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Kissing Your Abuser

Is anyone else following the story of Charles Saatchi choking his wife Nigella Lawson in public this week? For those catching up on it, the billionaire asshole was dining with his celebrity chef wife Nigella Lawson and there was a fight, in which he grabbed her neck — not once, but repeatedly, was menacing, yelled at her, she wept and then — the part she’s getting crucified for in the media — when he stopped, she kissed him.

Saatchi, being the sort of disordered wing nut we can all relate to here at Chump Lady, minimized his actions and said it was a “playful tiff” and he was holding Lawson’s neck to  “emphasize his point.”  You know, I wonder how that goes down at stockholder meetings for Saatchi. If he doesn’t have everyone in half-Nelsons. Choking being an acceptable form of communication for the guy.

Clearly Saatchi feels entitled to humiliate his wife in public. You wonder what other sort of things he feels entitled to do behind closed doors. But tongues are wagging, some in sympathy, some in condemnation, and some in bewilderment — that as this fight was going on, she pleaded with him and she kissed him.

When I read that I totally could relate. I knew then that Nigella Lawson was part of the chump collective. If you haven’t lived with Mr. or Mrs. Scary yourself, well perhaps you can’t relate. Lawson was doing a version of the Pick Me dance, a cha cha we’ll call Placate You. It’s based in that same mistaken assumption that if we’re just kind enough and worthy enough, the abuser will Stop Doing Terrible Things.

Look how much I love you. Look how wrong this is. See how devoted I am. See how I am trying to stay calm in the face of your rage. See how I am trying to disarm your accusations that make no sense to me. Let’s try to figure this out together. Let’s try to achieve consensus. Don’t you love me? I know you love me. I love you. My love for you will rise above this. My love for you is BETTER than this way you are behaving right now.

And so she kissed him.

Some say she “submitted” to him. That’s one way to look at it. I see it as two people on totally different wavelengths. Lawson doesn’t understand that, as Dr. George Simon says “It’s not that he doesn’t see, he disagrees.” He WANTS to be abusive. He knows what the accepted rules of conduct are in public when dining with your wife, when fighting with your wife, and they do not apply to him. He feels ENTITLED to treat her like shit. No, not just entitled, he gets off on it. It’s about control.

Nigella Lawson still thinks it’s about love. And that is why she kissed him.

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  • It always blows my mind when I see beautiful, successful and financially independent women accept (and even reward!) second-class behavior from men. I hope Nigella Lawson has dire-wolves for lawyers, and uses the public record of this incident to devastating advantage.

    • Yes, and the perv is SEVENTY?!!! What happened to older men that claim distinguished status having some gravitas and dignity?

      I come from farm country. When I was growing up, the most nancy-boy thing you could do was hit a girl. If you didn’t take your aggressive tendencies out on a worthy opponent you were so screwed because it was going to be open season on you, you pathetic excuse for a man.

      • Totally agree with all that!
        I have a strong feeling some part of him has been wanting to ‘knock her down a peg’ for awhile, too bad everyone witnessed it, Dumbass! Perhaps Nigella was exercising too many of her rights lately. I think she’s charming, used to watch her show regularly. But, kissing him won’t fix him. I hope she bails and gets all his money!

  • It’s sad, really. I think you’re right on the money with this evaluation. People really don’t “get it” until they’ve lived it. I wish the media and casual commentators would stop trying to crucify chumps. I’m sure Nigella keeps herself up at night wondering why she puts herself through this and why things never seem to change. The last thing she, or any other chump, needs is the blogosphere telling her that she’s pathetic and brings this on herself.

  • Further proof that you CANNOT be ‘good enough’ to make an entitled bully into a decent person. Nigella is gorgeous and sexy, smart and successful. and she’s clearly still trying to use love and caring to get to this guy. If she can’t do it, you know it can’t be done!

    Further proof that we have to trust that THEY suck – no matter what.

    BTDT, never going back!

  • Actually he is only a Millionaire, the press got it wrong, as they too often do.

    Yeah he’s a bully, so what has that got to do with a one time infidelity. A mistake of lust and loins.

    This blog is a weird one. Do you think dumping one cheater’s boney or bumpy butt somehow confers a magic amulet that protects the faithful from being cheated on by a future spouse.

    I don’t think so, but y’all can dream on if y’all like.

    Cheating is evolving, it is getting easier and people who never thought about doing it are suddenly doing it.

    • “Yeah he’s a bully, so what has that got to do with a one time infidelity”.

      Let me help you out: people who feel entitled to put their spouse’s health and safety at risk rarely do it as a “one time” thing. Usually, they subject their spouse to abusive treatment, gaslighting, waste marital assets, and generally act like asses.

      If you want to have indescriminate sex, don’t get married. Generally in life, don’t pretend to be something you are not. Only somebody who lacks empathy or who never has dealt with infidelity in their marriage could possibly be so flippant about describing such things the way you have, IMO.

    • You think my blog is weird? Actually, I think my blog message is pretty clear for people who aren’t morons. “Leave a cheater, gain a life.” You got a rah-rah cheating is no big deal message you want to peddle — find another board. I’d recommend but even that guy got sick of that shit and shut it down.

  • The Rule of Thumb was an old English law that said it was lawful for a man to beat his wife, as long as the rod he did it with was no thicker than his thumb. But, in those days, women and children were their husband’s chattel. Did you all know that the first child advocacy organization to help battered children in America was the ASPCA? Really ~ we had organizations to protect animals from abuse, but not children.

    When I went to law school, one of my classmates was a former cop. I asked him to describe the hardest cases he ever handled. His answer? Domestic batteries when the families were new to the country. He described how depressing and unsettling it was to explain to these men that they had done something wrong, only to be met with a sincere explanation: “But she’s my WIFE, Officer.” He told me that he had trouble getting through to these guys that in the US it was officially illegal to physically beat your wife (or choke her). He said he hated leaving those houses, because he was sure his visit had made it worse for the woman once he was gone ~ God only knows what goes on behind closed doors with people like this.

    Nigella Lawson has, ostensibly, left the marital home. Her husband says they did it in agreement. Time will tell if she comes back ~ and she very well may come back. Many women do. I remember reading the anecdote in Gavin DeBecker’s “The Gift of Fear” about the woman who ~ after a beating ~ went to the police station to fill out a complaint against her abusive husband. When the Sergeant at Arms asked her what she was trying to accomplish by filling out the complaint, she said she did it so she could show her how serious she was, so he wouldn’t hit her again. The Officer put her report in a file cabinet and told her that he would keep it on file, because the next time he heard her name it would be because her husband murdered her. She went into a shelter that same night. She credits that cop with saving her life.

    You cannot reason with this. You cannot placate it. You can only protect yourself.

    I hope she runs for the hills ~

    • Well said. You absolutely cannot placate these people, you have to get the hell away from them.

  • You know I often agree with what you write. But you sometimes tread a thin line when it comes to abuse. First let me say that in know way am I condoning any form of violence in a relationship. I was falsely accused of such when my ex went berserk and decided to take the world out on me so I know what it feels like first hand to sit in a jail cell in tears wondering why the person you supposedly loved would call the police and lie only to then have her bail you out hours later because as she stated, she made a mistake.

    Back to reality… what your post fails to take into account is what lead up to the event. Did this male simply strangle her for the fun of it. Because he had a tendency towards physical violence, or as in many cases where men are pushed to the edge of a cliff, was there mental and emotional abuse that lead him to do what he did. Again I’m not saying he should just looking at what gets you to smack the bee off your arm when it stings and not just that you smacked a bee.

    We so often hear of the aftermath of emotional abuse by females on males and right away because we only saw the male strike back do we call a male “an abuser”. Granted no one should ever hit, strangle or tar and feather anyone else for any reason (except a few that are for another response) but the question I ask is what about the unseen abuse. Many falsely believe that males are perpetrators and females always the abused. It needs to be known that this is an absolute myth. And of course we know how easy it is for a women to go into the basement of a court house, sign a piece of paper and a male is automatically labelled an abuser and dangerous from a false restraining order regardless of whether he was guilty or not. No wonder why 95% of all restraining orders are deemed to have been falsely filed. Need I not tell you how many public stories of females stabbing, shooting, killing, and overall abusing males are in the news today including one in Phoenix that you mentioned recently. And yes there are male-on-female violence too.

    Feminism took a very wrong term when it found out that careers and jobs could be made labeling men abusers. And that is what is one of the worst offenses in this country because all these male-hating groups do is destroy families and perpetuate a myth for their own financial benefit. No I am not condemning you or saying you are doing anything wrong nor saying you are a feminist gone wrong. I just wanted to make sure you and others know that statistically females are guilty of just as much abuse of males as males are to female. I know you probably don’t believe that but every bit of actual statistical evidence shows it true. Just look at ‘The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project’ and you will see that every myth of men as perpetuators against women is simply wrong. If that is not enough the Justice Departments publications on abuse in this country will validate this fact.

    By you saying a women kissed an abuser, you are reinforcing a myth that men are abusers. Yes it is only one story but one story of a male abusing a female has a much larger impact on the myth than when a female hits a male. When that happens we often say she is “protecting herself”, “fighting back”, or “scared”. These are all terms that make it sound like women only hit men because men are violent. Women beat men every day. Emotional violence is a little talked about or understood form of torture and as painful as anyone punching someone in the face.

    Again you nor I know anything about how those in your example treat each other behind close doors. Some teach young boys not to hit women. That perpetuates a myth. I teach my young boys not to hit anyone, period. It takes two to tango and in any relationship no one is innocent as much as some might want to make it sound. Even in cases of cheating, while most of the time it is a reflection of the cheater, the cheat-ee is not an angel and some form of breakdown in a relationship (at least in part) got the cheater to where he or she went.

    I just wanted you to know that many men out there know what both emotional and physical abuse is just as we know what it’s like to be cheated on (another myth at says men are cheaters). We feel the pain too and wish the world know more than what they suppose is true because it must be.

    • Walter, nowhere in this post did I ever SAY or imply that ALL men are abusers. I said Saatchi is an abusive asshole.

      I have also said on this blog and elsewhere that men AND women can be abusive — verbally and physically. In this post I said Mr. or. MRS. Scary.

      But the majority of violence against women is by MEN not other women. The majority of violence against men is by other MEN. That is a fact. Sadly, in cases like yours, that assumption can work against you.

      To take what I posted and run with it as men are the real victims here and imply perhaps Nigella Lawson is really the monster, I’m sorry Walter, that’s fucked up.

      I’ve been in an abusive relationship. I’ve been threatened and mindfucked. Never did my abuser plead with me, or kiss me tenderly so I would stop yelling at him. And trust me, I yelled.

      • Sorry you don’t look at the facts. Women perpetuate violence against men about equal with men on women. It’s a cultural myth and you seem to simply want to believe all the feminist groups that perpetuate it.

        • Walter,
          I look at the facts – you look at MRA sites and read bogus papers whose sole purpose is to skew the facts. The only myth is the one you are pedaling. I actually read some of the “research” papers you referred us to, many assertions without appropriate information on the methodology used, no citations, definitely not reputable.

          For example the “report” claiming prevalence of domestic violence by women is nearly the same at that by men. That “research” paper used a subset of papers published in the last 10 years to support it’s arguments. The authors did not include all the relevant research because it wouldn’t give them the result they required. The authors admit they eliminated all but 249 of the thousands of research papers available and they do NOT have citations for the research papers they did use. The site they are published on says they are “peer reviewed” and that is meaningless when there is nothing to show who reviewed them or their qualifications, no citations and not published in any scientific journal. You want to show me something in JAVMA or any other reputable source? I’d be happy to read it.

          My husband got me arrested for DV after he attacked me so I know very well the pain of false arrest and betrayal by someone you love. But you seem to making a case that we shouldn’t judge what this guy did as abuse because maybe the woman provoked it – that is not OK. While we all agree that emotional & psychological abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse, there is a difference, the latter can get you killed. Pretty much everything else you typed after that indicates a false equivalence between emotional abuse and physical abuse as an excuse for why a man might threaten, hit or strangle his wife.

          Your entire post seems to boil down to; woman do things that make men violent (victim blaming), oh and when someone cheats, their spouse had some responsibility for that abuse too (victim blaming).

      • Walter: I’m sorry your wife seems to have been emotionally abusive. I’ve been angry enough at my husband that I’ve seen red and had to leave the house. I’m not accusing him of emotional abuse, but I know how hard it can be to swallow your emotional reaction and walk away. All that said, I would have been wrong to strangle him for making me angry. Fault lies with the person who acts. If the woman in this story is an emotional abuser, she is responsible for her words. He’s responsible for his actions. Unless she’s coming at him physically, he absolutely has no right to lay hands on her.

        I get what you’re saying. Marriages and abuse situations aren’t lifetime movie material. There can be a back and forth exchange between two individuals. When the line gets crossed into physical abuse, however, the two people need to get help or the abused party needs to leave the marriage.

        Long story short, your statement that she somehow did something to deserve it doesn’t hold water for those who have been through abuse. Apples and oranges.

    • Um, please let me know if I’m out of line here Chump Lady, but all I read in Walter’s comment was WHAT ABOUT THE MENZZZZZZZ.

      Not once did I ever see Chump Lady deny or disappear the existence of female-on-male abuse. This certainly exists, and is never acceptable.

      But to centre men in a conversation about a specific example of a male abusing a female? Yeah, that is not helpful. And it is disingenuous to pretend that female-on-male abuse is just as prevalent as male-on-female abuse. It is not.

      Also, you might want to check your definition of feminism there… seems to me like you have a chronic case of All Women Hate Men And That Is The Real Tragedy Here.

      • I’m a little bit terrified (and triggered) by several of the things he has written.

        • Me, too. The All Women Are Out To Get Us Men and the “poor me” victim role. Usually not a good frame of mind, generally speaking, for either gender.

          Plus the justification of cheating got on my nerves, too:
          “Even in cases of cheating, while most of the time it is a reflection of the cheater, the cheat-ee is not an angel and some form of breakdown in a relationship (at least in part) got the cheater to where he or she went.”

        • it’s understandable why it would trigger you, sounds like someone you know…same here

    • My ex was visiting hookers for 20 years before he meet me Walter. He used them throughout our courtship, 2 days before the wedding, the day we got back, and several times thereafter.

      Good to know I’m “not an angel” and I magically brokedown the relationship 20 years before we met.

      For my next trick I’ll choose the winning powerball.

    • CL said that this particular guy is an abuser. Her stance is clear throughout this blog – both men and women can be cheaters and abusers. Doesn’t matter which gender does it, being abused or cheated on sucks. Gender doesn’t matter, at all.

    • Walter it is unfortunate you had a bad wife. If you and your spouse were rich and internationally famous and there were pictures of your wife holding you by the throat in a public place all over the news can you honestly say we wouldn’t be here sticking up for YOU?! It’s about ABUSE period. Man or woman. CL has ALWAYS made that clear!

    • I was emotionally and verbally abused by my ex wife. I’m sorry you were abused by your wife. Neither has anything to do with this particular story or the post about it.

      The man choked his wife. That is wrong on every day and in every situation. There is no justification for his actions. Same would be true if she had choked him. Period. End of story.

  • I’ve been following this case and got chills (not the good kind) when I saw that Charles Saatchi has already issued a public statement and referred to the incident as a ‘playful tiff’.

    No. Just, no.

    I don’t understand why he feels like HE gets to define to the public sphere how Nigella perceived that encounter (and quite frankly, I have zero interest in attempting to unravel his Skein) but it does not matter. He has (inadvertently) revealed a lot about himself.

    1) I can, and will, feign choking my wife in public. This is an acceptable way to conduct myself. Anyone who disagrees (including my own wife) is ‘uptight’. It was playful I tell you! PLAYFUL.

    2) I get to decide how people perceive it. On-lookers? Must have misinterpreted. Pffft. Don’t trust your own eyes and ears. Nigella? Pffft. It was playful. Ignore her tearful pleas. She’s overreacting. Oh, she left the family home? Yes, we BOTH thought that was a good idea. She definitely did not decide that unilaterally as that would potentially reveal I am not in control of this situation and, by extension, her.

    3) Everyone else behaves this way. ‘Just a ‘tiff’. Happens to every couple. Hasn’t EVERYONE attempted choked their wife in public at some point? JEEZ!

    Seriously, there isn’t enough contempt in the world for anyone who would criticize Nigella for kissing him. Sometimes, when you don’t know what an abuser is capable of (or know all too well what they are capable of) you will say or do anything to extricate yourself from that potentially dangerous situation.

    • Yes, the “playful” comment just really revealed how deep his condescension and entitlement goes, doesn’t it? You are all overreacting!

      He cares very much how he is perceived. And he wants to be perceived as frisky, not frightening!


      • If you grab somebody by the throat when you are “frisky”, what do you do when you get really angry?

  • Wow, Walter, you’ve bought into the ‘maybe she provoked him into it’ line BIG TIME.

    Violence is like cheating in one big, big way; if your marriage is that bad or you’ve been pushed to the limit YOU CAN ALWAYS LEAVE. There is no situation in which aggression against another person, or cheating, is justifiable.

    And it’s like cheating in another big way; it’s far more likely for someone (of either gender) to be abusive, or to cheat, when they feel entitled. Many people who are abusive do both. See the Lundy book for details.

    But I absolutely agree that we must teach everyone, every child and every adult, that we do not hit anyone. And that starts by not hitting our children. It is just wrong for anyone to be physically aggressive to anyone, and we have to teach clear limits to verbal aggression as well.

    • “And that starts by not hitting our children. It is just wrong for anyone to be physically aggressive to anyone”

      THANK YOU!!!

      Too many people think it’s right to violate the rights of children. NOT ok. NEVER ok.

    • Well said Karen! There’s no justification for abuse or adultery when you could have just left. When this started for me, my greatest fear was that my wife would leave me. Now I wish she had just packed up and gone. At least maybe there would be some shred of dignity left.

  • As to Saatchi’s claims that he was being playful…, no. Not buying it. In my lifetime of being playful I have *never* put my hands around someone’s neck to choke them. Because that’s messed up.

    The fact that she kissed him right afterward is a sure sign that she was afraid of him. She wanted to calm him down.

    *sigh* BUT…. back before I had some life experience (read: before I lived with a bully-narc spouse), I would have judged her for kissing him, so soon after he choked her. I would have thought to myself “What was she thinking? She’s just encouraging him.” Until I had more experience, I wouldn’t have understood that she was probably really scared and reacted out of instinct – to calm him down in the moment, even if/though she had no desire AT ALL to kiss him at the time, after what he just did to her. I’m betting that anyone out there in internet-land who judges her for the kiss has never been in that kind of scary, abusive-spouse situation. Because once you’ve been there, you understand. Unfortunately.

    I hope she stays gone from him.

  • Man, that post brought tears to my eyes I related to it so much. Abuse doesn’t have to be hitting, or choking. Sometimes pleading for communication only to be met with stern silence is as painful as being slapped in the face.

    • Lyn, me too! I feel for Ms. Lawson…and I have been there too…kissing and pleading…because I was afraid too.

      Just goes to show you, even the rich and famous have their own problems…sad thing is, theirs is played out in the public and they are judged by EVERYONE.

      • The description of the incident between Nigella and her husband feels very familiar to me. I wasn’t physically abused–emotional abuse was my ex=-NPD’s game. He used my greatest fear–abandonment–against me while I pleaded with him to hear what I was saying. He’d remain stone faced and impenetrable. It was frightening. I’d panic and beg and plead and beseech.
        It makes me shudder–such a desperate and frightening feeling.
        Best wishes to Nigella.

        I only skimmed the first part of Walter’s comment. Meh. Another one of those, but I’ve loved the scholarly, wise and clear eyed comments regarding his. Chumps are brilliant people!

  • Saatchi was known as an explosive ass when he and his brother were building their advertising conglomerate. Looks like he hasn’t changed. The fact that Nigella Lawson would put up with him is absolutely amazing.

  • CL,

    A great comment, as always.

    I really like what you wrote about “Mr. Scary.” (Or it could be Mrs.) Lots of guys never hit, but they yell and make such trouble that they do shoot a bad scare through their spouses and children. This is a rotten thing to do, especially to a small child, who couldn’t choose to be in this situation, who can’t understand it. In any case, establishing one’s cred as “Mr. Scary,” even if the person doesn’t actually hit, is a darned abusive thing to do. It’s an implied violation of boundaries. It says, “Your boundaries aren’t really there. I can take them away in a second. And I just might!” Thanks, yet again, for capturing something abusive in a quick phrase.

    Your Admiring Reader,

    Chump Son

    • Just to add one comment: Yes there are abusive women out there, but the scenario I describe above — and that I know well — has much more often involved men. Some guys hold the kids hostage, yelling, screaming (maybe never hitting) and turning Mom into a fretful wreck. Mom then wants to appease her husband before the kids get upset. Of course, appeasement only temporarily deals with the problem. It actually creates a space for this behavior, which some men find addictive. Power is like that. It gets addicting.

      Anyway, my two cents worth. I had not noticed the discussion above. I think that there is a definite gender imbalance where physical abuse is concerned, with many more men guilty and the scenario I describe quite classic. There are, of course, physically abusive female spouses, too. And all the abusers are wrong. Just plan wrong. Finally, I think the kids get hit hard by this stuff.

  • Hope Nigella reads Chumplady! She’d get a fresh perspective, that’s for sure…Maybe you can track down her production company send her a link, CL?!

    • I doubt she would read CL, but she might read the celebrity page at Huffington Post. This essay is there too today. I’m glad she left him. I hope she stays away.

  • I know that dance. I remember the “please calm down and don’t hurt me anymore” kisses, and more. I know the “I’m going to get this back to ‘normal’ because I just can’t cope with this right now” balancing act. I also know it never works. I remember having sex with him while the bruises on my wrists appeared from where he drug me across the room. I’m sure some people would say I awarded bad behaviour. Perhaps I did. What anyone who hasn’t lived it does not know is just how fucked up your own mind can be when you are constantly in a flight or fight mode. Especially when you have been told time and again that you would never make it on your own, that you needed you abuser. Or, conversely, that he would die without you. Usually, if you’ve been abused for a while, and my guess is she has been (judging by the kiss and the subsequent tears) you are also depressed. Another impediment to clear thought.

    There was a time in my life when I didn’t understand how ANYONE could allow themselves to be abused. Even after growing up watching my dad verbally and emotionally abuse my mom. I would NEVER allow someone to do that to me… NEVER. I am intelligent, strong, confident and quite pretty. I learned the hard way that this happens everyday, in all walks of life, and everywhere.

    The fact that some ass-wipe has decided to try and hijack this story by bringing up gender inequality and victim blaming just highlights what an uphill battle victims really have. Somehow we deserved it. I don’t care if she screamed, yelled stomped her feet and called him every name in the book, insulted his mother, God and the pope and impugned his manhood. He could have walked away. He could have stood up, left her with the tab even, and walked the fuck away. He didn’t because this is not an isolated incident. They both played their roles too well. That kiss proved it.

    This whole story left me shaky. Luckily, Mr. Victim Blaming Ass Wipe made me remember the anger, not just the fear.

    • You are not alone, I too am a strong woman who would never end up in an abusive situation, but I did. I didn’t know about the pity me man who also puts you in fear of your life while at the same time is about to commit suicide, I didn’t understand. I do now the hard way, same as you. The explanation that the rage is not aimed at me, oh no and he would never hurt me, and he wishes he understood and he is so sad and please don’t leave me, and there is no actual physical harm, it’s the insidious threat that your intuition knows, but you’ve beaten down to stay with this man you love… and I don’t need to tell you what I mean, you already know how slowly that happens until one day it is life threatening because you woke up and you want to leave.

      • Exactly!
        Perfect description of my ex.
        It’s amazing how common they really are.

  • Nigella’s dying husband arranged her marriage to Saatchi so she’d be taken care of well after his death. She was already pretty successful so it’s hard to understand why she would agree to such an arrangement. Fear? She’s not property! But she must be a chump.

  • poor woman. I wonder seriously if an agent or PR person or somebody that looks out for her career primarily stepped in and talked her into leaving. Or maybe just having the laundry aired was the final snap for her. The price of fame must be steep – imagine if you needed to confide in someone or needed help – and you couldn’t trust anyone knowing that they could sell you out for serious money in a heartbeat….

    What bothers me is that apparently no one said anything even though it occurred in public. That’s shameful.

  • And now Saatchi says he has ‘accepted’ a police caution over the incident because he ‘doesn’t want this hanging over them for months’. Dude is completely fucked up; one doesn’t ‘accept’ a police caution, one is given a police caution and it essentially says he admits what he did was wrong. They’re still investigating. I seriously hope she can gather her strength and get out for good. But she comes from an abusive childhood and rumour is her first husband was a very controlling man as well.

  • You have to remember saatchi is in advertising. He will paint any picture he wants you to see as long as you are buying it. Like a narcissist it’s all about him, his image and his reputation.
    I get the kissing bit as well. When d day happened and groceries was panicking how I would react I was calm as a cucumber. I hugged her the next day and felt sorry for her. In hindsight I just really wanted to save her which of course is crazy. She had moved on with chainsaw man months ago. Nothing could remove her from the fantasy.
    However I wanted to just reassure her everything was ok. I think Nigella just wanted to indicate even though you want to control or strangle me its ok. You saatchi own that behaviour. Maybe she felt sorry for him. Give her credit for being strong to manage the situation. Many would have upended a bottle of champagne over him.
    Hope she has plenty of good people around her

  • Hopefully Nigella will read ChumpLady on HuffPo and click over here, get some moral support while lurking…

  • Sadly many women will put up with this kind of crap from Alpha type guys for years, but dump men left right and center that do treat them with respect, because they are “just not attracted to them”. Men are often much the same, attracted to the worst sort of women, the evolution of human bilogical drives has simply not kept up with changing environments.

    • Or maybe our cultural institutions (i.e. a few thousand years of social evolution) are in conflict with our millions of years of biological evolution.

      I really struggled with the fact that after 19 years of being at least a good husband, I didn’t even warrant a second chance. I supported the family, I never yelled, never intimidated, never gambled, never cheated or over-indulged, I was the one who cleaned up the kids’ vomit and happily walked around the house with babies on my shoulder at 2am. Why wasn’t I worth the effort? She just got bored, blamed me for it, and said “fuck it.”

  • Speaking from my own experience-after years of this borderline illegal ‘playfulness’, the abused spouse gets sorta numb to the behavior and just deals with it; it almost feels normal. And yes, I was extra nice to my husband so I wouldn’t aggravate him and ‘be the cause’ of another scene – really sick, I know. All the tiptoeing around is exhausting, maybe this very public scene will help her to get out.

    • The strange thing is…and I’ve had this happen to me and seen this happen to others…another man will come to the woman’s aid, only to be told by her to “Piss off and mind your own business”. Cops, when they try to cart the husband off are often attacked by the wives/girlfriends that called them.

      • Fortunately this is happening less and less often. EVERYONE is understanding better that violence is not acceptable. I’ve twice seen people intervene when a man started physically intimidating a woman in public, and the women reacted w/huge gratitude!

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