Monday, February 06, 2006

How not to marry a jerk

There was a radio discussion of an upcoming book as I clicked through this morning that had a title something like this. So I thought I'd make up my own list. Mind you, I've never been married to a jerk, but I know a few people who have, and the signs were like billboards down that road to the church.

He might be a jerk and you should be cautious if

  • either one of you were not legally, morally or emotionally free to date
  • he bought your ring at a pawn shop
  • he expects you to pay for the honeymoon
  • he cares more about you than his kids
  • you've met his parents and his dad is a jerk
  • you've met his parents and he's a mama's boy
  • he's had several jobs in the last year and it's always someone else's fault that it didn't work out
  • he wants to move in with you before marriage, "to save money"
  • he spends more time in front of the mirror than you do
  • he has no hobbies--you're it
  • he has a bad credit rating and a lot of credit card debt
  • he doesn't like your kids and thinks they're spoiled and you spend too much time with them

He's definitely a jerk if

  • he's never introduced you to his family and has told you nothing about his background
  • he lies about missed appointments, income, friends, employment
  • he exaggerates his importance, his skills, his talent, his abilities, his grades, his job reviews, the important people he knows
  • he's unemployed and not looking or training for something else
  • he's always borrowing money from you or his other friends, or is "just a little short this month" and expects you to pick up the tab
  • he talks about the importance of his faith and values, but never goes to church with you, or invites you to his
  • he suffers from road rage over minor infractions of other drivers
  • you're embarrassed to play golf or tennis or cards with him because of his temper tantrums and poor sportsmanship
  • he expects you to change your religion even though he isn't observant in his own

He's beyond jerk-dom and you need to run the other way and get some counseling if

  • he's ever been physically abusive or takes pleasure in ridiculing you or making you the object of his "just kidding" stories
  • he has a prison record or was in prison when you met (i.e., he was needy and you were the savior)
  • he has a drug or alcohol problem he's not addressing with regular meetings and a support group
  • he never sees his kids or is behind in his child support
  • he has no friends, or won't introduce you to those he does have
  • he's cruel to animals or abandons his pets

Do you have other suggestions to add to this list?

Women give signals too, but I'm not as familiar with those. Will take suggestions.


Anonymous said...

I like this blog except for one thing. Not everyone that has been to jail is a comeplete jerk. My brother (who, for a long time, was definitely a jerk plus a few other explitives) has been to jail and is actually reformed. An exception to the rule, maybe, but I don't think you should lump everyone that has ever been to jail together.

Norma said...

You're right, but these are things to look for in a husband. It's not a background I'd recommend. We used to visit prisoners at the penitentiary. Chuck Colson a terrific Christian teacher was in prison as were some high profile authors, like O. Henry. Martha Stewart was in prison. If a man has served his time, paid back to society, and stayed straight, and doesn't have any of the other red flags, he might be worth the risk. Any one of the things I listed could have exceptions.

Susan said...

Unfortunately, while I don't think my husband is a jerk, I learned about something the hard way. Before we got married he told me he had a subscription to Playboy. I almost broke up with him, but thought since he'd been single so long, it was just a dumb thing single guys do. Well, then we got married and I signed us up for the internet. (Blockers don't catch everything!)

He's finally at the point of realizing that it is very destructive to our family and him. Whether is is a jerk will depend upon how he deals with it in the long wrong.

Anonymous said...

Susan- Jane here.
I'd get a password protected set-up he can't get into. I know, he'll buy the junk...but on your computer...that stuff downloads all sorts of spy ware and awful pop-ups.

I'll pray for you.

Susan said...

Jane and anyone else peeking in...

For two years, I thought we were protected by a filtered Christian ISP. YOu just can't get around the filters when it is filtered before it gets into the house..However, filters can't get everything everyday and my husband found what he needed anyway, ie. Russian language porn sight,etc.

We got rid of the internet, so I'm working from the library...that's why my blogging has almost
dried up.

Thanks for the prayers.

Norma said...

You're in the prayer job jar with Jane of Art.

Thomas said...

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming by to visit today Norma. Great post! Here's some of my suggestions:

- He is addicted to gambling and porn, and is not in treatment.
- Be cautious if he travels a lot for his job and he does not tell you where he is going or who he is with. He may have a 2nd, 3rd family.
- If your family and friends all don't like him, maybe you should pay some serious heed to their reasons. They loved you much longer before he loved you.
- He does not support your dreams, or wants you to give them up for him.
- If he wants to control your money without your say, run from this jerk.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with looking at porn... It doesn't make someone a bad person. What about the plethora of girls who look at porn regularly? It really isn't a big deal at all.

Lighten up. Human beings are sexual creatures.

Norma said...

Anon 12/07: Get out your dictionary and look up "addicted."