Why don’t you leave him? Why do you let him treat you so bad? These are the questions your friends and family may be asking you if you’re in a relationship with a bad boy who mistreats you, cheats on you, or just tears you down.
If you yourself have begun to wonder why you stay, look for your answer in these 8 reasons good girls fall for bad boys.
1. They want a project boy
Many good women see themselves as “fixers”. They want to fix their bad boy. They believe the “victim stories” these men have told them about why they’re broken, and these good women believe that with enough love and compassion they can help him change. What they don’t realize is that these “victim stories” can be a way for these men to deny responsibility for their bad behavior.
2. The martyr syndrome
The women who has given all of herself to helping fix her bad boy, or to surviving his mean, cheating, lying ways, sees herself as helpless or trapped. She gains some psychological reward for being the victim. That, or her religious beliefs, where self-sacrifice is an honorable way to live, keeps her in a relationship that is clearly not good for her.
3. He reminds her of Dear Old Dad
If your father was himself a bad boy or was emotionally unavailable, you’re more likely to fall for a bad boy in an attempt to right the wrong that was dealt you with a distant, cold, or mean father. This time around, you’re going to fix things and make your relationship right.
4. They’re ostriches living with their head in the sand
Bury your head deep enough, and you can’t see what’s going on around you. These good girls deny just how bad their toxic boyfriends are, and they do that by not looking honestly at how they’re being treated. They deny the bad things, while clinging to the pieces of good they find in their relationship, even if those pieces are mere shreds of being treated in a normal, respectful, decent way.
5. They’re afraid to be alone
Even a bad boyfriend is better than no boyfriend, or so the story goes. Often, these women have been told, or been given subtle messages that leave them believing they’re not attractive, and that no other man would want them. This leaves them doubting their ability to attract a good guy, so they hang on to Mr. Bad Boy hoping he’ll change.
6. They feel they don’t deserve better
If a woman doesn’t have low self-esteem when they get in this bad relationship, bad boys are good at tearing a woman’s self-esteem down. He’s somehow convinced them he’s a “catch” and that they couldn’t do better. These men have an uncanny way of keeping you under their thumb so that you stick around and put up with their mistreatment.
7. Drama addicts
If you grew up in a family where drama and chaos were the norm, living with the drama that swirls around a bad boy feels normal to you. It can also feel exciting, dangerous, or like you’re on a great adventure, because often these bad boys skirt the boundaries of criminal, and on some level, living on the edge of danger is an adrenaline rush.
8. They woo you then tear you down
They’re the perfect boyfriend…until they’re not! The really toxic bad boys don’t ever show you their bad side until they’ve got you totally sucked in to the relationship. The mistreatment may first show up after you’re married or have children together. These are the bad boys who charm you all the way to commitment then turn controlling, critical, and sometimes downright scary.
Abuse can be their end game and if you see signs of abuse, the hardest thing you’ll have to accept in your relationship with this bad boy, is that he has this mean side to his personality. This can be especially hard since you remember how great he made you feel at first.
If you’re in a relationship with a bad boy:
• Take an honest look at how he’s treating you
• Accept the fact that your bad boy won’t change
• Ask yourself why you stay
• Work to repair your self-esteem so that you have the strength to move on
“Why good women fall for bad men” is the topic for “The Joan Jerkovich Show” this weekend. Join me Saturday or Sunday for Empowering Talk Radio!