I feel like I can sum up where I’m at right now with the image of a once raging campfire that has settled into glowing embers. Yes, you can still get burnt if you get too close but it’s warm and comforting when you’re at the right distance. I’ve had time to ponder and muse. And I’ve come up with some pretty good cautionary advice. Here goes:
- A man who hates his mom is an angry man. It’s always okay to have boundaries and not like a family member’s behavior. But to outright speak in hateful ways of the woman who gave you life? Yowsers. Certainly there are bad moms out there where hate can be part of the vernacular. I’m not naive to that. I think it’s important, though, to always listen closely to why the relationship is fractured. James’ hatred stemmed from his mom still being in contact with his ex-wife. I’m sorry, you can be fussy about that. Hate and on-again, off-again cutting someone out of your life? Huge red flag, my friends. Give it time and he’ll hate you, too. That’s what an angry man does.
- A man to whom you have to explain common courtesy and how to be kind is an angry man. There is no amount of courtesy or kindness you can shower him with that will ever sway him to behave differently. Kick him to the curb. Share your kindness with someone who would never need an explanation of how to treat another human being.
- A man who speaks ill of his ex-wife and every ex-girlfriend he’s had is an angry man. I assure you that how he speaks of them is how he will one day speak of you.
- A man who is over the age of 7 and has tantrums is an angry man. He’s also ridiculous. Give him a diaper, a juice box, some Teddy Grahams and notify him that you’re actually not his mom. I mean, he’s already indicated he hates his mom so you probably don’t want to be her anyway.
- A man who does not comfort his child when they are ill or hurting physically or emotionally is an angry man. If your man is indifferent to his flesh and blood? Do not date him. He sucks.
- A man who deliberately ignores you when you are sitting next to him is an angry man. Every heard the expression, “Words hit as hard as a fist?” So does silence. At minimum, it’s bad manners. With a sociopath? It’s his currency.
- A man who listens to your pain and then uses it cause you even more pain is an angry man. He is also an asshole. You are wonderful and do not associate with assholes. Delete and block. Dance merrily away. A million miles away is a very good start. It’s the only way out.
Truly though? Anger and hate are the two most critical ingredients for violence. Add a splash of mental illness and you have yourself a disaster. While the stakes are different for all of us, I was not willing to play “wait and see” with someone whose past and present self oozed quiet, confusing cruelty.