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Why we pick bad boys

Posted by fury , 18 January 2013 · 37 views

Almost thirty years ago, talking to the oversight psychiatrist in an abuse shelter, she asked why I had become hostile during a group meeting. An officer had been telling the group how foreign the thought of a loved one inflicting violence on her would be to her. She went on to say that there was hope for us, that we could find someone who would treat us well.

I said that was not possible. The group erupted, and my comment deemed hostile. They had no clue as to the rest of what I had to say. I had a hard time speaking up anyway, and after the outburst, during my first attempt to separate from a violent husband, I said no more.

Later, alone, when the p-doc asked me about it, I maintained my position, she asked why my belief? I wouldn't say until she answered if she thought my husband would ever change. After she finally said, "No, I don't," I responded with, "What makes you think I have changed?" I had no clue how I ended up with a violent man, so how on earth would I know how to avoid another?

The conversation ended, and over the years, the only answer I have been able to find was that we, the abused, associate love with violence. - To which my mind always screamed, "BULLSHIT!"

I detested my father. I had nightmares about him, which I remember to this day. In one, he is handcuffed to a chair in a jail cell so I can tell him exactly what I think, he is furious, and I am terrified. In another, he's standing on the big, heavy desk in our home, and I know "its" about to happen, so I shoot him. These are just two of the nightmares before I hit puberty. There's electrocution, his killing of dogs, and so on. So, no, I don't think it's because I associate love with violence.

I think we pick bad boys because they understand our pain. We don't have to explain it. We don't feel weird around them. Being bad boys, they probably suffered abuse as well, so from that abused pool of men, we find what un-abused people find - a kindred soul. During courtship, they are all charm, and we are understood, not judged as "damaged." Later, when we're mutually vested in the relationship, out comes their violent coping mechanisms.

It's a fact of life that abused males usually grow up to abuse, and abused females grow up to be abused. Since we have a high tolerance for abuse, we stay too long.

I think it's that simple. I don't think we "associate love with violence." That is more blaming the victim.

I agree. Thank you for putting it into words! This makes so much more sense to me.

March 2015

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