Buried in "How readers scored first presidential debate," today's letters to the editor section of the Denver Post, is one with a slightly different twist. Kelsey Kenfield noted: "What truly frightened me to the core was Mick Romney's unabashed disregard, arrogance and lack of respect shown for the moderator, Jim Lehrer, an equally learned and accomplished person, a man doing nothing to Romney but offering him a forum to express himself. [… His] attitude towards someone he perceived as standing in his way is … more a measure of the man than anything else that happened Wednesday night. This behavior should not be ignored."
The other seven letters focused on the content of the debate and the performance of the candidates.
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Kenfield's letter was strikingly similar to the warning an unhappily married woman wished she had not ignored before saying yes to her husband's proposal.
She lamented, "I wish I had paid more attention to the way he treated his mother before we were married." Another woman said, "I wish I had noticed how my husband treated the servers at the restaurant." Both of these women were dazzled by personable man who made promises about how supportive they would be to their future wives. Once married both of these men not only failed to keep their promises but instead of being supportive treated their wives in condescending controlling ways.
"I was very young when we married. He was 11 years older and seemed so supportive of my ambitions and dreams that I didn't notice how controlling he was. About a month before the wedding I started to get uncomfortable. But all the bills were already paid so I went through with it. I always thought I could get a divorce, but I had no idea of how hard that would be.”
It's very easy to be reassured by a man's apparent self-assurance and ability to successfully maneuver his way through the world. After all most women want to be cherished and cared for by the men they marry. In the midst of the excitement of falling in love it's very easy to miss the signs that that behavior really involves a tendency to bully and control others.
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It's also very hard to hear the warning from friends and family members that they are uncomfortable about how the man you are in love with treats you. It's equally hard for those friends and family members to let you know about their premonitions of trouble ahead. Often they don't say anything at all because they’re afraid of appearing to interfere. They're also afraid of the pushback from you.
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