The main concern I had was that at least one of the women from WHW seemed to be conflating "unhealthy relationship" with "abusive relationship": I've been in both in the past, and they are not one and the same. Whilst an abusive relationship is definitely unhealthy, it is possible to have a relationship that is unhealthy, but not abusive - much as a relationship could actually be quite neutral, having occurred because two people made a genuine mistake (as happened the first time I was engaged in this life - that was a case of two lonely people mistaking mutual loneliness for love).
I was also concerned that the list of red flags did not include drug or alcohol abuse as a red flag: had I paid attention to that particular warning signal, I would probably have avoided a past relationship which ended up abusive of me. (When talking about this with my current partner, who has also experienced a less than desirable [unhealthy, rather than abusive] relationship with a secondary partner [see here for basic information on polyamory terms] who had a severe drinking problem, she made the valid comment that sometimes it is hard to know the extent of a problem that a potential partner has until one has become involved. That is very true, although it didn't apply in my case [foolishly, I wrote the problem off as a cultural norm *SIGH*.)
The biggest concern I had, though, was with the response of one of the presenters to be the comment that jealousy is a red flag: "A little bit of jealousy is OK, isn't it?"
No, it isn't.
One of the things that polyamory is brilliant at is dealing with jealousy - and it is dealt with in what I consider a very Buddhist way, with no suppression, lots of acknowledgement of flaws and lots of communication/self analysis/work at changing oneself. I would love everyone in the world to deal with this issue as well, as it is one of the major reasons for psychic attack, or for attempts at negative) control (of others).
So, no, Ms Presenter, a little bit of jealousy is NOT alright!
Love, light, hugs and blessings
From the US based Red Flag Campaign, at http://www.theredflagcampaign.org/index.php/dating-violence/red-flags-for-abusive-relationships/:
- Abuse alcohol or other drugs.
- Have a history of trouble with the law, get into fights, or break and destroy property.
- Don’t work or go to school.
- Blame you for how they treat you, or for anything bad that happens.
- Abuse siblings, other family members, children or pets.
- Put down people, including your family and friends, or call them names.
- Are always angry at someone or something.
- Try to isolate you and control whom you see or where you go.
- Nag you or force you to be sexual when you don’t want to be.
- Cheat on you or have lots of partners.
- Are physically rough with you (push, shove, pull, yank, squeeze, restrain).
- Take your money or take advantage of you in other ways.
- Accuse you of flirting or “coming on” to others or accuse you of cheating on them.
- Don’t listen to you or show interest in your opinions or feelings. . .things always have to be done their way.
- Ignore you, give you the silent treatment, or hang up on you.
- Lie to you, don’t show up for dates, maybe even disappear for days.
- Make vulgar comments about others in your presence
- Blame all arguments and problems on you.
- Tell you how to dress or act.
- Threaten to kill themselves if you break up with them, or tell you that they cannot live without you.
- Experience extreme mood swings. . .tell you you’re the greatest one minute and rip you apart the next minute.
- Tell you to shut up or tell you you’re dumb, stupid, fat, or call you some other name (directly or indirectly).
- Compare you to former partners.
- You feel afraid to break up with them.
- You feel tied down, feel like you have to check-in.
- You feel afraid to make decisions or bring up certain subjects so that the other person won’t get mad.
- You tell yourself that if you just try harder and love your partner enough that everything will be just fine.
- You find yourself crying a lot, being depressed or unhappy.
- You find yourself worrying and obsessing about how to please your partner and keep them happy.
- You find the physical or emotional abuse getting worse over time.
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Tags: about me, personal characteristics, personal responsibility, change, emotions, relationships, violence, jealousy, polyamory,
First published: Saturday 2nd May, 2010
Last edited: Saturday 2nd May, 2010