How to Tell You Need to Leave a Controlling Relationship

By Ryan Felman


Fate has a funny way of showing you a glimpse of a world that may come to exist, if you just let life continue. A man of purpose recognizes that it is within his own power to shape his future. When the future shows a terrifying image of a mediocre and sad life, a man says “No” and takes action to shape his life into his own image. I shared a meal with a man who was the pinnacle of has been.I looked into my future and was terrified at what I saw.

Looking back on that day, it was actually a fun night. My girlfriend and I had dinner with her aunt and uncle. They were in their mid 30’s and had a couple of daughters. We drank a bottle of wine and had a delicious Italian dinner. We talked and told old stories and laughed, but the whole experience left me with a feeling of melancholy.

Her uncle, this former man, felt like a real-life amalgamation of the dads we see on TV sitcoms. He made self-deprecating jokes, talked about his glory days of playing basketball in high school yet had a massive gut, and dressed like an Eddie Bauer reject. This was not a man, but rather a dog on a leash, and he did have an attractive wife. I will give him that, but he had no life.

He drove a bland sedan and his wife drove a minivan. They had a big ole mcmansion parked on a little tiny patch of grass surrounded by other mcmansions on tiny pieces of grass. (Cue the theme to Weeds) Everyone here had bland minivans and “SUVs” that don’t look sporty anymore. The so called neighborhood was a picture perfect suburban hellscape.

I owe this man a debt of gratitude and I’ve thought about this night a few times over the years. This girl I was dating back then was great in a lot of ways, or at least I remember her fondly. Looking back, I’m sure it was with rose colored glasses and I’m 100% sure that I would be just as miserable as poor old Eddie, had I married her.

Maybe it was genetic, but she was just as controlling as her aunt. I wasn’t as woke or redpilled or whatever you want to call it, back when we were together. Still, we argued over dumb shit all the time and I know she was constantly trying to break me down and get me to give in to whatever she said. Sometimes I would cave in as she was subtly conditioning me by being more open and willing in the bedroom.

I would go to church with her every Sunday at this terrible Lutheran church where they preached fire and brimstone. This was a continuous battle for a couple of months and on this I did cave in to her demands. Now I have no problem with faith and I’ve read the bible, but church has been taken over by women and effeminate men who are selling forgiveness to slutty women that are hitting the wall.

Church is oftentimes a parachute for promiscuous women. I’m getting distracted and should expand on these thoughts on another day. The point is that she was trying to be the assertive one in the relationship. We didn’t always do what she wanted, but I recall going to wine tastings and spending time with her bitchy friend who HATED me and her little boy on a leash. He was an alright guy, but I am pretty sure he had manboobs and he had definitely given his wife the keys to his life.

Another amusing contention toward the end of our relationship was this list that my then girlfriend had for the ideal man. Now at the beginning of our relationship, I had 9 of the 10 requirements according to her. Somehow by the end of it, I only had 5 so I don’t know what the fuck happened but at that point I didn’t even care.

I don’t have a list but one of my requirements would be to find a girl who doesn’t have a fucking list! This wasn’t even a metaphor of figurative list; she actually handed me a piece of paper that she kept with her and on it were her requirements for the ideal man. I wish I would have copied it, because I am sure it would be hilarious to share.

This lady was crazy in such a strange way, it is hard to even compare her to anything or anyone. She was adamant that at some point we would own livestock. She wanted goats and cows. The more I think on this, the livestock was very likely our breaking point. I travel a lot and really enjoyed a low commitment life at this time so livestock was out of the question. Ironically, I now have chickens but it was on my own terms, not a girl’s demand. This was a girl, who like many other young girls, was constantly told she was a princess and was thus deprived of having any decent logic or a rational mind.

Fortunately for me, I broke it off with this girl. (Read this in Daniel Stern’s voice a la The Wonder Years) I don’t really know what the last straw was, but I like to think it was that dinner with Eddie Bauer.

I knew that if I stayed with this girl, I would slowly wind up losing my assertiveness, my personality and my life. He was my wake up call and it all ends happily for everyone. A friend told me she married the next guy, very shortly after our break up. He was older, fatter and balding; I’m sure she has no trouble keeping him on a leash.

She May Leave You, But There Will Always Be Jetskis

Me? Well… I was in my mid 20s and still had a lot to do before even thinking about settling down. Mostly focusing on my career and hanging out with my friends. I was free to go biking and shoot guns on the weekend since I was single again. A couple months later, I wound up hooking up with this hot and young college girl who was much more fun. We dated for a while and that ended in the most perfect way. I still remember the day.

It was right before Independence Day. I was playing Battlefield 3 online with my buddy two states away and I was telling him that I needed to figure out how to break up with my girlfriend. She was genuinely a nice girl and I didn’t want to hurt her; we just weren’t the best fit and she wanted to get married soon. Common theme apparently. As if her ears were burning, I shit you not, she calls me up and tells me she wants to breakup.

I listen to her go and cry on the phone for a while and I do my best to sound choked up. She yells in frustration, “I just wish that you gave a shit.” I didn’t…. I couldn’t help the way I felt. But then I did get bummed out as she hung up. She ruined my Fourth of July plans and I had just moved to a new town where I knew no one. I tell my friend what happened and as a perfect male friend he says, “Damn, that sucks…. Does that mean your free this weekend for the Fourth? Wanna go ride jetskis on the lake?” That is a solid friend worth keeping longer than any girl.

Bottom line: Stop worrying about the worst thing that could happen. There are much worse things than her leaving you or a relationship falling apart. At the end of the day, there will always be Jetskis.