Nov 13, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Savage Love Letter of the Day



If that's love... I need to star dating mortal enemy's

Jesus that is beyond cruel and inconsiderate... it might seem like a small slight but after the point of the mediocre girlfriend ... might as well drop him in the ocean and see if he sinks


And block his number so he cannot try his siren song on you again.


new adage:

"never attribute to malice or stupidity what can attributed to projection"

If he says you're a mediocre girlfriend, it's because he sees himself as a mediocre boyfriend.

I'd advise you to look for a good boyfriend.


My only problem with Dan's reply is that DTMFA is at the end and not the beginning.


uggggh another relationship where someone (usually a guy) completely defies a reasonable request by (usually a partner) and continues to do something totally insensitive, selfish, esteem threatening, thoughtless, inconsiderate, and flat out unkind.

(ADDENDUM:) he's got what jennifer aniston (i'm not even a fan) captured every so eloquently as the brad pitt missing sensitivity chip


narcissist sociopath. he's a broken fucked up soul. you can't fix him. there's no way this can be your first bout in a totally lopsided relationship. get your ass into counseling. IMMEDIATELY


Dans editor must have had the day off then?


Dan's answer is completely right.

After she dumps him, maybe she'll dig deeper into this bit: "I am 29-year-old hetero woman in a monogamous relationship. I love my boyfriend and I am OK to fuck him only."

She seems to think of herself as "in a monogamous relationship" (but not necessarily needing monogamy) and "OK" fucking just her bf (but maybe she would like to be able to fuck other people as well). To me, that suggests that after she gets out of this unhappy relationship, she might avoid making another monogamous commitment for a while, to see if non-monogamy is a better fit for her.


get the fuck away from that guy, he's a piece of shit


Why DO we (some of us) keep ending up in lopsided relationships? Once you notice this pattern, you notice it spans romance, friendship, family. Are we blind to it from the beginning?


Condolences, JAJG, and sorry for your loss.


I like your adage, Sportlandia @3. Feels like a useful variation of the whole "When someone tells you who they are, believe them" thing (which I learned myself the hard way a while back, and am now trying to remember for the future).


Chiming in with the DTMFA. He sounds abysmal.


I would advise you to run not walk from him, find an excellent therapist and read Brene Brown. The journey to seeing clearly isn’t always easy, but it’s soooooo worth it. You are worth this work.


. . . . than a May Day Parade in Moscow."

But the constant, belittling comments and isolating her from her friends aren't just warning flags of a future physical abuser. They are hallmarks of an actively emotionally (and possibly future physically) abusive partner. Get out. Now.

If you have any questions about how to leave, need more motivation, or any practical assistance, or any help after you leave; contact a Women's Resource Center or Family Crisis Center in your area. They've heard all this (and how it becomes far worse) many times before. Don't be embarrassed to call them - it's why they're there.


run run run Run Run Run RUN RUN RUN. This guy is an abusive dick.


I hope that the letter writer is reading these comments, because Dan's answer was good, but it didn't go far enough. The first thing that you should do is to Google, "Am I dating a psychopath?" and read everything that you can about this disorder. If that's what you're dealing with, then it's going to be extremely difficult to get out of the relationship. Psychopaths LOVE drama, and they don't let go easily. Also Google the "gray rock method" - it's an excellent technique for dealing with such people. Consider joining some of the online forums for former partners of narcissists/sociopaths/psychopaths (there are groups on Facebook as well); they'll understand what you're going through and be able to offer you support and advice. You may need therapy to repair the psychological damage. Good luck.


Seconding @15, it's fine to call a help line even if you figure you don't really need it. Just tell them what's going on, they know how to triage. Good job getting this on paper to Dan! Talking out loud with a person listening can also help you feel through what you want to do.

And I'm not saying this guy is dangerous, but we're talking about someone who hurt you just for fun. At minimum he's a serious asshole, and those can be nasty to break up with.

This may sound paranoid, but it can't hurt to keep an eye on your birth control if you have PIV sex with him.


In the age of #MeToo his behavior is not only abusive to his partner, it's treading on some pretty fucking thin moral and legal ice when it comes to all the objects of his ogling, comments, and creepy friend requests. That shit ain't normal.


Agree this guy is abusive. Look how he has gaslit you into thinking his selfish behaviour and verbal abuse are your fault. You're a "mediocre girlfriend"? No, you're an ex-girlfriend. DTMFA.


Oh, and maybe message those 15 innocent women on Facebook to warn them that your ex-boyfriend is a creep and they shouldn't accept his friend requests.


@21 - No, I wouldn't advise that. In the first place, her boyfriend would just enjoy the drama. Then he'll deny it to the women and dismiss his girlfriend as a bitter ex. (Also, I believe that you can get kicked off of Facebook for doing stuff like that?)


JAJG, Dan has it, and the supportive commenters here, as well. You are more than this asshole ever deserved. Please find a way to champion yourself, as a person willing to accommodate the sexuality of another! But know that that does not, and should never mean feeling inadequate yourself! You stand a good chance of finding better, more appreciative loves in your life, you are still young, after all, and admittedly admired.


Dusk @21: Fair; any woman with sense will not accept friend requests from random men she doesn't know anyway.


I didn't even need to get all the way to "mediocre girlfriend" to start hoping Dan would respond as he did. It's rare when I agree so wholeheartedly with everything Dan said. All I can add is to have a few back up plans in place when you make your escape. In other words, don't just tell him you want to break up and then start looking for an apartment. Have everything ready, and then move out. (It's not clear that they're living together so take my general meaning rather than taking issue with specifics.) Or break up in a public place with a place lined up for you to spend the night with a friend on the likelihood that he'll get violent. Or change the locks on your apartment first. Just think about how things could go (even more) horribly wrong and be ready. If (as I hope) nothing worse happens than he yells or gets hurt, great! You've spent a few nights on a friend's couch for nothing. It's okay to rely on friends that way.


I don't think that JAJG's boyfriend would think of himself as narcissistic or abusive.

But she actually is asking, 'why are you enforcing a double standard? Why is it OK for you to tell me about every woman you find attractive and not for me to spend time with other men?'--or words to that effect--and he isn't even bothering to formulate an answer; he isn't listening or engaging. And he doesn't stop. Perhaps he does think he has a peculiar problem with sex that can only be handled with kidgloves, by someone willing to hear how he fancies the rocks off everyone else.


Harriet @26: I don't think many people who are narcissistic or abusive think of themselves as narcissistic or abusive. But they are. He's not just "not listening and engaging", he's insulting and goading her. He is gaslighting her by behaving abominably and then making his rudeness her fault for being "jealous." I don't think it's worth discussing whether he's cruelly doing this on purpose or whether he's unaware of the mind games he's playing; the only issue is that what he's doing is unacceptable, and he won't change, so she needs to get out now.


Great answer, Dan.


Dan, you are a godsend. You have saved lives with your DTMFA advice.

JAJG should investigate Narcissistic Personality Disorder, if she hasn't already.


DTMFA Honestly, sounds like he's giving JAJG several solid reasons to break up with him. Take ALL the precautions, Plan A through Z, and do it sooner. He's a loser you'll hopefully look back on in the distant past as a one-of lapse in judgment. Your best years are ahead, don't waste it with this Dick.


@27. Bi. Every single answer said that JAJG's bf was worse even than Dan suggested--that he was possibly a sociopath or had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Some suggested that the LW must have a legacy of putting up with shit or of low self-regard to bear with him.

It could be that so emphatic and one-way reaction among the commenters is just what JAJG needs. Needs, that is, to reconsider her relationship. But it could be that its effect will be to throw her back onto a relationship she doesn't feel is entirely bad--after all, she's 29, not entirely wet behind the ears (her possible thought-process, or what her bf tells her); they have a great sexual connection-- and who knows better, her, who's in the relationship or a gang of feminists / polyamorists / advocates for peculiar and uncomfortable forms of set-up on the Internet?

In these circumstances I didn’t see any point joining my voice to the chorus of disapprobation raised towards her bf.

@17 DuskTillDawn hoped the LW was reading the comments. I hope her bf is reading the comments. Even if he cannot orgasm without imagining something kinky or 'transgessive' or taboo, fucking a stranger, fucking a celebrity, it is not reasonable to visit these thoughts constantly on his partner. Nor to fail to acknowledge the apparently good sex they have or to tell her she's attractive.


I know a number of same sex couples where the two seem to comment on every hot guy they see, and it works for them even if it seems a bit overboard to me. But he is insensitive for not conforming his conduct when he realized she didn’t like it or break up with her if it was that important to or compulsive of him. And the adding random hotties and calling her a mefiocre girlfriend are the acts of a real jerk. Maybe he is passively sggressively trying to get her to break up with him. Either way, she should break up with him.

How did she know he sent the fb friend requests?


@25 I agree completely. Be ready before you tell him you're breaking it off - take whatever steps you need to to ensure that you are physically gone from him and he is completely blocked from any revenge he might attempt BEFORE he gets the news that he's an ex-boyfriend.

He will also wheedle, and will re-define his actions to sound like they are innocent or even for your own good. He will attack your perceptions and your conclusions. Which is why you need to just stay away from him after it's over, and block him completely. Those guys are dangerous, once they know what buttons to push they're very, very skilled at doing so.


Followup to @33 - change your facebook password, etc etc - protect your online self from him too.


@31 I don't disagree with that the LR may read the responses and run back into his arms. No one wants to face the reality that their partner isn't what they think. They focus on the "good" stuff and rationalize the bad away... until they can't anymore. Dan's response and the majority of the comments are spot on. She may go back, but she will come away even more damaged and broken.

That you think the BF should read the comments and see himself says that you don't really grasp what Dan and everyone else is talking about. You cannot do with a narcissist just as she was unable to get him to see the double-standard. You, as she is, is still thinking you are dealing with someone that thinks like you. That's the first thing one needs to come to grips with to start seeing the reality of what they are dealing with. You cannot fix them and they will not change. They will drain your soul for their entertainment. When you are at your happiest, they'll make sure to clip your wings..every..single..time.


Joining the chorus - in harmony - supporting Dan's advice 100%. Amen.


DTMFA and then read "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft before getting into your next serious relationship. You can skip the chapters that don't pertain to you, but the first half will probably give you a lot of "ah ha!" moments where you'll recognize your bf's behavior as emotionally abusive, and it will help you avoid future partners with the same abusive tendencies.


Letter writer, I don't know if you'll read this far down the comments, but if you do, please go look up the This American Life radio episode with John Gottman. It's called "What Really Happens In a Marriage" and you can easily find it with a quick google. I'll leave a link but I don't know if it'll work. John Gottman is a researcher who studies the way couples argue and can determine if they'll succeed or fail as a relationship. Your comment about your boyfriend saying that you sound like his mother reminded me strongly of something that John Gottman said in his radio interview. It's super interesting stuff and it might help you see how your relationship is (or isn't) working.
And I'm wishing you the best. I've also been with someone who shredded my sense of self worth and it took a while for me to recover. But it was worth it to get away from them and now I'm with a lovely person who makes me feel incredibly valued. It's possible! Good luck!


She should throw his shit out on the lawn, light it on fire, and leave.


Harriet @31: All the commenters add their own projections, supported by evidence or not. I agree that there is no evidence this is part of a pattern of bad choices on JAJG's part. It's possible that it is, but it's also possible that she's an otherwise level-headed woman who was taken in by a very effective manipulator and gaslighter. If this is part of a pattern, she should get herself to therapy before dating anyone else. Even if it isn't, he's fucked her up quite thoroughly if she's asking what SHE can do to make things better, so I think therapy is a good idea regardless, so she can recognise and avoid the red flags in any future encounters.

Good @38: The "mediocre girlfriend" comment was so egregious that I didn't comment on the "you sound like my mother", but it did jump out at me too. Anytime that phrase is uttered in a relationship, the relationship is probably doomed.


@35. Purist. I'm not convinced that JAJG's boyfriend is a narcissist, rather than a jerk. In another framing, to my mind, he might come over as a survivor of relationship trauma who has misconstrued what he needs to be able to have penetrative sex functionally. The one comment that is close in tone to what I'd say is alanmt's @35.

My sense that JAJG and her bf were relatively young and inexperienced at the start of their relationship, and so deserve to be cut some slack, comes partly from her saying he couldn't, to begin with, easily carry a sex act to its conclusion. The obvious reference is his coming himself.... Why isn't his performing oral sex on her or otherwise helping her come a 'sex act'?

What would you say to a narcissist? (As a potential partner, you'd avoid him/her/them ... that's clear enough). If you were a therapist or counsellor, say? What is the treatment for a narcissist? I feel compassion for narcissists, too....


@40. Bi. As I see it, it's a good thing that so many people who have apparently been in--and escaped--relationships with narcissists are writing in, as it will give JAJG a sense of the potential danger of being sucked in further by her bf's manipulative reasoning.


@41 Harriet_by_the_bulrushes
"I'm not convinced that JAJG's boyfriend is a narcissist, rather than a jerk."


"What is the treatment for a narcissist?"

From what I've read they'd need to want to change, and that's extremely unlikely. As would be getting through to them. Don't hold your breath.

"I feel compassion for narcissists, too."

Agreed. They're likely to end up very lonely (for example, one narcissist poster-child, our current POTUS reportedly has ZERO friends), and the story they inhabit/tell themselves is a bitter one.


Just to chime in with a more generous interpretation of this guy (of course DTMFA) - he really is an insecure boy (boy - not man). She made him feel better about himself and witnessed him in some very vulnerable, sexually incapable moments. His ego is a gaping hole that will never be filled. So now, when he sees her, he also sees himself in those sad injured moments and can't fucking stand it, so he makes her jealous, which turns the tables for him and lets him feel good about himself again. He accuses her of being a bad (mediocre, whatever) girlfriend because then his behavior is ok - obviously you would never do this shit to a good girlfriend. It also puts her on the defensive and makes the conversation about her instead of him.

Oh, and when she leaves him (please leave this fucker) he will go back and forth between being nice and then when that doesn't work (please fucking don't take him back) losing his shit and telling her how awful she is.

Final thought - learn a lesson here. People with deep personality issues are not to be fixed up while dating them. Dan's 'good working order' rule applies to you and your partners. It's ok to tell someone you care about that they need to work on themselves before you can have an intimate relationship with them. You aren't going to fix somebody, you'll just be dragged into their issues. And if you feel the need to fix someone else - fix yourself instead.


Here’s a simple test.
Q: Does my relationship make me feel like shit?
A1: No. (Continue doing what you’re doing)
A2: Yes. (STOP doing what you’re doing! ...and hit yourself with a rubber chicken)


Run. Run. Run. Ruuuuun.


@43. curious. I think that there's an overlap between narcissists and sociopaths; and that most sociopaths understand they take a pleasure in manipulating others, getting them to do what they, the sociopaths, want, seeing 'how far they will go', in some cases consciously messing their lives about....

The one or two borderline sociopaths (and the one unquestionable example) I have known have taken most people's professed concern for others, especially generalised concern in the political arena, as arrant hypocrisy--as self-interest by the backdoor, or else groupthink. They've seen themselves as the agents of a hardheadedness or 'realism' in relationships, using others as long as they served, then disposing of them, or amorally taking them 'along for the ride'. If this is how JAJG's partner sees her, she should have no compunction in getting out.

I don't know how general psychotherapists / couples counselors treat narcissists (or even if they do, rather than pass the problem onto specialists) and was actually asking the question of the ether.

Please wait...

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