I've been trying to like this guy (let's call him Dylan, and my cousin Christy); I've tried to be welcoming, since apparently he's here to stay. I tried not to let my first impression color everything--that first impression being a desire to kick him in the nads after he shoved my harmless little dog with his foot and told her to get away or he'd kick her. And then said he wasn't joking when I swooped her up and told him not to threaten my dog.

That was the weekend of my older cousin's wedding (Christy's brother), which was the first time I actually spent any time around Dylan. He monopolized Christy's time that whole weekend, keeping her with him almost every moment and getting pissed off when she left him to talk to anyone. My overall impression was that he was a self-centered, judgmental jerkoff.

Apparently, my dad and her brother both had a talk with him about his behavior, and supposedly he was better after that. He seemed to be okay over Christmas; he actually talked to people, and didn't insist on my cousin being within arm's reach at all times. Less than a week later, though, he irritated me again with his smug pharmacist routine that he pulls out at every opportunity.

Since then, I've seen him at a few holidays, and he's done nothing to impress me. The fact that Christy waits on him like a servant does not amuse me. The fact that he puts her in a headlock and plays UFC wrestling with her also does not amuse me--because she doesn't play back. It also disturbs me that he wants her to move to Kansas while he goes to medical school--now that she's finished school and has a job and can support him.

The more time I spend around the two of them, the more bothered I get. We had a get together at the beginning of the month when his parents came in to town; I can see where he gets his personality. Neither his mother nor father actually talked to Christy much that I saw; his father actually didn't talk to any of the women at all, really, now that I think about it.

His mother, though, never shut up--no matter what anyone was saying, she had something to jump in and say to take the conversation in another direction. She also didn't talk to Christy much--instead, she talked about her, primarily about her popping out babies! I'd say a good 75% of the conversation that day was the mothers and my grandmother talking about Dylan and Christy having children, preferably immediately after getting married.

When it came time to eat that day, Dylan, Christy, and I were sitting on the couch watching television. Without a word, Dylan got up, sat himself at the table ... and waited for Christy to serve him! It wasn't like she'd said "Honey, why don't you sit down, I'll get you a plate." He just expected it. And then he complained about what she brought him, too.

Today, he exhibited two examples of controlling behavior that made me want to slap him and grab my cousin and just shake her. The first was when he and I were watching tv, and he was flipping through channels.
"Oh, Sex and the City, that'd be perfect." was my sarcastic comment.
"Hell no! That's so retarded. She [not Christy, she] wanted to buy the movie and I wouldn't let her."
"She's not watching that."
"Are you kidding me? Why not? It's not like you have to watch it."
He snorted. "I don't care. She's not watching that on my television!"
I just looked at him for a minute, and then I couldn't control myself. "You cannot be serious."
"Yes I am."
Somebody interrupted at that point, which is probably good, because I could feel my blood pressure rising.

My dad keeps a candy dish on his coffee table; Dylan spent most of today sitting on the couch, watching UFC and eating all the Snickers out of the candy dish. Not too long before they left, Christy sat down next to him and grabbed a miniature Milky Way. Before she could open it, he captured her wrist with one hand and took the candy bar from her with the other.
"How many have you had?" he asked.
She looked away and said "Four" and didn't even try to take it back from him. I opened my mouth, but knew I was going to cause a scene that my family wouldn't understand or support. Instead, I grabbed another candy bar and tossed it to her without even looking at jackass. I don't know if she ate it; I got up to get some water and started talking to her brother's wife. A couple of minutes later I heard Christy sort of squeal and tell Dylan to stop--because he had been grabbing her inner thighs and pinching her! Like that's not an obvious way to shame her about her weight!

The "adults" in the family all seem to think he's great--my aunt has a stupid nickname for him and treats him like her own son. My grandmother is just sooooooo impressed that he's a pharmacist. My dad ... well, I don't know why he thinks this jackass is so great, but he got really pissed when I said the guy's an idiot.

I rode home with Christy's brother and his wife, since I'm still lacking a car. From things my dad has said, I thought her brother was cool with this. On the ride home, though, his wife turned around and asked me "So what you do think of this whole situation with Christy and Dylan?"

I hesitated for a moment before I said I thought it was a huge mistake. To my vast relief, she agrees with me (and she graduated with both Christy and Dylan), and so does my cousin, who flat-out said the guy's a douchebag. They agree they don't like how he treats her, and how he seems like a less dangerous version of her only other serious boyfriend, who was physically abusive as well as seriously controlling (to the point of her ceasing all contact with her entire family the last year of high school).

It's all very distressing, especially since she reacts so defensively to anything that's even remotely critical of this guy.

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6 Responses
  1. Simon Says:

    Love does weird things. I'm sure some poet has said something about not know what goes on behind closed doors, but it's true. No matter how concerned you are, you don't know what they are like alone together. And it's hard seeing someone you care about going through something like this (been there). Support her how you can, but to interfere is to ask for a sh*t load of problems.

  2. purplegirl Says:

    I don't think it's love, though. I think it's her low self-esteem and her mother's pressure leading her down a path she'll ultimately regret. You're right, of course, that I don't know how they are alone; but when you're around them you just don't get a sense of affection, or really much of anything. She doesn't seem at all exciting about getting married--she doesn't show off the ring, or talk about wedding plans, or anything.

    But I know it's not my business, and I'm not going to stick my nose into it unless she asks me what I think. Even then, I wouldn't be nearly as blunt as I am here. :) And since she won't ask me, I'll just be there for her whether this marriage succeeds or fails.

  3. She-Fit Says:

    WOW! That guy is crazy. I can't believe that he threatened your dog... a dog is a mans best friend! I don't blame you with all the stories I have read to not like him.

  4. purplegirl Says:

    I watched to bitch-slap him when he threatened my adorable little pumpkin, that's for sure! But I'm trying to see beyond that. :)

  5. Aunty Pol Says:


    I hate to say this but the whole post scared the crap out of me..I was married to an abusive man when I was young ...and the hair on the back of my neck stood up when I read the post.

    She may not ask..but if it gets out of control...

    I know , I know.

    Thankfully, I got out of that deal and remarried a great guy..

    I hope for the best for Christy, I really do.

  6. purplegirl Says:

    I'm scared for her too. The first guy had her planning to go to beauty school and do nails to put him through college; he had her not talking to her entire family, including her mother and brother; he punched her so hard he cracked her sternum; and when she finally broke up with him he emptied the joint bank account he'd talked her in to even though he wasn't working.

    Seeing as that was her only other relationship, I'm scared to see even slight echoes of it now.