If you love him, treat him good...

I have a friend.

Catch up with The Secret to Great Long Term Relationship Sex and The Break: Why Leaving is Better Than Staying.

I used to see this friend regularly and I hadn’t seen him for a while. One day, I happen to see him out at lunch and he mentions something I didn’t expect.

He has separated from his wife.

Not wanting to pry, but still being me and prying very cunningly, he proceeds to tell me that he didn’t want to have the separation but shortly before Christmas she made the decision and in March, she moved out.

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I asked how he’s feeling, still being the nosey me, and he said that although he didn’t want the separation, he’s happy.

He feels relieved.

Because she was doing to him what every single woman does to every single man.

She tortured him.

What women do

Women have this knack for bringing men to their knees.

We love with a passion that can move mountains, but we have this nasty habit of turning men into punching bags.

I know, because I did it myself.

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As my friend described his wife’s mood swings and how he would come home, never relaxed, always feeling uneasy, never quite happy to be home, I thought back on myself and the way I used to be.

There was a time when I would be stressed, or tired, or overwhelmed; when I would become someone even I didn’t like. I became short, I became mean. I became an absolute bitch.

But making matters worse, I would take out my emotions on the poor, unsuspecting Husband, who is the sweetest peach that ever was.

Because, deep down, I knew that he would take the punches and roll with them.

I knew that he won’t turn on me and tell me where to go, like any other person would or should.

I knew he wouldn’t. Until he did.

A history of anger

I am Yugoslav and my rage is built in, passed down through generations of angry Yugoslavs who warred with not only the world but with each other.

So when I get angry, I see black. I turn black. Black is all around me.

And I become completely unreasonable, totally insane, I become the hulk of women.

And at first, that was probably really cute.

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But crazy-cute gets old real quick.

There was one time we were in a club together, fighting. His back was up against a wall, literally, and I was in his face, demanding answers from him, for God knows what.

A group of people finally came up to him yelling out his name boisterously, excitedly, rambunctiously even, saying it’s been so long since they’ve seen him, whisking him away to the bar to grab a drink and catch up on old times.

When he returned, I demanded to know who those strangers were just to be told that they in fact were strangers.

These concerned citizens heard me yelling his name back in his face over and over and decided that enough was enough.

They came to rescue him.

How to put a woman back in her place

For someone like the Husband who is a calm, lovely being, someone who doesn’t like conflict, dating an angry Yugoslav is not something that he was prepared for.

And when cute turned into crazy, he did the only thing he knew – he started to ignore the behaviour.

Like a toddler, I would cry, stomp my foot, insist he respond. And when he did respond, of course that response was never good enough and it would only serve to ignite my rage further.

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But what changed my entire being and interrupted the cycle of angry Yugoslav, was his ignorance of that behaviour. He would simply say that he is no longer engaging in this crazy conversation and that when I was ready to come and talk to him like a grown up, I was welcome to.

Because if I had a problem, I needed to tell him in a calm and reasonable manner.

He was no longer playing my game.

…finally, he did what I thought was impossible – he changed me.

And it worked!

Because even if our conversation started out as calm and turned angry, he would abruptly stop, leave and I had to get my shit together, calm down and try and resolve our issues again when I was ready to be a reasonable person.

It took years, but finally, he did what I thought was impossible – he changed me.

My message to men

Gentlemen, take a leaf out of my Husband’s book – you don’t have to put up with bad behaviour.

Women get away with so much. We get away with it because you let us get away with it. You allow us to walk all over you.

Don’t.

Because if we do it once, we’ll learn that we can do it again. But that’s not what love is. That’s not what love should be.

Unless you like that kind of communication and you’re giving as much as you’re getting.

So take care. And ladies, don’t be such a Bildo. Be kind. Men have souls too.

Thanks y’all and remember, don’t be a dick!

B.

Author: Billi Milovanovic

Billi, A.K.A Bildo, is a freelance writer and she has loved writing since Hotmail accounts were cool – her 15 childhood diaries will attest to that. She’s birthed a couple of little Bildo’s, been with her adoring Husband for over a decade and they would describe themselves about as happy as clams can be. Not that that means he reads this blog – although he really should, seeing as he features in it quite frequently.