“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Aug 18, 2012
DEAR AMY: On vacation recently I was admiring a beautiful waterfall in the Sierra Nevada.

Then I heard a man yell, "Because you're an adult!"

From behind some trees appeared the man, an adult woman and a child.

I considered saying something to the man about his behavior, but concerned that he would attack me, I did nothing.

What would you have done?-- Allergic to Abuse

DEAR ALLERGIC: Aside from my day job -- where I constantly insert myself into other people's lives -- I try not to interfere with people or comment on their behavior unless it is extreme, directed at a child, or has a direct impact on me or my family.

One adult yelling at another in front of a child is not good -- there is no question about that. But this is an example of terrible parenting and to my mind doesn't rise to the level of abuse. But I wasn't there. You were.

People freak out on vacation. And for all you know, the adult who was yelling was actually answering the question: "Why shouldn't I let our child jump into the gorge?"

If you witness behavior you think is abusive, you first have to try to assess the level of risk to you and the victim. If you feel you can safely do so, you should say, "Is everything all right?" This puts the party on notice that he or she is being observed.

In this context, if you were afraid that the situation was dangerous or escalating, you should have notified a park ranger.

DEAR AMY: I am a divorced man involved with a divorced woman. We are both around 60 years old. We have been in this relationship for more than four years and have been planning to get married.

However, approximately every three to four months she finds a reason to become upset and angry with me and then refuses to have any contact with me. I'm always the one who makes contact so we can work out the latest episode.

She has become angry over matters such as me holding the door open for another woman who is entering the building, accused me of ignoring her over a TV program, gotten furious about me taking my son on vacation, and accused me of flirting with another woman while in church.

Each time these issues catch me off guard. We will have an enjoyable weekend or evening and then she will launch into a rant. These repeated episodes of anger at me leave me with doubts that this relationship would be lasting.

I have asked her to seek counseling, but she refuses. I am at a crossroads. Stay or leave?-- Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: I'm going to assume that any behavior your gal is commenting on or raving about is basically benign on your part.

Whenever you see a pattern emerge in a relationship and the person can't (or won't) change, what you need to do is to change your own behavior. In this context, the way to respond to a snit from your girlfriend is to react 180 degrees differently.

She pouts, you keep your distance. She rants and doesn't want to have a dialogue, you accept this and leave. If she wants to be in the relationship, she will have to find another way to communicate with you.

My objective view is that this relationship is not going to work out for you. She sounds jealous, possessive, controlling -- and unwilling to work on it.

Because you are suggesting counseling for her, you should seek it for yourself.

DEAR AMY: Concerning the letter from "Conflicted," regarding the family friend who steals from a restaurant by using a water cup for self-serve soda, Conflicted should consider paying for the soda after the fact and announce to her friend that she has paid for it.

This will either embarrass the thief so that she no longer does it or at least stimulate a conversation about stealing and the bad example it sets for the children.-- Vernon

DEAR VERNON: Other readers have also suggested this. It seems passive-aggressive to me, but it might be worth a try.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Aug 18, 2012
L1: YOu saw NOTHING. You butt the hell out.

L2: Giving the silent treatment is controlling behavior and it works -- you give in and reach out to her. I suggest that the next time she does this, you DON'T reach out to her. And before that happens, tell her that you're not going to play those games anymore. I think she's insecure and petty -- she begrudges you time alone with your adult child? I'd DMTFA.

L3: Stupid.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Aug 18, 2012
Ditto the Redhead 1,2,3

But I did witness actual physical abuse in a McDonald's once. A woman was verbally angry with some other teen or adult and kept yanking the arm of a child, maybe 1/12 to 2, pulling it up. The child looked in pain and frightened but was not making noise or crying and that bothered me more than anything. I didn't want to ask a question that might elicit turning the anger on me (No, everything is NOT alright...)but I really felt the need to do something. I chose to loudly say something like Oh what a pretty little girl, How sweet, what a cute shirt, stuff along that line. It broke the moment for the woman. She got distracted and as Amy comments, knew she was observed and for just a moment the girl knew someone , anyone was watching out for her. The arm yanking stopped. There wasn't anything more I could do under the circumstances whether I wanted to or not. The incident has stayed with me, obviously.

Since: Nov 10

Herndon, VA

#4 Aug 18, 2012
L1- I'm confused about what happened. He just yelled? I could see getting upset if he was calling the other adult names or something.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#5 Aug 18, 2012
1- Oh the horrors! Seriously, but out. If you're witnessing actual physical abuse of a person, call the cops. I'm reminded of the story in Chicago a while back where some band member saw some guy beating up on his wife\girlfriend and got involved. Then he had the tar beaten out of him by the dude. He spent serious time in the hospital and might still not be 100%.

2- Typical Amy. The man's to blame for his girlfriend's behavior. HE should be the one to seek counseling.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Aug 18, 2012
PE: Good job!

Edog: He may need counseling if he doesn't see how unhealthy it is to *choose* to stay with this controlling woman.
Cass

Upland, CA

#7 Aug 18, 2012
LW1 - What Amy said. You are nuts.

LW2 - Don't marry her. She is jerking you around.

LW3 - This topic now makes me want to go to a fast food place, steal a Big Gulp-sized cup of soda, hunt Amy down, and pour the soda on her head.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#8 Aug 18, 2012
1 You hear someone yell 4 words and you brain jumps to abuse? Projecting much?

2 dump the old bitty and go chase some foxy 50yr old, get a little young meat.

3 How about you just had the person a $1.50 and tell them to go pay for it?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#9 Aug 18, 2012
L1: This is unclear whether or not it's abuse. So unclear I gotta go with Red and PEllen on this. Good going, PEllen on the kid. That child will probably remember you forever and will help her to know that she doesn't deserve to be treated that way.

L2: Wow. I could see giving in once thinking perhaps you did something you didn't realize you did, but have this as a pattern? Dump her. I agree, he needs counselling to shore up his own self esteem.

L3: What Cass said. Enough already!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Aug 18, 2012
Toj wrote:
L1: This is unclear whether or not it's abuse. So unclear I gotta go with Red and PEllen on this. Good going, PEllen on the kid. That child will probably remember you forever and will help her to know that she doesn't deserve to be treated that way.
L2: Wow. I could see giving in once thinking perhaps you did something you didn't realize you did, but have this as a pattern? Dump her. I agree, he needs counselling to shore up his own self esteem.
L3: What Cass said. Enough already!
The kid was maybe 2. I doubt she remembers the incident. Whether she does or not is besides the point. For a moment I could help prevent her pain or fear. That's all .

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