Dear Suzie, i have a problem that is more to do with battling my mind. I wanted your help and advice. Recently, a friend of my wife came visiting from the US. she was a tall and much bigger than me. she was very friendly and would pull my leg and tease me. this increased over the days… and gradually she would twist my arm or pin me to the wall. she was a stronger and much bigger woman and i would just let it be, knowing well that if i resisted it would be some kinda friendly push and pull and i wouldnt like to be physically overpowered by a woman in front of my wife.
so i would smile and get on with life. all of us would laugh it off. gradually she realised she could push it further as i was taking it as a joke. she was a very good friend of my wife, so it was ok by her. one day, she began pushing me and i just pushed back and pushed her real hard. she fell down and that set her on me. she locked my head under her arms and threw me down. what followed was humiliating though to avoid that i kept smiling and laughing. so was my wife and her. i struggled but she kept me pinned down. she sat on me, bent my legs and folded me in an awkward position. i felt terrible as she kept laughing. i was kept in this position till i had to say ‘ i am a toyboy’ which i quickly said to avoid more humiliation. she kept up the humiliating punishment though. i didnt like being beaten up in wrestling in front of my wife by another woman but the truth was that i had been virtually toyed with by this stupid girl. it was insulting. i told her that afterwards before she left but she laughed it off. now often my wife jokes about it when we wre together… on how i was overpowered and beaten by a woman. i dont know how to approach this. the ego feels battered and i feel terrible when this is brought up. Suzie, can you please help and advise me!
The trick that bullies always use is to make their victims complicit and to believe what happens is their fault. You smiled and joked and in effect gave in to her manipulation of the situation. By the time it had got way out of hand, you’d gone so far down the road she had mapped out that you found it difficult to call a halt.
For future reference, when people “tease” you, don’t respond. Don’t play their game or get pulled in. If there is any sort of physical contact, pull away and say “No.” Don’t get drawn and don’t get manoeuvred.
Tell your wife you found her friend a bully and a prick teaser and what would she have preferred – that you had hauled back and given her a smack? This woman deliberately played on the fact that you wouldn’t hit her. Who’s been the abuser there – you or her? That doesn’t mean she beat you – it meant she played you. And only nasty bullies are that good at playing their victims.
Don’t feel humiliated. Be proud you didn’t crack and hit back, and feel sorry for her. People end up like that when they themselves have been horribly abused – by a parent or sibling, by a school friend or partner. They spread the misery around so as to get back some of the control they feel they lost. In a sense, she’s parcelled up her past misery and handed it to you – she thinks if you felt like she did, she’ll feel it less. But that’s an explanation, not an excuse. There was no excuse for how she behaved and no excuse for you to go on letting her have power over you.
A nasty business, frankly. And one your wife is now buying into. Does she want to be a bully too? How would she feel if a friend of yours came round and treated her in this casual, cruel, manipulative way – and you just laughed? Not very happy, I would think. It sounds to me as if this woman from her past came in all set to play power games over her old friend, and is still doing so. If your wife’s real relationship is with you and not a girl from her past, it’s time she started to remember that.