13 Signs You Should Take Your Ex-Boyfriend Back

Here’s one from one of my female readers…

Sure, our own Erin and conventional wisdom say that in life you only get one chance. But in love, there are no rules. However, there is good advice, not to mention learning from your mistakes. That’s why I’m going to share with you the biggest relationship mistake I ever made.

I used to have a “never take an ex back” policy. It stopped me from making plenty of mistakes, like bad ex sex, dropping cash I didn’t have on a bikini wax, and becoming the victim of sheer drunken douchebaggery. Some guys you just get over and there’s no need for a do-over. But I’ve only ever loved one man and after we broke up, he tried to make it work again for months. I, on the other hand, was still in love with him too, but refused to break my own childish rule— no take-backs. Why didn’t I give us one more shot? At the very least, I wasn’t done letting him hurt me. At the very most, well, now he’s married to someone else.

Now I’m left with “what if?” questions. What if I’ll never love any other man as much? What if I never have sex as good again? What if he was THE ONE? And my personal favorite: What if I’m going to die alone now? Even more excruciating and existential is the other side of the coin: Am I inflating who he is and what we had? Has he been martyred because he was the one that got away? Not giving yourself another chance is like opening a Pandora’s Box of second-guessing yourself. OK, so I kept my pride, but so what? It didn’t get me what I wanted—him. And all I had to lose was a little bit more time spent trying to figure things out between us. Unfortunately, now I’m stuck with a lifetime of wondering “what if?”

OK, so maybe even if my ex and I had gotten back together, it probs wouldn’t have worked out. In that case, I’d have ruined the delicious fantasy of him for good. Sad, sure, but maybe that’s just what I needed to move on. And hey, makeup sex can be worth the hassle of a do-over.

I’m here to help you not make the same mistake I did. While you don’t owe every dude you’ve done a second chance, there are those select few who you just have to give it to. However, before you go re-welcoming them with open arms, you have to think about what exactly you’re going to also have to embrace about him. Is he worth a second or a third time around? Here’s how you can see if he’s worth giving another shot:

1. Day McDreamy: If you think about the dude everyday, or even a couple times a week, you’re sooooo not done with him.

2. BF & BFF: Your pals still want to be his friend. If they’re still rooting for him, maybe you should be too.

3. Black And Blue: He didn’t ever hurt you physically. In fact, he was quite gentlemanly.

4. Time Is On Your Side: You feel like you’ve got nothing to lose except maybe a couple hours for a date. Whatever happens, happens.

5. Not Co-Dependent: Beware, if he’s vengeful or even slightly manipulative, he might just be waiting to get the upper hand again.

6. Going The Distance: What’s he doing to get you back? Was it a random drunk text or did he talk to you face-to-face or phone-to-phone? Heck, he’s gotta give you at least an email you can tell he spent time on. Guys get bonus points for creativity here, i.e., love letters, getting the DJ to play your fave song, or other heart-melting rom-com-esque smooth moves.

7. Change Is Possible: It’s been a long time, so he may have actually grown up.

8. Back And Forth: If either one of you is not willing to discuss the past openly, there’s no future. Do you think you can articulate what your old problems were to him or are you afraid to go there?

9. Needy Not Greedy: Ideally, he’s single. But most importantly, he’s not trying to stick it in you while he’s still dating someone else. He has genuine feelings; he’s not just feeling up on you.

10. If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Can you be realistic about your expectations? Are you OK with crashing and burning, or will it send you back to relationship rehab?

11. Not So Sexy Times: If the sex was never good, forget it. Either you have it or you don’t; you can’t learn chemistry.

12. Please Forgive Me: Do you still hold a grudge? Do you want him to pay for what he did to you last time? You can’t run your love life like it’s a toll booth. If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive him, you can’t date him again.

13. Tie The Not: Could you see yourself marrying him or being with him forever? If not, why bother? If you’re just looking for a good lay, he’s not your stunt penis that can just slip in for the action scenes. You can’t have meaningless sex with an ex—there are feelings there. So, go find a new boy toy.

 

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11 Of The Biggest Deal-Breakers In A Relationship

  • Deal-breakers in relationships are the things that will cause you to call it quits — no matter how long you’ve been together. 
  • Some common deal-breakers include a partner’s stance on having children, a lack of responsibility with money, or a lack of ambition.
  • We asked dating and relationship exerts to name some of the biggest deal-breakers people cite for breaking off a relationship.

When you’re considering the type of partner you want in your life, there are plenty of things that may make your list.

From their sense of humor to their looks to the way that they treat you, everyone has some sort of picture of who they classify as the ideal mate.

But just as there are specific things that we look for the person that we’re dating to have, there are things that we hope to never encounter, too.

Although everyone’s list of deal-breakers may not be exactly the same, there are a few things that many of us can probably agree on. Here are 12 of the biggest deal-breakers — according to experts — to compare your list to.

They won’t address the issues that you present.

couple break up breaking up fight ignore

Shutterstock

Regardless of how long you’ve been with a person, one of the most important things in a relationship is ensuring that both you and your partner are happy. So, if you’ve found yourself in a predicament where your comfort is put in jeopardy and your partner is doing nothing to rectify the issue, psychologist Dara Bushman told Insider that this could definitely be something to drive your relationship to its end.

“When you first started dating, you felt connected and were having a great conversation that was very stimulating and soul-nourishing,” she said. “Over time though, you’ve began feeling a disconnect. The disconnect may not be the concern — it’s the partner’s aloofness, inability, or unwillingness to discuss what the disconnect is.”

“If you’ve approached the topic and your partner becomes guarded or even defensive, this could be a deal-breaker. Communication is foundational.”

They’ve changed their mind about having kids with you.

Another important topic that should be discussed before deciding to go the long haul with a potential mate, is whether or not you see kids in your future together.

But if one of you has second thoughts or is on the totally different side than you are, according to Bushman, that should totally be a deal-breaker.

“Another big deal-breaker is someone changing their stance on having kids with you,” she said. “If you wish to have children while your partner already has children — or even if you’re both childless — and they were initially open to creating a family together, but after some time decide against, this can be crushing. They may seem great on paper and you even convince yourself you can make do without your own children for a bit. After a while, however, you may realize that the lack of flexibility from your partner is more than just about not wanting more children. A real and lasting relationship would find compromise.”

They have a tendency to cancel plans at the last minute.

Few things are worse than making plans with someone and then having them cancel at the last minute. And, if that repeat offender just happens to be the person that you’re in a relationship with, it could very well be the reason why you’re considering ending things with them.

“Having spontaneity in a relationship is good, but if your guy or girl is always canceling at the last minute to do something that ‘just came up,’ that’s a deal-breaker,” matchmaker Bonnie Winston told Insider. “It shows they do not respect your time, your plans and your interests. For example, if the person blows you off without much notice for something like a sports thing with their friends, that’s a deal-breaker.”

You are not on the same page when it comes to finances.

During the initial dating phase, how your partner chooses to spend their money may not be that big of a deal.

As you start to grow in your relationship, however, it could become more of a focal point and if you’re not on the same page, it could cause a lot of friction.

“Not being close to or on the same page concerning spending money is a deal-breaker and many cannot get over the strain of finances,” Winston said. “Additionally some people feel being consistently cheap with everything, bad tipping, or rudeness to waiters is a deal-breaker as it indicates that someone is just not generous in other areas.”

They’re showing a lack of interest.

Although it seems like a simple thing to note as a deal-breaker, many people ignore the signs when there’s a lack of interest from their partner, and according to Winston, it may not always be as simple to spot as you think.

“If one partner makes the other partner feel unattractive, divvys out criticism of the way one dresses, comments on weight, or other things like that, it can come off as if they are not interested,” she told Insider. “Likewise, if one person always talks about themselves and never shows interest in you, your life, your job, your friends, or your family, that can, and probably should be, seen as a deal-breaker.”

You don’t have the same values.

couple selfie

Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images

When you choose your partner, you should consider all aspects of the person, and that includes comparing their values to yours. Do they see eye to eye on values like integrity, ambition, love of family, and other things important to you?

“Attraction and chemistry are great, but what happens when looks fade and the spark wears off?” Rachel DeAlto, a Match.com relationship expert, told Insider. “If your potential partner differs significantly on a core value, the relationship can be doomed.”

When they get upset, they fight dirty.

DeAlto also said that if you’re with someone that talks down to you or treats you poorly when you are having a disagreement, you may want to reconsider the reason behind continuing the relationship.

“Everyone gets angry on occasion, and sometimes we even say terrible things we don’t mean,” she explained. “The deal-breaker arises, however, when people get nasty during every argument — name-calling, gaslighting, and failing to listen are all traits that lead to misery in a relationship.”

It’s important to note that these can also be the signs of a potentially abusive relationship too. Your partner should never make you feel unsafe and if they do, exiting the relationship should be done with care and potentially with help from a professional and your loved ones.

They aren’t over their ex.

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Pixabay/stocknap

Although you may be super into someone, if they’re still hung up on someone else, you shouldn’t let that slide.

“You know when someone is still stuck in their past,” DeAlto said. “Their emotions are still high when they talk about them — positive or negative. Often they even admit they aren’t ready, but it’s rationalized away.”

There’s no sense of vision.

couple serious

Getty Images

For many people, lack of ambition or drive in a partner can be a huge turn-off. That doesn’t mean that it’s a deal-breaker for everyone. But according to relationship expert and dating adviser Jeffery L. Miller, it should be.

“Being a very determined and successful person and pairing with someone who is content can be detrimental to any relationship,” he said.

There’s a history of abuse with you or someone else.

couple fighting arguing

Getty Images

Whether physical, mental, emotional, or sexual, if you hear of someone being abused, it may seem like an easy fix to “just leave.”

Unfortunately though, Judy Ho, a psychologist and author of “Stop Self Sabotage,” told Insider that it’s not as easy as it seems, nor is it that simple to notice that it’s happening.

“Physical or sexual abuse are absolute deal-breakers in a relationship and occur more often than one might think,” Ho said.

“What is sometimes tougher to spot is psychological or emotional abuse. Sometimes this occurs alongside physical and/or sexual abuse but sometimes it can occur in isolation.”

She continued: “Emotional abuse can be extremely damaging. Some examples include extreme control, like tracking your whereabouts, demanding that you don’t spend time without them, and telling you that you are no good, worthless, and nothing without them. It can break someone down to the point that they don’t believe they deserve any better and therefore continue to stay in an abusive relationship. If this is happening in your relationship, it should be a deal-breaker.”

There’s a constant denial of a substance abuse problem or refusal to get help.

If you are with someone who is dealing with addiction, it can be tempting to stay with them. And while support from a partner can help people overcome addiction, if it’s taking a toll on you and they aren’t seeking help, it could be time to leave, Ho told Insider.

“There is no shame in suffering from such a disorder, but it can wreak havoc on a relationship — not to mention the person’s life in multiple domains like physical and mental health, work, and other social relationships,” she said. If someone refuses to seek help for their substance abuse, lies about their use, or you notice that the problem is getting worse over time, it’s a deal-breaker.”

 

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8 Warning Signs A Partner Doesn’t Respect You

Amelia recently sent me a link to a Tumblr that will absolutely gut you. It’s called When Women Refuse and it collects news article about women who became victims of violence after they tried to leave a male partner or rejected sexual advances. We know that violence is fundamentally about control and therefore the most dangerous time during an abusive relationship is when a person tries to leave. All too often, children and other bystanders are injured or killed, too. The statistics about abusive relationships show that they are frighteningly common. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four women and one in seven men over age 18 will be the victims of severe physical violence during their lifetime. Statistics also show that half of both men and women will experience “psychological aggression” by a partner during their lifetime. Stereotypes about what an “abused woman” is supposed to look like don’t do us any good because victims are all around us. They are our neighbors, our cousins, our sisters, our coworkers, our friends. Abusive relationships thrive in part because over time, the pattern of the abuse becomes normal. The abuse starts with smaller areas of control and then escalates until it becomes reality, which the person on the inside may not even see. But even if we have not been in a textbook abusive relationship per se, I’m sure many of us have had moments with partner or a friend where he or she did something that felt wrong.

In the spirit of #YesAllWomen — which is drawing attention to the physical and sexual violence all women experience —  I want to share some warning signs that a partner or other person does not respect you, your boundaries, or your personal space. These are all anonymous, real world examples from me, my friends and co-workers.

1. He shows up at your work, class, or home unannounced and uninvited. He causes a scene until you acknowledge him.

“I had just broken up with my ex-boyfriend when he began consistently showing up at my place unannounced, screaming at me through my door until I showed my face.”

“[One guy] memorized my class schedule without telling me and would often meet me at my classroom to walk me to my next one, even when it meant he’d be late to his own. It felt stifling, but because he was ‘nice,’ I didn’t know how to tell him to stop.”

2. She refuses to leave your home when you ask her to go. Or he uses doors, locks, or his own physical strength to keep you from leaving the home.

“My boyfriend and I were in a fight in my apartment—a crazy screaming match. I told him he needed to leave immediately and he wouldn’t. I had to pick up the phone and dial 911 before he left.”

3. He tries to force sex though sexual assault, rape or coercion.

“In college, I had a crush on a South African tennis player who lived in my dorm. My aunt sent me homemade cookies and I took them up to his room to offer him one. He locked me in the room and said he wouldn’t let me leave until I gave him a blow job. I didn’t and he sat at his desk, eating all the cookies. I was crying, and finally his roommate came back and I grabbed whatever was left of my cookies and ran out. I didn’t report him, but thankfully other women did for similar instances, and he was asked to leave school. He moved back to South Africa before completing his sophomore year.”

“[There’s this thing where] you say you don’t want to do something sexual  — for example, anal — and he does it anyway and claims it was an accident. But it totally, totally wasn’t. This happened to a friend of mine, ugh.”

4. She puts you down. She tells you that you’re lucky to be with her.

“My ex-girlfriend was constantly making little comments about my weight vis a vis the food I ate and how often I worked out. She would make remarks like “Oh, you’re going to eat that? I thought you were trying to lose weight.” She also complained when I cut and colored my hair (I liked my hair!) and bought me new clothes that she encouraged me to wear. It was almost like she wanted to dress me up herself, as if how I looked reflected on her. The kicker was when she told me that I was lucky to be with her. The implication was that no one else would want me.”

5. He tries to control your friendships (i.e. he isolates you from other people).

“I was not allowed to have my own male friends unless he was also friends with them, and under no circumstance was I to hang out with any of them by myself without him.”

“A guy that I was friends with in high school invited us both to a party at his place. My ex freaked out because he thought this guy had a crush on me. He’d never even met the guy before but he just assumed he must want to hang out because he wanted me. He basically wouldn’t let us go to the party because he thought it would signal to the guy that I was ‘interested.’ It was so ridiculous.”

6. She refuses to let you have privacy, such as reading your texts, emails and IMs.

“[She was] demanding to know my Facebook/phone passwords.”

7. He threatens to hurt himself if you don’t do what he wants or otherwise manipulates you into believing his behavior is your fault.

“He threatened to kill himself by driving off a bridge (and calling me from the car to make me believe him) if I broke up with him.”

8. She ignores “no.”

“I think there can be really little signs in the way a partner treats your body and responds to the word “no.” For example, continuing to tickle you even when you’re begging her to stop and your tone has clearly turned serious instead of fun and flirty; making comments about what you’re wearing/should wear that make you feel weird or uncomfortable; pushing you REALLY hard to do things that scare you instead of respecting your boundaries.”

If you think you are in an abusive relationship, you can get more information from the National Domestic Violence HotlineSafe Horizon, or Love Is Respect.

 

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5 Early Warning Signs Of An Abusive Relationship

https://va.topbuzz.com/s/pjNRR

 

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7 Things That Count as Verbal Abuse During a Fight With Your Partner & 5 Things That Don’t

http://va.topbuzz.com/s/hUhSQcp

 

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4 Red Flags Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship That You Might Not Spot At First

 

Here’s another contribution by one of my female followers. Always informative.

I’ve been lucky enough to never have had partner put their hands on me. I came from a family where the threat of physical violence was always there and so I swore that if I ever found myself in another physically abusive relationship, I would leave it immediately. It was my red line in the sand. However, when it came to emotional abuse, as it turned out, I wasn’t as prepared; I didn’t know how to spot the red flags of an emotionally abusive relationship. Some might be obvious, but others are much more subtle — but every bit as damaging.

I’ve had a partner who messed with my head by repeating a cycle of love-bombing and withdrawing so that I never could feel secure. And one whose gaslighting twisted up my psyche so hard, it took months of therapy to feel like myself again. And another partner who constantly critiqued my body from head to toe, out of “love” and “concern” — which was absolute bullshit. None of these behaviors were as glaring as, say, a slap or a push, but the lingering emotional scars were just as real. Fortunately, all of these relationships ended and with each one I learned new important lessons that would serve me as I moved forward and found better partners.

If any of this sounds familiar, or you suspect you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, here’s what you should be looking out for.

 

1. Your partner is casually manipulative.

Manipulation — a technique in which someone uses dishonest or misleading means of getting what they want — plays a big role in emotionally abusive relationships.

Because emotional abuse stems ultimately from a place of selfishness and entitlement, they are less inclined to compromise, and manipulation is the best way to get what they want regardless of the effect it has on their partner.

“Manipulation is second nature to emotionally abusive partners,” warns relationship expert and matchmaker Alessandra Conti of Matchmakers In The City. “It is just the way that they are used to communicating so that they are not held accountable for their actions.”

One of the most common forms of manipulation is gaslighting, which is when someone manipulates you into questioning your own sanity. “When a [partner] makes you second-guess your interactions with them, or makes you feel guilty for something that was objectively their fault, you may have a seasoned emotional abuser on your hands.”

One of the ways that this manifests is that you may begin blaming yourself for everything wrong in the relationship. If this is happening, Conti says it’s time to take step back and recognize that your partner may actually intentionally “planting these unsettling emotions within your psyche.”

 

2. Your partner feels entitled to all of your time.

It’s totally natural to want to spend a lot of time with your partner, especially early on in the relationship when it seems impossible that you could ever get enough of each other. But that becomes a problem when you need to do other things or just would like a little space and your partner finds that unacceptable. They may insist you spend time with them or guilt you into abandoning other plans. This isn’t love, it’s control, and it’s totally unhealthy for the relationship.

“Having your own autonomy is so critical to not only your overall happiness, but for your relationship’s as well,” explains Kali Rogers, a licensed therapist and founder of Blush Online Life Coaching.

So don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries and having time for yourself. Anyone who doesn’t accept that is not a partner who makes your needs and happiness a priority.

 

3. Their “passion” makes you feel bad about yourself.

Passion is something we crave and want in a relationship. It makes your feel alive, wanted, and reaffirmed. However, sometimes unhealthy things can hide behind a veneer of “passion.” There are so many examples of false passion in movies and books like Fifty Shades or Twilight that it’s easy to confusion obsession and control for passion. But here’s how you tell the difference. Passion feels good. If it doesn’t, it ain’t passion, it’s abuse.

But what does that mean in practice? Conti gives the following example: “He loves me so much, and that is why he freaks out at me if a guy looks at me when I am walking down the street. Or he loves me so much and that is why he tells me that I look like a slut when I am wearing a dress.” Jealousy is not a compliment.

 

4. They frequently put you (or your friends and family) down.

Emotional abusers tend to undermine their partners. Their thinking is the lower your self-esteem is, the easier it is to maintain control of you. Conti explains, “When your SO makes underhanded, negative comments about your weight or physical appearance, or highlights your weaknesses consistently, they are attempting to tear you down so that you will become dependent on their praise and assurances. These little comments will often be offset by compliments, which can be a total mind game.”

Along these same lines, emotional abusers will also target your friends and family, or anyone in your support system. Relationship coach Monica Parikh of School of Love NYC says the do this because “the goal is to isolate you from your support network, making you an easy target for emotional manipulation and abuse.” It’s a highly effective one-two punch of undermining your self-esteem and distancing you from anyone who could offer support and bolster your self-worth.

Here’s how to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship.

While all of the things your abusive partner does to keep you in an abusive partner’s control can make it seem impossible to get out of the situation, it’s not. You can get out. You are strong enough and you deserve better.

YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH AND YOU DESERVE BETTER.

If you’ve come to the realization that your relationship is emotionally abusive, Conti advises that it’s time to seek the help of a professional. “Research the different therapists within your healthcare plan, and select one that is nearby and commit to going and being brutally honest about your situation,“ she says. But if going to a therapist isn’t an option for you, don’t worry you, still have options. “You can also call your local church, temple, etc. where they can usually provide you with local organizations who will help you for free,” adds Conti.

The National Domestic Abuse Violence Hotline is a toll-free, 24/7 service that can connect you to a trained advocate. Dial 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to reach help via the phone or use their live chat.

Most importantly, you need to consider your safety. While not all emotionally abusive partners will become physically dangerous, it’s a possbility you should be aware of. Conti advises protecting yourself by “alerting your friends and family about your situation, and if you have a trusted neighbor, you can even let them know that you are going through a breakup, just so they can be an extra set of eyes.”

Ending a relationship is never easy, especially with an emotionally abusive partner, but you can do it. You deserve better and the first step in achieving that is believing and setting yourself free.

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Signs of Abusive Relationships

Are you in an abusive relationship which affects your freedom, curtails your independence and spoils the entire happiness of life? Are you well equipped with the knowledge and information on the ways of recognizing when the partner turns into abusive? Many people go on moving ahead with abusive partners as they misunderstand the abusive behavior of the partners as possessiveness, extra care or over affection.

But it is, in fact, an abnormality in relationships and if not realized in time and mended in the way it should be, abusive behavior can spoil the relationship and affect the entire peaceful atmosphere of life itself. Certain people misconceive abusiveness as physical attack or dominance. But in fact, abuse can be emotional, psychological, financial sexual or physical.

Psychologists reveal that many a time, abusive behavior is the result of imbalanced or unstable mentalities of the partner. When he/ she takes control over the partner or tries to express the affection excessively, it may become abusive. Abusive relationships are unhealthy and destructive for both the partners in relationships. There are certain visible signs of abusive relationships.

Signs of Abusive Relationships

Being Over Possessive

Being over possessive is the most obvious sign of abusive partner. Possessiveness is part of every relationship and it is a must-to-have factor of relationships. But in certain cases, the partner may become excessively possessive, even to the extent of obstructing the freedom and forgetting the dignity of the partner.

An over possessive partner may keep the track of your time and demand you to inform each and every movement of yours to the partner. In the modern world every human person, male or female, may need to interact with many people and move around many places. If the partner insists you to inform or get permission from him/her to do everything in life, then it’s a kind of abuse. They may try to cut off all your social contacts and restrict you to even meet your friends and relatives.

Frequently Accusing

If your partner accuses you for every ill-happening in life, then he/she is exhibiting the sign of abusive relationship. They may always look you through the glasses of suspicion and may not let you take your own decisions. Many a times, the accusing may occur because of abnormal levels of affection and the partner is afraid or doubtful of your ability to perform certain actions. Whenever something goes wrong, he/she may assume that it is because of your inability, the mistake occurred.

Multiple Affairs

Having multiple affairs and being unfaithful to you in life is abusive, of course. Relationships mean mutual respect, understanding and faithfulness. A person in true relationship should consider the partner as one and only person in life, not just one among many. Having multiple affairs may make a person less committed and less affectionate.

Improper Criticism and Public Teasing

It is been observed that abusive partner may criticize improperly with a mind of destructing the partner. When somebody criticizes the partner unwontedly or tease the person before friends or strangers, then he/she is trying to implement the authority over the person in the most undesirable way. This is an obvious sign of abusive relationship.

Physical Abuses

Physical abuses like slapping, hitting, threatening etc., are most visible signs of improper relationship. People get into relationships not to be controlled over or dominated over. Instead of loving, caring and sharing, if any partner gets into physical threatening, then the relationship is to be ended. No one, even the life partner has rights over a person to abuse him/her physically. When a person gets into such activities, it is to be taken seriously and retained from such relationships at the earliest possible opportunity.

Sexual Abuses

Many people suffer from sexual abuses in relationships. Sex is not the aim of relationships, but only a means to attain happiness in relationships. The advised mode of sex is which gives happiness and satisfaction mutually. Many people get into the concept that any sexual activity is accepted in relationships. Many a time women become prey of weird fantasy of male partners. Everything sexual activity is accepted in relationships provided both the partners enjoy it. What is against this is abuse and to be resisted and avoided.

 

 

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My Young Life: 5th Grade – 1973

“I’ve never raised my voice or my hand to my daughter, Lorelei.”

When I started writing this blog some poser took several shots at me about how vacuous my work was, and I was new to writing a blog. I took it hard. She said how I objectified women and missed the point. She told me how I needed to get to myself. I placated her and knew at that time I was a new writer. I was just trying to find my way.  She was mean and told me I sucked.

I was just trying to create again after 10 years and wanted to tell my stories. It really hurt me and gave me a lot of anxiety.

I was new to this and was super sensitive to writing again, especially in a public forum.

I took her negative comments to heart and felt the pain of maybe not going on.

I had no idea where this journey would take me. But I pressed on with the support of friends.

It was a mean attack and I knew I needed to armor up. She said I needed to show my real life on phicklephilly.

Loyal readers, I know you follow my blog and know what’s going on in my life, but I have been wanting to reveal some tales from my past that I want to tell…. so here we are.

Back in the early 70’s when I was in grade school. I wasn’t the best student. Was I smart? Sure, plenty. But maybe I was ADD and didn’t know it. Maybe not. But I had a very creative and artistic mind. School bored me. I would talk in class and get in trouble for causing a disruption. I wasn’t a bad kid, but just a bit of a clown.

My teacher, Miss Brown sent a note home to my mother about my talking in class. This pissed my mother off. I can see this now as a parent but when you’re a kid you don’t see anything but what’s right in front of you.

Miss Brown was a nice lady. Think about this. She was a twenty-something black woman teaching fifth grade in an all white school (except for the black kids they bused in) in an all white neighborhood in the early 70’s. I should have behaved myself and paid attention and been a better student just out of respect of this woman’s achievement.

My mother asked that the teacher let her know on a weekly basis if I was talking in class. She even employed my sister April to deliver the messages each week. Because she knew I wouldn’t do that. I’m not falling on my own sword for anybody.

My mother said if the note came back and it said that I was talking, she would slap me right in the mouth.

We got spanked as kids. I got it the most from both parents because I was the boy and got into the most trouble. Most of my lickings came from my father. But we’ll save that for a different post.

First week note comes home. Didn’t talk in class. All good. I’m on my way to becoming a model prisoner.

Second week, note comes home. Says I did talk.

Mom takes me upstairs. Makes me sit on the edge of her bed. I’m nine years old. I’m crying. I’m afraid. I’m just a little guy. She’s bigger and stronger than I am.

If you hit anyone in this world as an adult you can get in a lot of trouble. You could be arrested and/or sued. But it’s perfectly okay to hit a child that belongs to you. Nobody can do a thing about it and you won’t get in trouble. That child can’t defend himself because that would be a problem. If I waited for her to go to bed and then snuck in there and beat in her skull with her iron, I’d be institutionalized. And please those thoughts never entered my mind. I’m just making a comparison here. I loved my mom and I knew what I was doing wrong in class I just couldn’t help it. I was just being a dumb kid.

So I’m trying to cover my face and I’m crying my eyes out in fear, and my mother just holds down my hands and with her free one slams me across the mouth as hard as she can.  She gets up and walks out of the room. I don’t know if she said anything.

I bet she wished she could have done that to my father a few times for all the shit he pulled over the years.

Later my dad comes home and sees me.

“What happened to your lip?” (I had a fat lip by then.)

“I talked out of turn in class and mom hit me in the mouth.”

“Oh.”

He didn’t say anything else.

I stayed out of sight until dinnertime.

Nothing else was said about it and the notes immediately stopped to my teacher.

I don’t know if my behavior improved in class after that. I don’t remember much else from that period of my life.

I know other boys in my neighborhood got spanked by their parents. Boys are tough rambunctious souls. My friend Michael and his brother Jimmy both got the belt from their father. The sick cycle of violence and corporal punishment trickles down into the children. Jimmy would beat up Michael to disperse his rage. Michael in turn having no one to act out on would kick his dog Greta. He loved his dog and would cry after kicking her but told me had nothing to do with his anger and helplessness at the hands of his captors.

My other friend Wayne and his brother Dale would be chased through the house by their mother and beaten with their Hot Wheels tracks. Hot Wheels were these beautiful little metal cars by Mattel. The tracks were in three foot sections and were orange in color. He told me his mother would leave in the purple connecting piece in the end just to give her weapon of choice a little more bite.

Michael and I would laugh about this because although we were both being physically abused in fairly traditional methods, Wayne and his brother were being beaten with their own toys!

I remember seeing her chase them through the house with the track when we were over there sometimes so I knew the struggle was real. I wondered later would this sort of punishment develop into some sort of S&M fetsh during auto racing events for Wayne?

Of course I know these things because boys share things when their together. I remember Michael saying that his parents hit him because they loved him. I agreed. How sick is that? They beat us because they cared about us and if they didn’t that would mean they didn’t love us. Crazy right?

But our parents were good, decent people who came up in their own struggles during a different time. I remember my mom telling me her mother had a cat o nine tail that she would go after her four sons with. That’s like a real instrument of torture. Where the hell did she even get that thing?

She told me one day her brothers got tired of the beating/whippings and two of them took it out into the woods and buried it. Buried it! Just to make sure it was never found or somehow ever came back!

My mother once told me she was doing the dishes with her mother and her mom told her something and my mother who was around 18 at the time, smirked and did a “hrph” in response. Her mother, my Nana, simply backhanded her so hard in the face it dropped her to the kitchen floor.

Rage much, Nana?

I would bet you this week’s paycheck that every kid that became a bully and picked on me or anybody else was being physically and mentally abused by their parents. Mostly their fathers.

It’s just so sad. It definitely screws you up as a person and leaves and indelible mark.

Here you are this person trying to live your own messed up existence and you’re blessed with this beautiful little life form you call your child. You get the power to download all of your fucked up shit right into that pure little vessel and ruin it.

My father worshiped his father. His father didn’t give a shit about him. He’d rather be down at the tap room drinking with his buddies. I never worshiped my father. For the most part I was afraid of him. My mother and I were both victims of his wrath.

I suffered from depression and anxiety. I expressed it in my art and music. I would say my father suffered from OCD and high anxiety but in reality all of the people closest to him suffered. I treated my anxiety by throwing up and walking towards the things that scared me instead of running away. I never took medicine for any of my defects. I just worked through them and beat them all.

I used to be at war with my demons. Now we’re all on the same side.

My father had high anxiety so he would use rage to dissipate the fear. It actually works but you never fix the problem and evolve as a person. He was a very good man but had some fucked up wiring in his head his whole life.

Sad thing is, if you don’t evolve as you get older, your weaknesses and defects come in and take you. You’re done. You belong to them now.

My father never smoked or drugged or drank a lot, because he said he never wanted anything to own him. (Addiction) Addiction can be managed by some but not many. Little did he know that he was already the property of his OCD and anxiety and never fixed himself. Poor thing.

My mom had her own stuff from her childhood too. But she didn’t talk about it much. I think her dad was a good looking fair haired man who worked in sales. (Sounds familiar.) I also think he was a drunk. Times were tough during the Depression.

I told you I was going to get to all of me in this blog.

Thank you for sticking with me and riding out the journey. There are plenty of stories and the stuff from California will blow your mind. I promise.

I’d like to hear anybody else’s thoughts and comments on the subject of child abuse.

Let me close with this statement. If you are bullied by anyone even a parent you don’t have to become them. Embrace their good qualities, not their mistakes, because then history will simply repeat itself and we won’t evolve as a species.

“I’ve never raised my voice or my hand to my daughter, Lorelei.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am EST.

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