I don't mean how quickly you sleep with a new flame, though that's part of my query. I mean how intimate does your knowledge of the other person have to be?
I ask because I've been thinking hard the past couple of weeks about Jessie Davis, that 9 mos. pregnant Ohio mom who was murdered, allegedly by the unborn baby's father, days before she was to give birth. If you recall, the father, who has been charged with the murders was a cop in Canton, Ohio. He is also the father of Davis's toddler son.
Also, I've been thinking about Nancy Benoit, wife of pro wrestler Chris Benoit, who murdered Nancy and their young son and then committed suicide a couple of weeks ago.
I would never blame the victims for being killed. The only people to blame here are Chris Benoit and Bobby Cutts Jr., the cop (if he's proven guilty).
However, I wonder how far in advance of these murders these women were aware of their men's shadiness. And I wonder if they knew enough to raise red flags in advance. I don't intend to be mean. You have to admit it's a fair query. And if you don't think so, tell me with a straight face that while you watched the news unfold about these cases on television you didn't talk to the screen and say things to the effect of "I'd never have let him treat me that way!" or "Why didn't she leave his sorry behind?" If you're willing to say or even think something like that then you're admitting that you believe you wouldn't have been in a similar relationship to one of these.
I understand that many academic studies show that women in abusive relationships often don't leave - sometimes because they fear their spouse/significant other, sometimes because they've so emotionally beaten they don't even recognize their desperate situation, and sometimes because they're in denial about how they're being treated. I've read studies that say that sometimes women in such relationships are unaware of their significant other's dark side or they don't have the means to leave.
And that brings me back to Nancy Benoit. She had been involved in pro wrestling for years, like her husband. If it's true that he had been exhibiting steroid rage before he killed her and their son, why didn't she recognize the symptoms? Since the murders, retired pro wrestlers have been coming out of the woodwork, telling cable talk hosts that 'roid usage was always rampant when they wrestled. She was in the business. She didn't know? I had a friend using 'roids in college. We used to work out together. I never took anabolic 'roids, but I took things close to 'em. And I scared the crap out of family and friends who wanted to know how I packed on lean weight so rapidly. I went from 185 pounds to over 260 pounds in about three months. My friend, who took steroids, had even more dramatic results. And along with his muscle gains he started getting inexplicably angry at little things and would lash out at people smaller and weaker than him. He eventually stopped and got help, but not before a lot of friends broke off contact with him and steered clear 'cause they saw the signs. I stopped taking my non-steroid (but still stupid and potentially dangerous) supplements. And now I'm flabby, but that's a different story. Again, back to Nancy Benoit - could she have seen it coming? Maybe?
Then there's Jessie Davis. When she first began dating Cutts she apparently didn't know that he was married. She learned as much later. Still, they had a child. She also learned later he had other affairs and at least one other child with someone who wasn't his wife. And yet, together they conceived another child - the one she was carrying when he allegedly killed her. She may not have known that Cutts had a violent history too - having been convicted of a crime related to kicking in the door of another ex-girlfriend. So what did she know about this guy?
Several years ago a popular pastime of the single women I know was to go onto their state's circuit court Web sites and try to put the names of potential boyfriends in the search engine in order to find any available dirt on the guys. Often they were successful. I have female friends who after they'd meet a guy in the club or the bookstore or church or the grocery or the gym, or wherever, would run his name through the court site and find that he was two years behind on child support or that he had been charged three times with drunk driving or that he had been convicted of some other felony. It was such an easy search. And it seemed like a smart thing to do. Dudes can be crazy nowadays. So can women, but women are not violent as often as men in relationships. I know of a woman who looked me up. I was initially offended, when she told me. I wasn't worried she'd find anything negative. She didn't. Still, when I calmed down I knew she was smart to do it. Can't be too careful. So again with Jessie Davis - what did she know about Bobby Cutts Jr? Was it enough to give some advance warning? And if she knew nothing about his troubled side, why didn't she know?
If neither woman knew anything about the dangerous side of their men, then this conversation is moot. But if they knew about Benoit's alleged 'roid-fueled temper and Cutt's multiple affairs and sometimes violent behavior? Why did they stay?
I am so torn about this whole thing. Maybe it's a difference between men and women. Guys often lack patience. We'll leave a significant other for "nagging" us or for raising her voice at us or for gaining an ounce. We're shallow that way. Women seem to give guys - especially guys who don't deserve consideration - too many breaks.
Or am I all wet in my speculations? You tell me.
One more time though: Even if these women knew everything about these guys in advance they are still not to blame for being murdered. That's silly. And anyone who suggests as much is a knucklehead. Don't blame the victims. But do learn from their mistakes...if they made any.