With the help of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, we are able to settle in and watch marathons of TV shows we might have missed. We’ve been catching up on Netflix favorite Freaks and Geeks, which has some pretty relevant stuff for a show about teens in the 80s.
For instance in the clip below, James Franco and Busy Phillips, aka Danny and Kim, are in a fight because Kim suspects Danny is cheating on her with one of her best friends. It’s pretty hard to watch -- starting with Danny swearing at her and then with Kim responding by hitting and slapping him. What’s more shocking is the other people in the room don’t try to stop the violence.
* Warning: explicit content
This is not a healthy relationship. It’s abusive.
Men Can Be Victims of Abuse
Because men are traditionally thought of as physically stronger than women, it can feel weird to identity physical abuse when the man is the victim and the woman is the perpetrator.
The fact is abusers come in all shapes and sizes. Simply being the larger person in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t suffer abuse.
Dating violence against guys takes the same forms as it does against women. It can be emotional, physical or sexual and be present in heterosexual or same sex relationships.
Some warning signs to watch out for are if your partner:
- Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
- Gets jealous when you spend time with family members or friends
- Tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear
- Doesn’t trust you and constantly accuses you of cheating
- Gets angry toward you when drinking or using drugs
- Threatens you with violence
- Becomes physically violent with you while your sleeping, after you’ve been drinking or while you’re not paying attention to make up for a difference in strength
If someone is gay, bisexual or transgender, there are some additional signs to keep an eye out for:
- Threatening to tell friends, family or others of your sexual orientation or gender identity
- Telling you authorities won’t help you because of your sexual orientation
- Telling you that leaving the relationship means you agree that gay, bisexual or transgender relationships are wrong
- Saying that men are just naturally physically violent or that this is just how women fight
Using your sexual orientation or gender identity to gain control in a relationship is abuse. All relationships will have their share of arguments, but no matter who’s in the relationship you can disagree with getting abusive.
Everyone deserves a healthy relationship.
Let’s Talk About Freaks and Geeks
Danny and Kim are clearly in an unhealthy relationship. What about the other couples on the show? Where would you rank them on the Relationship Spectrum?
New relationships are exciting! Usually, we can’t wait to let everyone know, change our Facebook status and spend all our time with our new flame.
But sometimes just when you’re ready to make every profile picture be a couple shot, your partner stops you: “Let’s just keep this a secret between us.”
When a relationship’s secret, it might add to the excitement for awhile -- you sneak around to new places, come up with secret meeting spots and maybe even have code names. Your relationship is something just the two of you share.
It’s understandable to want to wait a couple weeks before telling the world. However, if you or your partner wants to keep it a secret indefinitely, you might think twice about why you’re not ready to share.
For many, the effects of suffering physical, emotional or sexual abuse can still be felt even after the relationship is over. The good news is that if these effects are dealt with in a healthy manner, over time they can disappear.
One way to navigate the normal thoughts and emotions that are left after an abusive relationship is to seek professional help. Just having someone outside your friends and family to listen can help you begin to feel better.