TOXIC ATTENTION: THE JEALOUS BFF

Katy Perry gives Rihanna the ol' side-eye.

Katy Perry gives Rihanna the ol’ side-eye.

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

My girlfriend Josie used to be sooooo cool.  But in the last three months though she has  became the biggest bitch going. We were best friends.  Truly, I love the girl. I helped her get a job in my office and we even live together.  I’m not saying she has to be slavishly thankful. But ever since Todd (the football player she likes) gave her the old razzmatazz and blew her off she’s a different woman.  Now she is so two-faced, making comments implying I’m some sort of slut just because guys like me, especially my actual boyfriend Scott.  Sorry Todd’s just not into you.  Josie’s now the biggest attention seeker going. Always lectures me on how I’m eating the wrong thing and how I am sure to get fat. She flirts with every guy with her vapid baby talk. Then storms off when she doesn’t get attention.  She stalks me and inserts herself into all my conversations, interrupting to say how she likes the colors we’re wearing and taking pictures of me and whomever I’m with (!!!). She gets wasted at parties, breaking lights off the walls, taking her top off and running around in her bra. Now she’s trying to split me and my boyfriend Scott up because she “wants me to keep my options open.” Gee, thanks for your concern. I am running out of patience.  When will my old BFF come back?

-Petrissa Q. 

Hatin'.

Hatin’.

You know that movie Single White Female?  Well, meet Single Black Female.  My boss and I are the same type — Black women in our 20s.  Except I’m a size 4 and pretty (you better be if you want a decent guy in Manhattan). My boss is a big girl, with a big nose, droopy breasts from yo-yo dieting and a bigger ego.  Because of her job title and salary she really thinks she ought to have the best of everything, especially guys.  But the only way she can is to pay for a guy — give a broke musician a place to stay, give a bar guy in Jamaica or Dominican Republic spending money or marry an ex-con mechanic.  Not. My. Fault. But I’m tired of her insisting on tagging along when I go out for drinks or clubbing.  We’re not actually friends and she’s just using me to meet men.

-Alexa K. 

WARNING SIGNS

liono

This person is a little self-hating stalker.  She is no longer a genuine friend.  Don’t be fooled — she’s a little bit in love with you and even wants your attention.  Maybe even all your attention. But right now, she hates you more than she loves you.  And she is actively seeking to hurt you

Will it rise to the level of physical violence? Time will tell.  But the undermining, gossip and innuendo will cost you at work and in your personal life.  Whether on the cheerleading squad, in the sorority, in your neighborhood, yoga class or job.

The aggression is real.  The hater hopes you are weak and will believe her negative comments.  She dreams that you will internalize her hateful bullshit.  From nasty gossip to throwing shade, eye-rolling and sucking teeth, you can’t ignore these assaults.  They are meant to trouble, hurt and intimidate you.

It’s not a surprise when, despite her criticisms she starts talking, acting and dressing like you.  Your haircut, handbag, cut of jeans.  It’ll get much weirder before it gets done.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

As much as you can, cut this hater off.  Cut down on the information she knows about you.  Supply preposterous misinformation to make the shit she talks about you baseless and non-sensical. Tell her your arms and legs are prosthetic, you found out your family is really from Russia, tell her you’re an alien, tell her you’re wearing a wig/ weave, tell her this is not your real name, etc.

As long as the bad behavior persists, make clear to others that she is no longer your bestie and that you do not accept or co-sign her behavior.  Stop socializing with her as an automatic part of your clique.

Every time your hater says something bitchy, say “That’s not a very nice thing to say. Would you like it if I did or said something like that to you?”

Alternately, when your hater seeks attention, completely ignore her, walk away, talk to someone else – don’t even comment. And keep it moving.

Attention seekers love being the focus of attention. When they don’t get any attention, they get bored. Sooner or later they find a new target. Trust me, they don’t see you as a human being, they just see you as a tool to gratify them with attention. You’ll get rid of her sooner or later.

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THE MAN ON THE WEDDING CAKE

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

On March 8, 2012, author and former music video model Karrine “Superhead” Steffans posted a diatribe about a husband on her Twitter account. (She and her real-life husband are currently separated.) After having dated Bill Maher, Jay-Z, Vin Diesel, Fred Durst, Lil’ Wayne, Russell Simmons and Bobby Brown, Steffans married an regular non-celebrity guy.  She is a Mom. Here are some of her rants about marriage:

Sometimes, in relationships, the pleasure is all theirs. Alone, I am a superhero. With you, I am a mere mortal. You deplete me. I’m tired of being your upgrade. We are not equally yoked. You really deserve someone more basic. I’m tired of pretending your mediocracy is okay with me. I’m tired of pretending I don’t miss G650′s. I’m tied of pretending you’re not a burden.  I’m tired of pretending I don’t deserve a f***ing BOSS! I’m tired of you driving my car. Stop telling me you love me as if you’re doing me some sort of favor. I don’t need you to love me. I love me. I’m tired of pretending like you shouldn’t be intimidated by the other men in my life. Cuz you should. I’m tired of pretending as if I support your bullshit dreams. I’m tired of pretending your d*** isn’t the smallest d*** I’ve ever seen in my life. Cuz it is. I’m tired of pretending your favorite rapper didn’t just beat it up on Friday. I’m tired of paying for everything. I’m tired of you taking all this s*** for granted as if you ever deserved any of it. Give me my Mac back. For real tho. I’m tired of washing your wack ass clothes. I hate your whole face. I’m tired of acting like the sex is good.I hate when you roll all the way over onto my side of the bed to hold me. I’m over here for a reason. Did I mention I’m tired of paying for everything? Okay. I’m tired of giving you the game. I’m tired of pretending you’re anything more than a bum. I should’ve just hired you as a cook and kept it moving. I’m tired of congratulating you for accomplishing minuscule s***. I’m tired of you begging.

I’m tired of moaning when I can’t feel anything! I’m tired of having to think about someone else to get off. I’m tired of having to lock my phone when you’re around. I’m tired of taking showers with you. Can I get a moment! Damn! Yes. He’s better than you. Next question. All night. ‘Til 6 in the morning. Next question. Yes. And I didn’t have to pay for none of it. Next question. Presidential suite. Next question. About 10 inches. Next question.69. Next question. Like a boss. Next question. Balls deep. Next question. I’m tired of having to pretend you’re not the 3rd worst decision I’ve ever made. You should really be with that one chick who bagged our groceries this weekend. That’s more your speed.

BLIND GOSSIP 03/07

In a case where one half of a couple makes substantially more than the other, who pays for the engagement ring? Well, in the case of these three engaged couples where the woman has the bigger paycheck, it certainly wasn’t the future groom. The first couple went directly to the jeweler and cut a deal for a very impressive diamond sparkler. They worked out an arrangement where the couple agreed to make x number of mentions of the jeweler in the press for a 50% discount. Then the female half of the couple paid the balance in cash. The second couple tried harder than anyone to try to talk multiple jewelers into a free ring. When no one would agree to the freebie, she simply turned to her future fiance and said, “Here’s the money. You know what I like. Now, go get me the biggest fucking diamond you can.” The third couple knew ahead of time that they were getting engaged, and she knew exactly what she wanted. Because she likes to control everything, she picked out the ring in a secret private buying session with the jeweler, where they settled on a price. Then she later gave the money to the boyfriend, who went to the store to pay for the ring. Of course she pretended that she had no idea that there was a ring coming, that she was thrilled with her fiance’s taste, and that she was so impressed that he paid for the ring himself. So, when you see those shining baubles on the ring fingers of these lucky stars, you now know that in all three cases, the future groom didn’t have to lay out his own cash… but that he still gets to look like he’s a generous man with good taste.
first couple: Kim Kardashian
second couple: Nicole “Snooki” Pollizzi
third couple: Natalie Portman

WARNING SIGNALS

Women are bombarded daily with tales to make us want to marry our Prince Charming.  A lot of guys are charming in spades with nary a speck of prince.  We can be so blinded by our dream wedding marrying goal that we may not see the steer we are yoking ourselves to until it is sitting in our condo, on our couch, watching our flatscreen and demanding spending money from our account.  And that’s great if it is indeed what you want with your eyes open.

Too often we don’t hear about a guy’s tax lien, obsession with controlling, bad credit, retirement account depleted by divorce, disdain for working or entitlement to our material wealth until the marriage license is signed and we are pregnant.

Again, it could be a perfect scenario if you want control of your husband and his dependency on you.  Eyes wide open, my dears.  Because I’m though still not sure what Jessica Alba’s husband Cash Warren does for a living, she seems happy with their arrangement.  And so does he.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

We know how Kim Kardashian’s marriage turned out. She balked at him moving his stuff into her LA home.  Now, according to published articles,  he’s demanding $7 million to forego embarrassing her in divorce court.  Heidi Klum would have been happy bankrolling her family life if Seal could have been happy for her to work while he stayed home with the kids.  In the end, neither of these famous couple could negotiate the right balance.

Maybe neither wife knew her husband and his priorities and b**ch-ass side well enough before they walked down the aisle.

The “man on the wedding cake” was a smidgen of the real-life burden marriage brought into these women’s lives. Also a smidgen of the blessings.

Not the end of the world but definitely worth considering.  Take your time. Ask your questions.  Consider a pre-nup.

Food for thought.

WITHHOLDING – BAD LOVER

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LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION Gerald is such a catch.  Tall, athletic, successful as a TV host/ party promoter and close to his family.  He was very passionate with me at first but now … I don’t know if it’s work stress … Continue reading

CORRECTING

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LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION My significant other Casey is a fact-hound of sorts.  He’s a library of information about history, astrology, animal species and TV. It’s a lot of pressure to hold conversations with him because he over-examines and nitpicks everything … Continue reading

DE-VALUING

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

The moment I knew it was over was when my husband told me his favorite musical in the whole world was “Phantom of the Opera.” I had just performed in a production of “Phantom of the Opera” that he hadn’t bothered coming to see.

-Barbara J.

So my boyfriend Mitch asked me to marry him and I am considering it.  But he’s the constant criticizer of women’s looks.  This one woman is too fat for that outfit, that coed has “cankles,”  that lady has too high an opinion of her looks and shouldn’t try to dress young. No matter the beauty, achievement or irrelevancy to his existence, Mitch is hardwired to attack women’s looks. His repeat joke is, “Why are all this nickels acting like dimes?”  Meaning, why do women he rates as a “5” acting like “10”s?  Oh, and I’m a prime target, too.  Interspersed between “I love you” and “I’m so happy with you” are the smart remarks.  His new riff is:”Once your looks go, what’ll you have?  You’re lucky I really love you.” Today, it was, “I’m so glad my babydoll doesn’t have a line on her face. At least, not now.”  This from a man who is 5’9″ and looks like he swallowed a basketball.

-Isabel R.

WARNING SIGNALS

The subtle neglect.  Routinely overlooking your need for acknowledgement. The constant critical gaze.   The bottomless fountain of insult.  The one-way magnifying glass.

Let’s be clear: this is not an accident and it is not benign.  Your loved one puts these negative ideas and actions in motion to hurt you and destabilize your confidence. He wants to worry you?  De-valuing you gives him power.

Why?  Your paranoia and lowered self-esteem increases your need for him.

De-valuing is a key weapon in the arsenal of an Emotional Abuser.  It may not be 100% of the relationship 100% of the time but it’s there to gnaw away at your psyche.

In an emotionally abusive relationship, your lover systematically tries to control you by:

1. Undermining your confidence, worthiness, growth, or trust
2. Manipulating you with shame or fear.

Idealize.  De-value.  Reject.

What attracted them at first is now devalued like a child taking a toy away from another child.  You the abused are then supposed to work to restore the previous value or feel you have disappointed your loved one. It is just another mind control game.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Talk to your loved one about how his/ her words impact you.  You may get the runaround.

Next, look around at the bookstore for helpful texts on the matter for you.  See if you loved one will read for the sake of your relationship.

You can always rebutt each individual comment or hurtful action.  But you don’t want to amp up conflict — just defuse a hurtful dynamic.

Your lover may not even be conscious of de-valuing you — it may be what s/he grew up with as normal.

Make a good effort to raise their consciousness.  But protect yourself first and foremost.

And move on if you deem it the only solution to root out this soul-clawing dynamic.

I’M ACTUALLY GAY

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LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION I met handsome, studly, eligible Parker at a Young Professionals Mixer at the Summit Museum.  He was cute, charming, funny and friends of the Davis triplets so we arranged to meet for dinner.  He works in private … Continue reading

LOVE & ABUSE CYCLES

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

“Whenever Steve is irritated with me for trivial matters, he throws things.  If he gets my voicemail, if dinner isn’t ready yet, if I’m not looking at him when speaks to me, on and on.  Whether it’s a fork, a water bottle or a pillow, Steve scares me.  When I speak up against this behavior, he kisses me and says it’s only because he loves me so much.  If he loves me so much, why won’t he stop scaring me?”

           -Connie F.

“Dana and I went from being teammates on the high school basketball team, to best friends, to life partners.  We’ve been there for a lot of up & downs.  Her success and earnings have gone way beyond any fantasy — she rich, famous and beautiful.  She makes sure I’m never far from her but when any little thing goes wrong for her, she gets frustrated and tells me I’m not worth s***.  I’m too fat for her, I’m too dumb, too butch, am holding her back because I don’t earn her type money.  I can’t take it.  But if you really wanna she the stuff hit the fan, when I’ve tried to  break it off, she showers me with presents and sexes me up. But always pointing out nobody else would even want me. Which is the real Dana?”

          -Pam T.

WARNING SIGNS

You fight, he gets furious, throws silverware, says horrible mean things to you.  Maybe hits you.

She’s unhappy so takes her negative feelings out on you by repeatedly criticizing your life, pointing out your flaws and saying you’re worthless.

Soon afterward s/he turns into a comforting, sweet partner bestowing his kindness and affection on you.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Don’t fall for it: it’s the classic training program. The cruel words and violence are meant to bring your down and break your spirit. And the lovey-dovey act as the chaser & reward system. He screams at you, you tolerate it.

If you accept the abuse, you thereby have given him or her all the power.  S/he will continue to dominate you and  may reward you for submitting to it.  Usually, more mental and physical abuse is all you get.

Smart money is on getting out if you can.  Be friends, if possible, but do not let this fool hold sway over your self-worth.