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

 

 

Why Compatibility Tests Are Unimportant

I still remember the first question to my boyfriend after asking how he was: What are you looking for in a relationship?

This became the most important question because in the three elements he identified, I learned so much about him. We established from the beginning that we had common morals and values. However, as our relationship progressed, I found out that our interests weren’t always the same. In fact, we had more differences than commonalities. He is into rock music, I like dance. He is into horror, I like roller coasters. It was easy for my mind to go back to those teenage magazine quizzes and think that we failed because we do not like the same cookie (or something else that was very minuscule).

I freaked out and asked Superman what we had in common. He said our love for adventure, good stories and adrenaline. I sat back and was in shock that I could have missed this. It truly demonstrated that the minuscule things do not matter and it is so much better to have the most important things in common. If anything, our differences make our story that much more interesting.

So forget having the same favourite moving, song, whatever. If you want all of that, date yourself.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

Shut Up and Listen

Over the course of the past three years, I have realized that I have written a lot about listening in regards to its importance and value. However, it is very easy to listen when you do not have any need to speak!

A couple of weeks ago, Superman and I got into an argument. We are very strong-minded people, which is why we butt heads more than the average couple in spite of our immense love for one another. That strong-mindedness translates into stubbornness very quickly.

I have been in a relationship with Superman for almost two years and in many ways, I know him very well but in many other ways, I do not. I am learning about him every day: how he communicates, how he deals with tough times, what pushes his buttons and what unexpectedly upsets him. I think it is very easy to take advantage of our significant other. We expect a lot out of them without stopping to think “Am I living up to the same standards?”

As we were having our argument, I just stopped talking and heard him out. I realized that there was a deeper meaning than what he was simply saying. I took a moment and asked him if he felt appreciated. He told me that he did not and I realized then that I should give more credit than I do now.

How would I know that if I did not take the time to just shut up and listen? Truthfully, I would not have. Sometimes life gets so busy that we just expect things to flow rather than appreciating why they flow and what makes them so good. Most arguments are just noise and instead of just hearing yourself speak, consider another perspective.

Become a better listener. Trust me, you will gain the same respect once you give it to others.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

When You Know You’re Serious, It’s Not Too Serious

I have known that since day one that my relationship with Superman was serious. He took a while to ask me to be his girlfriend because he said that he dates in order to end in marriage and we have been together for almost two years, so it’s no secret that we see a future being married to one another.

We were both looking for a serious relationship and that’s what we received. However, it didn’t really settle in for me until after he sat down with my dad, my stepmother and my stepsiblings. Superman met most of my family but I felt there was something missing with him not meeting my dad’s side of the family. After that happened, I just fell more in love with him.

It was only when Superman pointed it out that I realized that I was speaking a lot about marriage since then. I was at first worried that I was scaring him but he said that he thought that it was cute. The only thing he recommended is for me to be patient in order for our lives to perfectly align, such as advancing his career and starting mine.

I called my grandmother today and she gave me heck that I had not introduced Superman to her yet. I told her that I promise I will in time. We spoke about my postgraduate plans and my career. Her instinctual response was “soon enough, you will finish school, start working full time and get married”. For some people, comments like those would freak them out. I just met it with a smile.

That’s why I say that when you know you’re serious with someone, it’s not a serious, scary ordeal. It’s inevitable and that’s when you know that you have found the one.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Why Understanding is More Important than Agreeing

Hello everyone!

 

It has been a while since I have written and I have missed it. Has anyone else experienced the start of 2016 as nothing but go-go-go? I know I have!

I was just reflecting on the past year and speaking with my grandmother about relationships. I remembered an argument my boyfriend and I had at Subway just a few days after Christmas. I couldn’t remember what it was about, which means it probably wasn’t worth arguing over. I remember just telling him that I wasn’t a fan of something but I understood where he was coming from. He thanked me and asked me if it was so difficult for me to understand rather than creating a huge argument over something so petty?

Nowadays, we emphasize compromise in our relationships but remember to compromise and not sacrifice. It’s perfectly okay not to agree. After all, you are different people and if you were the same, you would be dating yourself.

You are going to hear opinions that will challenge your way of thinking and doing things. It’s inevitable. What matters most is that if the topic is particularly sensitive to person with whom you are speaking, it is important to empathize and show understanding. You may not agree with the actions they wish to take but if you agree with their perspective and the goodness of their intentions, understanding is crucial to building the RELATION part of your relationship. It’s not about debating; it’s about listening and giving your attention to the person.

My grandmother is going to be 70 years old next month and has been married for 54 years. She told me that in every marriage, it shouldn’t be 50-50, a man should have 51%, as the result of more financial responsibility, and a woman should have 49%. Although I strongly disagree with this theory, I understand the principle behind it as she explained further: don’t let pride nor anger get in the way of love. In this way, I revise my grandmother’s outdated and traditional theory: it should be 49-49 as there’s is going to be give and take and someone is going to use that extra 1 or 2% at times.

My grandmother says that there are five elements to a good relationship and marriage:

Patience

Cooperation

Trust

Loyalty

and Love.

Those things will never be outdated.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother