I did not set out to write about pop culture or blog about shows. But I caught last night’s episode of “The Hills” and I, too, am worried. Not about Heidi, per se, but about the message that was sent out to so many impressionable women. Notice I did not write ‘young’ as an adjective in there about these women. Viewers of “The Hills” are in their late teens to their late thirties. And so many women think that male behavior of any kind is acceptable. That’s why we still have domestic abuse.
In last night episode of “The Hills”, when Heidi was confronted about her husband’s scary and out-of-control behavior, she said to two other women (Kristin and Audrina) that “All men are a little controlling”. ?????? Did you hear the bells and whistles going off?
Yes, men are a ’little controlling’. Men who are insecure, weak, abusive, and trying to make themselves feel better by keeping a tight leash on you, Heidi, and proving to themselves that they are ‘a man’.
A true man, a gentleman, is secure with himself. He is not controlling. He is fine when his wife or girlfriend has her own job, makes her own money, can take care of herself. He likes it when she expresses interests in hobbies, her friends, and the relationship. A man wants his wife or girlfriend to be herself; a whole person who can define herself with and without him. He encourages her to try things, go out, and live life. He then wants to be there later on to hear how exciting her day was or how she has taken to this new hobby and can’t wait to do it again.
Heidi said that she doesn’t know who she is without her husband. (I will not write his name in here as he has been such a publicity hound for a do-nothing jerk who has now realized that he is nothing and that is one reason why he controls this woman.)
My fear is that so many women who saw that episode last night will say “See? Heidi is with that guy and she’s ok. My guy acts just like that. We’ll be fine.”
No. You won’t.
Just because she justifies her husband’s behavior and stays with him and dismisses it as if it were a fly buzzing around her alfresco table does not mean it is okay. Or healthy. Or safe.
To be in a healthy relationship, you should be able to define who you are as an individual first. If you can’t do that, then you are not ready for a serious, long-term commitment. You need to go into a relationship as a whole person with another person who is also whole. Learn to define yourself for you and the relationship. The relationship should not be all of you. A romantic relationship is just one facet of our lives. Is it fair to the other person if you go into it looking to define yourself through it? No.
How do I know this? How do I know that abuse is not good and will not change? I was in one when I was a freshman in college. It was a nightmare. I went from being a happy, bubbly, confident young woman to someone who became isolated, lost friends, lost confidence, sat home every weekend crying, waiting for the phone to ring because he’d fight with me every Thursday so he could go out with his friends and then call late Sunday night to make up with me and be together again until the next Thursday night.
It became possessive. Controlling. Mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive. I was only in the relationship for 9 months, but feel the scars of it to this day.
MTV needs to ‘pull the plug’ on those two characters and edit the remaining episodes to not include Heidi or her husband. They need to do a special for young women and men that straightens out this mess created by these two sensationalized nobodys. And they need to do it with real people; not Dr. Drew and others, as nobody wants to hear what doctors and psychologists have to say. They need real people and their real stories. They need some kind of dating workshop special to run so that women who watch can learn that it is okay to define yourself as a single person, to be happy with who you are, and that when they find someone, he, too, will be happy with who she is because of who she is to him.