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 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.
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.
I’m excited to report that a few days ago I came across an establishment in New York City dedicated exclusively to our yellow marshmallow friends, Peeps!
Much to my surprise, dozens of men were hanging around outside this hole-in-the-wall shop waiting to show their dedication to these little chicks.
It’s always nice to see men getting into the spirit of Easter. Happy Easter everyone!
But isn’t the same true when a man’s package is too big? Whether you like a guy or not, and whether you agree with him and think he’s cool or not, when he presents you with a giant package, I mean an extraordinarily large, enormous package, isn’t that just as scary as a tiny one?
If a man’s package is too big, we have to be afraid of what it can do. We have to worry that it is going to hurt us even if that’s not what he intended. When a package is gigantic, it often has too much force and unintended consequences.
When I saw that the Health Care Bill Congress just passed was thousands of pages long, I immediately thought “It’s so long, thick and complex that we won’t truly know what it means for us or how it will affect our country for years to come, and no one in Congress probably really knows either.” And that notion scares me a bit. When a package is that big, it just seems like a guy should take it slow. You know, ease into it.
Even though I do agree with parts of this plan, I am having trouble getting over the fact that it is seriously one big ass package. Copyright © 2010 Alison James
Many women complain that the guy in their life never makes the bed or cleans up after himself. They say things like “He doesn’t do a thing to help out around the house” or “He’s such a slob” or “He doesn’t even notice when our apartment is a mess.” But let’s give men the benefit of the doubt for a minute. Maybe they want to make the bed in the morning but they don’t do it because they simply don’t know how.
This blog post is a special treat for all the men out there. A visual guide that you can follow the next time you see those sheets and pillows in disarray:
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
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
Do you remember dressing up as a princess as a little girl, donning the pink frilly dress and the jeweled tiara for Halloween or a birthday party? We all went through a “princess phase,” although it wasn’t really a phase because we never completely outgrew it. Even as adults, we dream about meeting a handsome prince, being rescued from the hellish dating scene, and living happily ever after in a modern castle with an in ground pool instead of a moat.
But, as you know, real life doesn’t always work out that way. Men don’t always exhibit the most prince-like behavior. Sometimes we have to fend off the dragon and clean the castle by ourselves, and find our own way out of the tower. Men are kind of clueless when it comes to creating the perfect fairy tale romance and we often wonder why.
Well, I think I’ve discovered the origin of the problem. I went to the store over the weekend and this is what I found:
The suggested theme for a little girl’s party:
The suggested theme for a little boy’s party – not a “Prince” party as we might think – but instead we have this:
We get a pretty lacy outfit, a magic wand, and a tiara. The boys get rope, an eye patch, and an inflatable sword. It sort of explains why we spend our lives in search of the perfect fairy tale romance and men spend theirs in an endless search for booty. 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