50 Shades of Crazy

I finally got a chance to read this smut. Unbelievable. If I had the motivation to actually finish my book by its deadline so that it’ll be published, I could write better porn than this crap! They actually made a trilogy out of this obnoxious-ness… in book and film!

Alright, I had my fair share of crazy — where I’ve dealt with the crazy, and have even been the crazy. If there’s any ex out there reading this (or even a random guy using Google), here’s some insight for you, the clueless guy… the lacking in confidence guy, the dealing-with-this-crazy-shit guy… you know who you are. You are that geek who tries so hard to get the hot girl in all those teen-flicks, only to realize afterwards that you have all the confidence in the world (Revenge of the Nerds).

There’s the normal jealousy and insecurity that’s even cute and makes us feel loved, and then there’s the does-your-mama-know-your-ass-is-crazy. Yet many of us don’t know the difference.

What separates sweet possessiveness (as seen in the few insecure stages of love) with bitch-be-crazzzyyyyy? (I’m thinking of the movie Gone Girl here.) At what point do we say enough is enough?

When left unexplored and unresolved, possessive relationships can amount to feelings of misery, anxiety, anger, and even physical or emotional abuse — for women and men — hey, I’ve known a few crazy gals beat the crap out of guys who just took the beatings because they felt wrong to hit a woman back. I’ve always followed the mantra: Act like a man, get treated like one. So if women truly believe in equality, then expect to get punched in the face if you’re swinging at a guy. An even better mantra is: Keep your hands to yourself!

At first it can seem adorable and even flattering to be on the receiving end of your partner’s intense love and devotion, but after a while it becomes smothering and even destructive. Is your relationship supportive of your well-being, or a declination to your health and happiness?

Although it can be hard to admit flaws in a boyfriend, girlfriend or partner (except for me, I’m critical of everyone, ha!), it is worth getting real about your relationship for your own happiness. After all, you have to live with your decisions for the rest of your life. Essentially, if you don’t comply with what your partner wants, then comes the nagging, demanding, threatening, and/or emotional blackmailing.

Whenever you want to go out, meet up with a friend or family member, or even just take a break from them (because honestly, sometimes you just want to say I’m sick of looking at your face!), your partner wants to be a part of everything you do. Often they will discourage prolonged periods of going out and try to keep you confined to the house, typically in menacing or manipulative ways… like sex. Men use love to get sex, and women use sex to get love — (Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers flashes to mind).

Your partner keeps an eye on every little thing you do to the point of stalking you (or when they’re really nutty — they stalk your friends, your family, even your freakin’ ex’s ex). This might include logging in to your social media accounts and checking your private messages, reading through your emails or text messages, checking your internet browser history, etc… I usually just snoop through the papers on his desk like a normal weirdo, ha!

One key sign of a possessive boyfriend, girlfriend or partner is their tendency to remind you that you are the center of their world; so much so that they need no other friends or social connections because they have you… it’s when they display anger or resentment towards your friends, colleagues or family members — or the exact opposite, make “friends” with your friends, colleagues, and family — that the alarm bells should be sounding. I’ve never understood that need to be so clingy; you know, to extend the theory of six degrees by separation, and this from a woman that approves every random friend request sent — who the hell are those 250 people following me on Instagram and LinkedIn!?!

A dark and serious kind of jealousy seems to boil under the surface of your partner’s façade as they try to dissuade you from spending time with your friends, colleagues or family members. They might criticize, character-dissect, bring up old issues you’ve experienced, or even fabricate lies about those you want to spend time with, sometimes even turning you against those you care about. They might also make up stories about non-existent people and events to try to make you jealous; like, telling you someone asked them out, gave them a compliment, anything to try to make you feel as jealous as they do; they equate jealousy with love. This is the most serious and dangerous warning sign of an abusive or destructive relationship, because these behaviors are so hard to unmask or reveal.

In a possessive relationship, personal space is rarely a concept that is valued. If you have a possessive boyfriend, girlfriend or partner, chances are they will impose themselves too much on your need to have time, space and objects that are exclusively yours. To them, they need to know it ALL. What’s the name of your first pet, your best friend’s name, the make and model of your first car — dude, that’s how Russian hackers get your bank info! … Seriously though, they’re just crazy. (I’m thinking bunny-boiling Fatal Attraction.)

If you talk to a man or woman, they want to know why. If you get a phone call from someone, they want to know why. If you get a friend request from someone, they want to know why. If you get spam mail, they want to know why. And God help you if you innocently reveal any kind of attraction to another person! This might lead to severe guilt-tripping, emotional punishment, or even violence. (Think a young Mark Wahlberg in Fear.)

Going out? Better make sure that you get approval from your partner! The possessive boyfriend, girlfriend or lover will always openly invite themselves somehow to anything that you are a part of — oh, you’re going to a men’s prostrate club meeting, bring her along too because you are her world!

For some reason, your partner always seems to call or text you more than usual because you’re out, they know it, and wasn’t able to swindle their way into joining you. (Oh, I’m just texting you for the 50th time in the last 15 minutes to tell you how much I love you, miss you, am sniffing your underwear for the scent of you because you’re so great and I looovvvvveeeee you so much!) Every decision you make — your partner wants to be there. Period. Often you will even feel pressured to do what they want to do, even if the decision has nothing to do with them.

Your possessive boyfriend/girlfriend/partner has a way of diminishing your self-confidence. They might be emotionally abusive, gaslight you and make you feel as though you don’t truly know what is best for you. All of their jealousy, all of their paranoia, all of their controlling behavior… “it’s all just love”. Your partner justifies his/her toxic behavior by pulling the love card on you, thus paving an easy escape route to avoid responsibility and blame. In fact, you might have bought into the “love” excuse yourself, continuing to justify your partner’s destructive behavior because you are unconsciously too scared to face reality. Fear that this person is the best you can do, fear of wasted time and investment, fear of embarrassment in having to explain it all to others. Fear of being alone.

Possessiveness and any kind of controlling behavior in relationships is a clear sign of insecurity. And where does this insecurity come from? From the fear of abandonment, rejection and powerlessness. If your partner is possessive, it is very likely that they have a great lack of self-love and self-confidence, and this is because deep down, they feel that they need you in order to be happy, safe, secure, and successful. This is the main reason why you are their world, they have no motivation or ambitions of their own, and basically is riding on your coattails in friends, status, financial security, and satisfaction. They live by-carelessly through you. They are “successful” because you’re successful, and therefore they see themselves as successful too for being with you (For Colored Girls).

Re-establish your self-confidence and self-respect which might have been crushed or depleted in your relationship. For instance, explore self-assertiveness, how to love and take care of yourself, and if you are quiet by nature, learn how to discover your voice.

Set aside an appropriate time to talk with your partner. Open the conversation by letting them know how and why you appreciate them, and then merge into the problems you are facing with their behavior. Always talk in terms of their behavior. (No one likes to be called crazy; beware of the woman who adamantly denies it, because let’s be real, all women are to some degree crazy — sane is the woman who knows it.) This removes unnecessary blaming and negativity. Provide specific examples of what behavior is disturbing or upsetting you, and what you would like to change.

Be aware that your partner might get very offended, angry, dismissive, or upset. Prepare yourself for this beforehand to ensure that you keep your cool. Be very clear about what you want to change in the relationship. Remember, if you emotionally react, then the conversation is over once egos get involved.

If they agree to change, help them out by drawing attention to any possessive behavior in the future and setting “time out” periods where you sit together and talk about the progress being made. Possessiveness can’t be cured overnight. Give yourself an ultimatum if there’s no real effort to better the relationship from either side. If you can’t carry out these recommendations (e.g. due to abuse, egotism, financial dependency, etc.), it is best to consider ending the relationship, and build a support network for yourself.

Being in a smothering relationship can be really hard and stressful. Remove some of that stress and burden by letting go of unrealistic fears of being alone, starting over, embarrassment, etc. And if you have any advice… please feel free to lend a helping hand, there’s a lot of crazies out there!

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