Rebecca Humphries has been hailed a hero for her conduct over the last three days – and for very good reason.
She’s managed to singlehandedly turn the plaintive bleating of a man who got caught cheating into a powerful refusal to accept his watery narrative .
Having invested five years of her life, an east London home and even a cat with the comedian, Rebecca could have easily accepted his pathetic excuse that it was a one-off drunken kiss with a woman who means nothing to him.
She could have listened to him whining that he hadn’t meant to stay out for drinks on her birthday night, hadn’t meant to place his arms tenderly around another woman, hadn’t meant to kiss her passionately in a busy street surrounded by people with cameras.
Hadn’t meant to get caught.
Instead, Rebecca trusted her instincts and finally saw the proof she’d been half-expecting to see for weeks.
Many women – and men – have experienced the head-f**k nature of a controlling relationship . The cycle of love and contempt designed to make the victim feel they must walk on eggshells to please their vicious partner, who doles out rare nuggets of hope to keep them hooked.
Many have been trapped in relationships where their boundaries have been worn down by their lover’s insistence that they’re ‘crazy’ – or, as in Rebecca’s case, branded a "psycho" or "nuts".
They’re instructed to overlook the secretive bathroom phone calls, the deleted message history, the appreciative glances in the street. The incognito page left up on a laptop. The sudden need for a passcode where there wasn’t one before.
If they question the narrative, they’re ‘insane’ – or perhaps even called controlling themselves. They ‘won’t let’ their partner go out because they’re ‘obsessed’, or horrible from stopping them seeing their mates.
But the truth, as it’s said, will always out.
In Rebecca’s case, it took physical proof to make her see she wasn’t a "psycho" – she was a completely normal woman who had been lied to over and over again.
For three weeks she’d known something was going on – but she swallowed it down and even made a public show of supporting Seann and Katya, by tweeting out their training videos and even making him a beautiful book filled with supportive messages from his friends and comedy heroes.
Not everyone in similar relationships will have proof of their partner’s cheating splashed across the front page of a national paper.
But Rebecca is absolutely right to urge survivors of hurtful romantic behaviours to trust their own instincts – to unmask their controlling partner as a bully and a liar, and actually as something of a victim themselves. After all, bullies tend to be the most insecure people.
To speak out, loud and proud.
To unashamedly ask for help from family and friends.
And, above all, to always take the cat .
Day 2: Strictly scandal
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