Listen To Your Gut
(It's Trying To Tell You Something Important)
(posted: Feb 26, 2007)
A good friend of mine, who will soon be divorced, is dating again and it
seems to be getting serious. Unfortunately, I think the guy is a creep, and I'm going to explain why.
After a very short time seeing her, he asked if she is
going to go back to her maiden name. When she asked him why he wanted to
know, he replied, "It's your ex husband's name, why would you want it?"
She responded, "It also happens to have been MY name for the last 22 years. If I get remarried again later I'll likely change it, so why go through all the red tape now?"
To me this question/suggestion of his was a big RED FLAG. Why? Because
shortly after MY divorce and release from an abusive relationship, I
started dating a guy who asked EXACTLY the same question after only one
month of dating. He turned out to be a MAJOR control freak but I had the
good sense to bail after two months. I have learned a great deal since
then about seeing the signs and avoiding assholes. I wish I could say the same for my friend.
Unfortunately, my concern for her doesn't stem from just this one
question. There are SOOOO many other things he says that are just "OFF".
She is getting gut twinges about him too, but she is ignoring her intuition, rationalizing his
behavior, and continuing to see him.
Here are some classic manipulator moves and red flags that he is using:
- He asks what her fears are. I know that this isn't because he is so deeply sensitive and caring - it is so he can find her weak points. He WILL use this information against her at some point. You can count on it.
- He talks about his kids ALL the time as if he is trying to convince her what an involved and caring parent he is. It's too much and too over-the-top.
- He calls his ex a "bitch", goes on and on about her, including ranting about how she was depressed, crazy, etc. Of course ALL the issues with his marriage breakdown were HER fault.
- When my friend says the slightest thing about HER previous relationship, or her life before he came into it, he disregards her feelings and cuts her off with statements like, "Well, that's over with now.", and changes the subject. It has to be all about HIM.
But the manipulation trump card he plays is "God". You see, we both have Christian beliefs, and this guy professes that he does as well.
There are plenty of wackos in all faith's, and this one uses God as a
manipulative tool. He is the type of guy that HIDES behind the bible, but is ripping at the
seams with his controlling personality. I told her "Just because he claims to be a
Christian does NOT mean he was meant for you, or that he is necessarily a NICE person. If his EX wife shamelessly tells you that she
referred to him as 'The Dictator', then that is a HUGE sign to bail!" But she wants to believe he will somehow be different with HER. I asked her "How RED does the flag have to be for you to see it?"
Unfortunately for women who come out of abusive relationships, unless we get help, we
just get into the SAME thing and the same "type". We need to care about who WE
are, or we end up in the never ending emotional bullcrap that we CAN avoid, if only we would make better choices.
It's not like she doesn't have any idea. Her GUT is telling her something and she is ignoring it. And that's the key.
Listen to your GUT. BELIEVE IT. And get the hell out when it tells you the situation is screwed up.