How to Tell Your Friend that They Are Being Abused

Hello everyone!

It has been a while but The Modern Day Fairy Godmother is officially 4 years old! Thank you to everyone from around the globe for your support and feedback over the years.

I write a lot from the perspective of being in a relationship because I am in one. However, what if you are one of those fortunate people on the outside looking in? It is no easy feat.

I come from a family who only believes that abuse manifests physically. I do not care what they say: emotional abuse is still abuse. More often than not, emotional abuse appears in the exertion of control. These situations are no longer like the ones on Maury where someone orders the person to call them “master” or bow to them. Instead, it becomes evident in little remarks that may seem harmless at first but then have a cumulative effect. This level of control weaves itself subtly into their lives and when they realize it, it could be too late.

I have been in controlling relationships and I also have been the friend that has had to break it to someone that their significant other’s behaviour wasn’t healthy. Contrary to popular belief, the people who enter controlling relationships are not insecure. They are strong leaders who are admirable in their character and confidence. However, they are ONLY insecure in their love lives.

I have lost a friendship  sisterhood over me being honest about her boyfriend. Although I do miss her at times, I do not regret telling her because I would have been a bad friend if I never did. I cannot guarantee that by you confronting your friend, it will go smoothly. I can only tell you the best possible way to get your message across.

Start when they are not talking about their significant other. This is important. When they are ranting and complaining about them, it is so easy to join in and let them know that they are controlling. Don’t you notice that the minute you say this, they get defensive and act like they are the only ones that are allowed to complain about Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong? That’s why it is best to let them rant and then tell them your feelings another time. Sometimes, people do not want advice but just a listening ear.

Avoid adjectives and if you need to use them, do not be too blunt. By saying that Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong is controlling, you are opening yourself up to abrasiveness and conflict. One word I like using is “overprotective” or I even use verbal forms, such as “they like to exert a certain sense of control in their lives”. You allow them to feel like they are in a safe space and are not being condescending or demeaning.

Ask questions and rephrase their words. Listening is key and if you are just yelling at them, you are also being the controlling one. Let them express their feelings to you and then rephrase into a question. For example, if your friend says that their significant other does not accept them for who they are, you can ask “Do you want to be with someone who does not accept you?”

Remind them that it is their decision. They are an adult, you should act like one too.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

 

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Why Breaking Ties with My Father was the Best Thing to Happen to Me

This Father’s Day had a sting to it. For the first time in over twenty years, my father did not get a warm wish, big hug, or a card with a gift from me. In fact, he probably  had no idea what I was doing today. That is because a little over a week ago, I had cut ties with my father.

I understand the severity of that decision and I had thought about it for almost a month before making it. These past five years, I have been on an emotional roller coaster with my father.  I do not know the person he has become and there has been that inner emotional conflict, resulting from desperately needing the father with whom I was raised. I always held hope that he would want to spend time with me, get to know me and be proud of me. Five years later, I have lost that hope.

Somehow along the way, my father shifted from being involved to being disengaged. I went from hearing his loud whistle at every Christmas concert I performed at to reminding him what I had been studying at university for the past five years. I can no longer have a coffee with him without it turning into a lecture of how I am an imperfect daughter and can never do anything right. Any issue I have with him becomes my fault.

As the result of his actions, he is missing out on many special events in life. He has just missed my graduation and he will miss my future occasions such as getting my first job, my first home, getting married and having kids. The worst thing is that he won’t care. He has become very self-centred and it is not something I can tolerate.

Then, I realized that the horrible relationships that I have been in before mirrored the relationship I had with my father. I sought approval and validation that I lost myself. It took me a while to accept that I am a great person who has truly excelled. I had to learn how to do it without expecting a pat on the shoulder or someone jumping up and down. I had to be happy for myself. I had to break the cycle so that my future children will never experience this.

I have grown quite tired of appeasing everyone and being in my mid 20s, it is about time that I put my emotional well-being first. To all the people who have left abusive relationships, I commend you because it takes so much strength out of you, especially in my case where the love is still there. I have understood that you cannot change people unless they want to change themselves. I have a future ahead of me and I cannot permit toxicity to affect it.

Maybe I should just go love myself.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Breakup Lines in Translation

Breakups are horrible. You may come across a wonderful person with whom it didn’t work out and it was mutual. You may have had to break up with someone because this person was no longer for you and it was really difficult because the feeling was not mutual.

However, the absolute worst thing is when someone breaks up with you and you were not expecting it. You loved them so much, how could they possibly do this to you?

The most important thing in a breakup is honesty. However, this is a concept that is very rarely applied when mindlessly crushing the heart of someone that loved you.

Here are the excuses that are most commonly made and are translated into what they actually mean. If you are the one giving these excuses, you should take a very hard look at yourself and change this behaviour for the new year.

  1. “We have grown apart”– I have not made an effort as much as you have to make this work, I don’t respect how you evolved as a person and I have more important things on my mind.
  2. “I have so many issues that I need to fix by myself”, *you ask why, what they are and if you can help*, “I don’t want to talk about them, you would never understand”-I betrayed you in some shape or form and don’t want to admit it.
  3. “You deserve someone better”-This is my way of admitting that I have treated you so poorly and you probably don’t even know the half of it.
  4. “I love you but I’m not in love with you”-I have fallen in love with someone else.
  5. “I have lost feelings for you”-I now have feelings for someone else [insert name of best friend, ex, co-worker, friend that they said was “just a friend”]
  6. “I’m not as wonderful/amazing/perfect as you”-I have some serious issues and I shouldn’t have gotten into a relationship before I learned to love myself. Yes, I basically dragged you through the mud during these past months/years.
  7. “I’m not ready for a relationship/anything serious/a commitment”-I am not ready for a relationship/anything serious/a commitment with YOU and I want to play the field.
  8. “I don’t love you as much as you love me”-There is probably truth in this but I am using love as a competition and making myself look like a victim so I can escape.
  9. “It’s not you, it’s me”- I am a scumbag and can’t think of anything better to say.

If you have come across one, or ALL of these breakup lines like I have, you just dodged a major bullet and them no longer being in your life will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Don’t make excuses for them, just show them the door and one day, you will open a new door with a smile.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Why do people cheat?

Cheaters are never fun and I truly believe that once a cheater, always a cheater. I have been cheated on multiple times in the past and I have friends who have both been cheated on and were cheaters. These are the reasons from my observations over the years (I have added some ones that people have cited to the poll but they are not what has been observed).

Unresolved feelings for their ex. They still keep many (probably too many) momentos from their past relationship and talk about their ex more often than you would like to admit. Face it, you are just a rebound and the go-between during their waiting time to rekindle their fire again.

Too much distance between you and your significant other. You both don’t talk like you used to nor are as affectionate. Feel like you are barely in a relationship? They feel the same way too and are already envoking single-life privileges!

Someone attends to their needs better. This is no fault of your own but the selfishness of your partner. Not ready to have sex? Work is making you take time away from home? If your SO does not respect that, they are going to find someone who can cater to them, regardless of your needs.

Not enough time being single before getting into a relationship. They see a piece of eye candy, a NICE piece of eye candy and cannot help themselves. They want to explore because they did not have much of a chance to before they got into a relationship. Basically, they are eating their cake and having it too (or trying to!)

What do you think people’s reasons are for cheating? Answer by voting in the poll or commenting below!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

What your children are thinking of your second marriage

You are getting remarried. You have either divorced or had your spouse pass away but you have found someone truly special and with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

If you have children, this decision can bring up many mixed emotions. If your spouse-to-be has a good relationship with them, it is often easier to move into that transition of having a stepparent around. Nevertheless, it’s a change and change can be met positively, negatively, or both, all at once.

My father got married this weekend. We had been planning the wedding for months and it was definitely a change for all of the four kids. My father and stepmother have lived together for the past few years and a marriage was not a big change in lifestyle. It was the matter of ups and downs I had with my stepmother, her changing her last name to mine and of course, just the general concept that I was witnessing my father getting married, something that as a kid, you do not imagine because your parents are already married.

I am very happy for my father because he has truly found his best friend but the wedding brought up both happy and nervous feelings, which many children of parents who get married again do face. Here are some of the emotions and thoughts your children might experience during your second marriage:

1. Happiness. They love you and enjoy seeing you happy with someone you truly care about and cares about you. They are looking forward to a great relationship with a new stepparent.

2. Hope. They are hoping that everything works out between you two as well as hoping that the relationship with the new stepparent is a good one, especially if they have had some rough patches.

3. Doubt. If you are divorced, they are probably thinking that if the first marriage didn’t work out, what will make them think that the second marriage will? They may also think you are a hypocrite for even considering being married again.

4. Anxiety. It is a big change for children to see their parent getting married again and may believe that you are trying to replace the other parent and remove them from their lives. They may also think that your priorities may shift from being a parent to being a newlywed.

5. Uncomfortable. It’s weird seeing a parent get married because they never thought that this would be something that they had to go through. They may also feel like they are betraying the other parent, especially if they are included in your wedding party.

6. Closure. Peace can come with second marriages. Children may finally realize why it didn’t work out between their parents and why it is better with someone else. They may also understand the reasons for why a parent would get married again after the death of a spouse.

It is important to talk to your children about these emotions and to not disregard them as silly, irrational or unimportant. Listening to them, explaining and reassuring them that they are still loved and that the other parent is not being replaced is crucial for a smooth transition.

After all, people have a lot of love to give and just because a child has love for a stepparent, it doesn’t take away from their love for their parents.

Have an experience like this to share? Sound off in the comments below!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother