SL Letter of the Day: Bad Attitude

Comments

1
great advice! your boyfriend reminds me of those young/newly out gay men who put a huge emphasis on not appearing gay and won't date guys who don't pass as straight. grow the fuck up. i hope that your theory is correct and that guy admits to that woman and everyone else that he thinks she's as hot as fuck. they'll both be a lot happier.
2
Off-topic, but does anyone know what Dan's new book is about? We need a leak!
3
Every time he comments on the size of your thighs, comment on the size of his dick.
4
I really like this one - good job Dan even if it is a re-run. It's a classic case of self-hatred and reflective embarassment that needs to be corrected, even at this late stage in his assholery life.
5
I like seeing this reprinted, this was one of my favorites.

I'm fat and although I have never had a jerk boyfriend, I hate it when people talk about how disgusting some fat person is in front of me. They always justify it by saying I'm not REALLY fat, I'm just overweight. People who are REALLY fat are horrible. This excuse is bullshit, I'm 300 pounds. The only reason they do not consider me fat is because they made a rule for themselves that they are not allowed to befriend fat people, so cognitive dissonance tricks them into thinking I'm not actually fat. My own mother pointed at a fat person and said I should shoot her if she ever became that fat. People are dicks.
6
My only point of disagreement with Dan is the idea to "smash a few things". I think it's threatening, immature, and counterproductive to smash stuff to prove your point.
7
No, the proper ending for the boyfriend story would be if he really did marry a woman after all. It would have been much to my consternation when he adjusted his public orientation; I'd never want such a person in my box.

I do have a strange impulse to ask how much housework the ex did. I haven't decided yet what I'd like the answer to be, but there's bound to be a way to spin it to advantage.
8
I think that a well-timed, well-controlled, shit fit is a GREAT way to show someone JUST how serious you are. I will never hear "Well I had no idea it bothered you THAT much!" because I made it (whatever "it" is) infinitely clear. To date, in my 5year relationship that includes marriage... I have had ONE true shit fit. All other major problems have been taken seriously with conversation and the phrase "Do you understand, or do I need to throw a shit fit?"
9
But I'm pretty chill and my husband isn't an asshole..
10
@8: Wow, in other words you're a bully and an abusive asshole. It's rare to see people so honest about it.
11
This one is pretty good, I would only add that turn about is fair play, he can't look THAT good in his 60's, you telling me he doesn't have a gut? or a receding hairline? Have a shit fit, but don't break things, just make your point.

e.g. Clueless husband complains about lack of sex after baby, wife says "what about all the head?" Husband has a hissy fit complaining "that doesn't count" unless he finishes. Wife explains if that's the criteria, then they have *never* had sex, since she had yet to finish during the act of coitus. Husband shuts up. Wife goes on to cite the Clinton Rule, anytime a dick touches lips, that counts as sex. Husband nods and apologizes.
12
@10 Manipulative behavior is very common in relationships, it's not always bullying or abuse. The word manipulation has a negative stigma, but it is morally neutral and if it makes both people happier and able to remain together, there is no problem.
13
If you are going to smash shit, it had better be YOUR shit.

Because if smashing things is an appropriate way to get the point across that you are upset, well then, I'm (hypothetically) upset that you just broke something that belongs to me. Which of your things should I break to let you know how I'm feeling about that?
14
Snark aside, what you need to tell him is that you don't like it when he does that. Not that it hurts your feelings, that you don't like it. If you try to make it about some innate quality of the words being mean, or that it's him being mean, he has leverage to argue back. What you like and dislike, you own that, and it is your place of power over which he has no say.

If he tries to come back with "you need a thicker skin" look him in the eye and say "I...DON'T...LIKE...IT. And I have no intention of trying to learn to like it, you obnoxious moron. If you want to be with me, you will refrain from making those sorts of comments in my presence, whether they are aimed at me or about someone else. That's the price of admission. If you persist, I will break up with you. Period, end of discussion. Have I made myself perfectly clear?"

15
Regarding slip-ups, I disagree about screaming and smashing things. People who needle other people do it to get a rise out of them, and screaming and breaking things is paying off in spades. You need to deprive him of his payoff.

You can go ahead and have it cost him something extra, to help make the point. Along the lines of "You may have noticed that I was in the middle of making dinner for you. Now, I'm no longer interested. That comment just cost you your dinner, and my company for the rest of the evening. Good night." Then unceremoniously dump the ingredients in the trash. At the door, turn and say, "Perhaps you don't think I'm serious about this. That was chance number one. You have two left." Then leave.
16
Wow, all the fat stuff on the intersphere these days made me realize something: Because I'm a skinny bitch I get to say things like, "My favorite special effect in Once upon a Time was the gingerbread house; I would have eaten the heck out of that" or "There's ice cream at that club?! HOW DO I GET IN!" Overweight and obese chicks couldn't get away with that.
17
I'd love to hear what she did about this dude. How'd it turn out? Enquiring minds want to know!
18
@15: Just curious, how is what you're suggesting any less hostile than smashing shit? I don't think that I'd have to do either thing in order to get my point across, but I'm downright scary when I'm mad just because of what happens to my face and voice. I have a feeling a sweet little old lady probably has to do something more, and I don't understand how the extremely controlled throwing out of a half-made dinner is all that different from smashing a bottle or something. Both are designed to show that she's not just "cute", she's angry, and she needs to be taken seriously. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think smashing shit is really all that different from throwing out half-made dinner (which seems... oddly specific to me).
19
@18: First, dinner is replaceable in a way that other possessions are less so.

Second, my point was that that screaming and breaking things is a huge payoff in emotional energy to the person trying to provoke it; while dispassionately describing your response is much less of a payoff.

Whatever seriously scary thing happens to your face when you are angry (what, sprouting reptile scales?), that's still giving him the charge of knowing he really got you steamed. That is power over you. The more you can deprive him of that, the less incentive he has to keep trying it. You don't need to let him know you are angry -- in fact, if you do let him know that, he has won this round.

I can see how dumping the dinner ingredients in the trash might come across as just as violent as breaking a plate. If you prefer, just walk away from them. The main thing is to remove all potential rewards from the situation.

Half-made dinner was just one example. You can walk out on any situation. If you were in the middle of blowing him, stop, put your clothes on, and leave. If you were in the middle of reading a book, there isn't much of the evening to dispose of before leaving. The main thing is that you want him to come away from the incident thinking that his gambit was a net loss to him. Dinner was just one example of being this close to getting two nice things (dinner cooked by you, and the pleasure of your company) and now as a result of his actions, he gets neither -- and he also doesn't get the emotional charge of a blowup.