~This could also be titled: Why we pick the wrong partners, because truly this goes for both sexes~
Yes, 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. Sure I had legitimate stories of what was wrong with my ex, but the common denominator was me. I stopped listening to myself and I fell into an abyss of childhood pain I hadn't resolved. My self esteem was in the can and I was choosing men that matched that low level of self worth.
So how do I know when I'm validating my knowing? By validate, I mean listen to that inner voice that “knows” something isn't right. Your good old gut, it talks to you if you listen.
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 authenticating, but it's truly not.
We ignore the signs of trouble because we're enjoying someone outside of ourselves validating us with courtship and romance. We don't letgitimize the inner knowing of “uh oh something's wrong here”, and instead continue to look for proof 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 being heard and trusting your 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. Why? Because when your own bucket has holes in it, we look for someone to fill it.
We get glimpses of it being filled and although most times are difficult, we plod along hoping they will fill it again. The good times are so good they feed that empty space inside of you and you ignore the warnings in your belly. Lack of good self esteem causes women to justify their partner's poor behaviors, while healthy “I know who I am and what I deserve” skills clearly note the concerns in your gut.
We must learn to fill our own buckets, make ourselves happy and then from that place of fullness~chose a partner.
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.
Listen closely to this: it's time we realize that we've not been victims, we've been volunteers; and most importantly, it's time to choose better for the one we should really love the most…. ourselves.
Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net: Queen by Tom Curtis, Bull by Simon Howden, cake by serenabooth.com, man by divorcedwomenonline.