Readers Speak: Our Relationship Was As Bad As Mel and Oksana's, And We Turned It Around
Not so, say PopEater readers. Several chimed in to announce that they, too, were in disastrous relationships like Mel and Oksana's -- cursing, threats, abysmally lacking communication -- and managed to turn things around. Read three accounts of hope not lost.
Nicholas James: 'Therapy Turned My Rancid Relationship Around'
My girlfriend, Nina, was everything I'd ever wanted: Beautiful, passionate and someone I wanted to share my life with. But after a year, our relationship turned sour. Nina was up for a promotion at work and I supported her to the fullest. She came home with fire in her eyes -- her boss had decided to promote another employee at the bank. Despite what I said to comfort Nina, she pushed me away and called me every name in the book. "What do you know, you stupid nobody!" she screamed. I calmly told her she'd get the next job. She slammed the bedroom door in my face. That night I slept on the couch; I can still feel the aching pain when I think about it. My feelings -- my heart -- were crushed.
A couple days later, Nina was mad again, this time because of the way a customer at the bank had treated her. "If you made more money, I wouldn't have to work!" she snapped. This time, I wasn't going to be her punching bag, and I defended myself. "Nina, I know you're upset, but don't blame me for how a customer treats you," I said. "I'm here for you, but right now you're taking everything out on me, and it hurts." Nina and I began barely speaking, and I have to admit, it was a relief not to be yelled at by the person I loved.
Before long, Nina was screaming at me for everything that went wrong. She was mad at me if her tire went flat, her alarm didn't go off in the morning, or if she was stuck in traffic. I asked her to try talking to a therapist. After some convincing, we made an appointment with a respected professional. The woman was kind, patient, and seemed to care about helping. Nina and I began talking out our problems, and I expressed how much Nina's cruel words hurt me. Within a month, our relationship was stronger than ever. Instead of blaming others for her problems, Nina learned how to express frustrations in a positive way. Exercise allowed her to relax and ease her mind after a long day at the bank. Two years later our love had grown. At first, Nina's outbursts resembled Mel Gibson's mean-spirited rants, but with love, patience, and understanding, we found a way to be happy and work out our problems. After all, if it's meant to be, it's worth the fight.
Kitty Cruiser: 'Sometimes It's Worth Holding On'
My husband was my high school sweetheart, but a few years back, he started seeing a girl he worked with. She was seven years his junior and he seemed proud of the fact. For three and a half years he saw her on and off, behind -- and sometimes not so behind -- my back. He pushed for divorce, but I tried my best to stay strong and not give in to that nonsense. He would tell me how much he loved this other girl and how he never loved me.
The more he pushed away from me, the harder I held on. He tried to push me over the edge by putting me down left and right. My husband -- the man who promised to love, honor and cherish me -- made fun of my height, my weight and my overall appearance. His words came close to echoing some of what Mel said to Oksana; his words cut me deeper than any knife could. Every time I looked at him, I wondered what happened to the man who once declared his love for me on a daily basis. At times, giving in to the divorce seemed like the most logical and healthy thing for me to do. But I couldn't. I held on even though I felt like I was dying inside.
I finally broke one night and asked him if he still had feelings for the other woman. He said he was confused and did not know. I demanded he figure out his feelings and -- if the outcome were not in our favor -- I would agree to a divorce. A few days after that last confrontation, my husband had come to realize that what he felt for the other woman was not love. He had gotten it in his head that it was easier to run away with this object of infatuation than to fix the problems in our marriage. He knew that he did not want to spend the rest of his life with this other woman. Since his epiphany, our marriage has been better than it was in years. I don't know what the future holds for us, but if we can overcome that ordeal, maybe we can overcome any other obstacle that gets in our way.
Ryan Phillips: 'I Was Like Mel'
Mr. Gibson, I have been there. My fiance of two years and I were having serious problems for a while. I have to admit, most of the issues came from an anger problem I never knew I had. I never hit her, but I would hit everything and everyone around us. I had to replace a whole sheet of drywall in my bedroom one weekend, because it rained and I wanted sunshine. Looking back on it, I feel like a total idiot. She finally left me and I realized I needed to change.
She and I agreed it would be best to start our relationship over from scratch. I know this is easier said than done but it is possible -- we're proof. We pretended that we never met each other. We started talking, then dating, then more and more. Finally we were back where we wanted to be. All we had to do was keep the right mindset; throughout all the pretending, we learned to listen to each other more, and learned quite a bit about our emotions. When I started to get angry, she would tell me how she felt, which reminded me of all the tragic mistakes I made in the past.
After a while I knew how she felt before I made any physical action. Now we tell each other how we feel in a calm and peaceful manner. It does become a challenge at times, but seeing her reminds me of what really matters to me; keeping her and loving each other. We have never been more in love than we are right now. Every relationship has problems and finding a way to deal with them is the easy part. Doing the actual work is the hard part that's so very worth it.
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