by Mimi Tanner, Author of Hard To Get - The Timeless Art of Conquering His Heart
Can you put a stop to bad treatment from a man? You bet your sweet life you can.
Here's an email about this exact situation:
"My boyfriend keeps saying offensive things to me even after I have asked him to stop. He gets mad at me for being offended because he says I used to laugh at his jokes but now I'm getting offended. But he didn't used to say those things to me. I feel disrespected and undervalued."
"I am so sad because I really love this man. I love being around him; I enjoy his company. I hate to make excuses for him, but I think he does those things to test me to see how I'll react and also because of his own insecurities."
She went on to say that when she backs off from him, he tells her that he loves her - but he's not around very much.
She's right to listen to her gut feeling on this.
Of course, people can overreact to a well-meaning remark, but this sounds like a "joke" that's intended to sting.
You have to ask yourself if he's showing his true colors now. This is a major warning sign.
The truth is - whatever a man does when you're dating him - he will do FAR WORSE if you marry him - unless you find a way to put a stop to it completely - right now, before it's too late.
You have to absolutely put your foot down about things like this - since your complaints have had no effect.
How do you put your foot down? A lot of women wonder this, because they've have very little guidance on handling tough situations.
Let him know how you feel by having a talk with him, alone. Tell him that his behavior makes you feel hurt and disrespected, and that you want him to stop. Get him to assure you that it will stop - and make sure he knows that this is a deal-breaker. In other words, you're not going to put up with it if it continues.
Then.... this is where the "enforcement" part starts. : )
If the offensive behavior happens again, OBJECT. You don't have to make a scene, but simply tell him you won't listen to that, and stop the conversation. Walk away from him if you need to. Have a plan in mind, in case you need to make a very real exit.
When he calls you, you don't have to pick up the phone. Or you can answer, but tell him you're not ready to talk to him. You've already made your feelings clear before.
You're entitled to distance yourself. After all - you're mad at him! So act accordingly! Otherwise, the stand you took will mean nothing.
That gives you some time to think - and to get some distance from the relationship.
Do you really want to stay with someone who can't respect your feelings or who can't be counted on not to upset or embarrass you in public?
I'd strongly urge you to start looking for a man who will bring joy to your life, not take joy away! Or just enjoy being man-free for as long as you want!
If someone does something that is clearly wrong, dangerous, or out of line, there's no need to have a talk with that person - just get away from the situation as fast as you can. There are too many good people out there for you to waste your time with losers and questionable men.
You can stop other people, particularly men, from treating you badly. It's a very important skill to have. Listen to your instincts. You can learn to make great use of the words "Stop" and "NO"! It gets easier with practice. And there's nothing more powerful than an exit - at the right time.
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