Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dr. Phil's creepy guest today...

I'm watching the second part of Dr. Phil's special today.  This guy is a freaking controlling monster.  I showed a clip to my husband yesterday and he got a look on his face that told me he knew how the woman on the show felt.  His ex used to do a lot of the same kind of stuff, only not as obviously.  My husband said she used to tell him... "I do so much for you."

Let's see what she "did" for him...

1. Got him to "adopt" her son and pay his bills.  Then got him to disown him when the gravy train came to the end of the line.

2. Had two daughters with him, then proceeded to get them to turn their backs on him and send him hateful letters disowning him just in time for his birthday.

3. Threatened to turn his own parents against him.

4. Pressured him into leaving the Army early and move to a po dunk town where there was nothing but low paying factory work to be had.  Then, when he got the opportunity to go back in and get out of the financial mess they were in, she ridiculed him.

5. Pressured him into having a vasectomy because pregnancy was too "hard" for her.  Then, when the marriage was over, remarried and had two more kids.

6. Refused to maintain a job when they were living at poverty level.  At one point, my husband was supporting his ex, her three kids, her sister, and her sister's kids... on a salary of about $27,000.

7. Kept ending up in the hospital over vague illnesses and using credit cards on frivolous things like landscaping and baklava, racking up huge medical and credit card bills, which eventually landed them in bankruptcy.  Ex would not let my husband manage the money, which had disastrous consequences.

8.  Pressured my husband into agreeing to buy a house because she said it looked like a house she saw in a snow globe.  The house turned out to be a money pit and they were not equipped to fix it up.  It went into foreclosure when she refused to hire a real estate agent to sell it.

9. When they had sex, she would have sudden mood swings and tell him to "hurry up and finish".

10. She lied to friends, family, and church members about his character.

11. Threatened his life on more than one occasion.

12.  Accused him of being gay.  Then accused him of being a misogynistic, women-hating, porn addict.

13. Never appreciated anything he did for her.  Expected him to do things and never said thank you.

14. Sabotaged his efforts to succeed at his job.  Deliberately stayed out late when he had to work third shift in a factory, knowing that he had to get to work.  She'd come home late, making him late for work because he couldn't leave the kids alone.

15. Pressured him to join the Mormon church by making it clear that if he didn't, he'd lose his kids.  Joining the church forced him to give up some of the few things he loves in life... good coffee, teas, and alcoholic beverages (in moderation).  It also forced him to wear special underwear rather than his comfortable boxer shorts.

16. Used the Mormon church as a shame and alienation tool.  Forced him to "confess" to his bishop his "porn problem"-- which I have yet to notice in ten years of marriage-- and then, when the bishop didn't come down hard enough on him, refused to let him baptize his older daughter.  In retrospect, that was a good thing.  He can't be blamed for leading her into the toxic Mormon cult.

17. Pressured him to be her accomplice when she exploited other people...

18. Tried to get him to keep secrets from me.

19. Belittled and downplayed his many accomplishments.

20. Isolated him from loved ones.

21. Tried to worm her way back into his life; but then when he declined, cut him off from his kids.

22.  Tried to convince him that he was unloved... and unlovable, except for by her.

23. Staged multiple holiday dramas in his father's house, including presenting him with divorce papers on Easter.

24. Made major purchases when he was underemployed and without his knowledge or consent.

25.  Showed him extreme disrespect.  Treated him like shit.

Granted, as an adult, he had a part in all of this.  He should have stood up for himself.  He especially should have taken control of the finances.  And he should have listened to the little voice in his head, telling him not to get involved with her.  But, abusive people prey on those who have low self-confidence and lagging self-esteem.  Once you are in an abusive relationship, it's hard to break out.  It's like sinking in quicksand.  He needed an outside force to help him break the suction.  In his case, it was his decision to rejoin the Army and maintaining distance... then meeting me and realizing that other women could love him.

Later, he came to realize that as much as losing his kids hurt, they have to have their own lives.  And being a father doesn't define him or make his life worthwhile.  It might have been a lot more important to him had he been given the opportunity to love and raise his kids.  But he wasn't given that opportunity, so he's had to make do.  Life without them isn't the end of the world.  We're doing fine.

I truly hope that woman on Dr. Phil's show gets the help she needs.  I also hope her horrible ex boyfriend stays away from her.  What worries me is that he will find a new victim once he realizes his ex girlfriend is gone for good.  And he might actually kill someone; he has threatened his ex girlfriend's life many times.

So, as much as I hate to see this kind of abuse publicized as a form of entertainment, I do hope that it helps the guest and other people like her.  I hope being on Dr. Phil's show ends up being worth it.  

2 comments:

  1. In your husband's case, I suspect the abuse came on so gradually that it was not terribly noticeable until he was way over his head into this reklationship.

    It's kind if like the metaphor the Mormons used to the youth when teaching them how the slippery slope of any physical contact whatsoever leads to all-out sex outside of marriage before you even know you're doing it. (So much for the dctrine of free agency.)

    A summer i spent in utah, at girls' camp theytaught us that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it would instantly hop out. /if you dropped the firg instead into a pot of room-temperature water on the stove, then gradually heated it to boiling, the frog would stay their and be boiled to his death. (Is this true in the first place?I'm not sure why the frog whould necessarily stay put in either case, because a frog is not an inherently obedient animal, but I suppose I'm missing the point entirely.)

    Regadless, the point was that the change was so gradual that your husband barely noticed until it was almost too late, just as Mormon teens accidentally bump into each ither, then hold hands, then embrace, then kisss, then touch each other's naughty parts, then have sex without even knowing they're doing it.

    Maybe the answer is to start out with sex so at least you know what it is you're doing when you do it.

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  2. I've heard of the frog analogy. I think it's bullshit.

    I don't think my husband even knew he'd been abused until after we were married and I pointed it out to him. The ex had him thinking that he was the one who had a problem. She had convinced him that he was "sick", "unworthy", and "dangerous". He is none of those things.

    I remember being on a really long roadtrip with him and seeing the very shocked and upset look on his face when he finally realized that he had been a victim of domestic violence. But in his case, I think she gave him the rush, which bolstered his self-esteem and then she hooked him. Once he was hooked (i.e.; she was pregnant), her true colors came out. If you haven't looked at www.shrink4men.com and have a few minutes to spare, I highly recommend checking it out. It's a very good site for people who deal with abusive women... and it shows the tactics abusive women, many of whom have borderline or narcissistic personality disorder(s) use to lure their victims. The first time we read it, my husband was amazed. For you, it might just be interesting reading.

    My husband knew the ex in high school... and she had married some other guy from their school (her son's father). Her first husband bumped into my husband on a flight and established contact. She took it from there and eventually showed up on his doorstep in Germany with her son.

    It has occurred to me, though, that maybe it was a blessing for me that they got together. If he had married some other woman, I'd probably still be single.

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