Advantage Denton

March 31, 2011

The Available Light is Off

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 5:19 pm

Picture of Melissa Denton at the office

This post is a follow up to the last article I wrote about Bum Magnets. Although I have been working with the concept of some folks being “Bum Magnets” for quite a while, this is a new, somehow derivative, concept.

I figured this out when I had a consultation with a woman who had experienced two consecutive relationships with men who turned out to be – how to put this gently – perverts. Since she had children with the first husband and the second one molested a different child shortly after they married, she was in serious need of lawyer services and advice.

Her situation made me think about my own life experience and about the other cases I have encountered when normal sensible women end up in relationships with men who are sexual deviants. It also brought to mind the men who are pursued by women, even when the men are behaving themselves in accord with the norms of a monogamous committed relationship with another woman.

My own experience is that I have been in a committed relationship with my husband since we were undergraduates in college. I do not look for other men to have any relationship with me beyond family, friend, or colleague. My “available light” is definitely in the off position and everyone is easily able to tell it. Men who convey to me that they are sexually interested in me despite that clear signal are very rare. I can only recall two or three of them in all of these years.

I was quite aware of these fellows who were interested in me and I did not cooperate in any way. Not only was I not interested in them, but I would never hurt my husband by being unfaithful. Regardless of that, it turned out that my work as a family law attorney brought me into contact with information about both of the men I am thinking of which proved them to be flaming sexual deviants. Such people do end up in court, you know.

This brings me back to my client who told me that she definitely was not even looking for a relationship when she met her second husband. She was completely wrapped up in her kids, her demanding work and fending off the dangerous ex who is out of the country. Now that I think about it and connect the concepts, I think that is why she ended up with an undesirable mate.

If you don’t have the “available light” on and someone comes on to you anyway, I think you should be extremely careful about that person. Have an extensive background check done before letting them into your life. My client had researched the second husband’s background, but there was nothing to be found to indicate he was a child molester. Not her fault.

If you want a relationship, turn on the available light and the proper sorts of people will be attracted to you. If you are not in the market for a relationship, keep the light off and be extremely suspicious of anyone who pursues you. If you choose to fall for the advances of a person who pursues you under these circumstances, beware their inappropriate boundaries and the negative consequences that will follow. Predators stalk the unwary and your guard is down when you are not even in the game.

March 1, 2011

Bum Magnets

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 3:51 pm

Melissa DentonA Bum Magnet is a person who finds herself or himself repeatedly in relationships with abusive “user” romantic partners. The Magnet is usually a fine “normal” functioning person who does come to realize the error they made in choosing a partner and they take steps to fix the problem. Steps like hiring me.

Let me hasten to point out that most of my clients are not “Bum Magnets” and most of the opposing parties are not “Bums”. I am talking about only the fairly small percentage of folks who have engaged in repeated relationships where other persons take fairly severe advantage of them.

Bums are usually of the unaware, bumbling, variety. They are clever at starting up relationships with the useful sort of target, but they see themselves as the victim and have greater psychological disfunction than the victim does. A class I went to on perpetrators of domestic violence called these individuals “junk yard dogs” as juxtaposed with psychopath “snakes” who are intentionally evil.

Believe me, if I can tell that you are a Bum Magnet, you smell plenty fine from very far off to the Bums who will next be attracted to you. Part of being a Bum Magnet includes being insecure in some fundamental ways, even though most such folk look and function entirely competently in the bigger world. Another part of being a Bum Magnet relates to having a need to take care of and “fix” other people. Bums instinctively know exactly how to seduce Bum Magnets by acting like an ideal relationship partner for long enough to get a committed relationship.

While it is the main part of my job to extricate people as painlessly and inexpensively as possible from their current set of troubles, I seriously do want to be instrumental in setting my clients up for future success. I try to help people get fixed up so they don’t need me any more. (Just as a good doctor will try to get you all healthy so you don’t need more medicine or appointments.) One thing I do is model how to be strong and assertive with good communication skills. For Bum Magnets, particularly, one of the first things I always encourage is getting help from a good mental health counselor.

It is likely that the mental health professionals have a nicer term to use than “Bum Magnet”, but I doubt that their term is more descriptive. The way I envision the counselor helping the Magnet is to help him or her figure out what behaviors and attitudes cause them to smell so attractive to Bums. I hope that counseling will help my client with role playing and other tools to learn how to quickly get away from Bums and how to repel them before they ever approach. I hope that this help results in benefits for my client’s children so they won’t be Bum Magnets.

I am writing about this concept because I think it is interesting and it seems helpful when I talk with some family law clients about it. Probably, the basic concept of a Bum Magnet can be expanded to any “normal/nice” person who has repeated negative interactions being targeted by Bums, in work, play or other venues. Although it is not good for repeat business to help “cure” Bum Magnets, it sure is the right thing to help them have a better life.

Powered by WordPress