The older we become, the more comfortable we become with not changing, even if it is not for the best. Being 40+ and needing to review our relationships can be scary. For some women, even when the signs are obvious, even when we see the writing on the walls, EVEN when we have been lied to, disappointed, and let down over and over, we still just hang on to Mr. Wrong. We will do anything sometimes to have a man and not be lonely. We blame kids needing a father, helping Mr. Wrong to get onto his feet, and a whole host of other ideas instead of calling the relationship what it is and taking it off of life support.
These relationships with mentally draining, toxic men are detrimental to our mental and physical health, yet we hang onto them as if we are in some kind of rodeo riding on a wild Palomino horse for a prize. Well, the only prize you’re going to get is more heartache, pains, stress and self-doubt. Our thought process of not wanting to start over, a fear of the unknown, and a kind of addiction to dysfunction is damaging on many fronts.
Having “a” man is not better than no man at all. The first obstacle to changing this mindset…is admitting that this is your mindset. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. I have been there, and so have many of my friends. We are “yet holding on” to the never changing persona of your man. Whether you realize it or not, you keeping this man says more about you than you could ever realize. Let me say for the record (again) I am not a therapist. I am just a woman who has gone through so many crazy failed relationships. I got tired, I woke up, and I took a good long hard look at myself. It was ugly and painful...but I did the work to get my life back!
Some women love toxic men, it’s simply a fact. It’s demonstrated because every single man they enter into a relationship with is as toxic as the previous one. The brain is a magnificent thing. Studies have determined that brains are actually wired to desire and focus on certain types of people which is the reason some women are wired to fall in love with toxic men. This explains why some women fall for emotionally unavailable, narcissistic, toxic, selfish, and polygamous men (me included).
These types of men know how capitalize the weaknesses we women have. Some women even become addicted to the emotional and mental (and sometimes physical abuse). You know you are in a bad situation, and yet you simply can’t help yourself. Because many women don’t understand how their mind controls so much of their behavior when it comes to the types of men they select, I must cut some women some slack.
Conduct your own research on why people (in particularly women) stay in toxic relationships. Check out the Office on Violence Against Women, the Psychology Today website , or even try alternative/holistic resources. Learn about your behavior. Understand it, digest it, think about it, then make a decision. Are you going to remain in your toxic relationship?
Will you ignore the knowledge you have gained to remain in your current state? Are you going to continue to complain about the man or men in your life when a major part of the problem really is you, your mindset, and your refusal to change? I realize that it is not easy, but you must make a life-changing decision or risk spending the rest of your life stuck on the treadmill.
There are other reasons some women decide to hang on to their baggage aka their man. We have to be honest and own this thing though. Let’s talk about it. Some women have:
Fear: You’re afraid of your man. If you’re a victim of abuse, you may be afraid to leave. Your life may depend on it. If this is you, find your local support system, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 to find out where you can get resources and assistance. I realize this can be a situation to escape and it may take time but you can do this. We all deserve to be loved, feel safe, and have our emotional needs met. You should also visit the Office of Violence Against Women (at https://www.justice.gov/ovw/grant-programs) to learn about what programs are available locally and nationally to help you transition into safety should you desire to do so. Please remember to be safe, and do not use computers or other devices where your actions can be tracked.
Co-dependency Issues: Some women can’t be alone, so they will tolerate any kind of behavior in order to have someone in their lives. Some victims of abuse and trauma are co-dependent upon their abusive perpetrators due to intentional isolation. They have purposely helped you alienate all of your family and friends so it’s easier to abuse you. There are no witnesses, and no one to stop him from harming you. Has your significant other isolated you from your family and friends? Does he tell you who you can hang out with, monitor your whereabouts, or tell you where you can and cannot go? If you disobey his rules are there repercussions (physical, emotional, or mental abuse, withholding sex, withholding resources, threats) Most importantly, do you follow his instructions? If so, then you exhibit signs of co-dependency.
Ask yourself, “Are you happy?” Probably not, because you purchased this book. I personally have been in co-dependent relationships and it’s scary when you see things going downhill. It seems that things are beyond your control. Please know you have options. You do not have to settle, you don’t have to be unhappy, and you are not alone. There are friends and family waiting on your return. Find a trusted friend or family member, and start to unpacking all of your baggage. Allow them to help you make a plan to get out of your horrible situation to improve your life.
Rejection Issues: Some women fear the process of dating. Dating is a bunch of bullshit at this age and stage of life. People have their own motives and interests. That is a given. But dealing with immature men who are just testing the waters to see if he can get what he needs or wants is not what you are feeling up to now. Who wants to keep getting dressed up, buying clothes, spending money on Dutch dates (yes dudes are really on dating sprees these days, they ask you out on a date and want you to pay for your meal), making superficial conversations, making plans, and getting your hopes up high, only to be disappointed because the man you dated suddenly falls off the face of the earth! No warning , no call, no nothing. Just drops you in the middle of connecting. I have had a number of friends who have had this happen to them. Even after the first time having sex with a guy. For them you may have just been a bed wench, but for us we decided to take a risk and share ourselves. We end up paying for it royally.
It’s never about you, it’s always about pleasing them...men. We are told we need to do everything we can to please them. How to dress, how to act, what to say (and not to say). You would think we would be over this crap now, but we aren’t. Men are still as immature as they were in their early 20’s thanks to reality television, lots of porn (yes there are many men secretly addicted to porn……basing their expectations of how women should be off of this porn), and changing societal norms that really aren’t changing.
We can be as sexually liberated and feminist leaning as we like, but men think with the same patriarchal attitudes as there great grandfathers, no matter how whoreish they are. We cannot do what they do. Never have been able to, never will. Every time we open our minds, hearts, and legs for them, we risk rejection, humiliation, and a little piece of destruction.
Rejection hurts. Rejection is debilitating, and the thought of rejection coddled with experiences of friends can cause you to fear getting out into the world. It’s better to stay with the piece of shit you have instead of taking a gamble on the possibility that there may be someone out there who is 100% better than what you have now.
Children Concerns: When you have children (especially young children under the age of 18) it totally changes your perspective on new and existing relationships. Sometimes, women don’t want to risk getting into another relationship with young children for fear of disrupting the family nucleus, jealous exes, or simply exposing new people to their children for fear of some type of abuse. You may believe that you’re doing everyone a favor by staying in your existing relationship where you are so miserable everyone knows it (even the dog).
This is a tricky one. Being so consumed with your children and attempting to protect everyone while pretending to be the happy family only delays the inevitable. Even if you stay, it’s highly unlikely these days that one or both of you will remain faithful. Whether it’s a physical person, porn, and emotional affair, the old work spouse, you are going to find a way to compensate for the lack in your life. Is hanging on to the bad relationship really worth it. When you lie on your death bed, will you say it was one of the greatest accomplishments of your life? Probably not. Something to keep in mind. After you’ve raised your children, you will be in the house every single day with that person you dislike so much. Your kids will realize there was no affection in your marriage. They will either replicate it, or be extreme and work hard to do what you wouldn’t do.
Ladies, if you are a woman, do you want to show your female children that the men in their lives don’t have to treat you well? Do you want them to think it’s okay to forego all of their needs and miserable to save face? Do you want them to stay in unhealthy relationships even after you’ve talked it out, prayed it out, done counseling, separated, returned and still come to the same conclusion? Would you like for your sons to grow up and be assholes, not respecting women and girls? Does being lazy, not working towards a mature relationship where on any day one spouse gives 75/25, 50/50, or 100% for a season sound like the type of son you want to present to someone’s father?
Remember, your kids aren’t dumb. They may not say anything now, but they clearly are aware of the flaws in the relationship as well as the strains they cause you personally. We women tend to wear our feelings on our sleeves, so we aren’t likely to hide our displeasure long. Kids are intuitive. They will do what they need to do to protect you, including ignoring your foolishness and playing your games. No one wins with a bad father, significant other in the household.
Is keeping “Mr. Bad Bad” better than letting him go on about his life in order for you learning what you need for your life and seeking that out? How about some self-awareness, self-love, and self-actualization. Think about it!
Bisexuality Questions/Leanings/Fears: Let’s be real here. Many women have desires to experience sex with other people, to include other women. Religion, the opinions of others, and fear of how to even venture into this world are just some of the complexities of dealing with bisexuality. For some, it is an experience. For others, it is a deep-seated desire that has burned for many years, maybe even a lifetime.
Maybe you’ve experienced a threesome with another woman at the request of a partner in an effort to spice up the bedroom and found that it was more than just an exploration. You can’t sleep without thinking about what it would be like to not have to deal with the bullshit of men and their inability to sense our needs and desires. You would rather die than to live your life in a manner that is pleasing to you.
I can’t tell you how to handle this. It’s a serious issue when one is trying to figure out their own sexuality. It’s a personal choice whether it be for sex or companionship. For some women, it’s simply a desire to have sex with someone of the same sex (a little sex-positive sexual exploration), then going back to your normal, socially accepted life. For others, it’s a lifestyle change and it’s about truly being attracted to both sexes. In any event, do some research on sexuality, experimentation, and find LGBT groups who are friendly and inclusive.
Bisexuality or Lesbianism isn’t the kind of topic you can just read about (although reading for some is all the catalyst that is needed). For some others, real life experiences help guide the decision-making process. The walk is yours and yours alone. Some people are able to suppress the urges, but there are many women of all ethnic groups who switch teams later in life for a variety of reasons. It can be beautiful for some, for many it can be a negative life changing event. You must make the decision based upon your own needs and desires. Going back to the fear topic, if you are worried about what people say at this stage in life, you are doing it all wrong. Live for you, you only live once.
It’s nothing new. People all over the world have different sexual practices and preferences. It’s really no one’s business unless you choose to make it someone elses.
Financial Linkages: You love your lifestyle. You love all the things you have acquired in life, provided primarily at the hand of your significant other. Changing your man will mean a changing of your lifestyle. The new man (should you pursue one) isn’t obligated to you (or your children) in any form or fashion. Sometimes women have this notion in the forefronts of their minds and decide to stay, out of a love of comfort and not having to worry about needs/wants. Your happiness is secondary. The thirst is tertiary. Starting over and working are not an option, so ‘A” man is what you settle for.
Good Sex: His sex is good, fantastic, magnificent, and that’s all to it. Congratulations you found some fool’s gold. You enjoy the great sex life, but outside of the relationship, there is nothing else going for either of you. You may want to prioritize the rest of you. Your pussy is not the only thing you’re made of. If after sex you still feel empty, then you need to have a good talk with your salad patch (or whatever you call your vagina). Have a meeting of the minds so to speak. You are more than your pussy ma’am. Sex is good now, I get it, but don’t ever get it twisted. We (for the most part) need more than just a good romp in the bed. If the rest of your life is lacking, you need to put that dick on notice.
Low Self-Esteem: You have been stuck with him for a long time. He doesn’t care about your appearance, and you may have allowed yourself to go down. You’ve put on weight, your attire may be dated, it’s just too much to get yourself together to find someone who would love, cherish, and appreciate you. It’s easy to make excuses. It’s easy to allow inaction. It’s hard to find a solution, to set goals and objectives, and begin marching towards them. Remember, it doesn’t matter how fast you progress, it only matters that you do progress.
Sometimes we soothe our hurts with food, alcohol, drugs, allowing ourselves to look a mess and unkept because we have been told we are not worthy, and no one will want us. This is never true. One man’s junk is another mans’ treasure. If you desire better, better is there for you, but you have to have a positive mindset to attract that person to you. Changing your mindset, making life modifications, and making moves will bring about so many wonderful things in your life.
Illness: Sometimes an illness, even after one has fully recovered can cause one or both parties to feel obligated to the other although the marriage has been on shaky ground for quite some time. A partner that stuck with you through adversity is much harder to leave than the average Joe Blow who gambles nothing in the way of helping improve the lives of others. This is an extremely sensitive area, and one should consider heavily before making any moves. Sometimes, a marriage was bad long-before the illness.
The caring for the partner is more out of obligations and perception that love. I am not saying there isn’t any love there, it is simply more of a chore/duty to care for the ill loved one, than a loving sense of obligation. This decision to stay may be good one. But if you aren’t happy, then maybe you want to have a conversation about the issues.
As you can see, there are a number of issues and concerns I have raised which may cause a woman to stay in a dead, unfulfilling relationship. You will need to ask yourself if you are desiring to live the next half of your life being:
- Put second thru last
- Deserted ( your man may be there with you in the bed, but you are still alone)
- Desiring more
- Cheated on
- Cheated with
- Etc. (Add your own word(s) here)
There are so many words that can describe what you could potentially endure during the second half of your life. Staying with your man may be in your best interest. It’s easy, convenient, and you’re already accustomed to all of the words that bring displeasure fitting your personal circumstances. At this phase of life, many women are happy to start over free from years of baggage rather than enduring one more year of heartache and disgust. Sometimes you need to let some things go.
This ain’t Groupon, so stop trying to save shit that doesn’t need saving. It’s way past life support. You’re not the Coast Guard, and your relationship isn’t a continuous search and rescue mission. It’s long dead mama, and should have been cremated years ago. I can’t possibly know what you have gone through on an individual level, but I know my own struggles over the years. Getting stuck with a no-good man who manifests himself a few years into a relationship is such a downer. Going back and forth on whether to stay or not is time consuming.
At the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you. You absolutely cannot make decisions for anyone elses needs or wants. You also cannot make a decision without thinking of how it will impact those around you in the short and long-term. We are all cut from different cloth. You must do what you need to do in order to make your life work. But going through the motions for 25–35 years is too much to obsess over.
I think a piece of a man, shared or not, is never better than no man at all (I tried it, and the shit is too taxing on the soul). You’re always running on lack. You’re always going to have deficiencies in your life mentally and emotionally. We weren’t made to live in that way in my opinion. It doesn’t feel good either. That should be a sign in itself that it’s not right for us.
No matter how much we attempt to justify the piece of man in our lives, all of our being will tell us deep down in our soul otherwise. Call it intuition, emotional intelligence, your gut…….. Mother Nature gave us something she didn’t give to men, which in my opinion makes us much better decision makers. We choose to forsake our emotional intelligence be swayed by a man’s personal appearance/looks and trust what a man says instead of what he does or what he shows us.
The mother/nurturer in women makes us want to fix the broken (the broken grown ass man), when in all actuality, his own parents should have sent him out into the world whole. Women, you are trying to fix somebody elses child, view it for what it is. His deficiency Hanging onto him like he is a tattered favorite plush stuffed animal passed down from generation to generation and now it is your turn to fix and preserve it.
NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!! You are too old to be saving grown men. It’s time you save yourselves ladies. Save your mind, save your body, save your emotions, save your money, save your heart, and most importantly save your best years for yourself. Too many times we give our all to our jobs, houses of worship, marriages, children, and totally disregard giving to ourselves. Now is the time to not feel guilty in the least for doing things that make you happy and free. If it means a change in your life, and going without a significant other or two, so be it.
Should you decide to revive your life, you will be on an emotional roller coaster. One of self-doubt, regret, freedom and everything in between. Detaching yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally can take a very long time, which is why it’s wise not to jump into another relationship too quickly. We need time to detox, unlearn behaviors picked up or adapted, free ourselves of expectations (or lack thereof), and simply figure out what we want in our next relationship. We need to figure out what we need, as well as what we deserve. Treat this next phase of life as if it is the last one you’ll get, because it could be. The next mate you find may be the very last one you’ll ever need. Enjoy your freedom, make it count.
Before you make a decision, I would recommend taking a trip. Make it a girl trip. Have fun, enjoy life, and think about the ramifications of any and all decisions you make. Think about how you will be impacted. Forget what Mr. Bad Bad has been wrecking your life. Go on a trip...fuck what he thinks. Fuck his feelings. This is about you. His opinion will be self-serving at best, just prepare yourself for it.
If he was so great, you wouldn’t be so miserable and definitely not for so long. He could have a whole host of issues associated with his incomplete self that you are not equipped on any day to fix anyway. You likely aren’t a professional therapist, so you can’t treat his emotional and mental health issues. If he is an addict (weed, alcohol, Meth, heroin, sex, etc.), it’s not your problem to solve, it is his. You are simply enabling and creating a world of hurt for yourself.
You aren’t a teacher, and he is too old for you to be teaching him. You aren’t his babysitter, so you can’t police his actions. If he is going to be unfaithful or loves the streets, you can’t change that. He is simply a person that shouldn’t have entered into any type of relationship. If he is a career criminal, you can’t fix his life. He made choices, and he can make you a prisoner like him. If he’s abusive in any way shape or form, you don’t make him that way. That behavior or trait is already there.
Interacting with you simply triggers him. He has issues, and you can’t do anything except make yourself sick attempting to try and navigate his landmines. You aren’t clergy, and if you are, you can’t pray to fix him and think that is going to work. Faith without works is dead. So just cut that out. If he’s not working on himself, your prayers for change are worthless.
Pray for God to give you strength and some extra brain cells to replace the ones you used trying to save your dud.
Think about it. Trust your gut. Write a pros (positives) and cons (negatives) checklist on what makes him a keeper, and compare it to the list that you made with all the thing that make him horrible. Talk to a trusted friend. Seek professional therapy, especially if you are a victim of some type of abuse. Look for sliding scale fee services if you lack insurance. Talk to your local domestic violence community about options if you are planning on leaving a violent situation.
Consider even leaving the region if it’s an option. If you don’t have to worry about violence, but finances are your issue, contact your State Bar Association for a referral to an attorney in your area. They may offer a low-cost attorney referral program so that you are able to get professional advice for little or no cost. Don’t let anything discourage you from making an informed decision. Get as much insight if necessary before making any power moves. If you decide to stay, still seek counseling, still plan for the day you get fed up (again), and have an exit strategy. Today may not be the day, but one day it might.
In closing, it is better to be alone than to have a piece of man. It is better to be alone rather than having someone elses husband or boyfriend as your part-time lover for the sake of saying you have someone. You have nothing, you have a piece of a rag, who is getting the best of both worlds. You’re settling, the main chick is settling, and he is being rewarded with two women, with two brains, four-breast, and two pussies in between them. Who’s winning ? Not you, sorry to break the news to ya!
Holding out hope the old booty call will wife you up? Likely not going to happen mama. Every day you wait, every day you settle, he wins. Are you the woman when he needs something, then when he has used you up, you don’t hear from him…catch the vibes sis. He’s not about that life you want. Get some heart, clear your mind, and send him on his way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with forgoing man trouble to be single.
You will sleep good every night, wake up in a good place every morning, and you’ll never have to worry about your friends, family, and neighbors questioning your actions (staying with him or otherwise). I am sure they all would rather see you happy than to see you tied to a zero.
Send all the bad men, no good fellas, and no good thotty totties back to misfit, island where they probably came from. We are too fucking old for this shit. Really! Your diamonds can shine brighter if you clean the dirt from your jewels baby girl.
Get your life!