Dear Abby…

Dear Abby,

I had the most revolutionary, liberating Valentine’s Day ever!

So I had been with this guy for what I swear felt like 30 years! The relationship was always the same: stale, dispassionate, and paternalistic. He is a former air force commander who trained in the Soviet Union as a pilot in the early sixties. You know the type. He had such a dictatorial way of expressing what he called “love.” But he behaved in ways that made me doubt his love for me.

He never let me organize get-togethers with friends, speak my mind when I had something to say, and when I lost my job he did nothing to help me find work. He used to take money from my purse to “buy household necessities” that never actually appeared in the house. He never wanted to talk about our relationship and our problems. In fact, discussing whether or not we should be together was simply off the table. He called it our relationship “emergency law,” that would make us stronger. Every time I tried to bring anything up—like how he sold all my most prized possessions on eBay to the highest bidder—he would start yelling, turn on the television, or just go to upstairs to bed.

Then, just before Valentine’s Day, it occurred to me. If he wouldn’t let me leave him, I needed to make him leave me. So at first I started with small things. I began to chew with my mouth open and leave the cap off of the toothpaste. I started burning meals, and then would apologize, saying I had gotten distracted cleaning the sludge out from my toenails. I sang in my sleep, wore trash bags instead of clothes, and watched a lot of CSI Miami. All of this went on for two weeks.

I could tell he was getting annoyed. One night, over a plate ketchup-sauced spaghetti, he told me he understood I was upset. He said he knew that things needed to change and that maybe by the end of the year we could go our separate ways. He then promised to help me find a job, and even said he’d be willing to go to couple’s counseling. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted him out of my life for good.

Since he wasn’t putting out, I began inviting people I found on craigslist over for a little romping time. One afternoon he came home and found me sandwiched between a bodybuilding midget and a bearded lady. I thought that would surely be the last straw. Instead he made some speech about me acting like a martyr and made his way upstairs.

However the next day, the day before Valentine’s Day, he never came home from work. There I was, waiting for him with a gizzard stew when it dawned on me: the old bastard left me! Praise Allah! And just in time for Valentine’s Day, which we never celebrated anyway. What did I do for the day of love? I made a bonfire of his things in the backyard and invited all my friends over for a barbecue and daiquiris. Later that night, I laid down alone in my bed and engaged in the greatest love of all. Self-loving freedom.

I am just one case of so many of my friends who are stuck in dead-end relationships with megalomaniacs who care nothing about their well-being. I want to help them. So my question now is: where to next? Algeria? Yemen? Iran?


Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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