There are many forms of abuse that are commonly recognized; sexual, physical, emotional, and financial to name a few. Yet, what of that of extreme selfishness? This form of abuse is one that should be spoken of more. In that, I mean when the lack of consent in decision making goes far past a healthy point between a couple. When one person forces the other to comply and goes behind the other's back to ensure that their will is the only one to be followed, there is a problem. In this post, I will use the example of a real-life couple that I knew of where this lack of consent in decision making became toxic. We'll call them Myles and Ginger*, this is their story.
Ginger was always the first and usually only person to get blacked out drunk. Everything was about how much liquor she could down, even when no one else was. It was as if she thought that beating her own drinking record was a badge of honor. While Myles was a quiet person, he had been the type to work and mind his own business as much as he could his whole life. They met right out of high school and their relationship was not healthy from the beginning and only got worse over time. As pretty as Ginger was, she had a habit of making everything about herself. No other woman could speak to her unless they were talking about Ginger's life and her problems. When Myles was with her it was as if he were on mute and Ginger had taken the reins. The more he was around her, the more he seemed to fade from his own existence into a shadow or as an odd attendant to her.
Their marriage began a little too soon to some because Myles had never actually proposed. Ginger decided for him that they would get married and when he was dragging his feet too much for her liking. Their "surprise" wedding was when he was on leave from his deployment in the Army. When he came home from the airport Ginger ambushed Myles in a wedding dress with both their families present. Many would say that Ginger used Myles distressed mental state regarding his wartime occupation to pressure him into an on the spot ceremony even though he had told her that he was not planning to get married in the near future when they last had spoken. Myles had free choice, he could have said no and dumped Ginger right then and there, but he didn't. He went along with it, this could mean that he was okay with what was happening, or it could mean that he had become the frog in the boiling pot of water slowly turning into a partial meal for an ogre.
Years later a similar situation on the topic of consent and respecting the wishes of the other person in the relationship came up between the two again. This time it was when Ginger started to speak of wanting to have children. This went in protest of Myles adamantly saying "no" for a variety of his own very personal reasons. They had an argument at a summer party and she cried. A few weeks later she said that she had a birth control "slip" and was pregnant, while her now spouse begrudgingly went along with it. This exact pattern repeated when Ginger wanted another child after that. Myles again going along with it and each time with less and less opposition to Ginger's whims.
At some point in their relationship, Myles gave up advocating for himself or saying his feelings on anything. He now totally bankrolls Ginger's failing business with his day job as Ginger's mother watches their kids all day because Ginger is too drunk to do so herself for the most part. Fewer and fewer people see Myles or Ginger. At this point, Myles is so tied down by his responsibilities that he is the voice no one hears anymore. Personally, I find that Ginger is an abuser. To an onlooker like me, I think that Ginger is so stuck on getting her way that the explanation of why her actions are wrong would be lost on her. As for Myles, he does not hate the children that he has or the life that he was pushed into, but there is a sadness there, like a life that he never got to live because he had to babysit the wife he never proposed to or the children he never had a part in planning. What do you think? Is this normal behavior in a relationship or has Ginger gone too far? Do you know a Ginger of your own or are you one yourself and want to say something about it? Speak up in the site forums or on the Conspiracy Meow! social media comment sections and as always, Let Your Inner Shut In Totally Wig Out!
* names are changed to protect privacy.