one of my husband’s closest friends, we’ll call him theo, lives in the southwest. he would come up to portland, oregon, where we’re originally from, to work with craig (my hubs) frequently. theo loves the northwest. thinks it’s super keen. he’d been wanting to bring his wife up to meet us and show her around for years, but the stars just never seemed to align correctly. finally, he got to bring her to portland to hang out for a long weekend.
we were stoked! theo is one of out favorite people in the universe and we were fully ready to extend the warm fuzzies to his wife.
then we met her.
now, i don’t know if you’ve ever been to the northwest in the summer, but it’s easily one of the most visually stunning places on earth. and the day we met (we’ll call her) “maleficent” was a particularly beautiful day. we made our introductions, hugs all around and she’s got a sour smile on her face. you know what a sour smile is right? it’s that “i’m smiling to be polite but really you people are insignificant and i rather be eating your children” look. girls like this think people don’t notice that nasty thoughts are going through their head. but we do. even if they did know people could see it, they wouldn’t care.
anyhoo, we sit down at a cafe and i say, “so maleficent, what do think of portland?” she looks at me as though i just asked her about how she feels about rattlesnakes and says and i quote, “what’s with all the f$%*ing trees?”
it was pretty much more of the same for the rest of the visit.
come to find out, theo had been living with stuff like this and worse for more than a decade. he provided a house, bills were paid, kids were fed and into every sport imaginable, he loved her (or at least really tried to), was a great father and she made sure he thoroughly understood he would never be good enough. he had to travel for work and when he’d leave, she’d say things like, “i don’t really care if you come home.” he’d change jobs to please her and she’d find reasons to hate the new one.
did i mention that she never had to work while they were married? yeah…
she’s the high witch of the itsneverenough girls coven.
girls like this should come with a warning label. “i’m cute but i will slowly kill your soul one day at a time”.
when it comes to neverenough girls, you could be superman with a wall full of doctorates, a pantry full of brownie points and 7 swiss bank accounts and she would still find fault. she will raise the bar every time.
and boy can she rage. it’s like her super power. hell hath no fury like a woman who is never satisfied.
she will also use sex as a weapon. to her it is a reward and punishment tool. because, ultimately, it’s about power for this girl.
for whatever psychological malfunction may have caused it, she feels like she needs to be in control. of everything. all the time. the abuse she deals out has very little to do with the man who’s unfortunate enough to have to deal with it. it’s about her. she’s not happy with herself so she gets some sort of tangible but short-lived emotional stroke from belittling everyone else. that’s why it will never be enough. if “enough” was achieved, she’d have to look at herself. god knows we can’t have that.
if you are in a relationship with a girl like this and she hasn’t already killed all traces of affection you once had for her, there’s some things you need to do.
1. remind yourself daily that her issues are not your issues. think stuart smalley. “i’m good enough, i’m smart enough and doggone it! people like me!” in order to deal with her, you have to deal with you. you cannot do battle when you’re broken. so take time to inhale some self-confidence and recover your identity.
2. tell her you are done allowing her to make you feel like her subject instead of her partner. you have to take a stand. but make sure you’ve braced yourself. she is not going to like it. you’ll need to remind her why you love her and why you are okay with who you are. be specific, calm and clear about things she’s done and said that are not acceptable in an equal partnership. and, this is key, listen up, do not apologize when she bursts into tears or flies into a rage. that’s exactly what she wants. if you apologize, then you are right back where you started with her boot on your neck. instead, tell her you know this is hard and that it hurts, for both of you, but that you need to put these things out there in order to deal with them.
3. talk to her about counseling. terrifying. i know. but this girl has issues you cannot fix alone. it’s even possible that she may need medication. that sounds like i’m joking. i’m not. a friend of mine once said to her husband when he told her he wasn’t going back to school for his masters, “so you’re okay with being mediocre?” for real. that actually happened. at the time he was the head of IT for washington state university. she went to a doctor who put her on these fabulous happy pills and miraculously, they’re still married. happily. she even apologized to him for the years of awful.
if i’m being honest, i actually feel sorry for this girl. if she doesn’t get some help and stop being so angry, she’s going to end up pucker faced and alone. as a guy, you have to decide how far you’re willing to go. that is going to depend a lot on how willing she is to change.
oh and theo? he’s now married to one of nicest girls i’ve ever met. we’ll call her aurora. total keeper.