Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It Surprised Me Too.

I have had some surprisingly flirting encounters lately.
Surprising, as in, I didn't really realize it was flirting until after the encounter(s).
Flirting, as in, I didn't really expect to be using that word at my age. But it's not my fault. I promise I didn't initiate it.

A good friend asked me what I first thought of when I saw someone I found interesting, or noticing me (or realized - too late? - that he was flirting).
'Huh?' - was my first response....'You mean people are like...flirting with me??'
(turns out, yes)

Anyway, the question the first priority thought:
Does he have a job?
Why is he hitting on me?
How good looking is he?
How old?
Why is he hitting on me?

I responded, without really thinking about it,
"Well...I guess I look at every dude now and wonder if he would hurt someone if he got mad. I just wonder if he would hurt someone. Actually, I wonder that about the women who overtly flirt with me too."

That is what I worry about the most now. Violence. Unpredictability. Crossing that limit.
Being physically threatened.

I worry that my daughter our daughter will expect nothing less for herself.

My friend said "Well I remember provoking Dude to be angry many times early in our relationship. I wanted to see how he would react."
What I know about this friend is that she was abused by her father and she never went back. What I know about this friend is that she is one of the strongest and most objective friends I have and one of the best mothers I know. The mother who can change things when she fux it all up, and the friend who can say 'you need to change what you are doing because you might be fuxing it all up' because she isn't afraid of change.
She reminds me that I am not afraid of change.
I watched to see her husband's reaction to her description of challenging his temper. He shook his head, remembering it with clarity and an obvious shred of residual terror, then saying, "I get it now. I understand that. Men can be pigs. She had to test me. But we communicate."
And he does. And they do. And he gets her. And respects who she is and has accommodated his life changes - as has she - to pursue their life as a couple.
They communicate.
They adore each other.

I have a village, and I am grateful that they are part of it.


Tigger said...

I remember trying to provoke Aaron early on too - I wanted to know if he could handle me, what he would do when I went off the deep end, if he could do what needed to be done or if he would flee, yell back at me, or sit in stony silence. I've never been in a physically abusive relationship, but I've been in several mentally manipulative ones - and I had to know he wasn't going to do that to me, that he wouldn't treat me the way the others had. And you know...the 2nd marks 7 years together. Do we yell? yes. Do we fight? yes. Do we calm down and communicate? yes. Does he get me? oh yes, he does. I don't think I get him very well, but we're happy.

You'll get there in time. I agree with your friend - test them. See what they do during a fight, and trust your instincts. I know you're afraid, and you have every right to be...but you can't let him control and destroy you by his actions. *hugs* You're stronger than you think. :)

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Anonymous said...

wanted to share this with you:

it's the teaser trailer for the upcoming Despicable Me cartoon movie :) my kids really loved it, so thought you'd enjoy it too!
happy new years

Rachel Inbar said...

OK, I'm disgustingly late posting this, but I have good excuses. Loads of them. Too many to share :-)

I was in an abusive (mostly non-physical abuse) marriage for 13 long and terrible years. I have now been divorced for over 7-1/2 years and in a new, happy & healthy marriage for almost 6 years. During this time, my kids have learned to understand that their father's behavior is abusive. They have somewhere to go and someone to talk to when he's being abusive towards them, so they aren't in the same position I was, when I had nowhere to go and no one I could talk to (and no one to tell me what was and what wasn't abuse, because with emotional abuse it isn't always as clear). Showing them a good marriage and having a partner who both I and they respect must be showing them a good example for what to look for in a partner... History really doesn't have to repeat itself - and you're such a smart woman that you won't let it. Not for you & not for your children.

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