The Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Syndrome

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are divorced. The ‘love of his life’ has left him taking their daughter with her. He gave her a quiet divorce, supposedly to protect his religion from being exposed. According to the magazines, she is seen  smiling again and dressing stylishly. A change apparently from her lost look and uniform jeans and tees in the last few months of her marriage. Katie is blooming again.

A source said: “After five years of this Katie really felt like she was going crazy and that she was actually turning into the robot that the press had always made her out to be. Katie has actually got a great personality and she used to be spunky and feisty. She changed so much when she was with Tom, she became downtrodden and insipid.” –  Irish Central

I don’t know Tom and Katie, but I can believe this to be true.

The Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Syndrome?

I’ve seen many examples of this Tom-Katie syndrome around me: people being controlled and dominated to the point where they can no longer be themselves.

A few years ago, José and I were invited to a wedding anniversary celebration of an older couple. He was a well respected man and his wife seemed much younger. One of their children who spoke at this celebration said: ‘My parents have never said a cross word to each other.’ That seemed unreal to us. When the man passed away, we saw a subtle transformation in his wife. A woman who was always clumsily dressed and had a vacant expression on her face, now seems to be dressing smarter and looking brighter.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another couple who were very withdrawn, to the point of being anti-social, had a grown up daughter living with them. She was educated, but had never worked and led a very sheltered life. When her parents died in quick succession, the extended family was concerned about how this girl would manage. But she surprised them all by taking up a job and  managing her own affairs.

Maya’s single mom lived with Maya and her husband from the early days of their marriage. She interfered with all aspects of Maya’s daughter’s upbringing. Every time Maya’s husband suggested an outing with his wife and child, the mother fell ill and their plans had to be cancelled. Her mother was always making Maya feel guilty about having a happy family life. When the mother passed away, it was interesting to watch the family try to re-establish the dynamics. Maya still won’t admit that her mother controlled her life. Instead if she could build a shrine for her, she would. However, I observe a lot of positive changes in her and their family since the mother died.

When I first saw Ruth, a teacher with two children, she struck me as being very depressed. She dressed dowdily and hardly ever smiled. Her children too looked rather sad. I hardly ever saw her husband. When Ruth’s children finished their education and started working, she left her husband. There was such a transformation in her. She began to dress smartly, smile a lot, joined a women’s movement and just seemed transformed. Recently, she remarried and seems to glow.

All these examples point to how it is possible for us to be controlled and dominated by another to the point that our spirits and personality are completely crushed. Through subtle and direct means, we are told false things about ourselves that we start to believe. Whenever, we try to break free, the ‘controller’ uses guilt make us feel bad.

I recall Scott Peck‘s ‘People of The Lie‘ calling such domination as evil – ‘the use of power to destroy the growth of others for the purpose of defending and preserving the integrity of their sick selves.’ The worst part of this evil is that victims of it are ‘in thrall’ of the parent, spouse or friend who is dominating them. They seem powerless to escape. Most often, they don’t realize the hold the other person has on them. It takes a lot of courage to get out of the clutches of controlling people. In the examples I gave you, only Ruth (and Katie) had the courage to move out. The other three had to wait for the ‘controller/s to die.

“They are men and women of obviously strong will, determined to have their own way. There is a remarkable power in the manner in which they attempt to control others.”  – Scott Peck in People of the Lie

Have you seen any examples of the Tom-Katie syndrome around you?

May you be inspired – every day!

Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

107 thoughts on “The Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Syndrome

  1. Nice post. I know a few couples who fall into this category including one of my cousins who is forever trying to visit her mother’s place for that’s the only place she gets some relief form her dominating husband. I wonder how she is living with that man…it seems love is really blind! hahaah!

  2. For a very long time, I had wanted to read this post. i saw it on my mobile the day it was posted but couldn’t get the post to load fully. I forgot all about it and today the post caught my eye. I am so happy to be able to read this post, finally. Corinne, you have made a very sharp observation here. I haven’t thought on these lines before but now as I read through, I understand that control sometimes just goes away so unnoticed. The ones whoa re being controlled don’t realise that they are being subjected to it. Many a times our thoughts like, ‘family honour,’ ‘respect,’ and other nonsense always inhibit our true personality from flowering. I guess sometimes the Indian set-up also is to blame. This was a brilliant post, dear Corinne. A post that will be etched in my memory for many years to come.

    Joy always,

  3. This is a very interesting post!
    Only people who have seen life enough can point what you have pointed out.
    As young adults, it is something new for us, but certainly noticeable after having read this post.
    Its sad that people can be influenced to the extent of jailing themselves and in most circumstances
    it looks like it is done to preserve a relationship.

    1. Yes, you’re right experience is a good teacher. But there’s one thing you must learn young is to take good care of yourself – no one can love you like you can! Thanks for stopping, Ila.

  4. Nicely written Corinne. However, I will add (from my own experience) that it takes two hands to clap. I separated 4 years ago after 28 years and I’m a completely different person now – everyone I know tells me the tension and strain has just vanished from my face. However I was also a participant in that strain, if you know what I mean – it takes two to tango – it can never be one sided.
    I’m not a fan of Tom Cruise, but I have no sympathy for Katie – she knew exactly what she was getting into and when the going got tough she bailed!

    1. My apologies for taking so long to respond to your comment, Suzy. Thank you for sharing your experience. I appreciate that your point that it takes two hands to clap. Yes, even in abusive situations one person plays the abuser and the other plays the victim .
      I never did like Tom Cruise either 😉

  5. Corinne, HOW did I not read this until now?  This is utterly fascinating and with such a depth and wisdom in it that my head is reeling!  I too have seen cases like this.  It is SO important to think about this and if we feel our spirits being destroyed to take action in some way, to reaffirm to ourselves who we are at the core and not allow ourselves to “die”.  This post is just brilliant.

    1. How did I not notice your comment earlier, Colleen? Sorry! Yes when our spirits are being destroyed is certainly time to take strong action to move on. Thank you for your kind words, Colleen. ♥

  6.  @CorinneRodrigues this is the most intelligent piece I’ve read regarding the Tom and Katie divorce. The way you tied in people who allowed others to dominate them really pumped the piece full of life. When you truly love yourself you want others to shine and be happy. Control at its extreme is toxic. People can’t grow together under such circumstances. Love allows you room to move, blossom and make mistakes. I really want to read People of the Lie. Thanks for this great piece and the book suggestion!  

    1. I’m so very sorry that it took me so long to reply to you, Tameka. I love what you said: “When you truly love yourself you want others to shine and be happy. ” As I re-read your comment I asked myself some hard questions too. It’s easy to find the People of the Lie around us – sometimes we might find them within us too. Scary thought, don’t you think?

  7. OYYYYYYYYY I can relate to this..being controlled…… I got out ..but it took me 17 years to do it….it’s a long story ..but it was pure fear that kept me there…I have wanted to blog about this myself…. mine is a story about an abusive husband… and for my kids safety I can not write about it yet.. maybe someday …. As always…XOXOXOXOXOXO

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Bonnie. I’m sorry I took so long to acknowledge your comment. I’m glad you got out of the situation with your husband.

  8. In most cases the people being controlled do not seem to notice what is happening around them, and when they do, it takes a lot of courage to get out of the situation.

    1. Sorry that it’s taken me ages to reply, Luchi. You’re so right most of the time we don’t know that we are being manipulated and when we realize what’s happening it sometimes easier to stay in a relationship than to have the courage to leave.

  9. Most often picture perfect isn’t always the case! I’ve seen control reach wide and far from people to governments to religion….”There is a remarkable power in the manner in which they attempt to control others.”  

    1.  @Amy mommetime  That’s so true, Amy. What makes it worse with governments and religion is the subtle manner in which it is done, don’t you think? 

  10. Corinne,
    I am wondering if my post sometimes “disintegrates” b/c I don’t finish signing in…I did post yesterday that these two are perfect examples of why fame, fortune and photoshoots will never bring happiness if there isn’t unconditional love at the core of a relationship. I just celebrated another anniversary with my best friend and I would choose our lifestyle over Tom and Katie’s any day. Peck’s book sounds interesting. I might have to have a look. Enjoyed the post as always.

    1. Sorry about the commenting – I have allowed guest posting so I’m wondering why it happened. Thanks for coming back – I appreciate that.
      True about the celebrity relationships, however, this phenomenon of control goes beyond celebrities and is true of a lot of other relationships too. 

  11. this is why I suppose the phrase love is blind holds true in many instances. we lose our objectivity, our rationale, sense of purpose to such a degree that we become puppets-dance to the tune of the other person.

  12. This post highlights a very real phenomenon that happens in many people’s lives but a reality that often goes unnoticed while it is happening. It’s not a fun way to live..having your inner self being inhibited to truly express itself and shine outwards…it prevents full expression which prevents one’s true genuine nature from being developed. Sometimes a true duality emerges..a person being oneself when one’s partner is away and then getting back into the role that is preferable to one’s partner when he/she is around. Not comfortable or healthy. I know..I’ve been there..Great always. 🙂

    1.  @JessicaMokrzycki You’ve articulated it so well. It’s sad that such control eats away at one’s spirit and prevents a person from being her/his true self. Thank you, Jessica.

  13. This is such a great post Corinne.I could easily relate to the topic and have personally experienced controlling behaviour by friends & family…. It  takes great courage to get out of the controlling  person’s clutches… Great post!!

    1.  @Diana Pinto Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry that you’ve had this experience too. You’re right, getting out calls for deep inner resources.

  14. It’s amazing what a relationship can do to alter your entire life, isn’t it? I’ve seen a lot of women completely change in relationships and out of them. Sometimes it’s a downright amazing transformation. 

  15. While this is true for Tom and Katie, I don’t know that it is for every couple.  I don’t know that dominating relationships are always the cause of people not taking care of themselves as they would if they were single.  Sometimes I think it’s just complacency.  Then you don’t have a partner all of a sudden, so you dress to impress the world because the one who loved you even in your grubby pajamas and bedhead isn’t there anymore.

    1.  @femmefrugality This is certainly not true of every couple – dominating behaviour can take place in any relationship. I understand what you say about not dressing well and taking care of oneself being a result of complacency though. I can be like that at times 🙁

  16. P.S. I’ve read Scott Peck and like his writing.  I think I’ll put this one on my to-read list.  Thanks!

  17. Such an honest post, Corinne.  Sometimes I know I don’t want to admit when I’m being “brought down” by another’s negativity — especially if it’s a loved one, but on the other hand, I don’t want to make my choices out of false guilt!  I guess that’s when I remember what I’ve learned about healthy boundaries and speaking the truth in love.  Not very easy, but very helpful!  Thanks for the reminder to be authentic.

    1.  @Jimi Ann Yes, it’s always difficult to ‘out’ a loved one – it makes us feel like awful people, doesn’t it? I think that’s the very thing that ‘controllers’ use – guilt!  It’s difficult to constantly fight against it, but as you said, if we want to be authentic, it’s well worth the struggle. 

  18. Hi Corinne, to be honest I have never liked tom Cruise. Don`t ask me what it is but something about him looks fake. I guess like many other Hollywood marriages, it ran its course and all parties got from it what they wanted. What you are saying is very true and it is sad when a spouse needs to transform to suit the other person. It is not natural and it is not love. I haven`t read the Dr. Scott Peck book but now you have me curious! Great post!

    1.  @NelietaM I can’t stand the man either. Recently we borrowed a movie to watch and I didn’t realize that Tom Cruise was acting in it. Halfway through the movie, I had to stop – I couldn’t watch further 😉 However, the only movie of his I’ve watched is Jerry Macguire. But I think that was more because of Cuba Gooding Jr 😉
      You must try and get a copy of ‘People of The Lie’. It’s worth reading, Nelieta. 

  19. Corinne! when I read Dr Scott Peck book, I was so shocked, and I could not believe what he wrote, gradually I found it to be true, and there are so many examples around us, we can find this in all types of relationships, not only husband and wife, but also in other relationships as well, we find in families, among friends, at workplace etc.
    The control is so subtle that the victim does not even perceives it as being dominated or controlled, they carry on adjusting their lives and having no identity of their own, I find it common among women, where in the name of sacrifice, motherhood give themselves totally without meeting their own needs, and many a time depriving themselves of their own happiness and joy in meeting the needs of family members. The controllers ensures that these victims feel good about their choices, and glorify their sacrifices, and they become examples in families.
    I have seen this pattern emerge in my own life too, it took a very long time to identify myself as a victim- but once I recognized what was happening in my life, it was easier to handle, and I am grateful to Dr Scott Peck for enlightening me, and I am happy to take charge of my life, to be myself.  Thanks for sharing corinne!

    1.  @G Angela I remember you introducing me to this book and discussing how we could see these patterns in people. You’re very right that women are more prone to being controlled. But you and I also know some men who have been so controlled by their mothers that they’ve lost their spark completely. I’m glad that you and I have had the strength to fight our way out of it. 

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues I do remember corinne, very vividly, when i spoke to you about this book, and you are right, any one can become of victim of such people, I am enlightened   with the comments too, I have always found meaningful conversations here – and i am happy to read.

  20. I’ve read that Scott Peck book.  It was interesting to realize that there are toxic people who don’t appear that way on the surface.  It’s not like people are going around wearing a sign or an evil mask.  I’ve let myself be controlled in relationships before.  It was so liberating to finally leave.  Once I saw the pattern, then it was easier to recognize it before getting involved.  
    That’s interesting that Tom supposedly gave her a quick divorce to protect his religion.  I wonder if there is any truth to that.
    Anyway, it’s sad.  Thanks for taking this celebrity divorce and helping us to look for the patterns in our own lives and those around us.

    1.  @galenpearl Oh I so agree with you. Just this morning my husband and I were discussing how charming toxic people can be. I was a victim too and left and I realize the pattern now, Galen. Perhaps at some levels it makes us so much more cautious of taking people at face value. Do you think one becomes more cynical because of such experiences?
      About Tom and Scientology – we’ll never know the truth, will we? The religion seems to be clouded in a lot of mystery. Having said that all organized religion seems to be becoming so protective and defensive of what happens within.

  21. It’s a real shame to watch folks dominated and stifled by their spouses. The sad part is they don’t know it but it’s so obvious to the rest of the world. When a person has no freedom in any regard it’s time to consider getting out of that abusive relationship. I’m happy for Katie as she can soar again!!

    1.  @David Smith You’re so right – sometimes everyone but the ‘victim’ can see it happening. Do you think this is confined to partners and spouses, or do you see this type of behaviour manifested in other relationships too, David?

  22. > people being controlled and dominated to the point where they can no longer be themselves.
    It’s like that saying … “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, its meant to be.”
    While opposites attract, similarities bind, and values are the lightening rod of relationships.

  23. This is such a timely and revealing post, Corinne.  Yes, I have witnessed the types of relationships you speak of here and they are, indeed, sad to see.  Thankfully, one way or the other, all these persons finally lost their “controller” to finally become the person they were meant to be.  I read “People of the Lie” many years ago and it really opened my eyes to what had been actually happening around me that I didn’t know how to put a finger on.  I hope all your followers will choose to read this book after reading your marvelous article.
    Blessings, my friend!

    1.  @marthaorlando Thank you. Yes, some people were blessed with the strength to fight their way out and others had to wait for death – that is so much harder, because sometimes it’s too late, don’t you think? ‘People of the Lie’ is an absolute eye-opener. 

  24. Marriage definitely should be blissful. I commend Katie for getting out!

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues Yes, absolutely. Any relationship that doesn’t offer respect, love, and understanding from both parties should be dissolved.

        1.  @amieewoods It’s always harder when it happens between parents and children. When they’re young they can’t break free, and when they’re older the patterns of behaviour has already been set. 

        2.  @CorinneRodrigues True. Then it becomes an ongoing cycle of the same controlling patterns unless the person recognizes them, then focuses on putting in the work to change it.

        3.  @CorinneRodrigues @CorinneRodrigues Yes. This will help to make a better world for us all!

  25. I have a friend who for years was dominated and controlled by her husband. The sad thing was she didn’t even know it until 13 years later when she finally said she’s had it. Now, my friend is happier and had found what it means to be her.
    This is a great post, Corinne! i can’t imagine being controlled by another person and I think I’m pretty lucky that I live in a society where men respect women as their equals.

    1.  @ao6907 I’m glad that your friend found a way out of this situation. I’m not sure which part of the world you live in, but I do believe that there are some men in every part of the world, who don’t consider women as their equals. What do you feel?
      PS: I can’t find the link to your blog. Please share if you have one. 

    1.  @Tweetsmom I’m sorry you had to go through something like this. I have been through it too. Thank you so much for the award. I really appreciate it.

  26. i don’t know what the truth of the matter is in the katie and tom case — i’m pretty sure they both were getting something they wanted out of the deal — until they weren’t.
    it’s interesting that you mentioned more than once how women seem to ‘bloom’ and ‘dress smartly’ when they ‘escape’ from these controlling relationships.  ironically, one of the most prevalent criticisms i receive about my relationship with mr. c, especially from women, is that he’s too controlling about my appearance — but, i feel more beautiful than ever with his help!
    everybody seems to have an opinion about everybody else’s relationships …       
    ps i remember that quote from ‘people of the lie’ — it was a huge catalyst for my own personal growth at the time i read it.     

    1.  @DangerousLinda You’re right we don’t really know what is going on in other people’s relationships. What might feel right to someone, may not be to someone else. Your point about Mr C and your appearance is truly interesting. For me, I would get really upset if Jose told me what to wear – I do ask for his suggestions but that’s all! The key is perhaps in what you said – people need to feel better about themselves in the relationship. If they don’t, alarm bells should be going off, don’t you think? 

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues i have been thinking about this a lot — in fact, incubating a blog post of my own on the subject (as is often the case in our cyber-community as we overlap and synchronize with each others’ ideas — love that!)
        in the united states, at least, it seems we have placed a premium on such ideas as “if you loved me you’d…(fill in the blank)”  most people don’t consider this controlling behavior, like, say, the way my father controlled me by physical force and abuse.  
        personally, i’ve been ‘weeding’ my life of people who try to control me in any way — which eliminates more people than you might think, because it’s so socially acceptable, and even expected, until it turns into a katie & tom nightmare…
        more to come… ;-* 
        ps there’s been no shortage of men trying to tell me how to dress in my lifetime, but they couldn’t even dress themselves properly — haha!  the difference is that mr. c actually does have an amazing sense of style which i truly appreciate and if he wasn’t my bf i’d try to hire him to dress me!

        1.  @DangerousLinda Yes, I love how our ideas seem to synchronize with that of others in our blogging world. I have been weeding out people too and also becoming more aware of my own propensity to attract such people in to my life.  Waiting for your post on the subject.
          PS: Aren’t you a lucky lady to have your personal stylist? 🙂

  27. Sometimes people stick in their marriages for various reasons. I have seen these types of marriages and one really cannot understand what goes wrong. Why does one person want to dominate and worse, why does the other person feel so compelled to be highly compromising. 
    But yes, glad that some people find the courage to move out and make their lives better. 

    1.  @Hajra  I guess it’s how different people are wired and our own confidence and self-esteem issues. Do you think this is confined to marriage only or have you seen similar controlling behaviour in other relationships too, Hajra? 

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues I think it holds true for any relationship. But when it comes to marriage, one might tend to overlook to a certain extent to keep the best interest at work. The concept of we comes before an I in marriage…

        1.  @Hajra  I understand. Perhaps it has been ingrained in us that marriage is all about compromise, so we’re unable to distinguish between making compromises and becoming slaves.  

  28. Yes, I’ve known this to occur. However, the amazing thing is that anyone ever escapes from it. I mean, if they are so controlled, how do they muster the strength to leave?

  29. I suppose we all know someone or we ARE someone who is controlled or controlling, for some, I think it’s the only way they can feel secure and safe. Life for people with self-esteem issues or with confidence issues is very stressful unless there is a person “in charge” of them. Unfortunately, that often goes to the way they were raised. It is how they believe life should be. 
    The worst part of that, to me, is if children are born to them they will see and likely emulate either the controller or the controlled.
    Well done. Timely and certainly true. 

    1.  @JoHeroux I absolutely agree – we’ve all be controllers or controlled at some point in time – to lesser or greater degrees. Poor self-esteem is certainly something that causes this. Thank you, Jo.

  30. Yes I have, and of both types. Few where men dominated and few where women did it. Even right now as I type this as I can hear the arguments next door as my neighbours are trying to settle their marital disputes. In this case both are dominating which is interesting to watch as both seem to be in some kind of race- who changes whom faster…

    1.  @privytrifles When we don’t accept other people for the way they are, we try to change them and the struggle is always painful for both. Do you think that some parents too are guilty of not accepting their children as they are and consequently controlling every aspect of their behaviour, until they break their spirits?

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues 
        Yes…I completely agree to it Corinne. I have myself been through it. You know they seem to have huge expectations from you and they kind of forget where we all came from. If I am average I kind of want to accepted as an average child. Now for arguments sake a friend’s mother is more loving and caring than mine. Now do I also begin cribbing about it and comparing…no. Because I accept them as they are.
        Well now it is all a matter of past as I have grown up now. But yes the scars remain, very deep and I would never ever want my children to experience something like this ever. For that matter nobody on this earth should have this feeling of being an insignificant nobody. We all are important and have our own individual identities with uniqueness.

        1.  @privytrifles Thank you for sharing with such honesty. I’m not sure if parents in other countries do it as much as our Indian parents (at least of previous generations) did – using comparison as a form of motivation. Perhaps they don’t realize the scars that this leaves. You are right no one has the right to make anyone feel bad about themselves! ♥

  31. Both ways Corinne… When I left my old life, I felt more alive in so many ways ~ from the way I dressed up to gaining more meaningful relationships with people…
    On the other hand, the people I left behind also became more spontaneous ~ it seems that we threw away ‘competition’… and it’s so liberating.
    Thanks for sharing this BS…

    1.  @MelissaTandoc That’s a wonderful perspective. But I think the relationships were basically quite healthy to begin with. Are there relationships you know of where one person is literally the slave of the other – parent-child, couples and even friends? 

  32. Oh I know people, Corinne. They’d rather stay in the relationship than make their kids live the life of a broken family. But then I would think, “doesn’t that situation make everyone more broken?” Sadly, a lot of people choose to remain in this situation instead of walking away from it because they fail to understand the consequences.

    1.  @Irene9583 I agree with you that the children of families are terribly affected too, when the mother chooses to stay in a relationship because of them. However, sometimes they are totally without hope – or that’s the way they are made to feel. You’ll remember, Mary’s sharing a while back here, Irene. It’s easy for us on the outside to say and so difficult for those on the inside.
      However, don’t you think that this controlling behaviour doesn’t just apply in marital relationships? 

  33. Absolutely – and the worst part of those relationships is when you truly convince yourself that the other person is GOOD for you. I remember thinking of my ex, “He’s so grounded and logical, I’m happy to have someone to keep me from flying away with my crazy dreams.” REALLY. I REALLY thought that. Now, I just hope to learn from that mistake and not make it in future relationships.

    1.  Ermodi  Thank you for sharing. I know how we can fool ourselves in to thinking that the other person – a partner or a parent – is doing things for our good. Sometimes it’s the subtle game they play of telling us that no one else cares enough or what they doing is for our good. I’m glad your dreams won!  Do you think that this experience will help you look for some signs in the future that will warn you when you meet a similar character? 

  34. Yes, I have personally seen this syndrome. The women seem to be normal, educated, well-qualified, yet they are controlled to the point of being puppets. Do you have any ideas about how to help such women. They are obviously not asking for help also.

    1.  @Rachna I think education and being financially independent too sometimes doesn’t help. I do believe that we can caution someone, most times they won’t respond positively though. We can also assure them that we’ll be there for them if they decide to move out. Have you tried to help someone in such a situation and failed?

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues Oh yes, I have! But, the person feels that she must bear it for the sake of her kids. She has the support of her own family. But, she has as a matter of fact stopped interacting with me  and with her loved ones because her husband said so. She is smart, intelligent and is working in her husband’s business. But, she cannot open her mouth in front of her husband.

        1.  @Rachna It is terrible for those of us who are on the outside -family and friends – to watch someone allow themselves to become captive of another. There’s not much one can do except be there and hope and pray they make the right decision and we are there to help them pick up the pieces when they do. Perhaps reading this post might help you to get another perspective, Rachna. 

  35. Reading your post I realised at the end that I had forgotten to breathe, I was once in such an unhealthy relationship myself but managed to get out of it after years of slowly giving up my own personality. It is a spiraling thing with an uncontrollable dynamism because I stubbornly refused even to myself to see clearly. 

    1.  @Late_Bloomers Thank you for sharing. I think the key is that we (the victims) are totally in a fog it appears and it takes a miracle at times for us to begin to really ‘see’ what’s happening. I’m glad you found the strength to get out of it, Barbara. Was that something gradual or did something suddenly snap one day? 

    And I agree with elramey.. One should really watch that movie to have a taste of what it feels like, being with someone who defines the entire person of you in his own way..  In some cases, it’s the man who gets unrecognisably defined… like the character of a book I am currently reading – “I will love once again!” by Krishna.
    One must let each other be, in a relationship. That’s when the beauty of it comes out. Many a time, it’s the beauty of love and freedom that reflects in the faces of the couple.
    Cheers, Punam

    1.  @pristinetulip  Sadly we often think what happens in movies or a book are not reality. Freedom is a large part of love according to me. What, according to you,  are the signs we must look out for to know whether person is controlling before we get in to a committed relationship with them? 

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues Corrine, that’s a very pertinent question.
        Are you a free bird? A person you love must set you free. He/she can not bind you in rules and customs that they think are ‘right’. When a person is 100% himself – allowed to remain so, that’s when a relationship liberates you – and that’s when you should bind yourself to the person.
        The signs – are as subtle as
        1. deciding the entire menu at an evening cosy dinner without asking the partner…
        2. one-way conversations that like i pointed out before – Krishna, the protagonist in the book ‘I will love once again’.. he keeps revealing how his ex kept bossing over him, would not let him talk to other girls although she could talk to any boy and not explain, would not HEAR his part of “How i wrote my exams” out, but would go on in great details how she missed out on 2 questions and might get the second rank instead of the first..
        3. Commenting on the dress code.. insisting the partner to wear conservative dresses
        4. Curfewing the time which a partner remains out (Eg. get back home before 8 PM)
        or as clear as (not exhaustive)
        1. Domestic violence when a lady rebels
        2. Putting forth conditions that you have to please my parents if you want my love.
        3. Your hobby of painting is very heavy on our expenses – stop wasting your time on useless stuff that is expensive… we need to save
        4. Controlling how the spouse spends her money
        Before getting into a relationship, it’s very difficult to judge, Corinne, whether a person is of controlling nature, because one usually likes to show one’s best behaviours during the courtship phase… Most men do the “Yes darling” stuff during this phase and in such a case, it’s difficult to comprehend..But simple things like who gets to decide the couple’s outings.. is it in consensus, or jjust one person always deciding and the other always agreeing, talking about future stuff, like asking his view about situations like.. transfer to another city for the girl.. how would he react?Chivalry… kindness towards other people in general…
        These can give pointers.. speaking of Indian context, one important pointer could be if the man has a sister at home, does he curfew her outings? Does he seem over protective of her to the extent of strangulating her freedom?
        This wasn’t supposed to be such a big reply!!! I am sorry about taking so much space.. when i started replying.. loads of thoughts kept flowing..!! 🙂

        1.  @pristinetulip Thank you so much for your great response. Perhaps you should convert this in to a post – it might help someone else. I agree with everything you’ve written. It’s the little things that we need to watch out for before marriage – but unfortunately not everyone has the luxury of time to get to know the other. I really appreciate your response and am serious about the post, Punam.

        2.  @CorinneRodrigues Dear Corinne, most welcome. ANd yes, I will turn this into a blog post. 🙂 Thanks for suggesting. You are a darling. Take care!

  37. Oh! yeah, many…sad but true. They are emotionally blackmailed to remain in a relationship.

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues Security, social stigma, parental pressure, kids…familiar. A known devil is better than an unknown angle!

        1.  @Janaki Nagaraj I know what you mean.  I know how hard it can be. However, by continuing to live with someone  a ‘devil  and exposing their children to so much evil, the victims often become participants in this cycle. 

  38. These stories reminded me of Kahlil Gibran’s take on marriage: “Let there be spaces in your togetherness…For the pillars of the temple stand apart. And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” Relationships (not just marriage) are really “a dance; it’s a balance” (this line I lifted from an Amy Grant song). It’s both submitting to your partner and yet not getting swallowed up whole by them. Easier said than done, I suppose. 🙂

    1. AJ, That is one of my most favourite quotes, I used it in one of my poems and it added a depth to my poem I can not express… Gibran’s quotes are awesome and wise.

    2. I love that quote of Gibran’s and agree that it applies to all relationships, @ajpoliquit. How does one even become aware that you are being controlled by a parent, for example, when it’s the only life you know? What do you think?

  39. Too many to name.  Books like the one you mention should be required reading for all teens and young adults even considering marriage.  And they should be required to see Sleeping with the Enemy.  

    1.  Isn’t it sad that there are so many examples around and we still don’t learn from them @elramey ?  It’s not just in marriages though – I see this in a lot other relationships too. Do you think the ‘controllers’ always realize what they are doing though? 

      1. What I want to say in this context is that every marriage is different and every life is different. We can never categorize all divorces in one category. We can’t actually say what the couple must have gone through to get the divorce, to take the decision of divorce. Divorce is a big step and especially when you have children. We cant learn from anyones life. We can learn only from our own experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address