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But I'M NOT BITTER...
The Goddess of battle, strife, and destruction explains it all for you
by bon

Despite our best efforts to dissuade you, many of you have still decided to write to us with your problems, complaints and crises of the moment. We don't have a trained therapist on staff, and this isn't "Dear F*ckin' Abbey", but we DO have Bonnie, who has graciously volunteered her time and heartless perspectives in order to minister to (or macerate) the misguided, with "Dear Fuckin' Bon..."


April 17, 2003

Dear Bon,

I have this friend who constantly has problems in her marriage. She is always crying about his abuse, both verbal and physical. He won't let her have a group of friends, won't let her go out to dance or have coffee. He is very controlling and very demeaning.

The horrible thing is that she knows all of this. She knows that he is ruining her life, and I have to sit here and listen to it. She has told me everything that he has done, from cheating to gambling to treating her like a dish rag.

They have two children together and I am getting really sick and tired of her always using them as the excuse to stay with him. Like that is the best thing for them. Her son will learn to hate and mistreat women and her daughter will learn that that is how women deserve to be treated.

I find the whole thing pathetic. She was out once. But couldn't handle the pressure of him always calling and sicking his and her family on her, so she went right back to that kind of life just to shut everyone up.

She is a good person, but very spineless. She keeps saying...next time he cheats and next time he blows his whole check on gambling and next time he screams at me for grocery shopping by myself, or going for a coffee,...I will leave.

WHATEVER.

I am really sick of this. Is there some way we can hook this type of woman up to a de-programming machine? Does that exist???

She needs to shape up. They all do. All these women who think "he will change", "it's not so bad", "at least he doesn't hit the kids", blah blah blah...

I am far from a man hater. I just hate the ones who treat their cars and dogs better than their wives and others in society. ALL THESE CREEPS SHOULD GET A HUGE DOSE OF THEIR OWN MEDICINE.

Thanx for listening...

Sick of the Whining

*sigh*

Dear Sick of it,
Face up to the fact that she's not unhappy enough to DO something about it. I know that you said that she left at one point, but she didn't stay gone. You mention "physical" abuse, but you don't really mention to what extent the abuse is physical. I can't imagine her family harassing her to go back to him if he is physically abusive. I'm not minimizing how destructive verbal and emotional abuse are, but once it has crossed the line to physical, there are legal steps that can be taken, and if she decides that she does really want to leave, you can help and support her in finding resources, if you feel that you can do so. Incidentally, if he's hitting her, it's usually just a matter of time before the children will also be physically abused.

That said, you need to decide how much of it you're willing to listen to. You sound much more irritated than concerned, and while I don't blame you, if you're getting that impatient with her it's time for you to set some boundaries around what part YOU will play in this continuing whinefest, or start to avoid her. You sarcastically mention "deprogramming" but in fact she must want to change enough to take some steps (and stick with them) to look for information and help, and start to become more independent so she can move on. If she decides to save herself (and her children), you can help her find legal and safe resources to assist her in getting away and starting out on her own with her kids (counselors, legal info., women's centers or shelters in your or nearby towns or cities). In the meantime, I suggest you tell her that until she is willing to do something for herself and her children, you don't want to hear her sob stories. (Note: "Staying for the children" is the stupidest excuse ever, since children learn what they see parents living. If she wants to help her children, she'll get them out of a negative or abusive environment).

In short, the only thing you can do until she decides she wants to do something (anything) to change her life is decide to not listen to the whining. Verbally cut her off when she complains but hasn't done anything about it, or cut her out of your time and if necessary, your life. It's not as heartless (har) as it sounds, since anything else is tacit encouragement for her to continue to sit in her shit and cry about it to you at the same time. As a friend, you can and should choose to not encourage that.

You also need to ascertain how much of a friendship the two of you have at this point, and how much time and energy you genuinely have for her. You sound really impatient and irritated, and she won't need to hear that if she starts to work on her stuff. At that point, your leftover feelings will be yours to deal with, it won't be the time to work that through with her. Don't offer any help or support that you don't have the strength and patience to follow through with, as she can easily become dependent on you under the circumstances (and if she chooses to act, she will need to be able to count on her supports, and she has a right to). She needs to become independent, not transfer her dependence/helplessness to you, but she may need a lot of help during the initial process. Make healthy boundaries and stand firm, and give her as much friendship and support as you honestly have to give. Good luck, I hope it works out for her and for your friendship.

bon


Copyright© Bonnie & Heartless Bitches International (heartless-bitches.com) 2000
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