Yes, I’m going to say it: we are truly at fault because we pick them ourselves.
Rather than victims, we’ve been volunteers.
My 20′s and 30′s were spent dating wonderful men that I remain friends with to this day, yet my 40′s have consisted of 2 terrible relationships. I realize now that a traumatic event altered my self-esteem when I turned 40 and that’s when I stopped listening to my inner knowing.
Since that time, I’ve come to the very clear conclusion that we as women pick bad men because we don’t validate our own knowing.
Stay with me here. By validate, I mean listen to that inner voice that “knows” something isn’t right. If we grew up in a tumultuous childhood (and who didn’t?) we were unheard and invalidated. We grew up wanting that validation from the world around us and because we never experienced it in our past, we never developed the self validation reflex.
What does this mean? It means we’re vulnerable to men that lay it on thick in the beginning. We let ourselves be put on a pedestal and lavished with false love. This false love may feel validating, but it’s truly not.
We ignore the signs of trouble because we’re enjoying someone outside of ourselves lavishing us with courtship and romance. We don’t authenticate the inner knowing of “uh oh something’s wrong here”, and instead continue to look for validation that we’re okay by forcing an unhealthy relationship to work.
When things do go wrong and it blows up in our faces, we still continue to plow ahead and “make things work”. How many of us have done this? Trying over and over to fix it, make it work, figure it out? Sure relationships are hard and communication is tricky, all good things require some degree of work; but a dysfunctional relationship has big warning signs early on.
If you’re a woman that grew up being legitimized and trusting her own guidance, chances are you will run when true dysfunction arises. On the flip side, if you’re a woman that grew up in a difficult childhood, you will try to make it work at all costs and continue to seek validation outside of yourself from your partner. The good times are so good they feed that empty space inside of you and you ignore the warnings in your belly. Lack of personal validation will cause women to justify their partner’s poor behaviors, while healthy self validation skills acknowledge the concerns.
When a woman trusts herself and truly provides her own validation, she stops making poor choices. She trusts her inner knowing and stops picking bad men for relationship.
When we recognize that the highs of early romance are feeding that empty part inside that wants to be validated and finally stop ignoring the telling signs of dysfunction, we can start to choose healthy partners.
It’s time we realize that we’ve not been victims, we’ve been volunteers.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
~all photos from freedigitalphotos.net Queen by Tom Curtis, Bull by Simon Howden, cake by serenabooth.com, man by fanpop.com