Marrying The Hatchet
My husband of two months has always treated me very well, and is usually thoughtful. But, one week before our wedding, he broke a promise. I hate the whole stripper thing, so he agreed to a coed party at a dueling piano bar. There was a strip club next door, but he promised he wouldn’t go in. All was well until I learned that he and his brother (who’s nothing but trouble) were at the strip club. I went over and went crazy and tossed an ashtray at his head. I was kicked out, they followed, and his brother yelled at me. I wanted to call off the wedding, but we still got married. Since then, I keep bringing this up and he keeps begging for forgiveness, saying he’d never been so drunk, and he didn’t know what he was doing. I just can’t understand how he could hurt me this way.
--Still So Angry Inside
If your husband tossed an ashtray at your head, do you think he’d be describing himself as “Still So Angry Inside” or “Still In Court Trying To Get The Charges Reduced”?
It doesn’t take much for domestic violence against men to be taken seriously…usually, just a chalk outline where a man’s body used to be. The rest of the time, people tend to shrug it off or even find it cute: “Well, well, well, she’s quite the firecracker!” Granted, male abusers can do much more damage with their fists, but put a heavy object in a woman’s hands, and good morning brain damage! (Just wondering…has your husband gotten the ashtray out of his skull, or does he have to hang around smoking areas with his head bent down so people have someplace to flick their ash?)
But, he broke his promise! Bummer. Human nature happens. If your husband’s a cad, why marry him at all (couldn’t get the catering deposit back)? If he’s a good guy who got drunk and slipped (maybe after his bro gave him a little push), why make him sorry he married you? Sure, if he keeps slipping, say, by tucking your monthly mortgage payment into some stripper’s g-string, that’s one thing. But, come on…two-plus months later, are you really reacting to what happened -- or just acting out as a means of controlling him? Consider what you’re doing to him and to your marriage by showing him that nothing he says or does makes the slightest bit of difference. As a friend of mine likes to say, “Your proctologist called. They found your head.”
You can stay married to your grudge or your husband, pick one. Frankly, you each have a lot of work to do in therapyland, individually and together. You have to deal with your uncontrollable anger and the underlying issues -- probably insecurity and fear of being ditched -- and get in the habit of expressing your fears instead of weaponizing them. Your husband needs to start standing up for himself -- for starters, by doing a Senator Craig and withdrawing his guilty plea. The correct response? The one your girlfriends would be pushing on you if the tables were turned: “There’s no excuse for domestic abuse!” (Physical or emotional.) Finally, the two of you should attend one of Dr. John Gottman’s research-based marriage weekends (gottman.com) and learn to have a partnership instead of a monarchy. Marital harmony can be yours, just not by getting your husband to “agree” to like what you like: stag parties featuring your fat, fully clothed co-workers burying their heads in plates of cake instead of some hot young thing leaping naked out of one.
Posted by aalkon at October 31, 2007 1:47 AM
Granted, male abusers can do much more damage with their fists, but put a heavy object in a woman’s hands, and good morning brain damage!
Some people think taking this kind of thing seriously makes a man wimpy.
Those people have never known the dull hum of a surprise concussion or the "cuteness" involved in confiscating a pointy shard of broken glass from the pleasant-smelling psycho trying to put it straight in their neck.
Posted by: Steve at October 31, 2007 1:32 AM
Right on, Amy! Abuse is abuse, whether the perp is male or female. No excuses.
"Some people think taking this kind of thing seriously makes a man wimpy."
Yeah I was one of those people. Then one of my buddies started dating this, well words fail me as I only know two languaes worth of expatiates. She is bar none the nastiest thing I have ever seen, larger than an M1A2. She is defiantly abusive and he's too subservient to do any thing. If the LW had not mentioned his brother I'd think it was her. Unfortunately there is not a hell of a lot I can do cause she's isolated him from all of us.
Had this have been a female friend in the situation the options would have been pretty simple. However in his area if a man goes to court (after we slap some sense into him) with this situation he'll be a laughing stock. Going to court after kicking two tons of crap out of her would send any one of his male friends into the hole for a long time.
Posted by: vlad at October 31, 2007 6:20 AM
"If he’s a good guy who got drunk and slipped" He went to strip club not a whore house. So he broke his promise. She a controlling freaking nut. I can only assume they had the standard vows for the wedding which she is not following.
"coed party at a dueling piano bar" That is not a bachelor party. Shit when my mother at the bridal shower called us and thought me and dad were at a strip club she said to a room of my wife's friends and parents "What it's nothing they haven't seen before." She was actually surprised that we didn't go to one during the bridal shower.
Posted by: vlad at October 31, 2007 6:29 AM
An example of the hate mail I'm getting from women for condemning violence against men/condoning men going to strip clubs is here:
Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 31, 2007 6:39 AM
What a lunatic. I pity the poor bastard that actually married her. I have no issue with my husband going to the strip club...unless he spends half our house payment there! Here's why:
1. Strippers get hit on all the time. Do you really think that they're going to stop on a dime and pay more attention to YOUR man than all of the other guys in the place?
2. Guys can't touch/make-out with strippers. Ask the bouncers about that. However, if they go to a regular club with their friends and "hook up" with a random woman...are their friends going to stop them?
3. Strippers STRIP. They're not hookers. What woman can honestly say that she's never checked out men other than the one she's with? Anyone that does is a liar.
My husband looks at other women. I look at other men. Keyword is "look". Hell, half the time, I point out hot women to my husband (mostly when trying to decide if "they're real" or not). At the end of the day, I know that my husband loves me and will be by my side. Other women may check him out, but I'm the one he'll take to bed. It sucks that this woman, and so many just like her, are so insecure and unhappy inside.
Posted by: Renee at October 31, 2007 7:28 AM
He did break his promise, which isn't a good thing. Obviously the response does not match the crime and this lady should be in court, not polishing the new china. Thanks for pointing out, and I hope the LW got the point, that demanding he make the promise in the first place was where this whole thing started to come off the rails. HE should have suggested a halt to wedding plans when she tried to set the rules for his behavior.
It wasn't until I read the letter a second time that I understood that she followed them into the strip club (did she pay a cover?), and threw the ashtray at her man's head there. I wonder if the brother wasn't hoping that after that incident that his brother would come to his senses and call off the wedding... no luck, apparently.
So she's physically abusive, and prone to throwing tantrums, and he's the one apologizing? Amy, you were too nice. (Except to the LW's co-workers, in assuming that they were fat, and willing participants in this lovely drama.)
Posted by: Jessica at October 31, 2007 8:40 AM
I've never really understood why men are drawn to obviously psychotic women. In this case, I'm sure she's done many other horrible things to him, but he stayed with her and now he married her.
My theories range from: guys like this hate themselves; they're masochists and enjoy suffering; they think they can rescue her and turn her into a nice person. The latest one I thought of is that they're drama queens and enjoy the rush of the near-death experience of being with these women, kind of like BASE jumping or russian roulette.
Why isn't he writing the letter since he's the victim in this situation? Why is it her?
As someone who was married to a female abuser, I have to say that this woman is pretty classic. She may not be stabbing her husband or waking him up by choking him, but she is an abuser through and through. Her controlling behavior would be enough to condemn a male for abuse.
The problem is, in modern society, this type of aggressive, stereotypically "masculine" behavior (c.f. Duluth Model) is viewed as more of a empowering, you-go-grrrrl type attitude than that of an abuser. After all, she's just standing up for herself, making her wishes known, and keeping her stupid, slow, lying man in line like the child he is.
And regarding strip clubs? Even when I went to them with partners (yes, they had both male and female strippers), they are nothing but a huge, depressing time and money pit. I don't see any good in them whatsoever, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't be free to be an idiot and go to them if they want to do so.
Posted by: Jay at October 31, 2007 8:58 AM
Were I the man in the situation I think I would ave given SERIOUS reconsideration to tying the knot with someone as insecure as this woman seems to be. Her "he promised me that he wouldnt go in there" rant is nothing more then a childish attempt at attention.
If a guy starts going strip clubs on a regular basis then theres a problem. One visit is not a capitol crime. Men going to a strip club is like women going to a spa. Theres not much difference. The bonding aspect is what I mean by that. A group of women go to a spa to chat and get thier hair, nails etc done and feel feminine. Men got o strip clubs for much the same reason. They are in like company,talking about the similar interests while watching naked or topless women dance around on stage while drinking beer or watching football etc.
Im not advocating that all men run out and meet thier buddies at the local tittie bar. What Im saying is that we dont need to treat it like a betrayal of marriage like this women did.
On the last part her humming an ashtry at his head then trying to justify it in the manner which she posted is ignorant. Its abuse and assault but many men will just laugh it off or ignore it. Were more men to actually start reporting it to the police then the courts and the media would have to treat it as a real issue rather then the topic of humor that it is now.
Posted by: The Other Mike D at October 31, 2007 9:11 AM
Chrissy wrote: "I've never really understood why men are drawn to obviously psychotic women. In this case, I'm sure she's done many other horrible things to him, but he stayed with her and now he married her."
I'm reminded of a recent psuedo-celebrity-trying-to-find-twoo-wuv reality show (of which I watched every episode, but that's besides the point). There was one contestant who was particularly catty, possessive, and violent, and who initiated a physical altercation with a fellow contestant. Instead of sending her off into anonymity and recommending a good therapist, the psuedo celebrity looked into her eyes and said, "You are completely crazy. But that means you're probably crazy for me."
I wanted to puke.
I think some guys are turned on by psychotically jealous women.
I've had both male and female friends tell me that they find it a turn-on when their partner flies into a jealous rage or tells them they're "not comfortable" with them being "too close" to a member of the opposite sex or going to strip clubs (male or female).
What is this girl, twelve? And her husband is a pussy. Begging for forgiveness? He should have taken her up on her offer to call off the wedding. And I read your hate mail this morning, too! The nutcases are crawling out of the woodwork!
I went to a strip club with a busload of people doing a barhopping New Year's Eve thing a few years back, and I thought it was pretty silly. Just the kind of thing guys like. And who cares? If I thought any of those women had a thing on me lookswise, I'd get my ass to a gym, not browbeat my boyfriend.
Yeah, those guys who blow the equivalent of a house payment on porn have a screw or two loose, but this situation is nothing but Jerry Springer-type trailer trash drama. What a couple of numbskulls. They're made for each other.
Posted by: Pirate Jo at October 31, 2007 10:43 AM
You know, in thinking about this a bit more, I'm just astounded. I mean, my first reaction was "The woman is psycho." But it goes beyond that. How is this any different than a man who doesn't like the way you looked at someone in the mall, or the fact that you were 20 minutes late from work, or whatever other imaginary offense he comes up with, and so he starts beating the snot out of you? In my opinion, it's no different, it's the same pattern of behavior, and this man is CRAZY for putting up with her crazy ass.
It's the same as with women who stay with abusive men - the abuser bullies them into being dependent on their approval, and believing they should be grateful to have them. I think the only significant difference between the sexes in this area is that by now most male abusers are aware that society looks down on their behaviour, and aren't so shameless about it.
Posted by: Paddybrown at October 31, 2007 12:48 PM
This woman validates for me a social mindset I see happening in our current society; The sexes don't came from different planets (The Venus-Mars thing) but from different eras. Mens are in the Victorian era while womens are in the 21st century
Back in the Victorian era, it was of custom to protect women from anything remotely sexual or shocking. It was also well-seen to believe that women were feeble being without reason, drived by emotion and prone to crisis of hysteria. They had the legal status of a teenager and received the same leniency from the judicial system.
Of course, it is a great thing to know that those days are gone. Now women can be firefighters, fighter pilots, C.E.O., head of State or even serial killers. For this, I saw a genuine and well-deserved evolution of the women status. I see every day the direct impact of the equality of the sexes and this is one of the reasons that explain why the western societies are so in advance on the rest of the world.
In this case, I ask myself why we give so much slack when a women is violent? Why are we so keen to blame it on hysteria when a women slaps a men? If the opposite came to be, we can be sure that the men would be served with papers and incarcerated.
That letter is narcissist to the best description. the poor bloke who landed with this hussy really need to get himself a divorce.
Posted by: Toubrouk at October 31, 2007 1:31 PM
Its truly the nature of our society to look the other way when women act this way.
I dated a girl for a couple years who's personality strongly resembled the woman writing in. At first, I thought she was just kind of quirky and cute, but as time went on, I realized it wasn't an act.
She was very insecure, she had control issues and she had poor self control. This led to her becoming extremely jealous of any female friends I had, to the point where she'd nearly start fights with them. There was once or twice where she nearly picked fights with her own friends over her own insecurities.
She would also throw control-tantrums. She'd pick unwinnable fights, just to feel like she could control the relationship. She even tried throwing things and hitting once (I made it clear to her that the next time she attempted anything like that would be the last time she saw me).
What I learned from this is that you can't change someone like this. They've got too many issues and are too resistant to change. Even if you think you can work it out, its unlikely that you will be able to. Stay away from people like this, you'll be much happier in the end.
Posted by: Joe at October 31, 2007 1:43 PM
Wow, I've only just been shown this column for the first time, and I'm impressed. I am living with a man who has only recently escaped from an abusive marriage. He stayed married for 13 years because he basically had the choice to stay, or to leave and lose his children. That's an even tougher choice than most women have, because most of the time women get custody no matter what their circumstances.
I would like to thank you for speaking out against abusive women. She is still doing everything she can to control our lives. He can't ignore her because of the children, but suddenly every single thing she wants is about the children.
The thing that worries me? What lessons is she teaching her children.
Posted by: sarah at October 31, 2007 2:16 PM
The guy should file assault charges. There is no way this is the first time the woman freaked out violently, and it will happen again.
Posted by: cweeb at October 31, 2007 2:39 PM
CRAAAAZZZZYYYYY!!!!!!!! 2 months married and the advice given is get therapy??? Get an annulment and move on. Your doomed from the get go.
Posted by: jay at October 31, 2007 2:43 PM
"Angry on the Inside" seems like a peach. She should should do her husband a favor and leave him. I'm sure he'll thank her later.
Posted by: Ann Marie at October 31, 2007 2:56 PM
CRAAAAZZZZYYYYY!!!!!!!! 2 months married and the advice given is get therapy??? Get an annulment and move on
Jay, I give advice for the real world. Do you really think she's going to wave goodbye to the husband? Come on. FYI, I rarely give the advice to "get therapy" (I mean, who can't figure out that that's an option without writing to me?) but this isn't going to go anywhere good if they continue as they are on their own. I advised that because a therapist will be able to tell her how sick she's being, and has been. She needs outside intervention.
Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 31, 2007 3:44 PM
Yeesh. The scary part is, I can easily imagine a friend of mine's girlfriend writing a letter like that, or losing her freaking mind over a strip club visit like that.
Personally, I'd be kinda happy if my fiancé saw a stripper before we got married. Maybe it'd give her something to fantasize about a little bit, to make our wedding night a bit spicier. No harm in that, is there? I'm not saying she should squeeze her eyes shut and pretend I'm the stripper - I'm just saying that stuff like that can boost a couple's libidos.
Maybe the woman who wrote this letter isn't ready for the commitment of marriage. It sounds like she's WAY too scared of being dumped. She needs to get her head together before she imposes that kind of baggage on her poor husband.
Posted by: RJ at October 31, 2007 4:21 PM
Read Jim Goads SHIT MAGNET sometime. He spent 2 and a 1/2 yrs in the pen for defending himself against a psychotic girlfriend (OK he put 32 stitches in her face, but she did decide to start it. He merely finished it.) While in the pen he met several guys who were in for the same reason, including a guard who had a girlfriend put roughly the same number of stitches in his face. Women almost never go to the pen for this; it's almost always the man. The statistics back this up.
Posted by: brianfile23 at October 31, 2007 4:52 PM
"I hate the whole stripper thing" !? Maybe he doesn't.. problem number one.. it's his stag-do not yours.. so maybe that's something you need to sort out before you get married!
It seems like a petty reason to deck someone with an ashtray. Get a grip for fucks sake.
Posted by: rob at October 31, 2007 6:40 PM
Ok.... that chick is Freakin crazy..... honestly, is her self esteem that bad? Guys go to strippers for fun....it's nothing against her. What a nutjob! She should go with him and see for herself, or possibly just get some counselling!
Posted by: Marnie at October 31, 2007 8:25 PM
I agree that it is a petty reason to smack someone with an ashtray. She is straight crazy. Great blog!
Posted by: The Smartest Man in the World at October 31, 2007 8:48 PM
The guy should file assault charges. There is no way this is the first time the woman freaked out violently, and it will happen again.
My ex-girlfriend assulted me on several ocassions, all suprise attacks, uncontested by me. After the first time, my neighbor said if you stay with her it will only get worse.
Here were my various injuries:
a black eye
8 inch swollen bruise on my upper arm
gigantic fingernail scrape across my face
bit my hand
many other scratches and small bruises
Posted by: notseeinganybodynow at October 31, 2007 10:26 PM
My marriage is a nightmare, but at least I have an understanding with my wife. She throws stuff at me, I get to throw stuff at her. I don't let any time pass, either. If she calls me a bastard, I call her a bitch. She cries, which carves my heart out, but she gets the idea really quick that there will be no double standard in our marriage. We've been married 15 long years, and although I don't like our marriage, I don't know what to do. We do treat each other with wary respect, but there is no closeness. Once the kids grow up and move out I'll have nothing to hold me here anymore. God help me I don't hate her, but I'll be damned if I'll let anyone abuse me.
Posted by: A. Nonymous at November 1, 2007 12:18 AM
Thank you Amy for lifting the fog on this subject. My ex-GF would throw things, scream obscenities, call names -- all classic signs of an abuser IF THE ABUSER WERE MALE. She not only didn't see her behavior as emotionally and physically abusive, she convinced herself that I was abusing her and "made" her throw things! When I eventually realized what sort of relationship I was in, I found that most of the abuse hotlines just blew me off. The one for my home state, for example, sounded bored and suggested that female on male abuse was no big deal and that I wouldn't get any help from them. Nice. Real nice.
Posted by: John at November 1, 2007 12:26 AM
I'm completely against violence.
And I don't condone this woman's ridiculous pent up anger.
However, these commenters are quick to assume she's "prone" to violence, or tantrums. We don't know her history. We only know this. You can't base your judgments on assumptions.
Second, while some of us don't mind strip clubs, it really bothered her. It's something he agreed to forgo her, PLUS, he made an agreement.
Agreement is an agreement, no matter what the content. Also, it was specific. They agreed on that night no strip clubs. So, him breaking it was a big deal.
But he was truly sorry. She should have forgiven him and moved on.
RE: Nightmare Marriage, eye for an eye isn't a solution. Violence is wrong. Retribution is juvenile. You're complicit in being violent.
You don't have to hate your wife to move on without her.
Posted by: Jane at November 1, 2007 12:49 AM
Jane, you are a stupid cunt.
Posted by: Dick Masterson at November 1, 2007 1:13 AM
"My husband of two months has always treated me very well, and is usually thoughtful." .. Has anything really changed? Apart from this one incident!
It seems to me that the hurt lies in the fact that the husband broke a promise to his wife. This has damaged the 'trust' that is necessary in any relationship. The couple will need to work hard to rebuild that trust.
There is also a question of 'control' of the relationship here. It does seem as if the woman wants to be in control of the relationship and of her husband's behavior. Why does she 'keep bringing this up' is it just to see her husband 'begging for forgiveness'?
A healthy relationship is one in which one partner does not try to take control.
This couple would seem to have much to work through to build their relationship on healthy and happy grounds.
Posted by: Douglas Woods at November 1, 2007 1:44 AM
You asked: I've never really understood why men are drawn to obviously psychotic women.
Might sound like a lame explanation, but there's a stereotype among men that psychos are really good in bed. Can't say I've always found that to be the case--neither can I say that it's completely unfounded.
Plus, psychos tend to be out at night more often and, superficially, more outgoing/less timid in showing sexual interest. Also, they never seem to have boyfriends, which shouldn't be particularly surprising.
As for why some men will date or, more importantly, keep dating (or even marry?!)psychos--I don't have any idea. In my case, I only dated one ("dated" as in for a few months) out-and-out wrist-slitting psycho and that mostly had to do with a common interest in early-twenties substance-abuse. The unpredictable crying, begging, screaming and accusing was taxing enough. When that same nut tried to stab me, I cashed in and left the casino (sobered up), never to gamble like that again.
Posted by: Steve at November 1, 2007 2:09 AM
Amen. Nicely said.
And I would have canceled the marriage. No
need to marry a dangerous psychopath.
Posted by: George at November 1, 2007 2:18 AM
Time for the women to learn that standards on domestic violence will not be different for them. Men, if your wife or girlfriend hits you, call the police. It's not the end of your relationship or marriage. It's just a wake-up call so that your significant other understands that in a modern society there's no room for violence. It's really time for men to calmly pick up the phone and call the police. Be a man. Pick up the phone and call the cops on a physically abusive wife or girlfriend.
Posted by: Ben at November 1, 2007 4:40 AM
I'm not condoning the mad bitch for one second, but...
If the original letter had said; "My fiancé did something on his stag night that he'd promised not to do. I found out and got quite upset about this betrayal of trust. We went ahead with the marriage because I thought I would deal with this and move on, but 2 months later I find that I can't get over the basic fact that my Husband (as he is now) went against my specifically defined wishes and his own word" Would you still be calling her a nutter? OK so she threw things at him, which isn't a really smart thing to do, worse that that she's ADMITTED throwing things at him, which really isn't a smart thing to do - especially on the internet. Maybe this is a first for her and the reason she giving him such a hard time is because she can't quite get over her own reaction?
Though of course she should just be a psychopath!
(the views expressed above are not necessarily my own - just wanted to see if it could be looked at in a different way).
Posted by: Sc00by at November 1, 2007 5:02 AM
i wouldn't talk to you for the rest of my life if i was your husband...
Posted by: dado at November 1, 2007 6:21 AM
A few years back, I dated a woman who had a major thing about strip joints. Now, I’m hardly someone who frequents strip clubs, and I hadn’t been in one for years before I met this woman, and I never really gave them much thought.
Anyway, we’d been dating for about three months. It was already clear to me that she was somewhat “emotional” (for want of a better word) but there was a lot of stuff about her that I genuinely liked and admired, which kind of offset the jealously and clinging behavior.
So, we’re walking along the street one night on the way to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and she says “I was listening to Howard Stern the other day …”. OK, that’s surprise right there. She never really struck me as the Howard Stern type. Quite the opposite. She lost a couple of points right there.
She continues. “And he was asking callers what they would do if they could spend a day naked in a hot tub with a bunch of strippers. If they wanted to do it, he’d arrange it for them.” OK, I said, sounds like the kind of thing Stern does on his show. “So,” she said, “what would you do if he called you with that proposal?”
This is where I stepped into the minefield. My mistake was in not taking the question seriously. I really, honestly, thought she was joking. I mean, asking that is in the same category as asking whether, if I won the lottery, I’d buy her the Hope Diamond or something. It’s not something that is going to happen in the real world. And one is not expected to answer in a realistic manner. So I said something like “sounds good to me.”
Good God. The night was shot, right then and there. She ranted about how she could never trust me, how we were going to have to do a lot of work to restore trust (that’s always a dead giveaway that a woman is a nut case – talking about the “work” that must be done to restore “broken trust”. It really means that the man will have to toe the line for the rest of his fucking life). There was a crying jag in the restaurant (every man’s nightmare and one of a psycho woman’s best weapons – making a scene).
On the way out of the restaurant, just as we exited, she said she was going to go back and use the ladies’ room. Fine, I said, I’ll wait here and have a smoke. I lit up and tried to relax. Then disaster struck. A woman approached me and asked me for a cigarette. I gave her one. She asked me for a light. As I was giving her a light, my dinner companion exited the restaurant and observed me lighting up the smoke.
You would have thought she’d come out of the restaurant and found me getting a blowjob from another woman. The weeping, the ranting, the crying about “broken trust,” and so on. Apparently I was obviously flirting with the woman who bummed a smoke off me. And, since I was doing it right in front of my dinner companion, I was obviously intentionally doing it to humiliate her.
Finally, I gave up. I said that I was going home. Alone. Maybe things would be calmer the next day.
They weren’t. The weeping, shouting looniness went on for three days. At which point I broke up with her.
Funny postscript – about six months ago, I met my sister for dinner in a restaurant in my city (she lives in the suburbs of the same city). After dinner, she had plenty of time before she had to catch her train (she’d taken the train rather than drive in so she could have wine with dinner). We thought we’d have a drink at a place I knew nearby. For some odd reason it was closed. However, the strip joint around the corner wasn’t. So, what the heck. In we went. It was a weeknight, and the place was pretty quiet. So we sat down at the bar and ordered drinks and talked. Some of the girls working the place approached us. I think they thought we were a couple looking for adventure. When they found out we were brother and sister, they actually thought it was kind of cool, and we ended up hanging out with a couple of the strippers for a while. And they weren’t even trying to hustle us for drinks. The bartender ended up giving the strippers, me and my sister free drinks for the rest of the evening.
Posted by: LMM at November 1, 2007 6:36 AM
Hmm... I would have called off the wedding after the ashtray incident. That woman is clearly out of her mind. There are other ways at solving "differences" like that. And how that they be a happily married couple after what happened? I'd start to fear for my life if I were in the guy's shoes. obviously a rage of frustration by a feminist.
Have a happy life, for as long as you will live while being with that woman.
Posted by: Thomas B at November 1, 2007 7:10 AM
A. Nonymous' post struck a chord and I am saddened to see this. The only positive validation of my decision to have a kid was that it finally made me realize that I couldn't stay where I was. Did I really want my son to grow up seeing how I was treated and think that was the proper way to treat a woman? Or that the type of relationship my ex and I had was how it should be? While I think staying together for the kids when two people just don't have the hots for each other anymore is OK, when there is abuse, either way, of any sort, I don't think you've got a good environment for raising kids.
"obviously a rage of frustration by a feminist"
Her violent rage and lack of self-control has nothing to do with her assumed social ideology.
True, Chrissy. Many feminists are on the "right" side, here. There are plenty of women who don't call themselves feminists but feel a sense of entitlement -- that they can do anything because they're "ladies" and true "gentlemen" should be at their beck and call.
Steve: "Might sound like a lame explanation, but there's a stereotype among men that psychos are really good in bed."
...which goes back to how we put sex on such a high pedestal that some deluded schmoes feel that they should put up with someone who is hostile and violent if they can get some really good "action" along with it. Sad.
John: "When I eventually realized what sort of relationship I was in, I found that most of the abuse hotlines just blew me off. The one for my home state, for example, sounded bored and suggested that female on male abuse was no big deal and that I wouldn't get any help from them."
By the way, John, there are resources for both men and women. Go look at www.safe4all.org and/or www.dahmw.org.
Posted by: Brian at November 1, 2007 9:55 AM
"If the original letter had said; "My fiancé did something on his stag night that he'd promised not to do. I found out and got quite upset about this betrayal of trust. We went ahead with the marriage because I thought I would deal with this and move on, but 2 months later I find that I can't get over the basic fact that my Husband (as he is now) went against my specifically defined wishes and his own word" Would you still be calling her a nutter?"
First, that's not what it said. You're asking about some hypothetical different letter that was never written. But assuming it was, it still means that this woman had a silly issue about an even sillier bachelor-party ritual and nagged the guy into some promise that, once the night got going, would be impossible to keep. It doesn't add up to a "betrayal of trust." Furthermore, your hypothetical letter says "I can't get over the basic fact that my Husband (as he is now) went against my specifically defined wishes. . .". Where is it written that her husband must always follow her wishes, no matter how specifically defined? Must a man, upon marriage, give up all independence and surrender the right to make his own decisions about what to do with his own time (if his new wife admits there's any such thing as "his own time")?
Sc00by further says:
"OK so she threw things at him, which isn't a really smart thing to do, worse that that she's ADMITTED throwing things at him, which really isn't a smart thing to do - especially on the internet. Maybe this is a first for her and the reason she giving him such a hard time is because she can't quite get over her own reaction?"
She didn't just throw things at him. By her own admission, she "went crazy and tossed an ashtray at his head." And I'm surprised that nobody has picked up on this sentence from the letter:
"All was well until I learned that he and his brother (who’s nothing but trouble) were at the strip club."
She "learned" that he and his brother were at the strip club? Obviously she followed them, or had them followed. She then barged into the club, sabotaged her soon-to-be-husband's perfectly innocent night out, assaulted him, made enough of a pain in the ass of herself so that she got thrown out of the place.
She's a nut case. I can't believe this poor guy not only married her, but keeps begging for forgiveness. What a loser. She's got him on a short leash for the rest of his pathetic life.
One more thing. What the hell is a "dueling piano bar"? And what straight guy ever had a coed bachelor party at a piano bar anyway?
Posted by: LMM at November 1, 2007 1:02 PM
We have a dueling piano bar here. There are two piano's on stage and the guys take requests in the metal/pop/rock genres and do their best to pull them off. It's packed every weekend. It's a fairly rowdy and participative night where everyone is encouraged to stand on their chairs, sing along with bawdry lyric substitutions, get up on stage and participate in contests that are intended to make you drunk(er), partly naked or embarassed. I've been told by many straight, manly men that they have a good time there. I have seen some guy only stag parties although its more often stagettes or co-ed parties (pre-wedding, birthday, anniversary, etc.) So if its a similar place, its not quite as "gay" as it sounds.
I don't normally comment, but I had to say that I am taking a sociology class on "marriage and family" and we watched a video of John Gottman giving a seminar and I was very impressed. His theories of love and how to make relationships work seem to be not only realistic and true, but also do-able. And when I realized my relationship contained one or two of what he calls "The Four Horsemen" I decided to have a chat with my SO and discuss our relationship.
Just thought I'd let you know how great I think it is that you mentioned him because I think everyone could benefit from his words of wisdom.
Oh, and I agree with you 100%.
Posted by: Pretty at November 1, 2007 4:00 PM
Thanks so much, Pretty. I'm very, very careful about who I recommend, and find much of what's out there in the self-help section to be a steaming pile. Gottman is terrific.
Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 1, 2007 4:19 PM
"We have a dueling piano bar here. There are two piano's on stage and the guys take requests in the metal/pop/rock genres and do their best to pull them off. It's packed every weekend. It's a fairly rowdy and participative night where everyone is encouraged to stand on their chairs, sing along with bawdry lyric substitutions, get up on stage and participate in contests that are intended to make you drunk(er), partly naked or embarassed."
OK, I guess that makes a bit more sense. I've never heard of a place like that, much less been to one.
The only kind of piano bar with which I'm familiar is the traditional place with one piano, where men request and sing show tunes. Usually there aren't too many women in the place. And I simply couldn't imagine a bunch of guys going there for a bachelor party. If a man does want to go there for his "last night of freedom," I'd say the marriage will have bigger issues than ashtray-hurling.
Posted by: LMM at November 2, 2007 5:58 AM
Amy, in your rush to (rightly, IMO) condemn the ashtray throwing, I think you missed Scooby's point. The idea that she "nagged the guy into some promise that, once the night got going, would be impossible to keep" is BS. You can keep a promise like that if you want to, and if you don't want to, then you DON'T AGREE TO IT.
Posted by: jfpbookworm at November 2, 2007 7:36 AM
The guy has his own issues, including letting himself be pussywhipped by this woman, but this isn't a response to the guy. I offered information at the end about what he needs to do to change -- ultimately, so he'll be man enough to say, "You know, this is a ritual that's harmless and that I'm going to participate in," and reassure the woman, blah blah blah.
Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 2, 2007 7:44 AM
Just a comment. I read the story and Anny... it was HER that threw the ashtray not her husband. This was pulled out to make him look like the bad guy in an abuse thing. Shouldn't you come back and correct YOUR error? It's clearly stated in her message to you that SHE threw it in a fit or rage.
Posted by: Jami at November 2, 2007 8:09 AM
Sorry, Jami, but what are you saying, and are you saying it to A. Nonymous?
Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 2, 2007 8:20 AM
Ben: I have to disagree with you.
Having been in that situation, it's not the wake up call that you expect.
You will get the wake up call when she lies to the police and says you hurt her. The other thing that happens is the cop gets pissed (at you) for bugging him about your girlfriend kicking your ass. Either way, not the outcome you were looking for. You are several orders of magnitude more likely to get arrested, no matter who the actual perpetrator was. Even with witnesses, it is difficult to successfully prosecute a case like that.
Assuming that she is arrested, the charge will be downplayed, minimized and reduced, and 'self defense' will come up in court. Plus, you're reputation will get trashed (he was abusing me, cheating on me, doing drugs, child porn, downloading pirate movies, whatever)
If you're married, you'll get a restraining order. Against you. There may be a mutual one, but I assure you, especially if you have kids, you'll be ousted from your own house or apartment, and made to pay for it the whole time the divorce is going on.
When the confused person from Victim Services calls you to let you know that your assailant has been released from jail, offers you a protective order because it's in the script he has to read, he'll make the determination that you don't really need it, and your tearful little ex will be on the front porch trying to patch things up. At least until you drop the charges.
Then the real fun begins, because someone is out for revenge. The next time the police are out, someone has a nice little surprise for you...
If it happens, get out, stay out, cut off all contact. DONT repeat my mistakes and assume there's going to be a sincere reconciliation. NO ONE is worth the risk, and it's too easy for you to get busted for something you didn't do.
Posted by: Wayne at November 2, 2007 9:40 PM
So they both did something dumb. He went to a strip club knowing that she hated it, and she threw an ashtray at him, although it doesn't sound like it did very much damage.
In the course of a marriage it's bound to happen that each partner at different times will do something stupid that really hurts and angers the other. It's what happens afterwards that counts, and that's where this couple is in trouble.
Your advice is good. They need help in learning how to handle these kinds of situations.
Posted by: Kirk at November 2, 2007 9:47 PM
I guess what got me is that it is 2 months later, and she is still making him apologize! Did she ever apologize to him for assaulting him? Well, no, because he DESERVED it for making her angry. And her question to Amy seems to be what can HE do to help her get over this. Umm, GET OVER IT.
And, Amy, I loved the comment about not calling off the wedding because of the catering deposit. That probably is the reason they went ahead with the wedding.
Posted by: Robin at November 3, 2007 6:09 AM
Thanks, Robin. In my line of work, it never ceases to amaze me how many people seem to go through with really dumb ideas for marriages because they've already paid for the wedding.
Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 3, 2007 7:24 AM
Two issues going on here:
1)Strip Club issue
Many people would not be upset by their SO going to a strip club. This does not make them morally superior, contrary to popular belief. Different couples have different lines they draw, and different definitions of cheating. The LW made it clear that visiting a club was crossing the line. It sounds like the LW and her hubby have different definitions of unacceptable behavior. This is something they need to seriously work on and come to a consensus. The LW is upset because she feels cheated on. While some of us wouldn't have a problem with a club (or hell, some people wouldn't have a problem with their spouse sleeping with someone else,) this LW does, her hubby knew it, and they need to figure out what the boundries are as a couple.
Having said that, he knew he crossed a line, and he apologized, and she should move on. She had some doubts, but she DID marry him, and now she needs to work out whatever conflicts they are having.
Unless it was one of those cardboard ashtrays, that was a rather psycho act . Assuming it was metal or plastic, there is a serious lack-of-control issue thing going on here that the LW needs to work on. She's not going to be able to have a good marriage if she can't control her anger and rage. LW, please go get some help for your anger. And apologize to your hubby. He's already apologized to you.
Posted by: Nicole at November 4, 2007 7:48 AM
The LW made it clear that visiting a club was crossing the line. It sounds like the LW and her hubby have different definitions of unacceptable behavior. This is something they need to seriously work on and come to a consensus.
Uh, yes, but to say they need to "come to a consensus" is an understatement. She's a violent, criminal bully, and he's a pussy who left his balls under the bed years ago. That said, nobody, NOBODY, has any right to enact violence on their partner, no matter what the issue.
Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 4, 2007 8:09 AM
Nicole says: "The LW is upset because she feels cheated on."
Yes, but the LW wasn't cheated on. Her feeling that she was cheated on doesn't make it so. Emotions don't determine truth. Facts do.
Because something her spouse might do might make her feel bad should not give her a veto power over his every action.
If a woman feels "cheated on" because her spouse/boyfriend/whatever went to a strip joint, or looked at a porn flick, or saw a Calvin Klein ad, for pete's sake, that's her problem, and she should deal with it like an adult.
Posted by: LMM at November 5, 2007 5:36 AM
What is the LW going to do if they have children? What if one of the kids is late coming in from curfew? What if the kid just mouths off?
Posted by: Renee at November 5, 2007 6:29 AM
I don't believe in god, but I'd be willing to wish really hard that they can't and don't.
Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 5, 2007 6:32 AM
CRAAAAZZZZYYYYY!!!!!!!! 2 months married and the advice given is get therapy??? Get an annulment and move on. Your doomed from the get go.
Also a quick note: please note that the advice given was to the abusER, not the abusEE. Your advice to get an annulment would be great for the guy who had an ashtray winged at his head. Not so much for the woman, she has no reason to get an annulment. Although it would be a blessing in disguise for the man, I'm sure.
"I just can’t understand how he could hurt me this way."
*long pause while this sinks in* ....
HAHA!! HAHA!!! HAHA!! HAHAHA!!! WHAT A BITCH!!
So his "trouble-maker" brother got him loaded and brought him to the strip club next door to where his "co-ed bachelor party" (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) was taking place. So what's the problem??
"Promise" or not, she should've known better than to even ask him not to go. I'm stunned she was actually so upset about it she made a scene...
Granted, as long as she can reduce him to a groveling, quivering mass of guilt-laden mush every time she brings it up, she'll do it. When he stops feeling guilty, she'll stop being angry... until she finds something else to castrate him over. Bitches are like that.
Posted by: Morbideus at November 5, 2007 5:38 PM
well, in addition to all the issues pointed out by everyone else... neither of these two specimens seems too bright... hope they don't reproduce.
Posted by: deb at November 6, 2007 5:02 AM
Amy and all others posting on this should read this article.
I was in an abusive marriage and those thinking men date these women under the belief they are good in bed or etc are wrong. Usually these women KNOW and play on your emotions and the laws and even society. One minute they will be yelling and attacking you, the next crying and pulling at you begging to be forgiven and unless you follow their desires, plan on false accusations and society doing EXACTLY as they want.
I stayed for years to protect my children who I knew she would get if I left no matter the reasons or situation and she also knew I had little chance of getting them so used that card constantly.
Posted by: QED at November 11, 2007 1:20 PM
The problem is letting it get to the point where there are kids. While I'm sorry to hear what you've gone through, and find it admirable that you stayed to protect your children, just as there's a certain mindset in a woman that allows her to stay in an abusive relationship, it isn't just any man who gets into this situation and stays, but a man with issues of self-worth and self-assertion. Or, in relationships where the woman sticks around with an abuser, a woman with issues of self-worth and self-assertion. It's essential to take personal responsibility for what you allow into your life, and to really look at the person. And at first sign of emotional blackmail, or other suck nuttery, run. One key is not getting into relationships before you resolve all your own issues. I don't mean that anybody is going to be perfect, but if you get into a relationship before you feel okay being without one, you're basically at the mercy of the person you're involved with.
Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 11, 2007 1:56 PM
If the rumors from 1994 are true, at least this lady can take solace in the knowledge that throwing an ash tray at her husband won't prevent her from running for President some day.
Posted by: Flash Gordon at November 30, 2007 7:12 AM
If I were him, I think I'd start a diary.
Posted by: jasper at November 30, 2007 9:07 AM
Had an experience like that. Abusive wife, probably borderline personality. Put up with it for sake of the kids. Hit with things, slapped, etc..
One night she hits me, I push her away. Suddenly -- gawd, he dared touch me! Calls 911. Of course we both get arrested. Horrible night in the slammer, finally got charges dropped.
One guy in the cell had a story (I checked it out and it's true) about how easy it is to get arrested for DV. He hadn't touched anyone. He was cussing out his drug dealing stepkids, and one of them split his head open with a golf club. His wife called 911... and he got arrested for DV! The law classifies disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, with a family member as domestic "violence." And the stepkids had split, but the officers felt compelled to arrest *somebody* whenever 911 gets a DV call, so they arrested him, took him to the ER to get staples in his scalp, and then to jail.
Posted by: Goddard at November 30, 2007 9:22 AM
Wayne wrote - "If it happens, get out, stay out, cut off all contact. DONT repeat my mistakes and assume there's going to be a sincere reconciliation. NO ONE is worth the risk, and it's too easy for you to get busted for something you didn't do."
The reconciliation thing feeds into the romantic fantasies that both sexes have a tendency to let trick them into missing reality. How many romantic movies or novels or whatever scenario has a couple torn up only to reconcile and live happily ever after when the 'bad' one comes to his/her senses?
Real life seldom if ever works like that, but that sort of 'romantic' thinking is burned into the collective perception by popular culture.
There's a reason why the word 'reality' tends to get paired with words like 'cold' and 'harsh' and 'grim'.
Posted by: HC at December 2, 2007 7:56 PM