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So you want to keep your lover or your employee close. Bound to you, even. You have a few options. You could be the best lover they've ever had, kind, charming, thoughtful, competent, witty, and a tiger in bed. You could be the best workplace they've ever had, with challenging work, rewards for talent, initiative, and professional development, an excellent work/life balance, and good pay. But both of those options demand a lot from you. Besides, your lover (or employee) will stay only as long as she wants to under those systems, and you want to keep her even when she doesn't want to stay. How do you pin her to your side, irrevocably, permanently, and perfectly legally?

You create a sick system.Collapse )


( 315 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 10th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
Best post ever. Linking.
Aug. 12th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to thank you for this post. It was linked through a post on a community for female WoW players. And it's helped me see what my boyfriend is currently trapped in with his mother... And it explains why it slowly started to feel like he was stuck in a terrible marriage with his mother, especially after his father left (or rather, was forcibly pushed out by the mother, who now cries over him not being there or "needing" her anymore).

I've passed this onto my boyfriend, and hopefully he and his siblings will get out. So thank you.
Sep. 2nd, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
Very Insightful
I was in this exact situation. Thanks so much for posting this ... maybe it will give someone else the conviction to quit before their situation gets the better of them.
Sep. 5th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Was linked to by a friend, and just wanted to say this is an excellent and insightful post. Thank you.
Sep. 10th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
Try this on for size: I'm in a sick system, but I don't know if it's mine or hers.

She will say to me: "You're acting differently" and the reason she is being quiet is because I'm acting differently. But I am not aware of my acting differently, so I try to be introspective about it, but when I find nothing amiss I press her to figure out why she's not talking to me, etc., This is cyclic and almost always ends in a nearly relationship-ending argument. And then the day after she says I'm "Back to normal" and everything is OK until it's not. Sometimes that can be as little as 24 hours.

What do you think? Is it me being "different" and she's just noticing and thinking something is up? Is my constant pressing her trying to figure out why she's barely talking to me the root cause? It feels like a sick system.
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Interesting.
Have you tried not pressing her?
Sep. 10th, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
This reminds me of some church environments.

Also, good read.
Sep. 10th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Brilliant. I'm glad I'm not in this situation but duh, very realistic from what I hear from others :/
Sep. 10th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
Fascinating read. I've not much personal experience of it but have seen it in action for others.
Sep. 14th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
Wow. This is totally the Navy. And even more so, another place that I worked. It's really reassuring to see that it actually was fucked up, and it wasn't just me...
Nov. 8th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
Can a system like this actually be generated out of love? (an extremely misguided version of love? ) I have been in relationships like these but they always still loved me at the end of the day and held me, and were there when I needed support they sometimes helped alleviate what was going on, and other times they didn't/made it worse, but then they demanded my attention and sorta confined me at the same time?

Like is there possible for relationships like these to be a general mixture of actual affection and these...emotional abusive acts?

Can these relationships be generated out of a fear of losing someone too? o-o;
Nov. 9th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
These kinds of relationships are definitely generated out of a fear of losing someone, and in most of them, the person who's running the system does love--or appears to love--the people they've caught in the system.

Abusive relationships are rarely all bad, all the time. Abusers are also VERY good at showering their partners with love and affection at the right times, making the right promises, even improving for a little while in the right areas. They always cycle back to mistreating their partners, though. This cycle is intensely confusing for their partners, because if it was a bad relationship, there wouldn't be any good in it, right? So it must not be a bad relationship, it must be a good relationship with some bad moments. A lot of bad moments. But a lot of bad moments with a lot of good moments, and those outweigh the bad... right? Right?

It sounds like you've been in some pretty bad relationships in the past, and are stuck in the same cycle of confusion. The links below might help you figure out what you're dealing with and how to handle it.


Dec. 18th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
i friended you after this post, and i just realized: this is law school.
Feb. 15th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Wanted to add this link

hits on a number of your points, as well.
Feb. 19th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
I had a boss once who tried to create this system, but totally failed on the loyalty part because I wasn't loyal to him. I was loyal to the other person who was stuck in this awful situation with me, and we both got out of it in the end -- singed, bleeding, but alive.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 26th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks lots for this. I've had this open in a browser tab for the last few months, to help remind myself that it's possible to get out.
Feb. 26th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, my god. Congratulations! Welcome to the outside! I hope your panic goes away quickly, so you can appreciate just how awesome it is out here. Best wishes to those you left behind, too. May they see the light and follow you.
(no subject) - sarahemm - Apr. 29th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC) - Expand
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( 315 comments — Leave a comment )

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