Why You Would Go Back to Your Abusive Ex

I’m not writing this to hurt anyone.

Even though I’ve wanted to write this for a while,  I held off on it for several reasons: the post always came across as incredibly bitter…and quite frankly, I wasn’t strong enough to deal with any criticism or blow black from people who knew me when I was with him.

Trust me, I know there’s two sides to every story.  But this is mine.

I’m not writing this to hurt anyone, but I know it will.

I also know if it will piss a lot of people off…particularly those in my ex-boyfriend’s camp or the people who just wanted me to shut up about everything all those years ago.

I know this is going to hurt people.  So  I’ll go ahead and tell anyone who’s upset about this post exactly what my ex boyfriend said to me the day after he grabbed me by the neck and shoved my head into a car window over and over again.  I’ll go ahead and say:  I’m sorry…but I never meant to hurt you.

Hope that makes you feel better?  I dunno…It never really worked for me.

I’m not writing this to hurt anyone. I’m writing this because the only reason I stopped talking about abuse, is because other people told me to.

I was sick of being called dramatic, of getting belligerent emails from him, or getting called a liar in bars by people who knew him.  I was sick of  having to explain to people why I broke up with him…after all…we looked so happy together in photos.

I’m writing this because I told myself that I would never go back to someone who abused me.  That if a guy so much as laid a finger on me, I would be gone. I’m writing this because we all have stories like this, but we never talk about them.  And we need to start to.

I judged people like Rihanna, questioned their sense of self respect, and held on to the belief that I, some how, was better and stronger than a girl who would go running back.

But I wasn’t.

And for a long time, that made me question myself.  And doubt myself.  And ultimately hate myself.  But luckily, as time went on, I got some clarity…and with that clarity…the questions turned to answers.

Answers that I wish I had two years ago.  And answers that I think may help people.  Who knows…maybe this post is just for me.  For me to help myself. To finally put one of my relationship Bogeymen to rest.  He always did say I was selfish.

Why did I go back?

1. Because people convinced me the abuse wasn’t bad enough

As my ex so poignantly put in an email, “it’s not like  I Ray Rice-ed you.”

If you dont get the reference, please stop right now and view the footage of what NFL player Ray Rice did to his fiance in an elevator.  (She later married him that month)

So I’ll go ahead and confess that this is true: my ex did NOT knock me unconscious in an elevator, and drag me by the leg into a hotel hallway and let the doors almost close on me.  He sure didn’t.

He also didn’t leave me bruised up, or in need of a hospital.  He never punched me.  He never slapped me.

He did, however, go from being a guy who “would never touch a girl,” to someone who “would never touch me again.”  You see…it was a one time thing. He believed it.   Other people believed it.  And after a few months of being broken up, I believed it too. So I went back. And when it happened again…it still wasn’t bad enough for people.

But it was finally bad enough for me.

People asked questions.  How hard he pushed me…had I said something to antagonize him…was I sure I wasn’t exaggerating?

And I spent way too much of my time and sanity trying to answer these questions.  And I’m done now.  But I do have a question of my own for anyone who still thinks things weren’t bad enough:  how bad did I need to let it get?  Seriously, how badly did he need to hurt me? 

2.  Because I saw it coming

I saw the violence build up the first months we were together: he’d punch walls, throw phones, push taxi drivers…all the while swearing he would NEVER touch me.  Ever.

Then he did.  And I left.

But then it seemed like he changed.  And I told myself that I would be able to see it coming if it were to ever happen again.  And I told myself that I would leave at the first sign of his old habits.

I was wrong.

3.  Because he convinced me that if I couldn’t love him, I couldn’t love anyone

This one makes me angry.

Because, nothing brings out the weakness in a strong woman, like a weak man.

Because he made me believe that it was better to give up on myself, than it was to give up on the relationship.

Emails, phone calls, text messages, all saying a variation of the same thing: that I gave up on him.  That no one could possibly love me more than him.   That no one is perfect.  And if I couldn’t appreciate how much he loved me, then I would never be able to appreciate anyone who would love me afterwards.

Because he redefined and blurred the lines between loving someone, and needing someone.  And after a while, it all felt the same to me.

4.  Because I lost every single one of my friends

To make a long story short, it wasn’t a fun time for any of them.

Many of them  pulled away from me because, to them, my behavior all of a sudden became erratic. I was crying all the time.  Wanting to see him, but then swearing I’d never see him again.  Blocking his number, then calling it a million times.  Many of them pulled away because they just didn’t know what I needed.

I was always the one that they could depend on.  Unflappable.  I was the one that always helped, and all of a sudden, I needed help.  And I didn’t know how to ask for it, and when it was given, I didn’t know what to do with it.

I changed, and I didn’t recognize myself.

But he stayed the same.  He was a constant…and for a while…despite his temper and the emotionally violent fights we would get into…he seemed safe.

5.  Because he wasn’t a bad person 

This was the hardest conclusion to come to. And I think for a lot of people on the outside of these relationships (the friends, family, co-workers) it’s the hardest thing to come to terms with…

Abusers aren’t bad people.  They are just really horrible partners.

My ex is a good friend to a lot of people.  He has a family he loves, and a job that he excels at.  And I wish him nothing but the healing I found (some days)

A lot of people couldn’t understand how someone like my ex could have such a dark side to them.  Hell, I couldn’t understand it either. And I don’t try to understand it anymore. I just know that I don’t want it in my life.

6.  I did not go back because I loved him…

To this day, people say this to me.  That I must’ve stayed because I loved him.

I didn’t love him.

And he didn’t love me. He needed me.

Abusive partners will never love anyone who stays with them, because in their hearts, they will never respect them.  They will never respect someone who allows themselves to be treated on the outside, the way abusers feel on the inside.

*******

So there it is.

I wouldn’t consider myself someone who “survived” an abusive relationship.

I was lucky enough to be able to “leave” it.  And to move on.  I left before things got “too bad” and for some reason, people think that means I’m not allowed to talk about the things that did go bad.

But I’m going to keep talking about them anyways…hoping that more people choose to leave and live, rather than survive.

And in case anyone needs to hear this, Ill go ahead and say it:

Is he going to change?  No

Should you leave? Yes

Will anyone love you more than he does?  Absolutely

Acknowledgements:  this wasn’t easy to write, but I feel like it needed to be written.  And I can’t write this post without paying a special thanks to my Mom. She was a warrior for me during a time where I had no fight left in me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Your Relationships Fail, and Why You Shouldn’t Take it Personally

This post is not about the romantic relationships that matter.  Those few great romantic relationships we get in a lifetime (yes…you will get more than one, I promise).  Those relationships deserve to be cherished when they’re around, and missed when they’re gone.

This post is about “filler” relationships.  The relationships that have the emotional equivalence of bubble wrap.  We have many of those in our lives, and many of us spend far too much time worrying about them.  

This post is about the relationships that shouldn’t matter:  

*********

I can’t count the number of times one of my girlfriends has come up to me, crying and upset, because some douche-bro went MH370 on her and vanished without a trace.

This happens to all of us at some point. Someone we like, or thought we could like, decides to cut ties with our existence.

Poof. They’re gone.

Sometimes we get a conversation.  Sometimes we get a text message or email.  But most of the times, the person simply, just one day…is gone. Just gone.  Like magic.

When someone we like disappears, it sucks.  It’s hard to understand “why.”   (In fact, a friend of a friend has a great coping mechanism for times when this happens: he just pretends that that person died)

This stuff happens to all of us.   And when it does, we ALL have questions.

We want to know why they decided to stop calling.  In fact, we NEED to know…so we start to evaluate the entire relationship.  We scour over each detail and conversation and text message, and we just can’t figure out why they stopped calling or stopped wanting to hang out.

We do this after every failed relationship…ask ourselves why, why, why.  And eventually most of us come to the only possible conclusion: there has to be something wrong with us.

There HAS to be something wrong with us, right?

Are we are too clingy, too distant, too blunt, too secretive? Too skinny, too fat?  Am I not funny, too funny, funny but not in the right way? Too insecure? Too secure?  Too stand off-ish.  Maybe we didn’t laugh at his Batman impersonation when he did it for the millionth time?

I mean, there has to be something wrong with us…that’s the only way to explain how this just keeps happening to us over and over and over again.  We think there has to be something wrong with us because ALL of our relationships in the past month/year/decade have failed…

Well there’s not.  There’s nothing wrong with you.  If you want to know why relationship after relationship has gone no-where…I can go ahead and tell you the reason:

Most of your relationships will fail because that’s just how dating works.  

Very few romantic relationships will ever go past a certain level.  Those are the ones that matter.  It’s dumb luck and timing. It has nothing to do with you.

You date until you find someone who you can get to “that” level with.

 So if you date a lot…it may seem that people are always walking away from you.  It’s not you…they just know it won’t get to “that” level with you.  If you’re tired of being rejected, take a break from dating.   It gets exhausting. Three dates in a month?  None of them worked out? Sounds completely normal… but it still sucks. Take a knee for a moment.  Get back out there when you’re ready.

 If you don’t date a lot, and you go out on one date…unless you are very very lucky,  it won’t work out.  Do not make that one date a personal statement about your value.  And stop saying stupid dramatic things like, “this is why I never put myself out there.”  Just shut up about it.  You DID put yourself out there, and you got hurt. Take a knee for a moment.  And get back out there.

Side note: If you know anyone who always seems to “luck out” and find a boyfriend or girlfriend, please just know they’re probably majorly settling.

You may now be saying, “Hey…you don’t get it…they said such nice things to me.  They really seemed to like me.  Why would they lie?  Why would they lead me on?”

Why did they say nice things about you?  Probably because they meant them. I hate to bust your personal tragedy bubble by telling you this, but they really probably meant those things.

And if someone tells you you’re funny and amazing to be around, and then they stop hanging out with you…it doesn’t mean you’re NOT funny or amazing. It means they’re super weird.  Or it means they just didn’t see things going to the next level.  Or it means they got busy with life and realized they want to focus on other things… A relationship not being one of them.

So please…

Accept this fact: 99% of your relationships will not work out.  They will fail.  Because…math.

No one can ever have more than one successful romantic relationship in a life time. So even if someone has been married for ten years, the second they get divorced, 100% of their romantic relationships didn’t work out.

 As single people…we’re all in the same boat.

In the interest of full disclosure, 100% of my romantic relationships have never worked out.  And I’m awesome.  It has NOTHING to do with me.  And it has nothing to do with you.

It’s luck. Dumb luck.

So if you’re still not convinced, and you still think that YOU are the reason things don’t work out. Let’s think about this logically:

 Let’s imagine there’s something “wrong” with you. Maybe you think you’re not pretty or attractive enough, and that’s why nothing has worked out.  Ok.

So what you’re saying is that the only people who have successful relationships are attractive.  Fine.

Now think of all the people you know who are currently in relationships.  Think about them.  Are ALL of those people pretty and attractive?  NO FUCKING WAY.

That’s because finding a lasting romantic relationship has nothing to do with what you look like. It’s luck.

So maybe people don’t want to date you because you’re boring and insecure?

Think of all the people you know who are currently in relationships.  Are all of those people interesting and confident?  NO.

In fact, I think we all know some awful people who have managed to find someone to put up with them.  Being in a romantic relationship is not validation that you’re a good person.  It’s just…not.

Because being in a successful romantic relationship has nothing to do with you or what you’re like.  It’s luck and timing.

Real Talk: Why do you want to even be in a romantic relationship?  Why is this a goal? 

I always ask my friends this.

 I mean…how much more fun do single people really think committed people are having ?  Relationships are hard fucking work…that’s why most of them fail.  If you think being in a relationship means you won’t feel lonely at times…  Im sorry…but you will.  In a relationship, you’re also going to feel let down at times.  And bored as hell at times.

Single or not, life is hard for all of us. So stop making it harder on yourself by thinking you’re the one with an issue.

And for all of those people who don’t call you back, or who vanish into thin air…here’s how you deal with them.  Get out your phone and scroll to their number.  Delete it.

Poof…they’re gone.

Looks like they’re not the only one who can make shit disappear.

How to Talk To Women: A One Step Guide

A very near and dear friend was talking to me about my blog posts a few months ago.  He was wondering if I could write a post for guys.  A post where I give advice on how to talk to women.

So I’ve been giving it A LOT of thought.

I’ve gone through my interactions with guys at parties for the last few years.  I thought about what “worked” and what “didn’t work.”  What a guy should say and what not to say.  I even talked about it with some of my girlfriends over wine.  And, guys,  i’m happy to report back that I’ve narrowed it down to one…easy…step.  That’s it! So, listen up, boys…here it is:

How to talk to a woman:

1. Go up to her, introduce yourself.   And then talk to her like you would talk to any other human.

That’s it.  There’s really no trick.  No “lines” needed.  No aces up your sleeves.  Just walk up to her, introduce yourself, and say whatever it is you would say to any new person.  Pretend like she’s just a normal standard human that you’re trying to get to know…because that’s what we are.  We’re just like you.

And if you don’t know where to start…just start with your name.  It’s simple.

If she walks up to your group while you’re in the middle of a conversation…you can continue that conversation.  No need to switch to a topic you “think” she would be interested in.  If she’s bored, she will walk away, and this opens you up to going up to her later and saying, “hey…didn’t catch your name back there…where are you from?”

You can talk to her about pretty much anything at all.  Sports, work, life in the city you live in…be creative.  If you’re having trouble thinking of topics, just think about what you say to dudes the first few times you meet them.  It works the same way.  We all just kind of like stuff. And she may like the same stuff that you do.  Find out!

However… just like any other human you meet, she may choose that she doesn’t really want to speak to you for too long.  A woman, like anyone else, may have her own friends that she came to hang out with, or may just want to enjoy the party and socialize.  It happens.

It has nothing to do with you…

Or what you look like or what you’re wearing.  And as long as you are just talking to her like any other human, I promise you, it has nothing to do with what you said.  So just walk away, and hang out with people who love you for a while.  Shake it off.

Now look, I know you were hoping for something a little more “exotic.”  A guaranteed way to strike up a conversation.  But that doesn’t really exist for any human on human interaction you can think of.

Think about it:  at a party…how many times has a relative stranger been able to keep your undivided attention for more than ten minutes?  Those types of situations where you really “hit it off” with someone just don’t happen all that often, which is why we cherish them when they do.  Don’t take it personally.

And remember…women have to deal with a lot of douche-bros throwing attention our ways.  So if you get overlooked every now and then…please give us a little bit of a break and just back away nicely.  And please please please, don’t ever say: I’m not like most guys.  Just don’t.  Because every guy says that.   It’s annoying.

So that’s it…that’s how you talk to a woman.  Talk to her like any one else.  We are no different.  And trust me, as a woman, I realize how hard or intimidating it is to speak to us.  I get shot down regularly when I’m actually genuinely just trying to be friends with them.  I feel your pain, but I’m telling you…the gimmicks, the lines, they simply don’t work on women.

So that’s women…we like it when you treat us normally.  Because we are just normal people. Mostly.

***********

That being said…not every female out there considers herself a woman who just wants to be spoken to like everyone else.  Some of us like to be treated differently, treated like princesses,  treated like girls. Talking to a girl is a completely different ball game, and generally, they’re much more fun to talk to at parties.

This guide is a little more detailed, but go ahead and give it a look.  (Warning: these will not work on women…we will just walk away)

A step by step guide to talking to girls: 

1.  Start off by “negging” her

Example: You see a girl with a hot body and you say, “Wow…you need to workout” 

This is probably the most effective way to get a girl interested as it makes her feel like shit about herself for a second, but then she realizes it’s a compliment, so she feels DOUBLY good about what you said.

2. If the negging works, compliment her, but only in the 3rd person

Example: A girl makes a funny joke, and you look to the person next to you and go, “Aww…she’s so funny, isn’t she?”

You don’t want her to get bored too quickly…so very slowly, slowly show her you approve of her existence and personality.  Baby steps.

3.  Ignore her when another female walks up…but only for a few minutes

 (You can also combine this with some slight negging.  You can say something like, “finally…someone interesting to talk to.”  Follow this with a wink in her direction so she knows you’re not serious.  She’ll go crazy!)

4.  Interrupt the flow of a normal conversation to give her an out of place compliment about her appearance…then continue said conversation  

(The trick is to make it seem like you’re so overwhelmed by her beauty that you couldn’t control what came out of your mouth)

5.  Just be very very attractive and stand there and let her come up with things to say (Ok…this one may work on women sometimes…we are only human after all) 

*********

Now…none of this is an attack on “girls.”  Or on guys who like talking to them.

I used to really enjoy being talked to like a girl…it kept me on my toes, I never really knew what to expect,  banter goes back and forth…just like a game.  And then I realized I really hate games.  If you never know what to expect from someone, you can probably just stop expecting much at all.

And I just don’t have time for that anymore.

xx