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.

“GIRLFRIEND” = THE B.S. TITLE

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

My boyfriend Ward is a successful songwriter and DJ.  He’s signed to Young Money and he behaves like the Prince song: he wants to be my lover, my mother, my brother, my sister too, and my father. I’m so lucky that Ward supports me while I finish college and medical school.  Ward swears he’s a good Christian and focused on family.  He’s a great boyfriend  and we’re gonna get engaged at Christmas.  Ward claims he has the ultimate respect for me as his girlfriend.  Then why do I have crabs? 

-Sheila M.

My boyfriend Rajiv is very smart — the Cornell grad is going to be a doctor.  He spent the whole summer studying really hard for his medical board examinations. I’m really proud to be his girlfriend. On August 30th, I teased Mr. Workaholic into taking a break to celebrate his birthday at his favorite BBQ restaurant in Murray Hill. We had the candles and sparklers and singing waitress with a molten chocolate lava cake.  One of the other waitresses pulled me aside and asked me why my boyfriend has three different birthdays and three different girlfriends to celebrate each one with him. So Rajiv is the man with three birthdays. He has 3 girlfriends at the same time and he told us all different birthdays: June, July and August 30th. He kept the dates similar so that if any one of us looked at his Driver’s License, he could say that there was a mistake at the DMV. Rajiv is really smart. I mean, a douchebag but a smart one. And I got played like a Stradivarius.

-Nora K.

WARNING SIGNALS

These days, being girlfriend and boyfriend doesn’t always count for much besides friendly sexual access. Many men get a “girlfriend” not because they love the woman, but because this is the simplest and easiest way to get laid consistently for cheap.

Ladies, this is the new game in town:  “The Bullsh*t Title.”

Dinner is a setup — you know how it’s gonna end. Meeting his friends, co-workers and Mom is just a ruse to make it seem real. Time together is spent watching TV at home. You’ll be doing alot of hot sex. Not that anything’s wrong with hot sex. But what’s the point?  Where is it going?  Very likely nowhere. Women stay “girlfriends” with a B.S. man for years and realize way late that he never planned to marry them. He may talk kids, marriage and homebuying but… Is he funny about giving you gifts you can keep?  Dodgy about travelling together and spending holidays together?  Having events and trips you aren’t welcome at? “Hanging with the boys” again? When it’s all said & done, he enjoyed the consistent piece of ass.  I hope you enjoyed delivering it, too.

Deciphering the B.S. is what this blog and the dating game is all about.  And it can be tougher to solve than the Rubik’s cube.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Don’t fall for the “B.S. title” game.

If you both felt you struck gold with each other, then there would be no need keep dating and having lovers behind your back.  Next!

MINIMIZING: HOW HE DOWNPLAYS THE PROBLEM HE CREATED

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

I’m a Virginia native.  Third generation to graduate from the University of Virginia.  I try to be a solid friend and sorority sister.  I met my boyfriend Ethan at Homecoming.  We’ve been dating six months. I’ve tried to be sweet and attentive and pamper him every way I know how. In that time, we’ve gone to dinner and I’ve made him dinners. We’ve become intimate and it has been great.  We’ve spent nights over and weeks at home together.  I’ve given him some small thoughtful gifts — a Kindle, a humidor, sneakers. But he’s never given me not one gift. Ever.  No gifts, not a single card, no flowers.  We’ve never gone away for the weekend together.  We do argue and he won’t apologize ever.  He just explains his position and experience of the conflict issue and then acts like it’s over. He goes to weddings without me.  Now he’s gone to Rome over Thanksgiving weekend and excused it saying all he did was save money by sleeping over at his ex-girlfriend’s home and going sightseeing “by himself.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. Ethan wasn’t secretive about his special jaunt across the pond — no, he’s been quite upfront. I believe he’s asked for his freedom so I’ve given it to him.  Of course, he downplays all this.  Acts like and talks like any problem is all mine in my head.  Of course, he has put his hand on my neck to shake me and make sure I’m listening as he trivializes this catalog of offenses I’ve “imagined in my head.” Really, Ethan? Really, buddy?

-Jimena L.

My fiance Michael is a bit of an egomaniac but I love him.  He’s really busy as a real estate broker.  It is not easy to be involved with him since he forgot my birthday and still feels it’s okay to attend formal balls without me but with “platonic” girlfriends from college. Michael wants to waste hours of my time hanging out and calling me to talk about himself.  He wants to go out by himself, to the opera without me, to business dinners without me. He says “No big deal.” But I think he wants all the goodies of having a girlfriend but without delivering on any but the minimum of the responsibilities.  Clearly I’m just part of his rotation.  His attitude is why am I wanting anything more than what little he’s willing to give.  He discounts my concerns that he is being disloyal and disrespectful.  His “why are you bugging me” attitude is a big reason I can’t see a future for us anymore. I just wanted to find someone to love me. And who I could love. And trust. But this is all I got.  If Michael’s love was weed, it wouldn’t be enough to get high on.

-Maggie R.

WARNING SIGNALS

Wow.  Just wow.  The things we accept are mostly things we’ll regret.  And there are a couple of big red flags just a-flapping in the wind with Jimena’s and Maggie’s relationship dynamics.

Reduction words are tip-offs that try to minimize unethical behavior: “Almost never” “sort of” “barely” “no big deal” “not more than” “only a little” “all I did was” “kind of” “but” “once” “just” “merely.”

But why minimize?  Some guys do it because you’re upset and they don’t think you should be.  Some guys wanna do the deed and skip out on the blame. Techniques range. Denying that he intended to hurt you by cheating is big. Claiming “it just happened” as if the action came from the sky and the mists above.

Minimizing lets you know dude believes he’s more important than you. Like when he insists a teasing, hurtful remark was only a joke.  And then adds he rarely jokes like that when he often does.

The most crazy-making minimizing technique comes down to manipulation.  You didn’t hear what you heard.  You couldn’t have seen him do it because it never happened. Therefore he neither has to acknowledge what you imagined nor deal with the hurtful impact of his actions.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

You are a grown-up and you don’t require anybody’s help to think any more than you need help to breathe.  By minimizing his transgressions, the person in your life is warning you and telling you he has an abusive nature.

Insults, belittling comments, ignoring you, or acting sulky or angry when you initiate a discussion — these behaviors have no place in a healthy, loving relationship.
And if he does not view you as an equal because he’s older or sees himself as smarter or socially superior, you need to give him his walking papers. It’s not gonna get better.

FIRED WRONGLY

WORK SCENE INVESTIGATION

My name is Emilia I’ve been working as the Executive Assistant for the President of the American Quilt Museum for four years.  I know everything and everybody. My boss — he always praises me for working hard.  He says the Museum couldn’t run nearly so smoothly without my diligent, consistent efforts. I’m not bragging but one time the Board of Directors sent me a note with a bouquet of pink roses.  It said the Board members consider me “a treasure, part of the institutional wealth of the Museum.”  This is my dream job.  But six months ago, I got a new boss Matilda Campbell.  The wife of a wealthy donor who got a patronage job as my middle manager.  Matilda does nothing every day except put on an outfit, go in her office around 11am and turn everything on, call her friends and family  then she goes to lunch, comes back and leaves by 4pm.  She “manages” to give me all her work since I was doing it before she arrived anyway.  After three months, Matilda gave me a horrible performance review.  I changed nothing about how I work.  And she warns me that if I don’t improve, “there will need to be change to staffing.”  So I have three kinds I am raising as a single Mom — I can’t afford to lose my job.  I go to lunch with one of my Board Members Todd Sorenstein. When he asks how things are going, I give him the lowdown. He swears me to secrecy but he tells me I’m being railroaded out of there.  Everyone knows Matilda doesn’t want to work — she’s a do-nothing political hire.  He says she doesn’t like how well-liked I am so is cooking up bad performance reviews to put her boot on my a**.  After 4 years? I ask Todd, how much time I have left.  He says, “Matilda’s going to fire you after lunch on Friday.”

-Emilia C.

I am Larry Tsang and I got a bad problem.  I got out of UConn in three years and landed my first job for a children’s television Division President Anna Rogers.  You know, the one who invented “Platypus Dance Team,” “Lions Story Time” and “Ring Around the Rainbow.” I know Hollywood types can be a little crazy and I figured I’d do my time and earn my bump up. But four years and no bump — no better job, no better salary, nothing.  When I suggest shows I could go work on or next-level jobs I could take, Anna jokes, “But who would take care of me then?  I couldn’t find anyone better than my Larry.”  And she’s always hugging me which I can’t stand. But the final straw has come in the form of Anna’s beloved dachshund Twinkle.  Anna flies often and likes to take Twinkle with her.  The woman makes millions but insists that I magically get a free seat for Twinkle in first class. I don’t know what regulations changed but nowadays this free seat is impossible.  I just told Anna and she just told me I’m fired.  No recommendation, no bump, no job, no gratitude. Now I know what her ex-husbands felt like – a used tissue, a disposable razor, an emptied packet of low-sodium soy sauce. Done.  Just like that.  Now what?

-Larry T.

WARNING SIGNALS

Anyone who works has to deal with some amount of hierarchy.  And, for managers, it’s a delicate balance to firmly tell your direct reports what to do while remaining respectful and kind. It’s one thing to be the boss and quite a different thing to intend to hide behind the title of boss to demean, exploit and harm with impunity.  Firing someone unfairly is a war cry — it is declaring you and your employee as enemies.  It happens so often because bosses plain ol’ get away with it.

But know this: it is a soul-clawing catastrophe to have to answer to a Psychopath Boss. Today’s miserable job market has made jobs scarce and worth holding onto despite harrowing abuse in the workplace.  The most outrageous part is that while you’re finding out about your Psychopath Boss for the first time, their behavior has been like this for a long time.  You are not their first victim.  You’re not discovering fire, the wheel or America. Rest assured that their peers, managers, ex-employees and Human Resources know about it but continue to turn a blind eye.  

Why does your Psychopath Boss hate you and hurt you? Unfortunately, miserable people will not be satisfied until you are as miserable as they are.  Take heart in also knowing that haters don’t really hate you — they hate themselves because you’re a reflection of that they wish to be.  Workplace bullying is the result. Refer to http://antibullyingcrusador.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/tactics-of-a-workplace-serial-bully-boss/

Since empathy, moral decency and human kindness play no role in any Psychopath’s decision-making process, it’s no surprise that your Psychopath Boss relishes her ability to use, con, deceive, manipulate, betray and ultimately destroy their employees. That’s what psychopaths do. They feed like ticks & tapeworms upon our lives. They live for the sick thrill of damaging happy, younger, attractive, productive and caring people.  You’ll want to vomit your guts up when you stare into their crazy eyes & phony mask of concern as they twist the knife of insult and betrayal into your heart.

But also know, you are far from alone.  Roughly 4% of the populace are psychopaths.  A fraction of those are criminal — violent robbers, rapers and serial killers.  Many of them are able to operate within the law so statistically speaking, there are decent chances that you have a psychopath in your family, school, social circle or work.  And if your Psychopath Boss  who makes work unbearable for her employees is the only one you encounter, count yourself lucky.

But when wrongful termination happens at the hands of a Psychopath Boss, you have three choices: you can let it define your career, you can let it destroy you or you can let it strenghthen your resolve to succeed.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

For now, you need to defend yourself emotionally and psychologically from this Psychopath Boss who is undermining your wellbeing and work reputation.

  • 1. Learn all you can about Psychopaths.

A basic knowledge of psychopathy can save you years of heartache at the hands of a boss you can never please, who never stops lying and cheating  you and who keeps you dangling on the hook. It can give you the strength to move on from a job where your boss keeps everyone in terror by constantly promising the world but only giving you her a** to kiss.

  • 2.  Gather information.

You will discover you are neither imagining things nor alone.  You may even find comrades. You may luck up and uncover information potentially damaging to your manager (cocaine addiction, exploiting illegal domestic workers, cheating on her husband, etc.)  This could be helpful in negotiating a proper exit from the work relationship.

  • 3.  Develop rapport with those who understand your Boss is a Psychopath.

At the very least, you’ll need a job reference from someone who doesn’t hate you to pieces.

  • 4.  Try to get help from Human Resources.

Meh – you can try.  But honestly, don’t be surprised if that department is a useless dead end that only brands you as a troublemaker.  Especially if you litigate.  There is no justice in their bland, corporate hallways.  Their job is to get people out the door and save the company money.  They don’t wanna know and they don’t wanna get involved.  So spare your breath and effort.

Please read this juicy article about how HR investigations exonerate bully bosses: http://dorightatwork.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/why-internal-investigations-exonerate-bully-boss/

  • 5. Get away from your Psychopathic Boss as soon as you safely can.

Move on.  Trust me — it’s not going to get better.  This Psychopath Boss is a disaster on two legs.  And she will try to strip you of your dignity and mobility until she succeeds.

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.

YOUR MONEY BUT HE’S IN CHARGE

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION Janet is a top television executive who essentially married a subordinate, a vendor.  Her husband Barry ran a penny-ante production company that made short interstitials for her channels.  So they get in the family way with two … Continue reading