The following is an important community service announcement that applies to all persons who seek or desire sexual fulfillment, romance, intimacy, companionship, econo-domestic partnership or mutual servitude.
This message is especially important for those souls who find themselves in the artistic community and seek, not necessarily tranquility and predictability, but rambunctious passion that sweeps them off of their feet. The trouble with rambunctious passion is that it can run to you, sweep you off your feet, enfold you in an unrelenting whirlpool that either drowns you or causes you to struggle and fight to get out. Upon escaping you are then either deflated and disconsolate, or, thanking God, the fates and sheer dumb luck that you survived. Then sometimes a third course or option is that you are left, just as quickly and surprisingly as you were embraced, with a pain, a desolation, a longing and an insatiable hunger. You find you cannot be without that other one which then leads you to your ruin or your eventual bliss if you win the fight and gain the favor of your love.
I have found that among actors, artists, film makers, dancers, directors, choreographers, photographers and clowns that they don’t just want to be in a relationship, they want to be all tangled up in it as the center of attention in the maelstrom of life. And herein lies the problem for such souls: the truth is, sometimes there is not much of a difference between love and manipulation, passion and stalking, devotion and criminal harassment, obsession and adoration, and ball busting and nurturing.
Often the difference between them is the difference in timing, the context, the intensity of your particular excesses, addictions or quirks, and the willingness of your partner to appreciate or tolerate your excesses, addictions or quirks. At times those excesses, addictions or quirks can, and sometimes should, get you into serious trouble with the law.
Here are some helpful guidelines to save you a lot of grief and money, and steer you clear of the law.
1. Physical violence either direct or indirect is never okay and should not be justified or excused. This includes threatening to commit harm against anyone or their property.
Granted, everyone has a right to defend themselves even against a beloved or not so beloved partner. But, guys (mostly guys) even when you rightfully defend yourself or your property against a woman, for better or worse, the cop, investigator, prosecutor, judge and God will, 99% of the time, regardless of what you say, blame you for any bruises or marks that end up on your partner due to your self defense or defense of your property.
I’ve known this to be true, even when I’ve been involved in cases where the woman has self inflicted injuries. I guarantee you, men, you are better off running from the woman that is attacking you or about to destroy all of your worldly possessions than trying to defend yourself or your property.
Only engage in self defense when absolutely necessary to avoid bodily harm or save your life. If that is not necessary and you can’t run, and your woman is not carrying a weapon that could inflict serious harm or death, duck and cover, or do what you’re supposed to do when a grizzly bear attacks you: curl into the fetal position. This may be against every instinct in your body but although I’m sure I’ll get many angry women responding to this post and saying that I’m incorrect, most angry women attacking you are like that same grizzly bear, they will only rip you to shreds if you remain standing in their path and confront them. Why?
Because a few women are very smart and devious. They don’t attack to necessarily win the fight with you, they attack because they are so angry and distraught they want you to realize it, and change. Then at times, there are an even fewer number who don’t care if they sustain some little damage in the process. In a twisted sort of way, these very few in number, want you to oblige them and give them some evidence to blame on you or they want to be a martyr. Don’t be participate in that.
Now, in order to not get too many hate responses, again this only applies to a very limited number of women. I do not want to diminish the problem with domestic abuse and males that actually are the aggressors and do subject their partners to abuse. Also, let me be quick to add that many men, in greater proportions to women, use violence to get their way.
On the other hand, if you are the woman who wants to manipulate the situation, I have the same advice. Violence is not acceptable. You shouldn’t be doing it. Moreover if you (or men) know the psychological buttons that set off your partner and are using them, although the law doesn’t give your loved one any legal justification to retaliate, you still should not be pushing those buttons and inflaming the situation. If your man (or woman) truly is a psycho or sociopath, truly is a bad provider, or pathetic in bed, he or she is worthless, either get him professional help, find positive ways to encourage the good behavior, or get out. It’s dangerous to psychologically beat down your man (or woman) and when it works to your advantage, it is counterproductive and despicable.
2. If you find your partner in flagrant infidelity, don’t become a one person vigilante.
Instead you should count it as a blessing because you have thereby discovered, without the nasty nagging uncertainty when you just suspected it, that it’s time to get out. So, instead of becoming a criminal defendant and going to jail, gather and preserve the proof, assess the situation with a professional third party, and make your decision, whether to try to preserve the relationship or move on.
3. When one partner emails and texts long, exaggerated dissertations about all of your flaws, this is a warning flag.
Not always, but at times, what the partner is doing is creating a profile to use against you. How is this done? Because if one party wants to punish and destroy the other, yet the recipient wants to appease the other partner and preserve the relationship at all costs, the party on the mission knows you will not respond to defend yourself. Then there will be a very one-sided set of communications in which it looks like you are agreeing to all the bad stuff about you and admitting that it is true. The best thing to do in such a situation is to send a message similar to the following, “Dear Truelove, while I don’t agree with what you are saying about me and much of it is an exaggeration and a caricature, apparently I have some aspects about myself you don’t appreciate. Let’s make an appointment with a professional and discuss them so that we can put such issues in context and solve them.”
Again, this is what you need to understand. Sometimes partners, in order to take the role of the victim, purposely exaggerate your flaws and minimize their problems. In response, sometimes in a foolish effort to appease the “victim monger” you will concede and beg for forgiveness not realizing that those emails, letters and texts may be read by a third-party at some point in the future. Don’t get set up.
An additional caution, don’t go to the opposite extreme and respond to texts and emails by getting crazy and engaging in threats. In my practice, again, I have found that a lot of men tend to go crazy in social media, emails and texts by spilling their guts and being “unwise.” Don’t do it. Be smart.
3. If your partner wants distance and tells you that certain types of contact or all communication is to stop, then by all means comply with that request. On the other hand, if you are the person requesting that certain communications or contact stop for a time, don’t then say or do things that give your partner hope that with a few presents, rental payments or troubadours sent to your window the floodgates of love will again freely flow. This is especially hard for guys to understand. Because guys don’t always understand they are being played. This is because they are taught in sport, “FAW & NLU,” or “find a way and never let up,” and many other such sayings. Such training is invaluable on the field of play but sometimes so admirable, when it works, in the game of love. But when it doesn’t, things go badly very quickly.
In Utah you can be charged with criminal stalking if you “intentionally or knowingly” engage “in a course of conduct directed at a specific person and [you know] or should know that the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person:” to either “fear for the person’s own safety or the safety of a third person or to suffer other emotional distress.” In regards hereto, it is not a defense that you were “not given actual notice that the course of conduct was unwanted; or [you] did not intend to cause the victim fear or other emotional distress.”
What does this mean? Well, a course of conduct means “two or more” actions in which you yourself or through another person follow, observe, photograph, survey, threaten, or most importantly, communicate with or interfere with another’s property by any action, method, device or means. It also includes something as innocent as approaching the other person, going to their work place or other location to give them flowers, or basically in any way interact with the other person that other person finds objectionable. This type of criminal offense can, depending upon prior circumstances, arise to the level of a second-degree felony.
Also in Utah you can be charged with electronic communication harassment if with the intent to annoy, alarm, intimidate, defend, abuse, threaten, harass, frighten, or disrupt the electronic communication of another you repeatedly send electronic communications after the recipient has requested or informed you not to contact them anymore and you persist in doing so. Or you engage in other types of electronic communications that are meant to provoke, or overload their system. This, depending upon past behavior, can arise to the level of a third-degree felony.
4. If a police officer tells you not to have contact with another person because that other person is indicating that it is unwelcome, by all means stop the contact.
If a police officer tells you to stop contact with a partner because it is unwanted, then it’s going to be pretty hard to claim that you are unaware that your behavior was unwelcome.
5. Do not use the legal system simply to do what you do not have the ability or courage to do and that is to tell a partner in certain and clear terms when a relationship is over and the contact is to cease. Do not use the legal system simply to embarrass your partner or to “teach them a lesson.” Only use the legal system when it is evident that direct communication has not or will not work and you have a reasonable belief that you are in danger.
If, on the other hand, your estranged partner does not understand what stop or no means, is engaging in threatening, aggressive, or violent behavior, call the police, file a protective order with assistance for the courts under the cohabitants Spousal Abuse Act, and get legal help. Also, realize that the piece of paper is meaningless if the person it is given to or served with will not obey the law. So take the measures necessary to protect your safety.
6. Do not hash out relationship problems with your partner’s children whether minors or adults. It is inappropriate to involve children in your mature adult relationship.
7. Do not involve parents in your relationship problems unless both partners in the relationship agree thereto.
8. If you have a problem with your partner that involves something that partner is capable of doing or not doing, then discuss it directly with them before you discuss it with your hairdresser, televangelist, second cousin, director, or post it on social media where it will live longer than you will.
9. Lastly, as the character Bill Parrish states in the film, Meet Joe Black, remember that love, “[I]s passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. I say, fall head over heels. Find someone you can love like crazy and who will love you the same way back. How do you find him? Forget your head, and listen to your heart... Run the risk. If you get hurt, you’ll come back. 'Cause the truth is, there's no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven't lived a life at all. But you have to try, 'cause if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.”
Yet, I say, when that someone you have found to love you like crazy is no longer wanting you to love them back like crazy, forget your heart and listen to your head. Cause the truth is, there's no sense getting a protective order filed against you, getting criminally charged or living your life in jail trying to win that which is no longer win-able. To make the journey, spend a lot of money on attorneys and have a criminal charge or jail time, well, you haven't lived a smart life at all. Be smart and stay loving my friends.
Loren M. Lambert © November 22, 2015.