Thursday, February 19, 2015


I don't do this enough - at least not explicitly...

I don't need all the ranting in the media, social and otherwise, about the movie i haven't seen from the books i haven't read about how they glorify and romaticize abuse and manipulation to think that they probably do.  Seeing the popular culture world through the eyes of a parent of teenage boys lights up the messages my sons get from every direction about girls and sex and power and all of it.  This movie isn't tipping the scale of healthy vs. unhealthy messages; the scale broke long ago.

Having been the victim (survivor) of a guy who took what he wanted because he wanted it even though there was no possible way to construe it as freely given, I'm acutely aware of  the complicated, maddening, and overwhelming feeling of being powerless, and all the factors that play into that feeling.  It left me with - among other things - a real and visceral contempt for the unfairness of men/boys getting what they want simply because they are male and I'm not.  I was awfully young when this happened, and i think - by the grace of God, or fate, or dumb luck, I managed to navigate the minefield of growing up without further tragedy.

All of this is to say that abuse of women/girls is a very real, very multi-faceted problem, and one that has been very personal for me.  And my husband has always been fully aware of all of this.

So - of course - we would end up in a power exchange dynamic in which i've ceded my power to him voluntarily, in which he takes what he wants whenever he wants it, and which has a strong component of him beating me whenever he wants.  [I know - context, context, context, and also consent]

Last week, he took me on, he hit, slapped, pushed, demeaned, hurt me, pinned me down, and took what he wanted, over my protests, over my yelling and sobbing and my rage.  Anyone with an ounce of sense would have seen this as abuse, as rape, as a very dangerous situation.   Anyone hearing me defend him, defend this should believe i'm completely lost and very much in need of rescuing.  I'm not being glib, - i grew up in a home in which the abuse was pervasive and apparent - but not one friend or relative ever asked much less tried to intervene on her behalf.  (My husband knows this too)

Here's the grateful part....

Knowing all of my history, knowing how he wants his sons to see and behave in these areas, being a man who deeply respects me and women and in fact people in general, who doesn't use violence and intimidation to get what he wants in any part of his life.... he takes my power, he takes what he wants of me, and he uses violence and intimidation and any other tricks he wants as well.  And - to be perfectly crude - he gets off on it all.

I marvel sometimes at what a strong person, and what a huge amount of self confidence, and integrity, and degree of trust in me and in our relationship he has to have to be able to do this - for me. These have to be such complex and deeply conflicting forces to be reconciled in one man.  I am so grateful he can and does.



  1. Great post. I think many see a power exchange as the one in charge reaping all the benefits. I have come to learn, see, and experience....being the one in charge requires work and commitment. Yes, the scales are not always fact they rarely are...balanced. Both those scales tip on both sides.
    hugs abby

    1. Thanks abby. I've always wondered what he gets out of it, since it's so easy for me to see what i get from Him. But it must balance in the big picture to be sustainable.

  2. Yes, it can't be easy doing things like that to a woman, and doing it well, as the woman wants, while she is trying to at the same time escape it, which could be a confusing mixed message, but knowing her well enough, and himself well enough, to know it's ok, and that the love and trust and respect and self-respect aren't lost along the way.

    1. That's it i think - we have to know and trust each other well - I think people lose sight of the fact that the man in htis case has to trust an awful lot as well.