In 1911, American songwriter and vaudevillian William Dillon wrote the lyrics to I Want A Girl (Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad). The song became a huge hit and is still sometimes heard in movies and barbershop quartettes today.
Personally, I find it disturbingly Oedipal at best, downright incestuous at worst.
It reminds me of the nightmare marriage my cousin chose by marrying a woman just like his mother. They could be doppelgängers of each other, not physically, but in how they operate. From tyrannical control to blackmail and isolation, Mrs. Cousin is my cousin’s mother in every way, including age-wise. Even before their Spring/Winter romance culminated in marriage, the blushing, greying bride had already cheated on her boyish groom many times. When the family tries to help him in his repeated attempts to leave her, she hoovered him back in, writing draughts of cruel messages for my cousin to send to us under his name, warning us off with threats.
Naturally, the family’s reaction has been to say, ‘We’re done with him!’ which is exactly what she wants. Complete isolation, utter control, just like his Ma before her.
The only family member who meets with Mrs. Cousin’s approval is, of course, her mother-in-law. They’re two conniving peas in a dark, evil pod bent on exploiting and owning my cousin for as long as it proves financially beneficial to them both.
Under the spell of his mother and her doppelgänger, my cousin recreated Life with Mother in his choice of wife. His trauma bonding informs his understanding of ‘love’. For him, love hurts. It’s controlling, accusatory, isolating, owning. It comes and goes fuelling his addiction to it. To him, that is normal. To him, that is love.
As you might expect, his wife doesn’t work just as his mother never worked either. Instead, both of them concentrate their energies on exploiting their man-of-the-moment for the maximum income he can earn and the maximum debt his credit line will allow. Usually, they have two or three daft sods ‘in the pipeline’ so they’re never without financial support from one man or another.
How do they do it? The oldest profession in the world: they whore themselves out for money. As neither of them is conventionally beautiful and show the ravages of addiction, it isn’t about physical attraction nor love. They prey on financially secure males looking for a quick and easy shag. Once shagged, he’s hooked and joins the ‘harem’ of men they juggle. When one breaks free, there are plenty more on the hook so the money keeps flowing in seamlessly. Perish the thought that they should actually work to pay for their own whiskey!
‘Is this an open marriage?’ you ask. For Mrs. Cousin, yes. But woe to my poor cousin if he even speaks to another woman. Not that he has the time. With her addictions costing him at least £50 a day, he’s kept plenty busy working three jobs, leaving her plenty of free time for adultery.
‘Does he know about it?’ you ask. He has his suspicions but he’s not allowed to voice an opinion.
The same question is occurring to all of you that occurs to our family: ‘Why doesn’t he leave?’
She has that situation well in hand too. When he leaves, and he has, she flaunts her next shag in his face while loudly threatening to kill herself. So he rushes back to his mate with a caveman’s instinct to protect his home and his woman. What he doesn’t realise is that the threat to his home is not from without, but from within.
But right now, Mrs. Cousin’s life is too good to end it all. She has men and thus she has money to fund her alcohol and drugs addictions. If worst comes to worst, she can always provoke a domestic violence incident and then blame my cousin. That’s always good for blackmailing him into staying for another six to twelve months, with the threat of paying maintenance discouraging him from divorce.
If you, Sir, find yourself in such a hellacious situation, I beg of you to find a safe way to exit the situation. Real love does not hurt. Learn about trauma bonding and Stockholm Syndrome. Stand up for you.There are plenty of good women in the world who will treasure you.
Most importantly, after you extricate yourself, don’t go back. Regardless of what she says, offers or threatens, never, ever go back.