Why did you stay?
There are moments were I look at myself and all I can see are my glasses hiding me face. Days where I stare at my chin, wishing it didn't look quite as fat when I swallow. I'll stare at my stomach and lament its slight roundness. I stand staring at my arm fat, wonder how on earth to get rid of it. I have always felt the need to be perfect but you turned the spotlight of perfection to my body, what I've always considered one of my weakest attributes. Just when I think I've moved on the mirror is there to throw me off balance. Its shows me every flaw, perfectly highlighted for me to point at.
After dating you it felt like nothing was good enough. Not even my face, something I've always been proud of. I love my freckles, I love my nose, my smile is a bit lopsided but who cares? It gives me character. When you told me I wasn't "sorority" pretty, I stared in the mirror for hours, trying to see what you saw. All I could see was the same cute face, the same nose, the smattering of freckles I've always been proud of. You didn't like my face, it was not up to some standard that I was not aware of. After hours of staring I ultimately decided that I liked my face. Yes there was that dimple here and those stray hairs there but overall I saw something sweet, kind and pretty there. What did you see?
Every time I buy a skirt I think of you, I used to look at my knees and put it back on the rack. I was scared to wear skirts while I was dating you, never mind the sporadic compliments I got. That were just being nice, trying to make me feel better in spite of the fact I was making a fool of myself. The summer after you left I wore a dress every day. It was glorious. I would look in the mirror and see my knees, I'd consider your comment, but then I'd go out anyway. I thought it was just so that I could look professional at work but it bled over to every portion of my life. I felt good in the one article of clothing I felt like I couldn't wear around you. It gave me strength.
Please explain to me why you stayed with this hag of a women? This cretin of a girlfriend? The monster in your bed?
Why say these things in the first place? What did you hope to gain? Did you want to keep me in your possession by lowering my self esteem? Did you simply not think it would hurt? Was it a comment thrown out at me without a spare thought of how it would effect me? Did you truly despise me but you decided that I was better than no one? Did you see "potential" in me, potential for me to be what you wanted?
I've moved on and now I'm in another relationship. Do you know how he convinces me to stay? He tells me how worth while I am. I used to beg you for positive attention, ask you how I looked secretly hoping you'd look up at me and be speechless. Just once. Instead I got a muttered "fine" or a poisoned remark once in a long while. In my current relationship, I am not needy. I do not ask how I look. I know I look damn good. I know I am what he wants and he tells me as often as he wants. He explains what he likes about my body, the list is long and multifaceted. He plays with my hair, runs his hands over my silhouette, touches my arms. He loves parts of me that I never found attractive. He tells me I look wonderful with my hair down, he is stunned by my skirts. He will consistently tell me he appreciates that I take care of myself. He wants me and he tells me so.
This is how a real man convinces a woman to stay. By loving her openly for who she is. Not by beating her into the shape he wants her to be.