Dear Dr. Phil,
I'm engaged to a fairly powerful and influential man, Ivan, who lives overseas. We've been in a difficult relationship for many years now. During that time, Ivan has made many speeches in which he calls for "death to monogamy" and claims it's his divine right to "bag as many babes" as possible. He frequently calls me the "great Satan" and says I should be exterminated along with one of my close friends who lives in his neighborhood, mostly because we don't agree with his extreme relationship views. He has even armed and paid others to kill thousands of people who don't share his views.
Ivan is a painter and he works almost exclusively in oils. Many wealthy people I know used to extensively support Ivan by purchasing his paintings, but a while back the international art community became so fed up with his horrible behavior that almost everyone agreed stop doing business with him. I had to twist a lot of arms to get all my friends and frenemies to agree to that boycott so we could pressure him to change his ways. Some of them though now thirst to resume buying his works and selling art supplies to him.
Ivan has treated me and my friends so badly that many people have repeatedly urged me to break off the engagement and take a tougher stance. Others say Ivan can change and the only way to make that happen is to stay engaged. Although at times Ivan's bombastic and holier than thou attitude are almost too much for me, I decided to stay engaged and recently signed an agreement with him to try to make him behave better. That agreement and some other key facts are basically as follows.
1. I know Ivan keeps six homes around his country at which he throws wild parties and sleeps with other women. Ivan agreed I may inspect those six homes at any time, but he will not agree to tell me if he has any undisclosed "libido enrichment facilities" and he may later build more of them. He also has numerous places he calls "man bunkers" and claims women are never in those locations. If I later uncover an undisclosed libido enrichment facility or suspect he's using a man bunker for that purpose, I can seek to inspect that location and Ivan could block the inspection for up to 24 days and maybe longer - during which time he could move to another party location. He refers to this as his "progressive party plan" and says I should love him even more for being progressive. He really knows how to melt my heart.
2. Ivan will still be allowed to throw wild parties and entertain other women, but he agreed not to "go all the way" with any other woman for 15 years (or maybe 10 years or less depending on how you interpret the agreement). He will also get to purchase better turntables and have access to some top DJ's so he can "pump up the volume" to his full satisfaction. He's so high energy that I often feel like I may explode when I'm near him. I just need to channel that energy in a positive and healthy direction. Maybe I can convince him to take couples yoga with me.
3. Some of my wealthy friends will resume purchasing paintings from Ivan, to the tune of around $10 billion per year. Billions of dollars will also be released to Ivan from funds that were frozen when the prior boycott was announced. That boycott will be resumed and Ivan will face other penalties if he violates our agreement, but only if a committee agrees to that. Ivan and a number of his philandering friends are on that committee. Yeah, I know that's a potential problem, but I'm confident Ivan and his friends will see how kind and understanding I'm now being towards him and will want to be nice to me in return. Also, as Ivan and I have long agreed, it's best to spread the wealth around. I hope we'll always have that strong core, dare I say nuclear, bond holding us together.
4. Over the course of the last several years, Ivan took four of my friends hostage because he thought they were either spying on him or promoting different relationship beliefs in his country. It's widely believed that he is severely mistreating them and may be torturing them. He will not release any of them as part of our new agreement, but I think I may be able to get them released later as part of a future deal. I did once convince Ivan to release 52 friends of mine he held hostage when I took a harsher stance and he feared I'd retaliate in some way, but I was far less understanding back then - some say I was a completely different person - and I don't want to be so mean over just four forsaken friends. As Ivan likes to say, hate the game not the player. It's now 2015 and no one wants to be a player hater. That's so like totally 1980's.
5. Shortly after I signed my new agreement with Ivan, he gave a public speech in which he vowed to oppose my efforts to change his ways and promised that "Ivan will always be Ivan." O.K., I admit I still need to work a lot on that energy channeling thing.
6. Oh, I almost forgot to mention this last point, maybe it's nothing. For a long time Ivan has wanted to build nuclear weapons and has already gone pretty far down the path of making them. He now promises he will not build one. I am a bit concerned that he may break that promise and, if he does, there may then be almost nothing I could do to try to change his more conventional bad behavior or prevent him from completely blowing up our relationship - if I'm still around at that point.
Please tell me Dr. Phil, did I get a good deal or am I screwed?
Desperately Seeking Ivan
P.S. If things don't work out with Ivan, I have a promising potential new boyfriend in Cuba who is far less threatening. Although, come to think of it, he too once tried to get nuclear weapons and I had to put a stop to that. That turned out to be a major confrontation. Many went so far as to call it a crisis. Ah, but I was so much dumber then, I'm smarter than that now.