When we met, he told me how much he adored me for being so ambitious, so independent.
“You’re not like other girls. You’re so smart and strong. You’ve accomplished so much. I can actually have a conversation with you!”
I was young and I didn’t know that men who said things like this, were not men you should have around. I brushed it off because he was right. I was smart and strong, and his opinions about me didn’t matter to me. He was a witty law undergrad, and he made me laugh. I enjoyed his company. Pretty soon we were dating.
I continued being the girl he claimed to adore, only a more extreme version. I steamed ahead with my own successes, while emotionally supporting him as he quit his job to pursue his dreams. We talked about building a future together. I helped him start his dream business, a box gym, and having been a strategist at one of the biggest global gym chains, I was able to talk him through the process, step by step. Having spent much of my career coming up with names for businesses, I did the same for him. I built his brand, developed his strategy. I held him while he sobbed at night over the erratic nature of entrepreneur-life, comforted him through the fickle nature of customer retention, pulled out charts and graphs to show him that this was a predictable part of the startup phase.
“Nobody turns profits immediately,” I reassured him. “It’s going to be okay.”
I took control of the parts of the business he couldn’t, often without him knowing, because I didn’t want him to stress out further. Because I had experience that he didn’t. Because he was childlike and fragile, despite his muscle and brawn, and I wanted to protect him.
Because I wanted what was best for him.
But I wasn’t super woman. I was working a full-time job, writing books at night, maintaining my own part-time business, pursuing my own dreams. The macro- and micro-managing took its toll on me. At some point, I suggested he take over the parts of his business I was handling, or make me a partner in it. Like a strong, accomplished woman would do.
He got angry.
“I didn’t ask you to help with any of it,” he snapped.
This was the first time I felt reality tilt. I distinctly remembered him asking me to come up with a name for his gym, to find a designer to design his logo, to set up his website. Because he had never had a proper job or bank account, we ran all his digital ads through my credit card. My address was listed as the primary address on all his email servers, his Google alerts, his business and search ratings. To this day, six years post our break up, they still are. Why?
We’d been in his car when he said it. It was a sweltering summer’s day, and we were turning into Strand Street near the Cathedral in Cape Town. I was busy putting the exchange servers for his email into his phone.
“Is it working now?” he asked.
“Yes. It’s working.”
“Thank you so much,” he replied. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, my lioness.”
That’s what he used to call me. Lioness.
On another occasion, he would interrupt me while I was at work with a phone call.
“How do I get a sign made in the shape of our logo?”
It would take me an hour to tell him which printers to go to. To ask for something called a ‘die-cut’. To choose a light wood, so that it could be mounted. I reminded him of his Pantone, so that his colors would all match up.
“Thank you, my lioness. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
After that day, when I’d asked him for some help, some acknowledgment, he started distancing himself from me. I would hear from his friends that he’d say, “She’s just not much of a homemaker. She’s a little bit… crazy.”
He was right. I was too busy running half his business, as well as my own. Winning awards, writing a book that would go on to get four and five star reviews. Managing his emotions.
It left little time to care too much about cushions and vases. And honestly? It was making me a bit mad. I would collapse on weekends, exhausted.
“Why do you sleep so much?” he’d ask. “Are you depressed?”
Sometimes I wondered if we occupied the same reality.
He came from a wealthy family. His father had bought him his first home, and hired an interior designer to decorate it. He’d never worked three jobs. He’d never really had a proper job, to be fair. I was sympathetic. He just didn’t understand, I told myself.
I cried. A lot. Mostly on my own, but sometimes I’d cry in front of him.
“Why are you so emotional?” he started saying.
“You really shouldn’t drink that much Coke Light.”
“You look ridiculous in those glasses.”
“Are you really wearing those pants?”
He’d look at my body in a bikini, push his lips to one side.
I was tiny. Shrinking. Inside and out.
So small, I’d stopped questioning what was going on.
So small, I’d started believing him.
He in turn, got bigger every day, pushing heavier weights, downing Creatine protein shakes, obsessively staring at himself in mirrors.
“Maybe if I stop eating avo I can cut some calories…?” I mumbled.
But he’d tuned out, absorbed in his phone, editing pictures of himself. Choosing a filter for Instagram that would make his abs look the most cut.
“You should really stop posting pictures of yourself on the internet,” he said to me at some point. “You’re starting to look a bit vain.”
One night, on a weekend trip to attend the wedding of close friends, we were eating dinner, and he finished his food before me. Suddenly he stormed out of the room, slamming plates, doors.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, concerned. “Are you okay?”
I didn’t finish my dinner. I got into bed and stared back of his head. I hated myself for chewing so loudly that I’d pushed away the man I loved.
I resolved to chew softer. To be quieter.
I started speaking less and running excessively.
Ten kilometers became twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen. Fifteen.
Twice a week became three, four, five.
“Running doesn’t make you thin,” he said. “Only strength training makes you thin.”
I’d been a runner long before I met him. Exercise had been a source of joy for me, a way for me to reconnect with my body.
“But I run because I love it.”
“Might as well not bother.”
At home, I would stare at myself in the mirror.
I’d spent much of my life dealing with body issues and eating disorders, something running had soothed and solved. Had it all been a waste of time? At lunches with his family, I’d stare at his sister’s shoulder blades, poking out of her skin like coat hangers; a tiny, delicate pterodactyl in Country Road dresses.
“Men actually find strong women sexy,” he’d say, directly contradicting himself.
His sister would peck at her food, pushing it around her plate.
“Are you really going to have another piece of cake?” he’d say to me.
I began dissociating, detaching from the endless emotional push and pull.
“I just want to help you. I just want what’s best for you,” he’d say.
I believed him. I needed help. Faced with the apparent disaster that was me, I’d cry.
I’d cry and cry and cry.
“I think you should see a psychologist,” he said. “It’s clear that you have problems. You have pain you need to deal with.”
At this point, I believed him. The pain was real.
I went to a psychologist, who told me that he was toxic, his behavior controlling. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear, though. I was the problem, I explained. So I stopped going to the psychologist. But my boyfriend did not like this.
“You really need to sort yourself out,” he said. “It’s those friends of yours, they’re a bad influence.”
I’d long lost the will to argue. I began seeing my best friend in secret.
“I’m glad you’re not hanging out with her anymore. Let’s face it, she’s a slut. You know I’m only saying this because I love you, right? Because I’m concerned for you.”
“I know,” I said, through tears. “I know.”
My gran died a month before her 99th birthday.
He didn’t come with me to the funeral. He went to gym, instead.
“I’m going for a new PB today,” he’d texted me that morning. “I’ll let you know how it goes.”
When I called him on my way home, I asked if he could help me carry a chair I’d retrieved from her room in the retirement village, a keepsake by which to remember her.
He was waiting outside my apartment when I returned.
“I smashed the workout!” he said. “Record time. How was the funeral?”
I can’t remember what I said. What do you say?
When we got inside, I opened the balcony door so my cat could go outside. He stepped out and found an ashtray. I’d smoked a joint a few nights earlier, with my now secret bestie, trying to ease my grief. Trying to sleep better. Trying to get by. What happened next is a blur.
He erupted into a rage. He smashed the ashtray, pushed open the door, stormed out of the house.
He yelled something, I can’t remember what. I remember feeling fear; physical, emotional. There was swearing. I tugged at his arms, he shrugged me off. I stood in front of his car as he tried to drive away. He revved his engine, me sprawled across the bonnet.
“Just talk to me,” I pleaded.
We were that couple. Neighbours peered out of their windows. After he drove away, he refused to take my calls for two weeks. When he finally did, he was the one sitting crying in my lounge.
“I don’t think I can do this,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been chosen, by God. Like, this gym is my calling. I need to focus on it.”
And just like that, I realized I wasn’t the crazy person.
He still runs his gym. The other day I saw he put up a post, thanking everyone who’d helped him get to where he is. My name isn’t listed there. Like so many women who’ve built the careers of men, I’d been erased.
It’s okay. I doubt he did it maliciously.
He probably just wanted what was best for me.
If you like our content help us with a share… or two …
Also - I have some free stuff for you .......
Nr 1. In This FREE Report you can Discover:
Secrets to acquiring the freshest, hottest leads via YouTube In-Stream ads quickly and easily! Best secret tips for the most effective targeting for your ads! Totally legal, but little-known method for literally stealing traffic from your competitors! Get more traffic to your videos and landing pages without spending a fortune! And much more - all within this special FREE report!
Nr 2. Did you know you can Absolutely EXPLODE YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR FREE with UNTOUCHED offline sources?
Nr 3. The #1 secret to becoming an affiliate superstar - Earn your first $100 online – without a dime to invest.
If you’re still looking to “make it online – I have just the thing for you. It’s a video series that shows how to make your first $100 online – even if you don’t have a dime to invest. Yes – nothing. Free. Nada. Is this possible? You bet. It’s the most powerful system used by those “in the know”. Good things don’t have to be difficult. And they don’t only come to those who wait. Have A Look
Nr 4. Top 10 Email Marketing Mistakes. Which of these mistakes do you make?
Nr 5. You can learn about : The hottest social networking site that will send an unlimited stampede of traffic to your site - for FREE! How to quickly locate a swarm of hungry buyers using "information portals"! The fast and easy way to use simple images to siphon targeted traffic, on command! Learn how to get the most possible traffic from Instagram, and make sure that traffic converts! And much more ...
Nr 6. It’s no secret… Facebook is an incredible place to get tons of free, viral traffic. But… most people are going about it all wrong. How many of these mistakes are you making? Download the free report to find out.
Nr 7. Special free report . It's called "Operation Midas Touch" and you can download it here...
The report features a surefire method for generating at least $1000 per week online,without a website or product of your own!
Nr 8. Instagram is still one of the hottest ways to get a LOT of traffic fast. All by sharing images. Sounds easy enough, yeah? Well, yes and no. If you want to really start driving a lot of traffic and making sales using Instagram then you should download this report.
Nr 9. When it comes to creating a product online there are so many ways to approach it. Wouldn’t it be great to just get the meat of it all so you can get started faster? Well, the good news is, today you can download a guide called the Product Creation Formula Quickstart Guide. It’s as the title suggests - a Quickstart guide. You’ll get a list of action steps to take right away. Download your copy today !
Nr 10. Would you like to finally USE all of that dusty PLR you have sitting around on your harddrive? Or maybe find the resources for the best PLR available - at the best prices? What about how to use that PLR to make you money with just a few minutes of work. Well, you’re not going to want to miss this!
Nr 11. Buzzfeed’s top post has more than 21 million views. Think about that for a sec… ONE of their articles has had over 21 million people who have read it! And they have thousands of articles... what would you do with that kind of traffic? A friend of mine hacked their method and was able to use it to get 11,592 targeted new subscribers in 2 weeks on their very first attempt!
Nr 12. Push notifications are one of today's hottest trends in website traffic and conversions, and for good reason. Studies have shown that as many as 40% of people will opt-in for push notifications, which is about TEN TIMES the rate of people who opt-in for emails! That’s huge! Not only that, but they're also highly effective at pulling clicks, as well. Some studies have shown CTR at an average of around 40%, with highs of as much as 80%! Again, that’s huge!
Nr 13. Would you like to know how to get more money from the exact same number of website visitors you’re currently getting? Even if you’re website is getting as few as 1-2 visitors a day, this report will show you how to increase your profits using these few handy hacks.
Nr 14. People have now realised that it's not the size of the list which matters, it's the quality. ... and the only way to create a quality list is by launching your own products. Let it be $7 ebooks, $17 info products, $27 video training product or software's... all of these work. My good friend Kevin Fahey has is revealing how he's launched over 20 products in the past 4 years, many of them top sellers. Needless to say he's banked a handsome amount in this time.
Nr 15. Do you ever feel that the man you like or even love, just doesn't see you or desire you in way you want him to? Or... maybe you're able to get a man's attention though not the right kind of attention? Or... maybe you're still single because you wait and wait for men to approach you first? What you may not know is that the way we flirt will either attract the "wrong" man for us or the "right" man.
Nr 16. When it comes to getting sales and leads online, there is ONE thing that 95% of marketers use... it's called a LIST. My friend Jimmy just released a free book that explains WHY a list is important and how YOU can build your own list. It's available right here (and it won't cost you a penny)
Nr 17. If you have tried everything, and still aren't able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.
Nr 18. What if I told you that you could make ANY woman WANT to do ANYTHING for you? Would you think I'm crazy? Well... what If I told you that you could also make her LOVE every minute of it and come back for more?
Nr 19. I have a special free plugin for you today. It's called "Covert Hover Mini"
This plugin will triple your blog traffic by compelling your visitors to share your images on social media. This is some really clever stuff and it works like a charm. After you grab your free plugin, don't forget to read the free bonus report as it will show exactly how and why this strategy works like crazy.
Nr 20. The days of being able to get away with a basic WP theme and a pic or two are gone, your site needs to look good. Even Google are looking for you to have engaging graphics on your site. But getting good quality graphics made for your site is a pain, AND it will cost you both time and money (if you outsource it). But I have a special free download for you today. A virtual treasure chest of over 21K profit pulling graphics you can start sing today to generate more traffic & sales!
Nr 21. 20 professional full HD background videos. These background videos are perfect for giving your videos that extra kick they need to stand out from the crowd Oh yeah they are in full 1080p HD too, I hope you'll enjoy them.
Nr 23. No doubt, you've seen all of the video launches lately! There is a reason for it... Video marketing is a GREAT way to make money, and with the recent creation tools making it super accessable for anyone to get started... It's no surprise that more people are making videos. However... there is a missing element to most video marketing products...
Nr 24. For the first time ever... You can get the straight scoop on how someone is selling over $1,000,000/year of t-shirts on Facebook!Use them .... and have fun !