Tag Archives: relationships

Was the relationship abusive or just bad?

Recently I was put in a position to explain what delineates an abusive relationship from a regular ol’ bad one.  Unfortunately, I can speak from personal experience.

In 2013, I left a bad relationship in California to come back home and pursue one that, obviously unbeknownst to me at the time, would become an abusive one very quickly.  I left my ex, Ken*–who I had a bad, but not abusive relationship with–after 4.5 years, to try to rekindle things with my (unofficial) ex Kevin–who became abusive very quickly.

Kevin was abusive financially, emotionally, and sexually.  He purposely stole from me on a regular basis, he lived off me completely and refused to move out when I told him he had to, he insulted me and set unreasonable benchmarks, he essentially tried to turn me into his estranged wife, he beat me unbelievably hard during sex, and he even forced me down and brazenly attempted to rape me once.  These things constitute abuse.

For those reasons–so many months later, after learning I’m not his only victim–he is currently facing criminal charges.  I wish I had pressed charges sooner, but it’s hard when you’re dealing with a sociopath.  Sociopaths are pure evil, but they’re very convincing, especially when they’re extremely charismatic and also classically handsome.  For well over a year, he managed to pathologically lie to me and convince me that anything wrong was all a mistake.

My other ex Ken*, though, is not a sociopath and is not evil.  We had a bad relationship, after the first couple years went by.  It was unhealthy, punctuated by cheating and lying.  But it was not an abusive relationship.  While he and I both individually did things that could classify as abuse when viewed through a lens, it was not an abusive relationship on the whole.  It boils down to two people hurting each other a lot but also loving each other (platonically), and being too afraid to let go.  I made the move to let go, eventually.  I’m sure that hurt him immensely, and that alone makes me sad.

To this day, any time I’m at a Chicago airport, I still cry.  He travels constantly for business, and Chicago is a layover city.  I cry just knowing he could be there.  A part of me misses him, as a family member.  Not at all as a boyfriend.  I do love him.  Just not in the way he needed.

So if you want to know what separates a bad relationship from an abusive one, I can tell you.  One is full of love and hope, and then eventual disengagement.  The other is full of sadness, resentment, and even violent assault.

There you go.  One ends in letting love go.  The other ends in pure, unbridled hatred.

*Name has been changed but you can also see below.


Relationship chameleonism (that’s a word now)

I’m a big fan of Slutever, and her new article was about the way that people change when they enter into a new relationship (LOL she makes Hamilton sound like a dick. I still love his docs, though.)

We always think of changing for someone as bad, but if it’s a positive change and one that you like, then obviously it’s a good thing. Dating someone means you like them, and if you find yourself wanting to be more like them in certain ways, there’s no reason that should be frowned upon. New interests and hobbies can arise when you spend most of your time with someone.

The only reason I even met my boyfriend is that we’re both in love with and devoted to rock and roll. It’s at the heart of our very personalities, so it sort of forms the foundation of our relationship. We get along because of it. But he has introduced me to other things that have become important to me, like Downton Abbey, and taking cabs sometimes. A goal of mine is to get him to enjoy being outside. These are good things.

And then there are big parts of our own lives that we’ll never be able to share with the other, and that’s okay too. For example, he has no desire to travel the world with me, and he refuses to eat the weirdass hippie vegan meals I tend to cook. On the other hand, I’ll never share even a fraction of his obsession with football, and I really have no strong desire to be English.

As long as we’re not changing solely for each other, but also for ourselves, I see no reason not to. We both make the right choices and don’t follow each other’s examples when we don’t want to. When he first moved in with me and he wasn’t drinking, I majorly cut down on drinking myself, and that was a definite plus. It was a serious change for me, and it wasn’t easy, but I was happy about it. Of course I’m back to full-blown alcoholism now, but such is life, and he doesn’t let me be a bad influence. Neither of us would ever let the other make bad choices on our own behalf.

Setbacks to my new life

I’ve been discouraged ever since I lost an apartment I really wanted.  It was 400 square feet, with a small deck, three huge closets, a separate kitchen, big windows, and a bus stop right outside.  We both loved it right away and started planning the fun little life the three of us would build together there–me, Kevin, and Bunny.  I packed my boxes and drew my furniture onto copies of the floor plan.  I blew hundreds of dollars on homegoods and notified HR of an upcoming address change.  Then my rental application passed to upper management, and they rejected me.  Because of Bunny.  Because of my “livestock.”

Having a pet duck has been the biggest obstacle in my apartment hunt.  I’ve been looking seriously for almost two months now, sending multiple inquiries every day, and nearly every response I receive is, “No ducks.”  I never expected this problem.  A few rejections, sure.  But landlords that allow all varieties of dogs won’t allow my duck, and I can’t fathom why.  A half-pound duck in a diaper is nowhere near as destructive as a cat or dog.  There’s potential for damage if her pen were to leak, but any pet can cause damage, and that’s what pet deposits are for.  She’s not going to tear up a carpet or chew on a door.  She’s not going to attack anyone or make other residents afraid.  She’s tiny, dumb, and harmless.

So we’re back to square one, running around the city trying to make it to appointment after appointment, spending way too much money on cabs and fast food, getting done too late at night and losing so much sleep, only to be repeatedly disappointed at how shitty most apartments are.  We can’t relax, because we have nowhere to go.  We want our own space, and Bunny needs it.

Still, I’m so happy for what we have.  I can’t believe we’ve gotten this second chance.  I never thought it was possible that we could start again–especially considering I truly thought he hated me by now–but he went through hell and back, and came back to me.  I’ve got the sweetest, gentlest, goofiest, prettiest boy back in my life again.  We’re completely taken with each other, just madly in love, and we’ll deal with these setbacks together, as a team.  For the first time, we can wholly share our lives.

My kind of woman

Since I decided I want to be bicurious–yes it’s a choice, although the choice is just to identify as bicurious, rather than as a straight girl who very occasionally enjoys sex with girls–I suppose I should talk a little about “my type” of girl.

We all know what my type of guy is, but just in case you don’t, here you go.

My type of girl is different, though.  I’m still honing it in, actually.  I like girls who look like me, but not necessarily, or not exclusively.  Skinny is a must, I’m sorry to say.  Oppressive?  Yes.  But my taste is my taste!  A skinny blonde with small tits?  Want.

I’m a small A-cup, so I don’t like big boobs.  But as long as they’re not either puffy or floppy, I’m probably okay with them being kind of big.  Basically, I’m not attracted to anyone whose body I’d want to have or whose body I wouldn’t want to have.  I’m attracted to girls who look good, like I do, and who I wouldn’t want to look like because I like looking like me.  She looks good, I look good, it’s all good.

I once had sex with a cute younger brunette stripper college student from the suburbs with a septum ring who I never managed to get in contact with again, and that’s too bad, because I discovered that she was my type too.  She had a full butt and hips, which I don’t have, but I was totally into them.  Her boobs were bigger than mine but still not big.  So, yeah, I like them skinny and small-chested and -hipped like me, except when they’re not, which is also okay.

(No, I didn’t just try to contact her for that.  I only wanted to be social network friends.)

This is weird, but I actually am not into the super beautiful girl.  I’m way into the super beautiful man, so go figure.  But I prefer a girl with a more unique and interesting face, over that perfectly symmetrical, porcelain and ideal one.  I appreciate “perfect” girls and recognize their beauty, but that’s not the girl I want to have sex with.  I might like to look at her and compliment her, but I don’t want to nail her.  Maybe I’ve just had too many beautiful friends throughout my life.  They were friends, not lovers.  Eww.

My type of girl is attractive and confident, interesting and intelligent, slim and sexy.  She’s coy, but she’s not fake.  She can look at me with her big doe eyes and hold a conversation about the direction of 21st Century cyber feminism.  You know, things like that.  I’m still figuring it out.

So yeah, if you’re slimmer than average, pretty in a slightly untraditional way, a little alternative, and into the vag and porny sex, gimme a call.  And if you’re not, we can still be non-sexy friends!

But honestly, I’m not into girls that often.

In which my blog continues to offend… On marriage and LTR’s.

I was in a relationship from April 4, 2009, to October 11, 2013 (with a couple hiatuses).  I still remember our first kiss, the night before our first date, outside the show his band had just played at McDunna’s.  Aww.  

But, alas, I was only 20, and no one spends the rest of their life with their partner from that age.  I mean, I guess a few people do, but it’s a really bad idea and most of them just stay out of fear and stubbornness, in the long run.  Besides, romantic love doesn’t last more than a few years and is eventually replaced by the complacency of routine, and I can’t help thinking that it’s bad for young people to become complacent so soon.  Like, just because my ex and I lived comfortably together didn’t mean we made a good couple, as time went on.  We raised our pet duck well, and he gave me the best back rubs whenever I was sad, but that doesn’t mean our union was truly, deeply fulfilling for either of us.

My therapist pointed out that I have an unusually negative view of marriage, and I know she’s right.  Of course, I’ve always promised myself I’d avoid marriage like the plague until my 30s, but that’s just because I’m smart and educated.  The really negative viewpoint didn’t manifest until I got into the dating world.  The past 4.5 years of being in this relationship have taught me that long-term monogamy is the absolute worst idea ever and that basically no one can ever be truly happy that way.  People tolerate monogamy as the price they pay for being committed, but they’re certainly not happy about it, and it naturally breeds resentment.  There’s nothing wrong with that, though.  That’s what we need to acknowledge.  It’s absolutely normal not to want to only have sex–or even be emotionally intimate–with one person for the rest of your life.  Very, very few people can be happy that way.

That said, for the record, I do not condone cheating.  It’s never okay, and barring extreme circumstances like abuse, there’s never an excuse for it.  It’s deceitful, disrespectful, and just downright awful.

Then again, I’ve discovered that everyone does it sooner or later.  So what does that tell you about monogamy?

We live in a society where more than half of marriages end in divorce.  Conservatives bitch that it’s because people aren’t dedicated anymore, are lazy, are promiscuous, and don’t value their partners.  But no, it’s actually because we’ve come to expect happiness in life.  We’ve come to expect fulfillment.  And at least 50% of the married population comes to their senses and realizes their situation is a joke.  A good portion of the other half is scared and resists the perceived “failure” of divorce.  In this day and age, I can’t help feeling like anyone who’s happy with one person for the rest of their life must be (major judgment alert!) kind of dumb, totally sexually repressed, insecure, and just generally boring overall.  Is there anything less interesting than living each day the same?

From now on, I’m going to learn to let go sooner.  That’s what I need to take away from all this.  I have a tendency to hold onto things in remembrance of how good they used to be.  Instead of up and leaving, I hang around and complain.  I won’t let that be me anymore.  And, even though I’m sure I’ll end up back in a relationship way sooner than I want to, because that’s something else I always do–cave in to possessive dudes–I won’t stick around when shit gets lame.  It’s fun or nothing.  Sure, relationships take work, but they shouldn’t demand settling.  If the guy stops being fun–and we all know what I mean by that–I’m not going to hang onto the relationship.  If I stop enjoying it, I’m gone.

Marriage equality passed in Illinois today, which is very exciting!  I posted on FB about how, now, all people in Illinois have an equal opportunity to get divorced.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be super stoked if studies someday show that same-sex married couples stay together more often than hetero married couples do.  That would be so awesome.  Like, check and mate, bigots!  But, it probably won’t happen, so the reality is that now we all have equal opportunities for both marriage and divorce.

It’s like when one of my relatives asked, a few years back, if my ex and I were planning on getting married anytime soon.  I told her, “No, I want to be his girlfriend, but not his ex-wife,” and I felt that was a really fitting answer.  I meant it.  It wasn’t a joke.  I’m just realistic that way about marriage and young marriage in particular.  My relationship wasn’t an exception to the rule, especially considering how young I was.  In reality, everyone is equally likely to split from their partner eventually.  I’m not exceptionally impervious to divorce or breaking up, and neither is anyone else.

Shit man, I just really hope nobody is actually stupid enough to think that their love is special or unique in any way, because it’s clearly not.  It’s the same as everyone else’s.  We all do the same things.  We find someone we really care about, spend our time being devoted to them for a while, and then we get tired of it and leave.  It’s the same thing over and over.  Repeat indefinitely.

Look, before people start freaking out in the comments, I’m not saying it’s impossible to have a happy, lifelong relationship or marriage.  I’m just saying it’s incredibly unlikely, and most people who’ll tell you they’re happily married are actually just complacent.  The sooner we can admit to that, the better off we’ll all be.