bachelor pad successfully is to work slowly, carefully, and respectfully. Don’t try to rid the space of its dingy demons all at once or he’ll definitely freak out. When it comes to dealing with man junk, slow and steady wins the race to a cleaner, nicer, well-decorated living space. Copyright © 2010 Alison James
There are thousands of organizations that aim to transcend racial and ethnic boundaries and get people to bond as human beings, as citizens of planet Earth. Yet, none of these organizations seem to accomplish their goal because quite frankly, we all don’t like each other much. The fact that we share the same biology doesn’t change the fact that we don’t share the same language, habits, beliefs, values, fashion sense or food preferences.
Nevertheless, there is one topic that does bring women from all cultures together, one bond that can make a room full of diverse women with absolutely nothing in common nod at one another in a rare moment of solidarity. That topic is men – and our shared frustration with their bad habits and crazy ways.
Case in point: Last week, I was sitting in the dentist office waiting room and there was a girl sitting across from me. She had freckles, a pony tail in her hair, and she was wearing jeans and t-shirt. She could have been the poster child for “All American twenty-something.”
As we sat there, a woman walked in wearing a traditional headscarf and spoke to the receptionist in broken English. Just as she sat down near us, the freckle faced girl’s phone rang. She answered it and I could hear a guy yelling at her. She argued with him and it became clear that she was dating the guy. When she hung up the phone, the woman wearing the headscarf turned to her and in perfect English said “What a jerk. Dear, don’t waste your time on that man.”
All three of us laughed in a special moment of inter-cultural female bonding that the United Nations can only dream about.
So, today, I would like to thank men for their bad behavior for a change. It is the crazy glue that bonds all women together regardless of where we live, what color our skin is or what clothes we wear.
If you are looking for a fun way to torment the man in your life, here is one that works every time. Your boyfriend, your husband, your coworker and even your roommate will react to this subtle form of playful emasculation.
Here’s what you do: Regardless of what he’s wearing — a business suit, a t-shirt and jeans, athletic gear, or a service uniform of some kind — look at him and in the most sincere voice you can muster, say “Wow, I love your cute little outfit.” Then, excuse yourself to use the ladies room and let the words seep into his brain.
Men do not think of the clothes they wear as an “outfit,” let alone a “cute little outfit.” So when you zing these words his way, they will catch him off guard and strip away his masculinity before he even knows what hit him.
You can use this torment technique on a guy just to tease him, or you can use it to really annoy that egomaniac in your life.
Just imagine these scenarios:
The jerk you work with comes into the office one day wearing a nice, expensive-looking, classy suit. He clearly thinks he looks awesome. What do you do? You go in for the kill of course. Catch him in the hallway when a bunch of other people are around and yell out “Wow, I loooove your cute little outfit.” Then, promptly walk to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee.
Your college boyfriend has been a schmuck lately. Now, he’s looking for his baseball uniform before his big game. His friends are waiting for him at the door. What do you do? You help him out of course. Yell to him “I think I saw your cute little outfit upstairs hanging on the back of the door.”
But remember – it’s all in the delivery. When you say “cute little outfit,” be sweet, sincere, and nonchalant, as if there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary about those words. Let the phrase roll off your tongue so it takes him a minute to realize that you just hit his manliness in a way that it’s never been hit before.
Sigh…so many fun ways to torment men, so little time.
Copyright © 2010 Alison James
Whether you’re going through a breakup now, or it’s been a couple of years since your last hellish relationship debacle, here is a song you will surely relate to. It’s a personal favorite of mine! I really don’t need to say much more about it. Kate Miller-Heidke says it perfectly….
Not all men are created equal; some are total jackasses. Yet, even when we are dating the biggest jerk on the planet, we come up with a hundred reasons why we shouldn’t dump him. We think “What if I don’t meet someone better?” or “Maybe it’s my fault that he acts like a total psycho sometimes.”
Don’t let twisted rationalizations stop you from moving on to bigger and better men.
Never continue to date a guy just because:
* Your mother thinks he’s wonderful. She also thought that puke green sweater was cute that she bought you for your birthday. What matters is how you feel about him and how he treats you.
* You are used to him. You could also get used to a giant wart on your hand but you’d still be better off without it.
* He promised to get help for his anger issues and this time he really means it, damn it!
* He hasn’t done drugs in an entire week and you think this is a sign that he’s finally overcoming his addiction.
* You feel bad for him. All men can be pitiful at times but if you feel pity every day when you look at him lying there, it’s time to call it quits.
* You feel like someday he might hold down a decent job. Don’t love him for the man you imagine he could be. Break up with him for the half-a-man that he is.
* There is a wedding, holiday or other family event coming up in a few months and you need a date. There are plenty of potential dates out there. Don’t waste a month of your life dating a loser just so you don’t have to face your crazy relatives alone.
* He’s the first guy who ever called when he was supposed to. If those phone calls are making him shine above the rest, it’s time to meet more men.
* All your friends are dating someone or married. If this is the case, it’s also time to make new friends!
* Because you are afraid you won’t meet someone better. There are a gazillion single men in the world, which means no matter who you are dating, there is someone better.
If a guy doesn’t treat you with the respect you deserve, it’s time to kick him to the curb along with all the excuses and rationalizations that have been keeping you in the relationship. Remember: if you’re willing to settle for less than what you deserve, you will get it every time.
Copyright 2010 © Alison James.
April 15th is right around the corner so I want to take the time to answer a question that a lot of women have, one that the IRS website simply doesn’t address: Can a bad date ever be deducted as a charitable donation on your tax return?
It probably seems like the answer should be an unequivocal “yes” when you recall some of the dates you went on last year that felt more like extraordinary acts of altruism than the beginning of romance.
You might be thinking “I tried to teach that guy basic social skills out of the kindness of my heart! Doesn’t that count for something?” or “I kept that scary dude off the market for six weeks while I dated him. Isn’t that sort of like law enforcement?”
It seems like women often have to step in and help out where a man’s parents have failed him, the educational system has failed him, or worse yet, psychiatry has failed him. But unfortunately, despite all of these acts of giving that we do each year, most men do not qualify for the 501(c)(3) status that would make them a tax-exempt charity. So, the time we spend dealing with them is not deductible.
Someday, when more women work for the IRS, I fully expect this rule to change.
It’s not every day that a guy bakes Saint Patrick’s Day cookies, but believe it or not, last night it happened. He got out the cookie sheets, a roll of Slice ‘N Bake sugar cookie dough, and went at it.
It was all going fine for a while. Nothing was on fire, the kitchen was still intact, and no alarms were going off. But at some point, the testosterone-filled part of his brain took over and he started adventure-seeking – in the kitchen. I could see the gears turning in his little head, searching frantically for a way to spice up the cookie baking experience.
It all went downhill from there.
I would hear him mumble under his breath “I wonder what would happen if [insert insane suggestion].” And finally he had a bright idea that he put into action. “I wonder what would happen if I baked the green gel right into the cookies instead of putting it on top of them after they cool.”
So, here you have it – a Saint Patrick’s Day sugar cookie…sort of. He is calling it a “lucky cookie” but it looks like its luck ran out a long time ago.
I recently heard a woman announce to the world “We are pregnant!” and I was a little confused. I distinctly remember learning about reproduction in high school biology class and the idea of a man being pregnant never came up even once. I’m pretty sure that unless something has changed, the state of two people being pregnant together in some weird fusion of reproductive organs is technically not possible.
I asked my friend why couples these days say “We are pregnant” and she shed a little light on the situation for me. She said that couples make a deliberate attempt to use this terminology so the guy doesn’t feel excluded from the pregnancy process. And I guess that explanation sort of makes sense. I can see how the “we” terminology might help the guy accept the pregnancy situation without going off the deep end. For example, instead of thinking “My wife is getting fatter and has permanent PMS and it is all my fault,” he thinks “My wife and I are pregnant together! This is so exciting and fun!”
But I remain baffled by the notion that a woman would voluntarily give away even an ounce of credit for enduring a complex, harrowing nine months of her life. The way I see it, “we” might have conceived a baby, but until the man has raging hormones, a live being growing inside of him, and plans to pass a watermelon through a tiny crevice in his body, “we” are definitely not pregnant in any way, shape or form and “we” never will be.
Nevertheless, it is in vogue today to say “we are pregnant” so I don’t see this terminology going anywhere. When someone says “we are pregnant” on television, only about half of the people in the room look confused and the other half accept the comment as a normal way to speak about the state of female pregnancy.
But I think the other half would jump on board too if the term “we” was applied in a more fair and consistent way. For example, if couples are going to say “we” are pregnant, shouldn’t they also say “we” worked until midnight last night, “we” got promoted, and “we” got a huge year-end bonus? If a man is going to take credit when a woman successfully carries and delivers a baby, shouldn’t a woman take credit when he successfully endures a hellish nine months at the office? Just a little food for thought.
I know one thing, I just talked to my guy and learned that “we” won quite a bit of money playing poker last night. I can definitely get used to this “we” thing. Copyright © 2010 Alison James
Have you ever wondered why so many women are attracted to men who are unavailable, sneaky and evasive? You know the deal – your best friend is completely infatuated with a guy who is never around and rarely calls. Every now and then, he shows up in the middle of the night without warning and she thinks it is cute. To make matters worse, the guy doesn’t have a steady job, he’s overweight and he’s obscenely hairy.
The reason why so many of us fall for this type of man has been a mystery for years. But if you think about it while listening to Christmas music, you might have the same epiphany I had. Psychologists often say that we seek out men in adulthood who resemble those men we idolized as little girls, right? I’m not sure how we could have missed this connection all these years….
Copyright © 2009 Alison James
The holidays are upon us and that means it’s time to start searching for the perfect gift to buy the man in your life. Don’t let your guy fool you into thinking he wants a flat screen TV or some other high-tech gadget for Christmas this year. Deep down inside, he longs for the same warm, fuzzy gift that every man craves: a Snuggie.
I know what you’re thinking, “I bought a Snuggie for his grandmother last year. How could he possibly want one too?” But you see, the male Snuggie is not the same as the one loved by elderly women everywhere. It looks the same, and feels the same, but the masculine words “Lodge Wrap” on the package make it manly enough to appeal to even the most macho guy you know.
Just look at how happy this guy looks using his Lodge Wrap. Don’t you want your guy to be this happy on Christmas morning?
(from the Terry’s Village catalog. terrysvillage.com)
So this year, forget about the iPhone accessories and DVDs, and instead, get him the gift that says “I am a woman who truly understands your needs.” Buy him his very own Snuggie and make this a Christmas he’ll never forget. Copyright © 2009 Alison James
We all have friends we love, people we can spend hours with and never get bored. These are the friends we can call when we’re miserable and we never feel like they are secretly happy we’re suffering. But there are other friends we keep in touch with and we’re not sure why. At one time we went to school with them, or we knew them at our last job, or we met them a few times through an old roommate. Now, years later, they check in all the time via email or Facebook, sending photos and updates about their exciting life.
We’re fine with their occasional contact, as long as it remains occasional. But what do you do when these people cross the line, when they try to take the friendship “to the next level” and they want to start hanging out again? And what do you do if you never really liked them much in the first place? Do you just ignore them entirely? Do you hang out with them out of guilt, laying yourself up on the altar as a social sacrifice?
Most practices instituted by the U.S. government would not work in other areas of our lives, but a civic responsibility provides the perfect solution to this uncomfortable social situation. If hanging out with someone feels like jury duty, why not treat it as such?
Picture this: you go to lunch with your long-lost buddy, you grin and bear the small talk for about forty-five minutes, and then when you’re done, you get a stamped piece of paper guaranteeing that you will not have to do it again for at least two years, possibly even four. You’ve done your duty, you didn’t offend anyone or burn any bridges, and now you’re off the hook for awhile! And if you’re lucky, you might be able to move out of state before the term expires.
Just think of how great it would when they email you the next day to find out if you can go to lunch again soon and you have a certified piece of paper to get you out of it. You don’t have to invent excuses, lie about how busy you are at work or how sick you’ve been. You just read off the number on your form, letting them know that you have another 24 months before you have to meet them back at Pita Heaven. Copyright 2009 © Alison James.
If the guy in your life is looking for a new job, at some point he will ask you for your opinion on where he should work. As you consider his options, you’ll probably think about how much each job pays, what his responsibilities will be, and the type of people he’ll be working with. But before you give him your recommendation, there is another critical factor you must consider: What stores will be across the street from his new office?
Why, you ask? Well, think back to the gifts he gave you for your birthday, your anniversary, and other holidays. Do you see a pattern? He bought all of them at one of the stores near his office, didn’t he?
Men buy gifts at the last minute. They run out during their lunch hour on Valentine’s Day and buy the last card on the rack at CVS. They stop on the way home from work on your birthday to buy you whatever they find at the front of the nearest store. So, if your guy works near a Taco Bell, you can pretty much count on receiving a coupon for a bean burrito for your next anniversary. If you don’t like bean burritos, you might want to steer him toward that job in the jewelry district. Copyright © 2009 Alison James
Did you ever put laundry or other items on the stairs expecting your guy to carry them up, only to find that hours later, they are still there? I put a towel on the stairs and it did not move for two days. I started thinking “What would happen if I wasn’t around?” So, I turned the problem over to the FBI and they used age progression photo techniques to determine what the scene might look like if men were left to their own devices and women were no longer in the picture.
The Towel on the Stairs – Present Day (Year: 2009)
The Scene 200 Years After Women (Year: 2209)
The Scene 1,000 Years After Women (Year: 3009)
The Scene 100,000 Years After Women (Year: 102, 009)
Copyright © 2009 Alison James
If you are going through a breakup right now you probably feel like your life sucks and it will never get better. Your friends are giving you that sympathetic look that makes you want to slap them. And you are monitoring your phone or blackberry by the minute in case a new message pops up from him (that you swear you are going to ignore this time).
Rest assured, as time passes, your ex will become a distant memory. Then, one day when you least expect it, he’ll contact you through Facebook just like the hundreds of other weirdos from high school who have managed to find you online. And you will say “Oh my gosh. I remember him. I can’t believe I dated him. Why didn’t someone stop me?”
Until that glorious day arrives, here are a few things you can do to help you get through the tough times:
* Turn off the sappy music…No 80s heartthrob CD, no light listening, no “The Best of Wilson Philips”…put them all away. For the next six weeks you are only allowed to listen to upbeat club tunes with a strong drum beat played by a hot drummer. If you want, you can imagine the drummer drumming on your ex’s head.
* Make a list of all the reasons why the relationship wasn’t working. Get out a couple of notebooks because once you get started you are going to need more than one. And begin with (a) he broke up with me (b) he is a jackass who will regret it and (c) I am too good for him anyway. Now you fill out the rest.
* Rebound men are good, especially if they are cute, fun, and willing to spend a little bit of cash. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need time to take time away from dating. Of course you need time to yourself but it doesn’t hurt to have a few guys around on weekends to take you out to dinner and build your ego. If you can’t meet a good selection of men at bars, parties, or through friends, try online dating. Sure, there are stalkers online but there are stalkers everywhere. If you use your common sense (don’t meet the guy on a back country road, avoid men with duct tape and ropes in their car) you’ll be fine.
* Stop your mind when it begins to wander and imagine crazy things. At some point you’ll imagine your ex riding on a white steed through a field with a hot woman on the back. Or you’ll imagine he’s dating your friend or the bartender or the woman who cuts his hair at Supercuts or…. you get the picture. Basically when we’re under stress, our brain invents all sorts of worst case scenarios. Recognize when you are torturing yourself this way and stop. Replace your vision of him on the steed with a vision of him getting tossed from the horse and landing on his ass.
* Get rid of everything that reminds you of him. You don’t have to throw it out if that idea is too painful right now, but put it all in a box and give it to your best friend to pack away for you. Down the road she’ll call you up and say “Do you want this box of stuff you left at my apartment?” and you won’t even remember what is in it. Then you’ll go over to her place and you’ll stand over the box, peer into it, and slowly peel back the tape, hoping that it doesn’t contain something that was edible once upon a time.
* Remember that things happen for a reason, even breakups. The Universe (God, Mother Nature, Zeus, whatever you call it in your life) knows a thing or two that you don’t know and definitely has better, bigger men in store for you.
Breaking up is painful but nowhere near as painful as staying with the wrong guy for a year or five years or 35 years. Be happy the relationship ended when it did and focus on finding someone new and better. The best revenge is living well (and making sure your ex finds out about it). Copyright © 2009 Alison James