Wednesday

How Did I End up Attracting Emotional, Sexual, and Physical Abusers

Although I didn't have any new visible scars after I left my abusive relationship back in 1996, I did have plenty of wounds on my heart and my mind that didn't start to heal until I recognized the truth about myself and the man I thought would one day be my husband. I realized that I had a history of connecting with wounded souls on an intimate level even when I really didn't like my dates that much from the start.  How and why did that happen? 

It may have started back during my teens when I thought that appeasing a hurting man or woman by giving into their requests was the way to go based on the dysfunctional programming that I watched on and off the television screen.  I saw my relatives do just that when I was a child--give in.  Time and time again they would act like they didn't want to help a manipulator, player, pimp, or hustler, but their mouths would say, "Yes, but only this time."  Codependency was something I was all too familiar with since as a child, I watched how the gullible fed off the hurt of others, assisted them, and then later hated them for what the victims already knew would happen, they would get played in the end.  

Fast forward, I'm a young adult at the time listening to my advisors say, "You know he isn't good for you...you are so much better than him...what do you see in that ugly dude?"  My relatives who tried to mean me well knew I was making similar mistakes and "on purposes" that they had done in the past.  I really didn't know what I saw in those incompatible men especially after having gone through so many disagreements with them.

Many victims don't recognize that emotional, sexual, and physical abuse comes in so many ways and it isn't always about being slapped, hit, choked, or punched.  The hurting woman says, "At least he didn't push me..." so he didn't physically push you, but he pushed your mind to the point of no return with him.  You were pushed into thinking dark thoughts and doing despicable things.  You were pushed into being all things to your abuser that you really didn't want to be.  You were pushed into lying or covering up for him.  You were pushed into manipulating others because of him. 

Once again, abuse comes in many forms while some victims like to make themselves appear like they are somehow better than the victimized women who came before them in that abusive man's life.  They are no better, you are no better, but hopefully, all are wiser as a result of the punishment that you and they endured due to ignorance and naivety from the start of the relationship.

I ended up attracting my share of abusers because of the following:

1) They reminded me of men I grew up with that weren't so nice to women.
2)  I wanted to be "the good woman" in their lives that had a high tolerance for their personality disorders unlike the others so I thought who came before me.
3)  I thought that I could change them if I did more and/or gave more.
4)  I made myself available sexually, economically, etc. even when I shouldn't have.
5)  I received their love bombing and convinced myself they were right for me.
6)  I rushed into making plans with them for fear that they might want someone else (most of them had either bodies, minds, or both somewhere else in addition to me).
7)  I was simply too nice from the beginning and rarely if ever said no to anything they suggested.

The connections were often quick.  There was rarely no time or space given to really sit down and think about these abusive men.  They were controlling, emotionally absent and they faked care.  There was oftentimes something insincere about them from their conversations to their so-called thoughtful yet cheap gifts. 

I felt frustrated in their presence after a while without fully realizing why.  There was something dishonest but at the same time intriguing about the attractive abusers.  Yet, the physically ugly ones made up for their less than appealing looks by appearing to be overly friendly and kind.  Boy, was I a sucker for a so-called generous heart.  However, just as they had their share of shortcomings on the outside, they had even bigger ones on the inside that became harder and harder for them to manage.  What I fell in love with wasn't what I really fell in love with once the mask came off.

Many women find themselves attracting abusers simply because they have shiny valuables that they wear, flashy cars they drive, impressive housing, scents that lure men, and even very attractive friends.  Remember, showy ladies and gentlemen, the more you have, the more the abusive types want from you!  And even if you don't have those things yet, manipulators are listening closely to what you are saying and watching the people you are connected with.  Sooner or later your ship is coming in and they want in.  When you resist, they will threaten, scare, or treat you quite nicely until they get what they want then it is back to mistreating you again.  By the way, are you expecting a new job or promotion, a large tax refund, an inheritance, an accident reimbursement check, or a gift from someone?  Your abuser will be on his or her best behavior for a time in the hopes of helping you spend your money.

To date, I find myself distancing myself from men who I detect have abusive ways about them even if they have yet to do or say anything abusive.  I don't do business with them, discontinue employment if a boss is verbally insulting, and avoid making them close friends.  There is something about evil men (and women too) you can feel and see in time that is often angry, secretive, and/or cold.  If you have an exit plan, use it!  Don't remain friends, lovers, or married to abusive people.

Nicholl McGuire, manager and owner of Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate blog.  Reach out to her on her YouTube channel.
God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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