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They aren't worth it...

(181 Posts)
Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 17:31:58

Why do some women end up in a relationship with guys - have kids with some even - who are not worth it?

I've met women who despite all the warning signals were completely blinded by... lust (can't be love, surely?). These were men who already showed signs of being abusive while dating.

Why don't people just turn their backs on them, and move away?

Not being controversial. Just wondering what goes on in people's head. My head is automatically guided by logic, and I don't know why, but I spot such guys from miles away, and just never tend to like them...

headinhands Sun 17-Feb-13 17:36:31

Men do the same op.

As for why people settle for abusive/neglectful partners there's probably a host of reasons with the upshot being low self esteem stemming from abusive/neglectful parenting, negative role models and so on.

onetiredmummy Sun 17-Feb-13 17:40:03

What a lovely patronizing attitude you have there.

In my case it was that people change. I didn't marry an idiot but his cocaine addiction made him not worth it in the end.

& I don't appreciate your inference that I make illogical stupid decisions . I'm glad for you that you are not plagued by self doubt & have your pick of men, just remember that there are others who sense of self worth is low enough to feel that these men are OK.

Don't underestimate the relentless propaganda aimed at making women pursue and remain in relationships with men. Women are constantly being told that love will conquer all, that a woman is a failure without a man, that 'difficult' men are romantic and special and that they themselves are inadequate and unsatisfactory and need to change (diet, shop more, cook more, open their legs more) and then a man will love them. Society is still based on the premise that every man who wishes to is entitled to own a woman for domestic service, sex and childrearing, and the propaganda is to make women accept that their purpose in life is to be owned by a man.

Undertone Sun 17-Feb-13 18:25:13

Hear hear SGB

babyhammock Sun 17-Feb-13 18:31:01

Perfectly put SGB smile

CremeEggThief Sun 17-Feb-13 18:44:57

Well said, SGB.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 18:45:55

SGB - you might have hit the nail there.

I do think parents should teach their children that being in a relationship is not the be all and end all it is perceived to be. I never felt the need for a boyfriend as a teenager (e.g. would rather be single than put up with someone who was likely going to head the wrong side of the track). I guess being sort of late to catch up on this boy-thing has its benefits. I did have an image of my "ideal man" in my head - who was so God-darn perfect, he'd never have existed in RL... and I naively decided, until I found him, I'd never go out with anyone, lol.

I also always looked up to career-oriented women, who seemed to cope without men just fine...

Lueji Sun 17-Feb-13 18:55:11

Have you met him?

Most of us know that there's no such thing as an ideal man, and are prepared to accept some faults.
Just as long as the important characteristics are there.

Maybe sometimes we are blind to some important faults, maybe other times we are tricked by seemingly good men.

It's not a coincidence that lots of abusive men seem fine to the outside world, and only in intimacy they are abusers. And abuse starts off slowly, constantly pushing boundaries. At some point we are deep in it.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 19:18:45

Lueji - DH is 90% there. I accept the 10% of faults happily. When my mother first saw him, she said (with rolling eyes) that he just looks like the kinda guy I used to fantasize about as a teen. grin

I don't think the guys you're talking about would have had the patience to stick to someone like me... I do know I've hit the jackpot with DH (though don't always tell him that).

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 17-Feb-13 19:24:21

The trouble is that everyone thinks they've 'hit the jackpot'.... until it turns out they've actually won a deceptively shiny wooden spoon.

'Pride comes before a fall'.... fair warning?

MadBusLady Sun 17-Feb-13 19:31:43

Don't underestimate the relentless propaganda aimed at making women pursue and remain in relationships with men.

This. I have been in a room where one highly intelligent, accomplished woman advised another to "just give it a chance and see what happens, maybe he's a bit shy", about a bloke who I thought was (and later proved himself irrevocably to be) an utter boundary-abusing weirdo. The propaganda gets everyone. The only way to conquer it is to be sometimes seen as a bit anti-social, and not give a shit about that. sad but true.

OneHandFlapping Sun 17-Feb-13 19:38:38

My H was lovely before I became pregnant, and seriously ill. When I needed him, he became a bullying arsehole. Just not all the time. Just enough to keep me in my place.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 19:43:25

You can test people.

Most wooden spoons often expect girls to look up at them, rely on seeming "amazing" and "charming". Often, they cannot laugh about themselves. They would not be patient enough to put up with me - I do test people rather a lot, so I do know that those who stick with me (friends & partner) are worth it.

Well, OP, in my case it was because I had bonded with his twin daughters and excused a lot of poor behaviour as I wanted to keep them in my life. I preferred to tell myself there were valid reasons for his behaviour and until I had had my first dc the anger and abuse wasn't really directed at me. It still took me another 4 years to have the guts to leave. It isn't as clear-cut as you make it.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 19:50:28

MatchsticksForMyEyes - Yes, children make the equation more difficult. Good that you did manage to leave. What happened to the twins?

dondon33 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:54:05

So you're lucky to have such an automatically logic thinking head.

Unfortunately like millions of other 'blinded' girls/women I fell in love, and I can assure you, at first it was love not lust, with a manipulative, controlling, abusive and violent bastard.
Of course he was charm personified at the beginning and until I'd bore his first Dc really, by which time I felt trapped, that was my lot and that I just had to deal with it. I was too young to understand and realise about 'red flags' never mind know how to deal with them. I subsequently went on to have a further 2 more Dc with him too.
SGB makes a hugely relevant and true point in that post.

16 years I endured it, 16 god damn long, fucked up, destructive, hellish years before I got out.
If you seriously think that if I'd known what he had planned for me from the start that I wouldn't have ever-so-simply 'turned my back' and 'moved away'
Then I'm sorry op but your even more illogical than what you patronisingly accuse me of being.

I am still in touch with them, but they are teens now. Had I left when I first knew he had anger problems I don't think I would have been able to maintain the contact with them. I suspect their mum let them continue to visit us as I was the stable influence whilst they were with us.

MrsMorton Sun 17-Feb-13 20:04:29

OP, you have absolutely no idea. That's all. No idea.

badinage Sun 17-Feb-13 20:07:02

A lot of men don't show their true colours until a child is born though at which point a woman is in a vulnerable position having to take at least some time out of the workforce. There are some clues beforehand though e.g. if he shares the domestic workload and can/will fend for himself and others without help. Agree though that a lot of women seem to trade their singledom for far too little - and are too readily prepared to sacrifice their financial independence.

But also experiences change people. If one of the couple suddenly hits the big time in a career and everyone's fawning over them, the whole power dynamics can change on a sixpence. Same for if one of them loses a job. It never pays to be too smug.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:16:23

dondon33
Of course, they can be charm personified - sociopaths generally are. Not saying you are illogical. I understand that the red flags are often invisible until much later in life when you sort of wise up to them.

MatchsticksGorMyEyes
Good to hear. Did the twins' mum ever hint at you how he was to live?

MrsMorton
I'm just asking why things are the way they are. Can you not ask these days? Maybe if people talked about this issue more, it would happen less? Like the tell-tale signs becoming more obvious to people? But oh well, it would be so much better to brush these things aside...

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:20:21

Agree a lot with badinage.

I'd never want to lose my financial independence. Even if that means not having the kind of maternity leave others are accustomed to (because often, that can hurt a career).

Hitting the big time is indeed an issue for some couples, too...

MrsMorton Sun 17-Feb-13 20:20:27

Have you looked at the EA support thread? Number 17 or whatever it's on now? IMO it's a little rude to have done no research before asking a question like that.

I'm very pleased for you that your spidey sense is so accurate.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:23:08

MrsMorton - I don't go into every single little sub-forum of MN. There are so many, I stick to only a few, and even then only found the "relationship" forum by accident.

snowshapes Sun 17-Feb-13 20:29:00

There is a world of difference between saying there is a need to discuss the warning signs for abusive relationships and your OP which appears to blame the women who end up in them. The former would be intended to be helpful, the latter is at best ill-thought through and at worst, offensive on a Relationship forum where many are posting from and about such Relationships. Epic fail.

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