By now you may have seen a video, which made the rounds on Monday, of a woman throwing a crazy-ass temper tantrum in the car while her husband films her flipping out. Jim Mongiat and his wife, Whitney Styles Mongiat, from Knoxville, Tennessee, were fighting because she wanted to spend the weekend at the lake, while he wanted to get chores done.
As Mongiat films away, Whitney screams, cries, kicks the seat and makes melodramatic over-the-top pronouncements. (Clips of it are in the Right This Minute segment above.) The video — which, Godwilling, is a hoax, although she seems to be a real nurse in Knoxville — is utterly appalling. And while I can’t believe an adult woman actually screams at her husband like this and flops her legs out the car window, I’m just as disgusted that he filmed a marital spat in which both of them are behaving like tremendous douchebags and posted it on the Internet assuming we would all “side” with him.
Let me say up front that I write on the Internet for a living and a lot of what I write about is sex and dating and relationships — warts and all. I’ve written a lot about guys I’ve dated, always disguising their names (unless they were all right with being identified by name, which many were) and writing the absolute truth as I experienced it. So I don’t necessarily fault Jim Mongiat for not keeping his private life private. It’s not a given anymore in this technological day and age.
But I felt really uneasy watching the video, not just because I was watching an adult woman behave like a two-year-old, but because something seems … off. Like, really off. She mentions in the video that she’s having an anxiety attack — which garnered no reaction from him — but I wonder if there are other mental health issues here. The shrill screaming and the sobbing and the kicking the seat? I’m no psychologist, but it seems like she’s got issues that go beyond being really fucking agitated at her husband.
And that brings me to Jim Mongiat’s epic dickishness. Posting a blowout argument with your wife (now soon to be ex-wife) onto YouTube in which she behaves horribly, for all her bosses and friends and family to see, is vindictive and mean-spirited. But it also presumes that Whitney is the only one at fault here. And his glib, nonchalant tone throughout the video, taunting her while she is obviously extremely upset, only confirms he seems to think he’s a “victim” being portrayed in a good light. He’s escalating the situation through his responses and then laughing at how she reacts. That’s extremely manipulative behavior. We don’t have enough information from this fairly short video, but based on the small amount we do have, I find it kinda controlling that he’s refusing to take her to the lake and refusing to get her cigarettes and egging on her freakout. Additionally, in an interview with Right This Minute, Whitney Mongiat described her husband as “holding the boat hostage.” Taken all together, that seems fairly abusive to me.
Meanwhile, he’s complaining about their 15 months of marriage, in which, he claims, she “does this all the time.” And we’re supposed to feel bad for you that y’all are still married? If you listen to their communication style throughout the video, there’s a lot of accusations and recriminations and “you always do this!” types of statements. It’s neither selfless nor noble to stick around in a toxic relationship like that. And the usual toxic relationships explanations for why he stayed don’t really hold water here: someone who was afraid of some kind of retribution — say, domestic violence — likely would not have filmed their abuser and then posted it online. Instead James Mongiat just seems like the jerk looking for some bros to slap him on the back and assure him that “ALL WOMEN ARE CRAZY, RIGHT?”
I don’t really care about these two random people and their fight. But I also honestly, have zero fucks or sympathy to give to people who date or marry other people with crazy-ass problems and then act like dicks about it. Part of being a mature adult is learning that sometimes you just can’t go to the lake. But part of being a mature adult is also learning how to gracefully get out of unhealthy relationships.
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