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Why Good Girls

Date Bad Boys


With Tara Baker

Copyright 2009 Derrick Watkins

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-60145-889-6

Paperback ISBN 978-1-60145-890-2

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the
prior written permission of the author.

Printed in the United States of America., Inc.
Important Notice

The material contained in this book is for entertainment and

educational purposes only. By viewing this book, you agree
to be bound by these terms.

This book is provided “As Is” without any kind of expressed or implied
warranty. Information in this book has been thoroughly checked for
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reserve the right to make changes to the information in this book at
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The author and publisher of this book assume no responsibility for the
use of the material contained in this book which results in any damage,
injury and / or financial loss to persons or property. The use of the
information, materials and ideas in this book is the sole responsibility
of the reader.

would like to thank Tara Baker, who had the unbelievable task of
taking my words and thoughts and putting them on paper for
everyone to read. Without her wisdom and knowledge, none of
this would have been possible. To my daughter Da’Jah, you have
the opportunity to be and do whatever you want in life, pay attention to
the signs of a bad boy.

To my family and friends who had stuck by me in good times and in

bad times. I will never forget your continuous support and love for who
I am.

And to my heavenly father who has given me every opportunity to help

people who sometimes can’t help themselves. I give him all the honor
the glory and the praise.

Introduction ........................................... 1
Chapter 1: Bad Boys are Leaders with
No Direction .......................................3
Nice Guys versus Bad Boys ...................................................... 5
The Psychology of Bad-Boy Attraction .....................................7
Women’s Nurturing Nature..................................................... 9

Chapter 2: The James Bond Mentality .. 12

Characteristics of the James Bond Mentality ........................ 13
He’s arrogant or obnoxious. ................................................... 14
He only thinks of himself........................................................ 15
He doesn’t care about making women happy. ....................... 17
He doesn’t think twice about putting others down. ............... 19
He uses a woman solely for sexual pleasure. ......................... 21
He lives according to his own rules, and doesn’t think
about consequences. ........................................................... 22
He gives way to violent outbursts.......................................... 24
He brags about himself sexually............................................ 25

Chapter 3: Abuse is Multidimensional .. 27

Verbal Abuse .......................................................................... 28
Psychological Abuse............................................................... 30


Sexual Abuse .......................................................................... 31

Neglect .................................................................................... 33
Physical Abuse........................................................................ 35
Final Thoughts ....................................................................... 36

Chapter 4: Thug-Love Romance............ 38

Elements of Thug-Love Romance ..........................................40
The Culture of Thug-Love Romance ...................................... 41
The Impact on Nice Guys ....................................................... 43
The Psychology behind Thug-Love Romance ....................... 45
Do nice guys really finish last? ............................................... 47
Final Thoughts ....................................................................... 49

Chapter 5: How the Past Affects the

Future............................................... 51
Learning by Observing ........................................................... 52
Why do the women stay? ....................................................... 55
Phase I: The Tension-Building Phase .................................... 57
Phase II: The Acute-Battering Phase ..................................... 58
Phase III: The Honeymoon Phase ......................................... 59
Warning Signs of Potential Abuse .........................................60
A Vicious Cycle ....................................................................... 61
Final Thoughts ....................................................................... 63

Chapter 6: Pitfalls of Instant

Gratification ..................................... 66
Two Types of Women .............................................................68


Slow-Moving Women ............................................................ 68

Fast-Moving Women ............................................................. 69
Anti-Loneliness Dating ........................................................... 71
Home baked is better than store bought. .............................. 74

Chapter 7: Changing a Tiger’s Stripes ... 76

Sarah’s Story ........................................................................... 77
Surrounded by Darkness ....................................................... 79
A Downward Spiral ................................................................ 80
Selective Perception................................................................81
Constructive Change vs. Unconstructive Change ................. 82
Moving Forward .................................................................... 83

Chapter 8: Minimum-Wage Thinking ... 87

The Fear of Abandonment ..................................................... 88
When Children are Involved .................................................. 91
Wedded to Misery .................................................................. 94
How to Break the Cycle ......................................................... 96

Chapter 9: Alternate-Ending Thinking .. 97

Fantasy vs. Reality ................................................................. 99
When to Think Alternately .................................................. 102
Is being single really that bad? ............................................ 103

Chapter 10: Where are all the good

guys? ............................................... 105
Good Guys vs. Bad Boys ....................................................... 107


Are you ready for a good guy? .............................................. 110

Know Thyself ......................................................................... 112
Where to Look ....................................................................... 114

Chapter 11: Nice guys can be bad boys

too. .................................................. 117
Jackie’s Story ......................................................................... 119
The Impact of Deception upon Women............................... 122
What’s a girl to do?............................................................... 124

Chapter 12: What is real love like? ....... 127

The Power of True Love ....................................................... 129
True Love is Holistic ............................................................ 132
Love is a friendship that has caught fire. ............................. 134
It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing
and forgiving...................................................................... 136
It is loyalty through good and bad times. ............................ 138
It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances
for human weaknesses. ..................................................... 139
Love in a Nutshell ................................................................ 140

Chapter 13: Cheaters tend to be

repeaters. ....................................... 142
Why do men cheat? .............................................................. 143
Are cheaters repeaters? ........................................................ 145
Are you the problem?........................................................... 149
Trust ..................................................................................... 152


Final Thoughts ...................................................................... 153

Chapter 14: Learning to Trust Again ... 154

Back to Jackie ....................................................................... 155
Take your time. ..................................................................... 159
Is it good to not trust? ......................................................... 160
Learn from the past. ............................................................. 161

Chapter 15: Becoming an Independent

Woman ........................................... 163
Christine................................................................................ 165
So you’re single. Now what? ................................................ 168
Final Thoughts ...................................................................... 171

Chapter 16: Falling in Love with

Potential ......................................... 173
What attracts women to bad boys? ...................................... 174
The Impact on Self-Esteem .................................................. 175
Courtney and Ryan ............................................................... 176
Know what you want. ........................................................... 178
Final Thoughts ..................................................................... 180

Chapter 17: Rebuild your

relationships. .................................. 181
Let go of the past................................................................... 181
You are your environment. ...................................................183
Accentuate the positive. ........................................................185


What about love?.................................................................. 187

Chapter 18: All about Abuse ............... 190

Misguided Myths about Domestic Violence ......................... 191
The victim can be who you least expect. .............................. 195
What about teenagers?......................................................... 196
What if I have a stalker?....................................................... 198
The Types of Abuse (Revisited) ........................................... 199

Chapter 19: Real Life Stories .............. 205

Tanya – North Carolina ...................................................... 206
Mary Ann – Georgia ............................................................ 208
Danielle – Tennessee ........................................................... 210
Brittany – New Mexico ........................................................ 212
Erica – Kentucky .................................................................. 215
Kristy – New Jersey ............................................................. 218
Tyler – Massachusetts.......................................................... 221
Heather – Louisiana ............................................................ 224

Chapter 20: Stories from Domestic

Abusers........................................... 227
Charles – Connecticut ..........................................................228
Jon – North Dakota ............................................................. 232
Paul – Montana .................................................................... 236
Craig – California ................................................................. 241


Mike – Texas ........................................................................ 246

Evan – Arizona .................................................................... 250

Resources for Help and Support ......... 257


hy do good girls date bad boys?

This is a question with many potential answers. Could it

be the raggedy clothes, or the dangerous lifestyle? Maybe it’s the thrill
of the chase, or the challenge of securing his affections. Whatever the
reason, there’s no doubt that many women settle for less than they
deserve when it comes to the opposite sex.

There has been countless romance films produced in Hollywood

depicting true love. Images of men going to great lengths to secure a
woman’s heart have attributed to the genre’s success over the decades.
Women everywhere flock to such films for the emotional high received
from them. The concept of pure, untainted love is obviously a desirable

So why do so many women date jerks?

The concept for this book was inspired by many close female friends of
mine. Like many women, some married young, and fell into more of a
trap than a loving commitment. Some were financially unstable, and
sought refuge in their husbands’ bank accounts. Unfortunately for all
of them, their dreams of finding true love turned into nightmares of
infidelity, insults, and physical abuse.


Theirs’ was an unhealthy reliance on bad boys. They needed these men
for financial or emotional security, and the men needed the boost they
got out of degrading these women. But real love doesn’t hurt, and
through many trials and tribulations, each of the women you’ll meet in
this book eventually saw the light. Nevertheless, the memory of what
they went through still hits close to home.

If you’re reading this book, the odds are you or someone you know is in
an abusive relationship. The neglect doesn’t have to be physical in
order to be considered cruel. Maybe he calls you fat, ugly, or worthless.
Perhaps he sits around the house all day while you go out to pay the
bills. Or is he like so many other men who cheat on a regular basis?
Whatever his faults are, you’re with him, and Why Do Good Girls Date
Bad Guys is aimed at showing you the reason. In this book, you’ll read
about the various attributes that draw decent women to undeserving
men. You’ll learn where all the good guys are, and how you can find
them. Perhaps the problem is you, in which case, you’re going to delve
deep into your personality to discover what makes you settle for less.

The goal of this book is to educate and empower women everywhere.

Whether you’re currently in an abusive relationship, or you’re just
coming out of one, you will benefit from the contents that lay ahead.
You will learn how to leave the past behind you, and move forward.

Let’s begin.

Chapter 1: Bad Boys are Leaders
with No Direction

lmost any woman would say the same thing when asked what
she looks for in a guy: “He has to be cute and smart, with a
fantastic sense of humor.”

Does that sound familiar? Maybe you can plead guilty to saying those
exact words. There’s nothing wrong with seeking these qualities in the
opposite sex, but why do so many women settle for the exact opposite
of what they say they’re looking for? Rather than laughing or being
intellectually stimulated by their partners, multitudes of women are
crying, worrying, and not growing whatsoever from their relationships.

What Women Say vs. What Women Do

It’s no secret that women are the more emotional of the two sexes. If
something hurts a woman, she’ll make no reservations against crying it
out, and she’ll jump at the opportunity to discuss it with others. These
emotions can be a valuable tool for dealing with life, finding much-
needed strength, and simply keeping one’s sanity. On that same note, a


woman’s feelings can directly affect her love life…and she won’t even
realize it.

When it comes to attraction, women use both the emotional and

logical sides of their brains. The logical aspect is what convinces her
that she wants a nice guy with all the works. It tells the woman that a
suitable mate is one who is physically attractive, makes a decent living,
cares about others, and is funny (among other desirable qualities).

In short, the logical side of her brain tells the woman she wants a man
who she can bring home to Mom.

At the time, this all makes sense…until the emotional aspect of her
psyche kicks in. This is the side of a woman’s thinking that excites her.
The reasons why she is mentally stimulated make no sense, nor do they
matter. Her eyes send a message of physical attraction to this side of
her brain, and suddenly, her body is flooded with sexual stimulation.

The problem arises when the emotional and logical sides of a woman’s
brain don’t mesh. Characteristics that a woman should seek in a mate
don’t match up to what she actually goes after, and this is a recipe for
disaster. She could have the foresight to abandon ship before
developing a relationship, but more often than not, her feelings take
over, and she finds herself on a downward spiral of relationship regret.

She is stuck.


But what is it about the emotional side of a woman’s brain that

contributes to bad mating decisions? Will the logical side of the mind
ever take precedence over the emotional side? Is there any way to
retrain the brain into making better decisions about the opposite sex?
Why do so many women say they want one thing from a man, only to
go after completely different personalities?

Let’s examine these questions further.

Nice Guys versus Bad Boys

Nice guys finish last.

Believe it or not, this statement is true. The logical side of a woman’s

brain tells her that she wants a nice guy, but the emotional side of her
couldn’t disagree more. While most women don’t set out to be
physically or verbally abused, they instinctually gravitate towards men
who excite them…and nice guys aren’t exciting.

Compared to bad boys, nice guys wait to speak, insist on paying for
everything, and are always accessible to the opposite sex. They treat
women with respect, don’t pressure their dates into having sex, and
never stray. In other words, their mothers taught them well…and their
love lives are paying for it.


This may sound like nonsense to you, but think about how many nice
guys you’ve turned away. What was it about them that didn’t appeal to
you? If you’re like most women, you were turned off by the lack of a
challenge, and it’s just human nature to want what one cannot have.
Nice guys always pick up the phone, never have any other plans, and
devote everything they can to making a woman happy.

Where’s the challenge in that?

Bad boys have an entirely different approach to women, and it seems

to work wonders for them. Instead of appealing to a girl’s logic, bad
boys tap into her emotions, and they reap the benefits of doing so. Of
course most of these emotions involve sadness, anger, or anxiety, but
they are stimulating nevertheless. A woman dating a bad boy is drawn
to the challenge of never knowing what’s coming next.

She’s literally sent on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

This is naturally appealing to most women, especially those who crave

drama. Compared to bad boys, nice guys are nothing but dull
characters. Women are drawn to a bad boy’s sexual aggressiveness,
and they view his apathetic nature as a conquest of sorts. If he treats
her badly, she wants him to love her all the more.


Here are some other characteristics typical of a bad boy:

• He’s arrogant or obnoxious.

• He only thinks of himself.
• He doesn’t care about making women happy.
• He lives according to his own rules, and doesn’t think about
• He gives way to violent outbursts.
• He brags about himself sexually.
• He doesn’t think twice about putting others down.
• He uses a woman solely for sexual pleasure.

Glancing over this list is enough to make any woman of sound mind
cringe, but females fall victim to this personality every day. Let’s take a
closer look at why this is.

The Psychology of Bad-Boy Attraction

The behavior of bad boys can easily be explained by examining the

animal kingdom. In the wild, the alpha male is the leader of any animal
pack. When it comes to meals, he eats first, and any animal who tries
to get in his way will pay the price. He mates with whomever he
chooses, and if sees a behavior within the pack that he doesn’t like, he
thinks nothing of going in for the kill.


When it comes to human nature, bad boys make for natural alpha
males. They draw attention to themselves through their confidence,
and have little regard for the feelings of others. They exude a sense of
self worth that is contagious to those around them, especially women.
As a result, females can’t help but find themselves attracted to them.

It’s no secret that confidence is the key to sexiness, and this is where
the bad boys and nice guys differ. To better illustrate this concept, let’s
say that a woman makes a sarcastic comment to a nice guy. The odds
are he would be hurt or offended by her statement, and he would make
no effort to hide his true feelings.

This is a big turn off.

In contrast, a bad boy would waste no time putting her in her place. As
a result, he would gain her undivided attention. He has demonstrated
that nothing or no one can affect him, and he is filled to the brim with
confidence. He doesn’t need a woman’s approval in order to feel good
about himself. He is not wrapped around her finger, and he couldn’t
care less.

As you learned earlier, humans gravitate towards what they cannot

have, and a bad boy is anything but accessible. To further examine this
idea, let’s look at a scenario where a girl is talking innocently to
another man. When faced with this situation, a nice guy would begin to
worry that she’s losing interest in him, or worse, jealousy could rear its


ugly head. He would demonstrate just how much he needs her in his
life, and as a result, he would completely turn her off.

Women crave the challenge of securing a man’s heart, and this is

exactly what a bad boy gives them. When seeing his girlfriend in
conversation with another man, a bad boy wouldn’t bat an eyelash. In
fact, he may seize the opportunity to flirt with other women, thereby
sending a surge of emotions through his date. His is an affection that
she must work hard for, as it is not easily obtainable.

Women’s Nurturing Nature

Besides the challenge of securing a bad boy’s heart, women are also
drawn to the concept of changing a man. The female sex is naturally
nurturing, and when a woman comes into contact with a rugged man,
this instinct kicks in. In her eyes, he’s like a wounded puppy in need of
tender, loving care.

The need that a woman has to nurture is bred into her at a very early
age. Think about when you were a little girl. The odds are you had a
doll that you cradled, fed, and took care of. Even as an adult, I bet your
heart cringes at the sight of someone in need. Just the other day, I
squashed a bug with my foot, and my girl friend couldn’t help but tear
up a little.


Regardless of how you react to outside stimulus, every woman feels the
need to take care of others around her. This is especially true when it
comes to the people who are most important to her. In regards to love,
nothing is more sacred to the female sex than being completely
appreciated by their significant others, and this is where the bad boys
get their incredible appeal from.

To illustrate this idea, I’d like to share a true story with you about a girl
friend of mine. About five years ago, she met the lead singer for a local
band, and fell head over heels for him. Not only was he carefree,
attractive, and wild, but he had a guitar. To her, it was love at first

It wasn’t long, however, before she noticed some faults in his life. For
starters, she wasn’t the only woman he had his eye on, but in spite of
how much this hurt her, she stuck around. She later learned that he
was addicted to cocaine, and she made it her life’s mission to
rehabilitate him from the habit. She wanted to be the voice of reason in
his life, and in her mind, she had grand visions of being a muse for

He got off the drugs, but his reckless streak persisted. He still cheated
behind her back, and the only quality time she spent with him was in
the crowd at his concerts. He literally had no appreciation for her
impact on his life, and the time came when she had to seriously
reconsider the relationship. After all, one can only cry for so long.


This friend of mine was fortunate enough to see the forest for the trees,
and she’s now happily married with two beautiful children. The last I
heard about her ex was that he was still pounding the local music
scene, dabbling with various narcotics, and living his life with very
little direction. If she hadn’t gotten out when she did, there’s no telling
where she would be right now.

The point of this story is that people only change if they want to. No
matter how genuine a woman’s intentions may be, she can’t make a
man become a better person. But every day, women waste their time
trying to fix a man who never asked for help in the first place. The men
are unappreciative, and as a result, the women feel rejected and hurt.

But they still stick around.

Chapter 2: The James Bond

hether or not you’re a fan of James Bond, you can’t deny
this character’s appeal.

The concept of Bond was created over five decades ago, and to this very
day, it continues to thrive. Men and women from all walks of life are
drawn to 007 for a variety of reasons, each very different. A closer look
at how this character appeals to the two sexes can explain a lot about
bad-boy mentality, as well as why so many women are attracted to it.

For men, James Bond is the prototype of reckless self-abandon and

power. He lives life according to his own rules, and as a result, he
always ends up on top. In reward for facing the dangers around every
corner, he is showered with beautiful women. His is a self confidence
that all men aspire to have, but rarely obtain.

While his perilous lifestyle may appeal to some women, the majority of
females are drawn to Bond for very different reasons. Inside every
woman are a variety of emotions that are thirsting for stimulation, and


James knows how to quench them. In the eyes of a female, he is

dangerous, strong, sexy, and a great lover. The risks he faces on a daily
basis evoke every woman’s need to nurture, but he has no time for

He is the ultimate challenge.

One could say that James Bond is the original alpha male. He exudes
confidence, speaks his mind, and does whatever he wants with little
regard for consequences. Men and women alike are naturally drawn to
the energy of alpha males, but for various reasons. While men are
attracted to the concept of dominance within a group, women flock to
the stigma attached to power.

Unfortunately, many females mistake bad-boy behavior for genuine


Characteristics of the James Bond Mentality

In our first chapter, you briefly learned the characteristics typical of a

bad boy. If you’re like many women, some or all of these traits were
what initially attracted you to your mate. They made for an exciting
experience when with him, and convinced you that he was the man you
always dreamed of.

But hindsight truly is 20/20.


Any woman in an abusive relationship knows the pain of looking back,

wishing she had listened to her gut instincts. Maybe you’re lonely
because he spends no time with you, or if you do share each other’s
company, it’s corrupted by insults and negativity. Perhaps you’re tired
of walking out in public with another bruise to display. Whatever the
case, many men put a sick twist on the James Bond mentality,
resulting in nothing but pain and unnecessary heartbreak.

Let’s look at each of these characteristics in further detail.

He’s arrogant or obnoxious.

While James Bond portrayed the ultimate level of self-confidence, his

narcissism fell short of demeaning innocent people.

True confidence is satisfied in and of itself. People who possess it do

not feel the need to prove themselves to others, nor do they tear others
down in order to build themselves up. Theirs is an inner peace that
stems from firmly believing in their abilities, self-worth, and usefulness
to society. They have a pure love of self, and as a result, are better able
to love those around them.

On the contrary, bad boys have a warped notion of confidence that

often reveals itself in arrogance. At their core, they lack the self
assuredness necessary to be truly happy, and this often results in
obnoxious behavior. Rather than rest in the knowledge of their


worthiness, they feel the need to shout about it to anyone who will
listen. They’re constantly on a quest to prove themselves to others.

Arrogance is typical of persons equipped with Narcissistic Personality

Disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Narcissistic Personality
Disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense
of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe
that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's
feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-
esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”1

If your mate exhibits this behavior, you’ve probably heard him spout
off about his attributes more than once. Anything you say or do is
subject to his criticism, leaving you with a sense of shame, guilt, and
unworthiness. Relationships with this dynamic are anything but
healthy, and they should be abandoned at all costs.

He only thinks of himself.

James Bond was a man who went after what he wanted. He kept his
eye on the prize, and as a result, he always succeeded. Any person with

"Narcissistic personality disorder -" November 29,
personality-disorder/DS00652 (accessed February 25, 2009).


goals would be inspired by such determination, but some individuals

misinterpret it.

Bad boys live ten minutes at a time. They seek immediate gratification,
and care very little about how their actions affect other people. In their
minds, the world owes them something, and they won’t be satisfied
until they get what they want.

If you flash back towards the start of your relationship, you’ll probably
remember a man very different from the person you know today. Odds
are he pursued you intensely, and you were flattered at being the object
of his desire. He wanted you, and he was going to have you at all costs.
This level of passion is what draws many women to the bad boys in
their lives.

Unfortunately, it’s also the very reason such relationships fail.

Things are probably very different today. If he wants sex, he’s going to
get it, regardless of how you feel. Maybe his eye wanders from time to
time, injecting infidelity into your relationship. Anything you have your
heart set on doing is subject to his approval, and more often than not,
it goes unsatisfied. There is no mutual cooperation between the two of

He is in charge, and it’s really that simple.


This bad-boy characteristic makes me think about a female friend who

was in a similar situation. Her relationship was already sour when she
heard through the grapevine that her boyfriend was cheating on her.
She confronted him about the claim, and learned that his sexual
escapades had been ongoing for several months. When asked why he
was unfaithful to her, his response was short and sweet:

“Because I can.”

This story illustrates perfectly the twisted psyche of bad-boy mentality.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, and men
of poor character fail to realize this truth. Any woman who’s waiting for
him to change will be sadly disappointed.

He doesn’t care about making women happy.

It has been said that women can learn a lot about men simply by
watching them interact with their mothers. In other words, if you want
a good indication of how he’s going to treat you in ten years, just look
at how he treats his mom.

If you think about it, this is sound advice. As the primary female in his
life, any regard (or disregard) he has for his mother will impact your
relationship. If he loves her, he’s going to love you even more. On that
same note, if he disrespects her, he’s not going to treat you much


better. In fact, it’s a safe bet he’s going to make your life miserable (if
he hasn’t already).

The foundation behind this theory is solid, for it considers how our
childhoods affect who we become as adults. While mothers serve as the
chief feminine in a young boy’s life, his father sets the example for
what a man truly is, and the child aspires to emulate him. Men who
abuse women were typically brought up witnessing such a crime. Their
fathers held no regard for their mothers, taught them that women are
“only good for one thing,” and instilled within them a false sense of
male superiority.

In the impressionable mind of a child, every action and word from a

parent is considered gospel.

The result of such negative nurturing is what society refers to as

chauvinistic behavior. Webster’s Online Dictionary defines this term
as “a person with a prejudiced belief in the superiority of his or her
own kind.”2 You may recognize the presence of this belief in your own
relationship simply by observing your mate’s actions or words.

"Chauvinist - Webster's Online Dictionary."
2001.http://www.websters-online- (accessed February 25,


Chauvinists insult the women in their lives, flirt shamelessly in front of

their girlfriends, and constantly crack jokes about female helplessness.

If any of the above sounds familiar to you, don’t stick around waiting
for circumstances to improve. Such behaviors have been engrained in
the psyche for years, and have taken up permanent residence there.
Almost every male chauvinist is blind to his faults, and has zero desire
to change.

He doesn’t think twice about putting others down.

You may be noticing by this point that a lot of these characteristics are
interchangeable. Many, in fact, relate to the narcissism described
earlier, and thereby contribute to the ultimate bad-boy behavior. The
tendency to insult others (male or female) is certainly a sign of an
abusive person.

For example, let’s consider the first characteristic of arrogance. What is

arrogance without the ability to put others down? Quite simply, its
confidence, but we know that true confidence is solid in and of itself. A
self-assured individual does not boast, nor do they feel the need to put
others down in order to elevate their own spirits.

Bad boys also tend to insult in an effort to bring about their own
fortune, which directly relates to the second characteristic described in
this chapter. If anyone protests his desires, he resorts to degradation in


a pathetic attempt to get his way. This behavior is similar to a five-

year-old spoiled brat who never truly grew up.

If you’re reading this book, odds are you’re a woman who’s grown used
to being insulted by her mate, which goes back to the third
characteristic listed above. Women who love bad boys are
unfortunately the prime targets of such cruel treatment. Instead of
being cherished by their husbands or boyfriends, they are beaten down
slowly and steadily by the power of words, and eventually, they lose all
of their self worth.

Abuse does not have to involve bruises in order to be harmful.

According to Patricia Evans, interpersonal communications specialist,
“Name-calling is abusive because it says that you are BLANK, but
actually you are a person. Batterers define their mates as objects. It
isn't healthy to be in the same room with a person who defines you,
and it is harmful to children who witness it. They either see their
survival threatened or they think it's normal, or both.”3

Unfortunately, many women consider ignorance to be bliss in the case

of verbal abuse. They either tune their mates out, or reason that his
insults have good intentions behind them. In other words, they view

Evans, Patricia. "The Verbal Abuse Site."
(accessed February 26, 2009).


verbal abuse as tough love, but in reality, they never deserved it in the
first place.

He uses a woman solely for sexual pleasure.

Did you know that if a wife protests sex with her husband, only to be
forced into the act, it’s considered rape?

Anytime an individual does not want to participate in intercourse, their

wishes should be honored. If they’re made to go against these wishes
(married or not), they’ve just been the subject of sexual abuse.
Unfortunately, this characteristic is all too common of bad boys.

Much of James Bonds’ appeal stems from his ability to attract the
opposite sex. Without saying a word, he could get the girl, and men all
over the world admire him for this. Even in the movies, however, all of
his female counterparts were willing participants of intercourse, and
this is where Bond and bad boys differ.

You learned earlier in this chapter that bad boys only think of
themselves, and they do not care to make women happy. With that
said, it stands to reason that when he wants sex, he gets it. Intercourse
in healthy relationships is the ultimate act of love and intimacy, but in
the mind of a bad boy, a woman’s body is nothing more than an object,
and he uses it solely for his pleasure.


Women who are subject to such treatment often have deep-rooted

psychological issues as a result. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National
Network highlights several long-term effects of sexual abuse, including
continuing anxiety, helplessness, depression, denial, withdrawal from
family and friends, low sex drive, and eating difficulties.4

Most rape victims overcome these issues over the long haul, but a
woman who is exposed to sexual abuse on a regular basis is in the
direst of situations. Her circumstances can be equated to constantly
picking the scab off of a wound, never allowing it to properly heal. If
you or someone you know is in such a situation, getting out and
seeking help is paramount.

Resources to do so are listed at the end of this book.

He lives according to his own rules, and doesn’t think about


You’ve just learned that bad boys only think of themselves, and have
little to no regard for the feelings of others. In light of this, many bad
boys live under the delusion that they can do what they want, when
they want. If their actions hurt other people, they could care less.

"Rape Trauma Syndrome." 2008.
(accessed February 26, 2009).


Many individuals with anger-management issues display this bad-boy

characteristic. In their minds, receiving the wrong look from another
person is enough to set them off. There’s no limit to what they’ll do if
they feel they’ve been wronged. With that said, it’s not uncommon for
innocent bystanders to be subjected to their wrath.

I have a story that illustrates this point perfectly. A female friend of

mine was intensely involved with a man who struggled with anger-
management issues. She came home from work one night, and found
him in a foul mood. When asked what was wrong, he shouted that a
man called for her, and he demanded to know who that man was.

The caller was simply an old friend from college.

In the mind of her boyfriend, however, this explanation was not good
enough. In a fit, he struck her, stole her car keys, and sped off with her
car. Not only was he enraged, but he was also drunk. The result was
him crashing into a telephone pole at eighty miles per hour. Her car
(and relationship) was ruined.

Similar to James Bond, there’s a great appeal towards individuals who

live life according to their own rules. The ability to set goals and go
after them is intriguing to a lot of people, as it requires a solid sense of
confidence in order to do so. The difference between go-getters and
bad boys, however, is the aftermath of their actions.


The end rarely justifies the means.

He gives way to violent outbursts.

He screams at the tiniest of problems. The numbers of holes in the wall

are too many to count. Perhaps you have a scar or two that is the result
of his all-too-frequent tantrums. The object closest to him is shattered
into pieces if – God forbid – he doesn’t get his way.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Violent outbursts are a characteristic of bad-boy behavior that has

much to do with those previously discussed. Bad boys demand to get
their way, only think of themselves, put others down, and live
according to their own rules. Any opposition to these traits will evoke
an uncontrollable sense of hostility within them.

There are many possible explanations for why an individual would

display such behavior. Perhaps he witnessed his father act out, or
maybe he struggles with a personality disorder that was never treated
properly. Many individuals are afflicted by what’s known as
Intermittent Explosive Disorder, which the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders describes as “a disorder characterized by
impulsive acts of aggression, as contrasted with planned violent or
aggressive acts. The aggressive episodes may take the form of "spells"


or "attacks," with symptoms beginning minutes to hours before the

actual acting-out.”5

If you’re involved with a man who regularly exhibits violent outbursts,

your only hope of help is abandoning the situation. The effects of such
a personality disorder are beyond the realm of one-on-one
companionship, and they require professional help. Don’t wait for him
to change, because if he hasn’t already, he never will.

He brags about himself sexually.

As previously discussed, bad boys use women for sex, not love. A man
who loves a woman will not publicize the intimate details of his
relationship to others. He considers sex to be the personal matter that
it is, and in his mind, it’s nobody’s business.

Bad boys do not.

This final characteristic of bad-boy behavior sums up the previous

characteristics nicely. He is arrogant, so he thinks nothing of bragging
about his sex life. He only thinks of himself, so he does not care if his

"Intermittent explosive disorder."
explosive-disorder.html (accessed February 26, 2009).


sexual boasting hurts his woman. He uses women solely for sex, so in
his mind, why shouldn’t he brag about his bedroom behavior?

To him, it’s like a child showing off a new toy to his friends.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, don’t think you’re alone. Many
women who love bad boys are used to having what’s sacred publicized.
Maybe you’ve heard your mate spout off about his performance in the
bedroom to anyone who will listen. It’s even possible that he’s publicly
criticized your ability to make love. Perhaps you’ve even learned a few
details about his infidelity, either first-hand or through the grapevine.

You may not realize it, but such behavior is yet another form of verbal

Chapter 3: Abuse is

t’s been said that the devil takes on many forms, and the same is
certainly true for abuse.

Society tends to envision an abused woman with black eyes, cut lips,
and burn marks on her neck. While this description paints the picture
of abuse in its clearest form, the truth is that a dangerous relationship
has multiple levels, many of which evolve into physical violence. Like
layers on an onion, the more you peel away at the surface, the more
you cry.

Abuse is multidimensional.

Before we delve into the various forms of abuse, I want you to answer a
few questions, and be honest. When was the last time you went out
with your friends guilt-free? When you look in the mirror, do you
notice the bad features more than the good ones? Do you ever feel
obligated to have sex with your partner? Are you constantly hesitating


before speaking in his presence? Could you be self sufficient outside of

your relationship, or do you rely on your partner?

You may be wondering what these questions have to do with abuse,

and the answer is a lot. Keep your answers to these questions in mind
as you learn about the many faces of abuse.

Verbal Abuse

We learned in our last chapter that verbal abuse is often the first sign
of an unhealthy relationship. As the name indicates, verbal abuse
involves the slandering of another person at the expense of their
dignity. Women who are subjected to this form of violence have grown
used to name calling, put downs, and inappropriate body language,
none of which are acceptable behavior in a loving relationship.

According to the U.S.D.A. Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook,

“Survivors of domestic violence recount stories of put-downs, public
humiliation, name-calling, mind games and manipulation by their
partners. Many say that the emotional abuse they have suffered has
left the deepest scars.”6

"Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook."
(accessed March 3, 2009).


Flesh wounds scab over and heal, but emotional wounds stay with a
person forever. Self-esteem is replaced with self-doubt, and depression
overwhelms any sense of joy in the psyche. Women who manage to
escape such abuse would do well to seek professional counseling.

If you’re in love with a bad boy who verbally abuses you, odds are
you’ve conjured up every excuse in the book for his attitude. If he calls
you stupid, you convince yourself that he’s just in a bad mood. Maybe
he says your butt is big, in which case, you think he’s only joking. Am I

In case you’re wondering, I’m not psychic. The fact is that the human
mind will go to great lengths in order to cope and adapt to certain
situations, and this is certainly true in the case of verbal abuse. Rather
than hold your bad boy responsible for his crude actions, you search
for some means of justifying them.

Let me ask you this: Who else would you permit to treat you so cruelly?
If a stranger walked up to you on the street and insulted you, how
would you respond? If I were to guess, I’d say you’d jump at the chance
to defend your pride. Women who love bad boys, however, react
against their natural instincts in order to salvage any hope of a
meaningful relationship.

Unfortunately, they do so at the expense of their own self-worth…the

most important relationship of all.


Psychological Abuse

A fine line divides verbal and psychological abuse, but there is a vast
difference. In both situations, words are the primary weapon of choice,
but the intention behind psychological abuse is much more malicious.
In short, a psychological abuser (or mental abuser) is intent on
warping a victim’s sense of reality, which can be accomplished in
several ways.

Mental abusers often dictate what acceptable and unacceptable

behavior is. They gain control over their victims’ minds by withholding
information, or force others to witness violent behavior. With enough
time and practice, a bad boy who utilizes psychological abuse can
completely transform a woman’s mind and how she views life.

For example, if a woman wears a short skirt, an abuser might convince

her that she’s a slut. To add insult to injury, he could force sex on her
under the guise that she deserved it, tempted him, or had it coming.
Given enough time, these falsities can become realities in the mind of a

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,

“Psychological abuse is the systematic perpetration of malicious and
explicit nonphysical acts against an intimate partner, child, or
dependent adult. This can include threatening the physical health of
the victim and the victim’s loved ones, controlling the victim’s


freedom, and effectively acting to destabilize or isolate the victim.

Psychological abuse frequently occurs prior to or concurrently with
physical or sexual abuse. While psychological abuse increases the
trauma of physical and sexual abuse, a number of studies have
demonstrated that psychological abuse independently causes long-
term damage to its victims’ mental health.”7

In other words, psychological abuse is often a predecessor to the

physical beatings often depicted in movies, and the sooner a woman
recognizes this fact, the better. Bad boys who behave in such a manner
become almost godlike to the women in their lives, and as a result, they
can get away with almost anything. Like verbal abuse, the aftermath of
such treatment can last a lifetime without professional help.

Sexual Abuse

Have you ever been forced into having sex by your mate? Does he often
touch you in ways that make you uncomfortable? Perhaps he’s
commented on your bedroom performance to other people. If any of
these sound familiar, you’re a victim of sexual abuse.

"Psychological Abuse." 2005. (accessed
March 3, 2009).


Recent data from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network shows
that one in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
Moreover, over 248,000 rapes were committed in 2007, but
considering that only 60 percent of rapes are reported, odds are that
number is much higher. The network also estimates that 73 percent of
rape victims know their abusers.8

Unfortunately, the scope of sexual abuse is much broader than rape. As

I mentioned in our last chapter, a husband forcing sex upon his wife is
guilty of abuse. Anytime a person is subjected to unwanted intimate
contact, they are being sexually violated. Many women, however,
consider it a duty to satisfy their mate’s bedroom appetite, even at the
expense of their own desires.

Sexual abuse incorporates many factors of psychological abuse as well.

Prior to her relationship with a bad boy, a woman feels as though she is
in charge of her own body, and she controls what happens to it. Her
self-worth takes a hit, however, when she is made subordinate to the
intimate needs of her partner, who has zero regard for her feelings. She
is treated like an object, and over time, she begins to feel as though she
is one.

Her mind, as well as her view on sex, is forever changed.

"Statistics; RAINN; Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network." 2008. (accessed March 3, 2009).



A bad boy can neglect his partner in many ways, but the deprivation of
love is most prevalent.

If you suspect neglect in your relationship, maybe it’s because he’s

always leaving you home alone. Any attempt at affection on your part is
met by a cold demeanor on his, and in every case, you’ve done nothing
to warrant such treatment. Whatever the circumstances, odds are
you’ve excused his behavior as nothing more than a bad mood, but in
reality, it’s abuse.

Another manifestation of neglect is isolation from friends and family,

and it often goes unnoticed. A solid social network is essential to the
wellbeing of every person, so when a woman is forced into solitude, she
is actually being deprived of a bare necessity. More often than not,
victims don’t acknowledge their isolation until it is too late, which is
exactly what the abuser wants.

Why is isolation so important to a bad boy?

Hope Digits, a non-profit aimed at guiding abuse victims to resources,

says isolation occurs when “the abuser tries to control who the victim
sees or talks to, where she goes, and what she does. She may not be
allowed to use the phone, see her friends or visit her family. She may
be made to feel guilty for going out and leaving housework undone or


enjoying herself while he worked. He might encourage her to make

friends and then complain bitterly that she is neglecting him.”9

Moreover, the center sites many forms of isolation which tend to go

unnoticed by its targets, including:

• checking up on you
• accusing you of unfaithfulness
• moving you to an isolated area
• ensuring you lack transportation or a telephone
• making your friends or family feel uncomfortable when visiting
so that they cease
• punishing you for being ten minutes late by complaining
• bad moods, criticism, or physical abuse
• not allowing you to leave the house on your own
• demanding a report on your actions and conversations
• preventing you from working
• not allowing any activity which excludes him
• finding fault with your friends/family
• insisting on taking you to and from work

"Types of Domestic Violence: Isolation." 2005.
tion.html (accessed March 3, 2009).


Isolation serves as the ultimate form of mind control, in that the victim
views the world only through the eyes of her abuser. What used to be
her life – filled with freedom, choices, and goals – is now the property
of the bad boy she’s involved in, and there is no one around to point
this out. She is dependant upon her mate for every physical, mental,
and emotional need, thereby placing him in an unnatural position of
authority. Only when a woman is completely dependant upon her man
can she be fully neglected, and eventually, beaten.

Physical Abuse

When most people think of domestic violence, they think of physical

abuse. What they fail to understand is that such a crime is very often
the end result of several other forms of abuse. With that said, if you’re
in a relationship with a bad boy who constantly insults or isolates you,
you’re in an excellent position to be physically abused.

More often than not, however, women ignore the warning signs and
continue trying to salvage any hope of a meaningful relationship.
Instead of abandoning the unfortunate situation, they go on creating
excuses for their mates’ behavior, only to suffer in the end. As a result,
they are subjected to the gamut of physical threats, including pushes,
slaps, hair pulling, and scratches. Some cases of domestic violence are
severe enough to lead to hospitalization or death.


According to the Mayo Clinic, physical violence is often the

culmination of the other forms of abuse discussed in this chapter: “It
may not be easy to identify abuse, especially at first. While some
relationships are clearly abusive from the outset, abuse often starts
subtly and gets worse over time. For example, abuse may begin with
occasional hurtful comments, jealousy or controlling behavior. As it
gets worse, the abuse may become more frequent, severe or violent.
As the cycle of abuse worsens, your safety or the safety of your
children may be in danger.”10

Very often, women only leave their abusive relationships when the
abuse becomes physically painful or life threatening. It’s unfortunate
that many don’t realize the implications that verbal, psychological, or
sexual abuse have on their wellbeing. If you or someone you know is in
an unhealthy relationship (physically or not), it’s important to seek
help as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Abuse can take on many forms, and some are more obvious than
others. If any of the crimes mentioned above sound familiar to you, it’s
important that you stop lying to yourself and recognize your

"Domestic Violence Towards Women." 2009.
violence/WO00044 (accessed March 3, 2009).


relationship for what it is. In order to lead a well-rounded and fulfilling

life, you must be able to recognize the face of abuse, and have the
courage to stand up to it. As previously mentioned, there are resources
in the back of this book to help you accomplish that.

Chapter 4: Thug-Love Romance

very mother dreams of marrying her daughter off to a good
man who’s handsome, kind, funny, and successful. Upon first
meeting him, she envisions being greeted with flowers by her
future son-in-law, and the engagement looks bright. While letting go of
her child is nothing short of difficult, Mom feels confident placing her
daughter in the hands of such a noble person.

Unfortunately, the hopes of mothers everywhere are being crushed.

Rather than devote their time to someone worthwhile, women all over
the world are falling for what popular culture has dubbed thugs. Racial
divisions within society have reserved this title primarily to black
culture, but in truth, every ethnic group is plagued by such a character.
He is a shell of a person who sports a hard, gun-toting exterior, but on
the inside, he is nothing more than a child who forgot to grow up.

To a thug, women are nothing more than a toy for his amusement. To
the woman who loves him, he is the strong, silent, brave warrior she’s
always dreamed of. When the two combine, their relationship bears no
resemblance to the romances often depicted in the movies. In a sick,


sadistic way, he shows her his love through emotionless sex and
regular beatings, and in her mind, she deserves it.

Things couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In spite of his undesirable qualities, a thug’s appeal to the opposite sex

remains solid. Women everywhere are falling victim to the illusion of
thug-love romance, a trend which we will further examine in this
chapter. If you’re reading this book, odds are you or someone you
know has been party to such a relationship, and you’ve witnessed first-
hand the negative consequences it can bring about. Perhaps you’re
currently in love with a bad boy, and are searching for some
explanation for your feelings. Or maybe you’ve seen the forest for the
trees, and are looking for the tools necessary to help others in a similar

Whatever the case, the topics covered in this chapter aim to shed light
on the mystery behind thug-love. What are the elements of such a
relationship, and how can you recognize it when you see it? How has
the trend in thug-love romances continued to grow in modern-day
society? Why are so many women falling prey to the allure of bad boys.
Is there a scientific explanation for any of this madness?

The answers to these and many other questions are ahead. Thug-love
romance is anything but a flash in the pan; it is a trend that has
engrained itself into every fiber of society, poisoned the minds of


youth, and resulted in the unhappiness of women and families

everywhere. Nevertheless, it continues to thrive at the expense of
productivity, true love, and decency…and it must stop.

Elements of Thug-Love Romance

While thug life far preceded him, the term was popularized by rapper
Tupac Shakur in the 1990’s. In fact, one could say the star put a
positive spin on an otherwise negative lifestyle, making it desirable to
both males and females. Summed up, Shakur defined thug life as the
opposite of someone predestined for success. In Tupac’s eyes, a true
thug is someone who (in spite of being born with nothing) rises above
his challenges to overcome any and all obstacles in his way.

While the concept of overcoming adversity is admirable, true thugs go

about it the wrong way. They find glory in street life, and wake up every
morning with zero direction for the day ahead. Theirs is a world filled
with sex, drugs, vandalism, and general disrespect for anyone in
opposition to their way of living. In their eyes, the law is a hindrance,
and the only way to prove their worth is to break it.

With so many negative attributes, why would any woman fall for such a
character? After all, his idea of love reaches no further than sex on his
terms, and affection is rarely a part of his code. Marriage, children, and
a future filled with possibilities never occur to him. He lives each day
on a whim, is regularly subjected to violence, and has no direct goals


for the betterment of his life. What could he possibly have to offer a

As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.” While women

who love thugs rarely display the type of violence associated with their
men, they do share one thing in common, and that is a complete lack of
direction. Men who are considered thugs are, in reality, little boys who
refuse to grow up, and their women are very much the same. In
addition to having few goals, women who are drawn to thugs are
enthralled by the prospect of being needed. In their eyes, such a man is
similar to a wounded puppy in need of tender, loving care, and they are
just the ones to provide it.

Unfortunately, such a relationship lacks the foundation necessary to be

fruitful and long lasting.

The Culture of Thug-Love Romance

As previously noted, the thug persona is typically associated with

African-American culture, in spite of the fact that all cultures have
their share of bad boys. As with any trend in America, celebrities are
largely to blame for the popularization of such a character. Tupac,
Notorious B.I.G., and many motion pictures have glamorized the
traditional thug-like image, resulting in a domino effect in everyday


Hollywood seldom realizes the power it has over young,

impressionable minds, or if it is aware of its impact, it cares very little.
Celebrities in music, movies, sports, and beyond each contribute to the
aspirations of youth, so the images displayed on televisions across our
country hold more power than meets the eye. Parental advisories
(despite their good intentions) do very little to safeguard children
against such influences.

Besides glorifying bad-boy behavior, mainstream media puts a positive

spin on thug-love romance by exposing the intimate details of its
couples. Women celebrities such as Janet Jackson, Valeisha
Butterfield, and Jennifer Lopez demonstrate to females everywhere
just how exciting a thug-love romance can be, and they indirectly
influence the relationship choices of complete strangers. While few of
these romances resulted in abuse, the men chosen by these female
starlets are the epitome of ruggedness.

Like the little boys who admire them, little girls everywhere look up to
women celebrities for everything from fashion tips to relationship
advice. With that said, the messages relayed by these stars pack a
punch, and decipher between right and wrong in the minds of young

The impact can be seen around every street corner.


Beyonce went so far as to praise the thug life in her song “Solider,” and
Rihanna stood by her man, Chris Brown, after he allegedly abused her,
thereby demonstrating to young girls everywhere that it’s okay to let a
man hurt them. Unless something changes dramatically, the influences
of Hollywood will continue to poison the minds of children
everywhere, breeding future thugs of America.

The Impact on Nice Guys

Because of the glamorization of thug life by the media, this type of bad
boy has become the desire of multiple women everywhere. Females
from every class, race, and age group are finding themselves attracted
to the seat-of-his-pants lifestyle displayed by this character, and they
desire to nothing more than to win his heart. What they don’t realize
(or refuse to realize) is that romance is the last thing on his mind, and
he will only hurt them in the end.

As a result of this thug epidemic, good guys everywhere are being

shafted. It has become the norm in today’s society for educated, well-
mannered, and kind-hearted men to be labeled as undesirable. While
most women would say they desire someone with a future, they are
repeatedly eating their words by falling for men who don’t deserve

The problem is not reserved solely for black women either. Ladies from
every ethnic background are finding themselves drawn to the wrong


type of guy, and for all the wrong reasons. Going back to our first
chapter, the emotions of these women are influencing their logic,
resulting in poor relationship choices. Logic would tell them that the
hard, dangerous exterior of a thug is not desirable, but emotionally, it
is exactly what turns them on.

How does this impact quality men, or as society has dubbed them, nice
guys? It’s no secret that the love lives of such men are struggling, but
so is their self image. While no woman would admit this to herself or
out loud, guys who neglect the extreme lifestyle of a thug aren’t
considered men by today’s standards. For some reason, working hard,
loving fully, and providing for a family are no longer considered
attractive qualities in a potential mate, and therein is the problem.

Good men everywhere are wising up, however, and they are fully
capable of noticing a thug-loving woman at first glance. Her need for a
drama-filled life is transparent, and nice guys are running away fast.
While this may not seem pertinent to her at first, her bad relationship
choices will come back to haunt her in the future, leaving little (if any)
room for a purposeful romance.

Maybe her thug has abused her one too many times, or perhaps she’s
seen the light and decided she wants a relationship with substance.
Whatever the case, most good men have flown the coop (so to speak)
by this point, finding love with a mate who will appreciate them.
Similarly, women who have grown used to the neglect of a thug-love


romance have convinced themselves that they are unworthy of a

meaningful relationship, and as a result, they repeatedly fall into the
same trap.

The Psychology behind Thug-Love Romance

What exactly is it about a thug that is so irresistible to women? Is it

their bulging muscles? Maybe it’s their ability to get their way in any
situation. Do women honestly think that a man has to be a bad boy in
order to protect her? Couldn’t a good, educated man easily do the same

A closer look at our ancestors could explain a lot about this subject,
and when I say ancestors, I’m talking about going way back. I’m
referring to mankind’s primitive ancestors, scientifically referred to as
the Paleolithic Era. In other words, I’m talking about cavemen.

While equal rights for women have grown in prevalence, science has
shown us that instinctually, every female desires (to some degree) a
subordinate position to her mate. Tell this to any self-respecting
women, and of course she will shutter at the thought. Subconsciously,
however, every female feels the same way to some degree…and they
have their foremothers to thank for it.

During primitive times, it was the men who took care of the hard
business. Hunting food, fighting off beasts, and securing shelter for


their families were just some of the tasks men performed for survival.
As a result, women across time eras have found themselves drawn to
the notion of being taken care of, in spite of the many modern-day
luxuries at their disposal.

Even today, the idea of “damsels in distress” is still romanticized.

This theory is natural selection at its best, but where does it fit in to
civilized society? During the Paleolithic Era, it stood to reason that
women would pair up with the strongest, most capable males, but is it
really necessary in today’s day and age? Realistically, it is not, but
women everywhere continue to find themselves drawn to the bucks of
the male sex, and scrawny, well-educated men need not apply.

If you want to survive in present-day society, it would stand to reason

that a criminal record would not get you very far. Killing for survival is
one thing, but killing for the sake of self-image will do nothing to better
your position in life. How can a man with no education, goals, job, or
manners provide for himself, let alone a family? If anything, his
negative lifestyle will only land him in prison, and where does his
woman find herself then?

In contrast, a man with a good job, likeable personality, and

constructive passions could do a much better job of surviving in today’s
world. Supporting a family, holding down employment, and avoiding
trouble at all costs are just some of the ways for maintaining a


meaningful, happy life, so why do so many women find themselves

repelled by such a character?

This warped view of reality is extremely noticeable in urban areas,

where gunshot victims are viewed as heroes, and men who go off to
college are considered pansies. In the minds of women who love thugs,
“street credit” is valued far more than a bachelor’s degree. In addition,
many females view any man who can survive a gunshot wound as being
superior, sexy, and better able to protect her.

What they fail to realize is that these thugs don’t survive danger…they
bring it upon themselves.

Do nice guys really finish last?

We’ve all heard the saying, and many believe it to be true. If you’re
reading this book, odds are you can attest to being repulsed by the
typical “nice guy,” falling instead for something with more of an edge.
Perhaps looking back on your relationship choices, you’re now finding
yourself wishing you had a different view on men all together.
Whatever the case, social science has delved into the mystery of nice
guys finishing last, and has proven that there is some truth to the

According to a 2008 ABC News report, New Mexico State University

researchers conducted a study on 200 college students. The focus of


the study was to determine which of these students possessed “dark

triad traits.” Their findings revealed that the subjects with more
negative qualities (such as narcissism, impulsiveness, and callousness)
proved to have more success with the opposite sex than their more
innocent peers.

“We would traditionally consider these dark triad traits to be adverse

personality traits, and we think women would avoid these kinds of
men, but what we show is counterintuitive -- that women are attracted
to these bad boys and they do pretty well in terms of sheer numbers of
sexual partners,” said Peter Jonason, lead study investigator.11

According to Jonason, bad boys choose quantity over quality when it

comes to mating, thereby eliminating any need for a serious,
committed relationship. Evolutionally speaking, the character traits of
such men have persevered as a direct result of their casual approach to
mating. In other words, the seed of their short-term sexual agenda
spreads through the generations.

Heather Rupp, a researcher at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex,

Gender and Reproduction, also attributes physiology to the bad-boy
appeal. While psychological factors do play in to women’s desire for a

Grayson, Audrey. "Why Nice Guys Finish Last; ABC News (2008),
(accessed March 10, 2009).


thug-love romance, Rupp believes the physical chemistry also plays

into to equation.

"I think it goes back to the physiological underpinnings of such an

attraction," Rupp said.

According to Rupp, the more dominant personality traits a man

possesses, the more testosterone he has. An outgoing personality, go-
getter attitude, and sexual impulsiveness are much more typical of a
male dosed up on this masculine chemical than those lacking in it. As a
result, females are naturally drawn to these characters for romantic
and mating purposes.

Final Thoughts

The truth behind thug-love romance is that it is a façade. Men who

carry the characteristics of a tough guy with “street cred” are nothing
more than the shell of a person who, inside, are desperately needing a
wakeup call. In a similar fashion, the women who love these bad boys
are disillusioned, misguided, and paying the price for their ignorance.

Much of the thug-life’s success can be attributed to mainstream media,

Hollywood, and celebrities. Images of tough guys toting guns, shacking
up with women, and living life according to their own rules are
embedded into the minds of youth everywhere. Much the same, young


girls grow up with the understanding that thugs make the ideal mates,
simply because that is what modern-day culture tells them.

I wonder what would happen to thug love if, for instance, doing right,
loving one’s neighbor, and achieving success the right way were
glorified on movie screens across the nation.

Scientifically speaking, there’s more to thug-love romance than meets

the eye. Women are instinctually programmed by their ancestors to
seek a more dominant male. The need to be protected and provided for
by a tough guy overshadows the shallowness of his rugged exterior,
placing nice guys on the back burner. Maybe one day, all of mankind
will evolve to accommodate the needs of a civilized society.

Until they do, thugs (and the women who love them) will continue to

Chapter 5: How the Past Affects
the Future


This one question packs quite a punch. Why are we here?

Why is the sky blue? Why do bad things happen to good people? Since
the beginning of time, mankind has been on a quest to figure it all out,
and the thirst for knowledge seems unquenchable.

If you’re reading Why Good Girls Date Bad Guys, odds are you or
someone you know is in an abusive relationship – a situation which
begs to ask why. Why is he so cruel? Why do I stay? Why doesn’t he
just love me? The list of questions could go on into eternity.

Now I have a question for you: Why are you reading this book? Take a
few seconds to think this over, and be honest when answering. If I were
to guess, I’d say that you’ve seen the light, and are tired of the
darkness. You’ve come to terms with the fact that things will never
change, and it’s not your fault either. You want to educate yourself on a


subject you’re all too familiar with, and are seeking help from wherever
you can get it.

Am I right?

Whatever your reason for reading, hold tight to it. You can’t know
where you’re going until you know where you’ve been, a concept that is
at the heart of this chapter. The following pages hold oodles of
scientific and psychological information aimed at explaining how our
pasts affect our futures. Only when we come to terms with our history
can we begin to change our present-day situations.

Learning by Observing

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

This nugget of knowledge is especially true when it comes to bad boys

and abusers. In a nutshell, children seek to emulate their parents. To
impressionable minds, Mom and Dad know everything and make no
mistakes. Children desire nothing more than to make their parents
proud, a goal which drives everything they do.

While the notion of a happy, Brady Bunch household is nice, it’s

generally far from the truth. There is a very definite gender divide
between boys with their fathers, and girls with their mothers. In other
words, a young man will imitate his dad more readily than he will his


mother, making everything Dad says and does the norm. If the father is
a solid role model, he will raise a solid member of society, but the
result of a tainted upbringing can be devastating.

Fast forward to the present, and you’ve got a little boy trapped in an
aggressive, grown man’s body. While some of his issues could be
blamed psychologically, most abusers were taught to act in such a
manner. Little Johnny grew accustomed to Dad calling Mom a bitch,
throwing the remote at her face, or planting another bruise on her
cheek. It’s a clear-cut case of nature versus nurture, and the nurturing
was poor.

On the other side of the coin is a grown woman living a lie. As a little
girl, she witnessed the vile treatment of her mother by her father, or
worse, she was victim to it herself. This living nightmare grew with her
into adulthood, and she’s now trapped in a sick misconception of what
love truly is. To her, it’s a woman’s lot in life to be treated horribly, no
matter how much she hates it.

According to a report by the National Coalition for Child Protection

Reform, children surrounded by aggressiveness generally grow up to
display similar behavior. The document attested that “long-term


effects can include a propensity to use violence in future relationships

and to hold a pessimistic view of the world.”12

Information from the Minnesota Center against Violence and Abuse

stated that of the children raised in violent homes, as many as 90
percent witnessed abuse on part of the father. According to the center,
some abusive fathers make no effort to hide the battery from their
children, even going as far as forcing the youth into witnessing the

This can have devastating and lifelong effects on a person: “Children

witnessing the violence inflicted on their mothers evidence behavioral,
somatic, or emotional problems similar to those experienced by
physically abused children. Boys become aggressive, fighting with
siblings and schoolmates and having temper tantrums. Girls are
more likely to become passive, clinging, and withdrawn. Male
children who witness the abuse of mothers by fathers are more likely

"When Children Witness Domestic Violence; Summary of Expert
Testimony on the Impact on Children of Witnessing Domestic
Violence." 2009. (accessed
March 11, 2009).


to become men who batter in adulthood than those male children

from homes free of violence.”13

In our first chapter, I mentioned the importance of observing a man

with his mother, and for good reason. A man learns how to treat
women based on the example set by his parents, primarily his father. If
his childhood was spent witnessing a loving, respectful, and
affectionate relationship between his mother and father, he will grow
to seek the same dynamic within his relationships. On the contrary, if
his father demeaned or mistreated his mother in any way, he will
become a confused and angry man who lives under the notion that
such behavior is normal and acceptable.

It is not.

Why do the women stay?

If a madman was chasing after you with a knife, would you stand still,
or would you run as fast as your legs could carry you? Would you drink
a cup of bleach simply because someone offered it to you? How does
walking down the street naked sound?

"Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse."
l#id2359260 (accessed March 11, 2009).


If you’re like most people, none of these ideas make sense. They’re
completely illogical, and they compromise the value of your mind,
body, and spirit. Built within every human being is a survival instinct,
also known as self preservation, and it is run by the emotions of pain
and fear. Pain causes discomfort so that the organism is inclined to
stop the pain. Fear causes the organism to seek safety, causing a
release of adrenaline to increase strength and heighten the senses.

In other words, pain and fear are the sparks that set a human’s survival
instinct on fire, and naturally so. With that said, it would stand to
reason that a woman in a dangerous relationship would safeguard
herself. She would fight, or she would take flight, so to speak. Why,
then, are so many women allowing themselves to be beaten and
demeaned on a daily basis?

Similar to the upbringings of bad boys, women who put up with abuse
were often raised in volatile households. It’s just another case of nature
verses nurture going terribly wrong. Within her impressionable mind,
a little girl witnessing battery, cursing, and overall malicious behavior
will grow to consider it the norm. In her mind, hostility and violence
are the nature of every mature relationship.

According to Nancy Fagan M.S., author of Desirable Men: How to

Find Them, “Women who get involved with abusive men are typically
those who had abusive childhood home environments. This kind of
upbringing tends to normalize abusive behavior in all relationships.


What this means is that women from this kind of a background are
not as keen to the subtleties of abuse the way "healthy" women are.”14

The Cycle of Violence

Rather than flee or seek help, many women in violent relationships get
stuck in a vicious cycle of abuse. In 1979, Dr. Lenore Walker, author of
The Battered Woman, developed what’s now known as the “Cycle of
Violence.”15 A careful examination of this cycle may ring a bell to you or
any other woman in a similar situation. In short, Dr. Walker identified
three stages of violence, set to repeat indefinitely. They are:

Phase I: The Tension-Building Phase

He seems unreasonably mad about anything and everything. He takes

every opportunity possible to argue, grab your arm, and scream. In this
phase, he is like a recipe heating up in a pressure cooker, and the more
time passes, the angrier he becomes.

Fagan, M.S., Nancy. "Warning Signs of an Abuser (2007),
(accessed March 13, 2009).
Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. . "Domestic Violence: Why
Women Stay."
ml (accessed March 13, 2009).


The purpose of this phase is to display his authority over the woman,
and she is a more-than-willing recipient. There is little she won’t do to
keep the peace. Maybe she changes her appearance, or succumbs to his
sexual desires. She may even hand over her hard-earned money for
him to waste.

Whatever the case, she tends to blame herself for his behavior, and will
do anything to appease him. Regardless of her efforts, an abuser’s
anger always evolves into something more severe…the Acute-Battering

Phase II: The Acute-Battering Phase

In his pressure cooker, the tension-building phase eventually reaches a

climax, resulting in this second phase. Characteristics of the Acute-
Battering Phase include physical violence, boisterous screaming, and
in some cases, death. Contrary to the first phase (which could last for
several weeks), Phase II generally lasts no longer than forty-eight

Another difference between the first and second phases is the

batterer’s level of awareness. In the Tension-Building Phase, the bad
boy is aware of his behavior, and he uses it to justify the actions of his
girlfriend. In the Acute-Battering Phase, there is no personal
awareness on part of the abuser, and it is not uncommon for him to
forget his actions later on.


Like an abused puppy, the woman becomes withdrawn and depressed.

Some part of her may feel angry towards her partner, but the majority
of her psyche feels guilty about the incident. She actually feels to blame
for her boyfriend’s malicious behavior, and will make light of her
injuries in an effort to move on from the event.

The batterer has released his built-up tension, and becomes relaxed.

Phase III: The Honeymoon Phase

As the name suggests, this point in the “Cycle of Violence” is filled with
peace, love, and seduction. As a result of the violence in Phase II, the
bad boy is calm, and he’s suddenly in the mood to be affectionate with
his woman. He expresses his sincere regret, promising to never hurt
her again.

The woman – desiring to believe him – often uses Phase III as a basis
for never leaving her abusive partner. She views the Honeymoon Phase
as his attempt to change, and wants to believe that he will. What she
fails to realize is that without professional help, the “Cycle of Violence”
will only continue, and eventually, this apologetic Honeymoon Phase
will be completely eliminated.

If she truly desires to break free from his grip, the Honeymoon Phase is
the time to do it.


Warning Signs of Potential Abuse

While the ability to abuse and be abused is primarily learned behavior,

the good news is that it can be reversed, and eventually, relearned.
Generally speaking, an abuser must sincerely want to change in order
to act differently, but a battered woman can make very definite steps to
better her situation. The first of these steps is to recognize the signs of
a potential abuser.

The following are several behaviors, habits, and mannerisms of

ultimately violent personalities. If you recognize some or all of these in
your current relationship, get out before it’s too late:

• He cuts down your good qualities.

• He has a history of abuse.
• He has a history of criminal activity.
• He drinks excessively, or uses drugs.
• He has mood swings.
• Rather than encourage, he discourages you.
• He’s unusually jealous.
• Some of his family members are abusive, angry people.
• He controls where you go.
• He’s disrespectful to you in front of other people.
• He violates the rights of others.
• He’s very irresponsible.
• He doesn’t want you seeing your friends or family.


• He’s a compulsive liar.

• His reactions to situations are extreme.
• He is mean to other people for no apparent reason.
• The mention of other men in your life is enough to drive him

Women who are unable to break free from their bad-boy relationships
make a habit of rationalizing any of the above behaviors. For example,
if he acts crazy at the mention of her ex-boyfriend, she will convince
herself that his jealousy is the result of true love. In other words, his
overreaction is the result of his “passionate” love for her.

Unfortunately, things couldn’t be farther from the truth, and until a

woman sees these warning signs for what they truly are, she will be in
dire danger.

A Vicious Cycle

An unfortunate reality of domestic violence is that it spreads like fire

into the generations. As previously mentioned, children who witness
such a crime often grow up to manifest it, either as abusers or the
abused. The result is a chain reaction of adults teaching youth that it’s
okay to behave in such a manner, and until there is a break in this
chain, the lesson will continue.


In the short term, a child regularly exposed to battery can demonstrate

elements of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, sleep disturbances,
separation anxiety from the battered parent, aggressive behavior,
withdrawal, distractibility, trouble concentrating, and desensitization
to violence. If you are a mother in a violent relationship, it is
paramount that you seek help. The threat is no longer all about
you…it’s about your children now.

Living amidst violence and hostility can have several long-range effects
on a child, according to the National Coalition for Child Protection
Reform: “A certain percentage of children exposed to domestic
violence suffer from a variety of behavior and emotional difficulties.
On the emotional level, they tend to be at increased risk for
depression, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorders, such as
conduct problems, and other issues with ... compliance with
authority. On the behavioral level also there is a higher level of
aggression. On the academic level there is a higher rate of academic

In many situations, the child is fortunate to escape personal battery on

part of the abusive parent, but some youth aren’t so lucky. According to
the Minnesota Center against Violence and Abuse, batterers are very
likely to assault both their women and children, with little girls at a

16"When Children Witness Domestic Violence; Summary of Expert

Testimony on the Impact on Children of Witnessing Domestic
Violence." 2009.
(accessed March 11, 2009).


greater risk than little boys. “At least half of all battering husbands
also batter their children. The more severe the abuse of the mother,
the worse the child abuse.”17

According to the center, the abuse peaks when the woman attempts to
leave the relationship. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance
that a woman keys in on the warning signs of potential abuse, and
listens to her gut instincts about a man’s true nature. “Since woman
and child abuse by husbands and fathers is instrumental, directing at
subjugating, controlling, and isolating, when a woman has separated
from her batterer and is seeking to establish autonomy and
independence from him, his struggle to control and dominate her may
increase and he may turn to abuse and subjugation of the children as
a tactic of dominance and control of their mother.”

Final Thoughts

Author David C. McCullough was quoted saying, “History is a guide to

navigation in perilous times. History is who we are, and why we are
the way we are.”

17"Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse."

59260 (accessed March 11, 2009)


When a person’s history is built upon distress, abuse, and overall

negativity, it will impact their future in a similar manner. Little boys
raised by abusive fathers tend to become abusive men, and little girls
subjected to abusive upbringings think such behavior is the norm. If
she does not learn to break the cycle of violence in her life, she could
end up paying the dearest cost.

Women don’t stay in abusive relationships because they’re weak,

stupid, or enjoy the pain. They stay because they were taught to stay.
They stay because they hope that their mates will change one day. They
stay because they refuse to believe that they endured the aggravation
for nothing. Unfortunately, these reasons are futile.

By learning about the “Cycle of Violence,” a woman will be better able

to recognize the sick pattern of abuse in her life. In addition, she
should keep her eyes peeled for the warning signs of a potential abuser.
Being able to recognize such indicators early on will be beneficial not
only to herself, but also to her children.

At the end of the day, today’s youth are the most important resource
we have. Through them, we stand a chance of breaking the “Cycle of
Violence.” Rather than look up to a tyrant father, a young man will
grow to respect women based upon the solid example of his single
mother. Little girls will become young women fully aware of their self


The abuse will be no more.

Chapter 6: Pitfalls of Instant

“Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.” – William Shakespeare

n only a few words, this quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and
Juliet speaks volumes. In layman’s terms, it means that good
things come to those who are patient, and anything worth having
is not easily obtained. Wisdom means realizing that life is filled with
decisions, and choosing the right ones requires time and thought.

Looking before leaping can make all the difference.

Some people, however, prefer to jump without a parachute, and as a

result, they crash. In terms of personal and romantic relationships,
being too quick to act can lead to devastating consequences.
Heartbreak, financial troubles, and horrible living situations are just
some potential outcomes of choosing the wrong mate.

Unfortunately, many women are learning this lesson the hard way.


In fairness, looks can be deceiving, and many people are masters at the
art of manipulation. Perhaps you’re now in a sour relationship, and are
wondering what went wrong. After all, he seemed so genuine and kind
in the beginning; why is he being so cruel now? Where did you go

Or maybe you were attracted to his material possessions. Did he offer

you life on Easy Street in exchange for some companionship? Did life
with him seem far more enticing than working towards your own

Perhaps you’re one of many women who were tired of fighting

loneliness, and as a result, you settled. After all, waiting for Mr. Right
wasn’t getting you anywhere, so why not accept the company of Mr.
Good Enough? Loneliness can be a big pill to swallow, and it helps
being in the company of someone.

Do any of these situations sound familiar to you? In truth, these are

just three of many combinations created by the need for instant
gratification, a problem which is at the root of poor relationship
choices. Rather than seek happiness through your own goals and
aspirations, you’ve tied your joy to another person. Instead of
sharpening your own skills, or finding joy in what you have to offer the
world, you seek fulfillment through any relationship you can get your
hands on.


Until this attitude changes, your heart will never be healed.

Two Types of Women

It has been said that birds of a feather flock together, and you are your
environment. I’ve grown to believe this is true.

While every female is unique unto herself, it’s safe to say there are two
types of women in the world…those who move fast, and those who

Depending upon the circumstances, either of these characters could

take a cue from the other, but in terms of life’s biggest decisions, their
behaviors are pretty cut and dry. This is especially true when it comes
to relationships, where one’s personal happiness and sanity are at
stake. To elaborate, let’s first look at how a slow-moving woman
approaches dating and romance.

Slow-Moving Women

Internally, slow-moving women are very goal oriented. For whatever

reason (upbringing, personal desires, etc.), they’ve decided they want
the most out of life, and they’re determined to get it. They view the
future as clay to be molded by their very own hands, and they refuse to
let anything stand in their way.


To a slow-moving woman, a man with no direction, goals, or attributes

will only get in the way of her dreams. He is a burden…a ball-and-chain
to be carried through her life journey. As such, she has no time or
interest for him. In her eyes, she would be better off single and alone
until finding a man more worthy of her time.

Here are some common characteristics of an independent, slow-

moving woman:

• She is highly educated.

• She is dressed well and properly manicured.
• She has the right mix of humor and seriousness.
• She doesn’t smoke or do drugs, and she drinks in moderation.
• She wants to know the details before making a decision.
• She has a solid network of family and friends.
• She has a strong religious background.
• She is more apt to help others in need.
• She does not mind being single.

Fast-Moving Women

Rather than think about their life’s long-term blueprint, fast-moving

women live ten seconds at a time. They have little to no desire for an
education, career, or any other notable achievements. Maybe their
parents abused or belittled them. Perhaps they suffered a trauma in
their youth, and lacked the personal strength to rise above it. For


whatever reason, life is not an adventure to them…it’s just something

to get through.

In their eyes, the best way to get through life is by having a good time,
and they seek men with similar viewpoints. With no goals to guide
their everyday thinking, fast-moving women seek out men who can
satisfy their immediate needs, such as sex, money, or companionship.
More often than not, these men are low caliber, and the women only
find out too late.

The following are some additional characteristics often found in fast-

moving women:

• She is not higher educated, or she failed to graduate.

• She dresses promiscuously.
• She doesn’t take life seriously at all, and finds unfunny things
• She is more apt to smoke, drink, and do drugs.
• She decides based upon feelings, not logic.
• She surrounds herself with negative people, and has little to no
family support.
• She lacks the structure of a solid religious background.
• She thinks only of herself, and is less likely to help someone in
• She requires the companionship of being in a relationship.


Anti-Loneliness Dating

Ideally, two people will start dating because of a mutual attraction to

one another. Physically, they like what they see in the other person,
and they have a lot of the same interests as well. This is the formula for
a healthy and long-lasting relationship, and it is what we should all
aspire to find in a potential mate.

Some people, however, pursue others for the wrong reasons.

Monophobia is a common catalyst for relationships with bad boys. In a

nutshell, it is the fear of being alone, and it plagues more people than
you’d think. In terms of romance, this phobia often clouds an
otherwise intelligent person’s ability to make smart choices, resulting
in a situation that is less than ideal.

In 1943, Abraham Maslow proposed his “Hierarchy of Needs” to the

world of psychology. Maslow studied what he called exemplary people
such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and
Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing
that “the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy
specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple

Maslow, Abraham (1954). Motivation and Personality. New York:.
Harper. p. 236.


Maslow's hierarchy is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five

levels arranged in order of importance. At the center of this pyramid is
a person’s social needs…the anti-loneliness need. According to
Maslow, people move systematically up the pyramid from birth into

The need for self actualization (the top of the pyramid) is what drives
every human being, but according to Maslow, it cannot be reached
unless a person satisfies each of the four needs preceding it. He termed
these needs as deficiency needs, because if a person is lacking any one
of them, he or she will never be self actualized.

After physiological and safety needs are met, a person requires a social
network of some kind in order to thrive. The desire to feel a sense of
belonging and acceptance is manifested in many forms such as clubs,
gangs, sports teams, and organizations. Networks aside, the need to
love and be loved is sought after by everyone. Without these elements,
many people become lonely, anxious, or clinically depressed. As you
can see from the figure below, without the support of others in a
person’s life, he or she cannot move on to discover personal esteem,
and eventually, self actualization.


While Maslow’s theory is grounded in truth, it says little about the

various methods people choose to satisfy their needs, nor does it delve
into the consequences of making poor decisions. For example, rather
than satisfy her physiological need for food, an anorexic woman will
starve herself under the false conception of obtaining love and esteem.
Bad boys (the topic of our book) often neglect safety needs in a dire
attempt to secure esteem, respect, and self actualization.

In terms of curing loneliness, some women pick from the bottom of the
barrel, and as a result, they never experience the fulfillment of being
truly in love. In reality, they move down the “Hierarchy of Needs” by
settling for an abusive mate who threatens their safety, uses their
bodies, and further isolates them from family and friends.

You truly are your environment.


Home baked is better than store bought.

Everyone knows that the time, effort, and devotion put into a home-
baked pie makes all the difference come dessert time. Of course Mom
had to get up early, gather her ingredients, measure everything just
right, mix it, time it, and bake it…but it was always worth it. There’s
just no contest between homemade and store bought.

This analogy is just a cute way of explaining a simple point…anything

worth having in life takes time. Perhaps you’ve settled in your
relationship, figuring that you’re not worth being treated like a prize.
Maybe you’ve given up on a goal as soon as circumstances became
challenging. Or do you just detest being alone, and would rather be
with a man who doesn’t appreciate you whatsoever?

Whatever your reasons, today is the day to change your attitude. The
first step towards doing so is to take a personal inventory of your
attributes. Look deep within yourself and find your quirks, personality
traits, hobbies, talents, and interests. Don’t say you don’t have any,
because everyone does. Get out a piece of paper, write down what
comes to mind, and keep this note handy for future reference.

Use what you’ve discovered about yourself to create what’s known as a

personal affirmation. In short, an affirmation is a quick statement
repeated by a person to enhance their self-esteem. Creating


affirmations is a very intimate action, so I can’t make one for you, but a
few good examples would be:

• “I’m a beautiful person, and people enjoy being with me.”

• “I have a lot to offer someone, and I deserve the best.”
• “I’m incredible!”

Affirmations can be said out loud or mentally, just as long as you

repeat them several times each day. Do so in the morning, at night, and
any time you’re in need of an emotional boost. Stick with them, and
before you know it, you’ll begin to believe wholeheartedly that you
deserve the best.

Only after you’ve tweaked your confidence can you tackle the clutter in
your life. Take a look at Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” and assess
your own circumstances, beginning with your physiological needs. Are
you eating right? Is your sex life satisfying? If not, what would change

The purpose of this exercise is to encourage you to take charge of your

own life. Identify what you like and don’t like, and make the changes
that you deem necessary. If your bad-boy relationship is no longer
pleasing to you, do what you need to do in order to fix the situation.
Seek the help of a friend, and if required, go to the police…just change.

The only one who can do it is you.

Chapter 7: Changing a Tiger’s

veryone has heard the saying, “You can’t change the stripes on
a tiger,” but what does that really mean? Has anyone ever
taken this phrase literally? Surely whoever came up with the
statement knew good and well that nature’s designs are a done deal, so
why the ambiguity?

This old adage was not meant to be taken word-for-word.

Metaphorically speaking, however, it says quite a lot without saying
much at all. Unlike the tiger’s stripes (which are physical in nature),
the personality traits of a human being are engrained within their
persona, and unless the subject is willing to change, their character will
remain the same.

You can’t alter the stripes on a tiger, and you certainly cannot mold the
qualities of another person.

Unfortunately, many women who fall in love with bad boys are
deceived by the misconception that they can change a man. In a sense,


they view the relationship as sort of a “project,” and their ultimate goal
is to create the man of their dreams. If you’re honest with yourself, I’d
be willing to bet that you made this very mistake as well. If so, don’t
beat yourself up about it, because you’re not alone. Most women at one
point or another take on the challenge of trying to change a man…

Some just end up paying dearly for it.

Like a drug addiction, all it takes is one taste of the narcotic in order to
become hooked. Maybe it was his adorable dimples that initially
attracted you. Perhaps he was skilled in some art form that you found
irresistible. Or maybe he just had a way with words that swept you off
your feet. Whatever the reason, women who try to change a bad boy
stick around for all the wrong reasons. They hold on to the tiniest
thread of his appeal, while ignoring the multitude of other danger signs
in their midst.

They are in denial.

Sarah’s Story

I had a good friend in college (let’s call her Sarah), who is a prime
example of why trying to change a man is never worth a woman’s time.

Sarah had everything going for her. Not only was she on the dean’s list,
but she was beautiful, hilarious, and a ton of fun to be around. In her


spare time, she played professional violin for the local orchestra, and
when she wasn’t busy at work or school, she practiced saving the world
by volunteering at a local soup kitchen. In short, she was the essence of
a good, well-rounded human being, and everyone loved her.

If I sound like I’m writing her obituary, then I apologize. I guess, in a

way, I can’t help but come off so somber, because whenever I think of
Sarah now, it really upsets me. In a way, the Sarah I used to know is
dead, and it’s all because of the company she used to keep.

Sarah was a junior in college when she hooked up with Dave, who (for
lack of a better phrase) was her polar opposite. To everyone else, he
was a nomad, deadbeat druggie, but to her, he was the center of the
universe. When he wasn’t “busy” warming the couch cushions and
playing video games, he played lead guitar for a local band. Maybe that
was her initial appeal to him…her taste of the narcotic.

It wasn’t long before she began spending all of her time with Dave, and
everyone who cared about her noticed the changes which took place.
Her studies were suffering; she dropped out of the orchestra; and she
even got fired for ditching work one too many times. It was apparent
that this guy’s hold on her was powerful and very negative.


Surrounded by Darkness

Several months passed, and while their relationship was still ongoing,
it was obvious that the Sarah everyone knew and loved was long gone.
It was rare that anyone (other than Dave, of course) spent time with
her, and the rare occasions when we did enjoy her company were
painful. She lost the sparkle in her eyes, her hair was unkempt, and her
aura was nothing short of dreary.

Just looking at her made me sad.

On a whim one day, I called to see if she’d like to meet me for coffee.
Miraculously, she accepted. Of course I wanted to catch up on old
times, but more importantly, I wanted to get to the bottom of what was
troubling her. I knew I would be risking our friendship by confronting
her like this, but what kind of friend would I be if I said nothing?

When I asked her how Dave was, the look on her face turned grim.
According to Sarah, he spent most of his days sitting at home getting
high. Their quality time was spent at his concerts, where she grew used
to witnessing his shameless flirting with other females. Rather than get
a job, Dave was sponging off of what little money Sarah made at her
new employer.

“Why don’t you just leave him?” I asked her the most obvious (and
logical) of questions.


“Oh, I love him,” she replied, like so many other women in her
situation. “And I just know that if I push him enough, he’ll come

“Do you really believe that?” For some reason, this question I asked
seemed to set her off just right, and she stormed out of the coffee shop.
Our friendship ceased to exist after that.

Rather than change him, he changed her.

A Downward Spiral

I never heard from Sarah again, but our campus was small enough that
I ran into her from time to time. Of course, no words were exchanged,
but it was plain to see that her once vibrant spirit was now extremely
heavy. I don’t know what’s become of her today, but a mutual friend
revealed to me that Dave cheated on her one too many times, and she
finally severed all ties with him.

I’m telling you this story for one simple reason, and that is to prove just
how solid a person’s resolve can be. Sarah’s resolve to change Dave was
strong and stubborn, but it was not as solid as Dave’s resolve to remain
as he was. As a casual observer, I can say with complete certainty that
Sarah fell in love with the man she felt Dave could be, not who he
actually was.


In essence, she was attracted to a figment of her imagination.

Selective Perception

The mind is such a powerful instrument. Its influence is so prominent,

in fact, that it can actually be a woman’s worst enemy in a bad-boy
relationship. When a woman convinces herself that she has found “the
one,” there is little hope of her believing otherwise. In spite of the
multiple warning signs of his true nature, she will hold strong to her
belief that deep down, he is a good man.

She has become a victim of selective perception.

Similar to selective hearing (when a person only hears what he or she

wants to hear), an individual subjected to selective perception only
sees signs that accommodate their concept of reality, and nothing
more. For example, Sarah never acknowledged Dave’s deadbeat
behavior as being inadequate. Instead, she made it her personal
mission in life to inspire him, motivate him, and love him.

The idea that he might just be lazy didn’t agree with her hopes for the
future of their relationship.

At some point, however, a woman has to see the light. Sometimes, the
tough love of a family member or friend is enough to pull her out of the
darkness, but many women have to hit rock bottom before abandoning


their relationships. A woman who hopes wholeheartedly to change a

man only becomes frustrated at his lack of concern, and in turn, this
creates tension in their relationship. In some cases, the men become so
frustrated with the women that they resort to violence, demeaning, and
other violent behaviors.

Constructive Change vs. Unconstructive Change

I’d like to sidetrack for a moment to clarify my stance on change when

it comes to relationships. By now, you’re probably thinking that it’s
best to abandon all hope of changing a significant other, but this isn’t
entirely true. There are some instances when influencing another
person can actually be positive. Continue reading to learn more about
constructive and unconstructive change.

To begin, you must understand that there is a huge difference between

changing a person and inspiring them. Changing a person is the
equivalent to obtaining a tiger and expecting a polar bear. You know
good and well that they aren’t a bear to begin with, yet you strive to
make them become one. In short, you’re trying to mold them into
something they’re not, which will only hurt you in the end.

On the other hand, inspiring your mate can do wonders for your
relationship. You accept them for who they are, but are fully aware of
what they’re capable of. Relationships are not meant to complete us,
but rather, they should enhance who we already are. True love sees the


potential in the other person, and it strives to motivate them. A healthy

couple brings out the best in each other.

So how can you bring out the best in a man? If, for example, you know
your boyfriend has a certain talent, you should encourage him to run
far with it. Maybe he lacks self confidence, in which case, you point out
all of his strong points. Perhaps he’s trying to quit smoking, so like any
good girlfriend, you support him fully.

If you think about it, growing together is the glue that binds any
healthy relationship. Like a seed, romance starts off small, only to
bloom as the sunshine and water nourish it. A true partnership is
always built on trust, belief in the other person, and positivity, so it
stands to reason that there is such a thing as constructive change.

As with anything, however, there is a dark side to change within

relationships. A man who refuses to work will remain idle, no matter
how much you motivate him. Maybe he’s an alcoholic, and in spite of
your pleas, he refuses to put down the bottle. These are just some
situations where love simply isn’t enough, and for the sake of your
wellbeing, you have to jump ship.

Moving Forward

The past is in the past, and the only thing you can do from this point on
is to learn from your mistakes. If you can plead guilty to trying to


change a man, forgive yourself, and move forward. If you’re confused

on how to begin doing so, this section is for you.

First, you need to affirm your own self-worth. How can you expect to
seek a suitable mate if you don’t feel you deserve one? You weren’t put
on this earth to be treated poorly, so don’t settle for someone who
doesn’t appreciate you. You’d be better off alone.

To get started on this, I have a little exercise for you to complete. It’s
simple, and all that’s required is a pen, some paper, and a bit of your
time. Find a quiet spot free from distractions, close your eyes, and
think of all the positive qualities you possess. What are your talents?
What do your friends say about you? Can you name any compliments
you were recently paid? Write all of these thoughts down on your
paper, and keep it for future reference.

If you’d like to take this exercise a step further, you can create a
personal affirmation, which we covered in our last chapter. To refresh
your memory, a personal affirmation is simply a quick phrase aimed at
upping your self-confidence whenever you’re feeling low. At first, you
may feel silly uttering this sentence out loud or mentally, but over time,
its influence will become permanently engrained in your mind.

It’s impossible for me to tell you what your personal affirmation should
be, as it’s supposed to be unique for only you. When composing one,
you should take one or two of the qualities you’ve written down, and


make a strong statement out of them. To get you started, I can give you
some examples of what a good affirmation could be:

• “I’m a beautiful and funny girl.”

• “I’m a joy to be around, and everyone likes me.”
• “I’m da bomb!”

As you can see, a personal affirmation can be as formal or informal as

you like. The important thing is that it strikes a chord within your
psyche that motivates and inspires you.

Now that you’ve got a grasp on your self-worth, it’s time to take an
inventory of the qualities you desire in a mate. Rather than snag a guy
and attempt to mold him, your goal from this point on is to accept
nothing less than what you expect out of boyfriend, thereby bypassing
any need to change him in the future.

Never settle for second best.

Flip over your piece of paper, and write down the five primary qualities
a man must have in order to be good enough for you. These traits can
include a sense of humor, strong work ethic, compassionate heart, and
more. You can even jot down a religious preference if that’s paramount
to you.


Keep this paper, and read it at random whenever you’re contemplating

starting a new relationship. The next time you seek out a new man,
look over the qualities that appeal to you, and see to it that he
possesses them before you get involved. It may take you longer to find
a good match, but when you do, it will be well worth it.

You’re worth it.

Chapter 8: Minimum-Wage

t’s safe to say that bad-boy relationships are the result of poor
choices on part of the women. This theory is especially true when
it comes to minimum-wage thinking.

A woman who displays minimum-wage thinking tends to go after low-

status men. She is usually well educated with a good job, strong family
unit, and many other assets, but when it comes to relationships, she
settles. Rather than seek out a mate of similar class, she reaches for the
low fruit on the tree.

Why would any self-respecting woman do this?

For starters, minimum-wage thinking is mostly conducted

subconsciously. In other words, the woman settling does so without
even thinking about it. This is yet another problem of nature versus
nurture, in that some aspect of her past has convinced her that she
doesn’t deserve better. Maybe her father was low status, or perhaps she
fears being alone.


The psychological web of minimum-wage thinking is extremely tangled

and unique to the individual. An effort to dissect each and every reason
why a woman settles would be impossible, so for now, let’s take a look
at the more major causes behind the issue. Perhaps you can relate to
them, and as a result, learn how to move forward.

The Fear of Abandonment

I once knew a woman (let’s call her Chelsea) who had everything going
for her. To a casual observer, she was beautiful, smart, and successful,
yet for some reason, she made terrible choices in men. It was rare that
she wasn’t in a relationship, and every partner she became involved
with never seemed to be a good fit for her. Not only were her
boyfriends uneducated and lazy, but they truly seemed to enjoy the
perks of being with such a high-class woman.

In short, they would use her.

I had the pleasure of spending Easter Sunday with Chelsea at her

mother’s house one year, and that was when I received the final piece
of the puzzle. A casual discussion of her childhood eventually brought
up the subject of Chelsea’s father, who left without saying a word when
she was five. According to her mother, the incident had a severe impact
on her daughter.


“I remember Chelsea became extremely clingy afterwards,” her mother

told me as Chelsea pleaded for her to change the subject.

After hearing this sad story, it was clear to me why Chelsea has such a
dire need for companionship. Rather than risk being an independent
woman, she held on tightly to the past, settling for any man who would
take her. According to Nick Arrizza M.D., CEO of Arrizza Performance
Coaching Inc., stories such as Chelsea’s are not uncommon in relation
to the fear of abandonment.

“After 20 years of helping individuals address (the fear of

abandonment), I have learned that the most – perhaps the only –
effective approach is to release all – yes "all" – of those memories of
abandonment that one has stored inside and which are the source of
this fear in the first place,” Arrizza said. “If you had never been
abandoned before, you would never harbor the fear of

According to Arrizza, the presence of such a fear creates a vicious cycle

of negativity in any relationship. In regards to bad-boy relationships,
the excessive need for constant company often leads women to settle

Arrizza, M.D., Nick "When the Fear of Abandonment Sabotages


Your Relationships Here's What You Can Do." When the Fear of
Abandonment Sabotages Your Relationships Here's What You Can Do
Do&id=1508743. (accessed April 14, 2009).


for men who are not good for them. In their minds, it’s better to be
with somebody – anybody – than to stand alone on their own two feet.

The fear of abandonment can also impact healthy relationships,

according to Arrizza. Even if a woman finds a genuinely-good man, the
fear of losing him can often taint the partnership. Rather than live in
harmony with their significant others, women who fear losing their
men often demonstrate unnecessary jealousy, clinginess, depression,
and other negative qualities which drive their partners away.

“Being stuck in such an experience can only make you less attractive to
those around you, and can seriously undermine your relationships with
them,” he said. “In other words, this fear essentially becomes a self-
fulfilling prophecy. What's more, if it happens to finally sabotage your
relationships, you then are scarred with that memory, and this simply
reinforces the fear (i.e. makes it stronger and more difficult to contend
with in the future). This memory then also feeds your growing negative
feelings about yourself, and erodes your self worth.”

So what’s a woman to do if she fears abandonment? The first step is to

acknowledge the memories which feed the fear, and address them.
Bring the past into the present, journal about the experiences, and
come face-to-face with them. Doing so should conjure up a slew of
negative feelings such as anger, bitterness, sadness, and more, but at
least these emotions can no longer hide.


If confronting the past does no good, a woman with the fear of

abandonment would do well to seek counseling. From there, she stands
a solid chance of not only becoming independent, but also of seeking
out healthier relationships.

When Children are Involved

The issue of minimum-wage thinking becomes even more prevalent

when children are involved. Most every woman dreams of starting her
own family, and as a result, will ignore the reality of a negative
relationship in order to preserve this dream. Even if she is aware of her
toxic relationship, she will often sacrifice her own happiness for the
sake of her children.

This last thought is especially true for women who are the product of a
divorced household. The most recent U.S. Census showed that 38
percent of marriages in the country end in divorce, a statistic that has
remained relatively stagnant for the past 15 years. More importantly,
however, is the impact that this figure has on family values.

Women who are the children of divorced parents view relationships in

one of two ways: They either abandon all interest in marriage, or they
fight at all costs to keep their home together. This latter group of
women desire for their children to be raised in a two-parent household,
even if the father figure is less than admirable.


They stick around for their kids’ sake.

Unfortunately, settling for less does more harm than good when it
comes to raising children. As previously noted, boys who are raised in
violent or hostile environments tend to evolve into abusive men. Little
girls who grow up witnessing their parents’ negative relationship
become women who accept abuse. The seed for minimum-wage
thinking is planted early, and unless it is plucked from the root, it will
continue to grow.

“Divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances,” said Relationship

Coach and Therapist Lisa Merlo-Booth. “When you have children, it's
even more difficult. Research has shown that children of divorce often
experience difficulties in school, and exhibit more health, behavioral,
and emotional problems than children from intact homes.”20

Consider the story of Carmen, whose name has also been changed. I
met Carmen through a mutual friend, and we quickly became good
friends. We grew so close, in fact, that I became almost a second father
to her two children. At any rate, I was more of a father to them than
Carmen’s boyfriend (their biological father) was.

Merlo-Booth, Lisa "Why Do Smart Women Settle For Dumb
Relationships?." Why Do Smart Women Settle For Dumb
(accessed April 14, 2009).


Like many women, Carmen became pregnant at an early age. In fact,

after getting to know her better, I realized that she had followed the
same footsteps as her mother, who also gave birth as a teenager. Both
women filled the role of parents exceptionally well, but with one major
flaw…they settled when it came to their mates.

Carmen’s boyfriend was your typical deadbeat dad. While he sufficed

as a provider for his family, he did little else to make their house a
home. He regularly demeaned Carmen in front of the children, and
when it came to parenting, he couldn’t care less. Nevertheless, Carmen
had convinced herself that she would not end up like her mother, who
divorced when Carmen was only 10 years old.

“I just think it’s important for children to have two parents,” Carmen
once told me. I challenged her theory, stating that she and her children
would be better off without such a negative influence in their lives.
Apparently, something clicked inside Carmen’s mind, because one year
later, she left her boyfriend for good.

Unfortunately, many women aren’t as conscientious as Carmen was.

Rather than remove the hostility from the lives of their children, they
settle, misled by the idea that two parents are better than one. What
they don’t realize is that the unconditional love of one parent can be
more than enough to raise healthy, thriving kids.

Anything less is unnecessary, damaging baggage.


Wedded to Misery

According to Merlo-Booth, research has proven that men benefit from

marriage, but women can actually become harmed by an unhealthy
matrimony. If they are unsatisfied with their home lives, women can
actually develop mental and physical problems that can be detrimental
to their health.

“Women are settling for dumb relationships every day,” Merlo-Booth

said. “Bright, smart, competent women are living in emotionally-cold
marriages that are filled with sarcasm, contempt, betrayal, addiction,
and even rage. This elevated level of stress has been linked to extreme
tiredness, depression, a weaker immune system, osteoporosis, and
even cancer.”

Unlike men, women are raised to be the gentler sex. Females are more
in touch with their emotions, and as a result, they are willing to settle
for the sake of preserving someone else’s happiness. In other words,
even if their relationship is less than satisfactory, women will often bite
their tongues to maintain the peace. On the other hand, women who do
voice their opinions often do so in a very hostile manner, mostly due to
a slew of emotions pent up over the years.

“They are unhappy because they're not getting what they want, and
they don't know how to fight to change that,” Merlo-Booth said. “They


end up accommodating and getting resentful, or raging and going over

the top. In essence, they either overshoot or undershoot.”

In the end, neither strategy is effective, and both could be avoided if

women would just learn to not settle when it comes to the men in their
lives. When a woman undershoots when expressing her feelings, the
plethora of hostility brewing within her eventually leads to
resentfulness. When she overshoots when expressing her feelings, all
hope for a happy household is ruined as both partners go at each other
like rabid animals.

Merlo-Booth also cited that 75 percent of today’s separations or

divorces are initiated by women. According to her, many women in this
situation are already taking on the lion’s share of household
responsibilities, not to mention the fact that their relationships are no
longer emotionally fulfilling. In their minds, being single wouldn’t be
much different from their present situations, so why not break free?

“When the women choose option two and stands up and walks out, it
also does not come without a cost to themselves and their children,”
she said. “Often, divorce leads to depression and issues of self-
acceptance for women. In addition they often suffer up to a 30 percent
decline in their standard of living.”


How to Break the Cycle

Minimum-wage thinking is more than just settling for less…it’s

convincing yourself that you do not deserve better. This tainted self
image affects more than just the immediate individual. It is like a
disease that spreads throughout the generations, affecting children,
family, friends, and all future relationships.

The first step towards breaking the cycle must begin with the woman
herself. If she does not take inventory of her feelings, past experiences,
and any other outside influences on her thinking, she will never be able
to get a hold of the situation. One can learn a lot from history,
especially in terms of how to change the future.

If you believe you possess a fear of abandonment, ask yourself why.

What experiences in your youth are affecting you today? Besides your
current toxic relationship, what are some other past experiences where
you can see the effect of your fear? Were there any similarities in the

There is no shame in admitting you’ve made a mistake, as no one is

born perfect. Life is a massive learning experience with plenty of
bumps along the way, and the only way you can expect to grow
stronger is to take hold of your downfalls. The only shame in falling
down is to never get back up.

Chapter 9: Alternate-Ending

ollywood earns billions off of the hearts of women, and it
shows no signs of stopping. Almost by their very nature,
females have an innate desire for drama which has
contributed to the success of soap operas, love stories, and romantic
comedies. The concept of true love has mass appeal, and for this
reason, women flock to any medium which will satisfy it.

When it comes to romantic entertainment, there seems to be a

formula. Take, for example, the romantic comedy, a plot which usually
goes something like this: Girl meets guy; girl and guy fall in love; guy
does something stupid; girl and guy break up. From this point, it’s
anyone’s guess what will happen to the couple, but if history has taught
us anything, it’s that they’ll get back together.

True love always prevails.

It is this theory that keeps movie fans coming back, and Hollywood
banks on that knowledge. Emotions are contagious, and the desire for


companionship is something almost everyone can relate to. Society

(especially women) wants to believe that any conflict can be overcome
if two people truly love each other. In essence, each individual has a
pre-assigned soul mate, and once the two have found one another,
nothing can come between them.

The trouble starts when people mix fantasy with reality. What does a
woman do when her “soul mate” demeans or beats her? If he cheats on
her, should she take him back? It worked for the heroine in that movie
she saw, so why wouldn’t it work for her? If Hollywood has taught us
anything, it’s that love never comes without pain, and it requires

You have to pick your battles.

By now, you’re probably slightly insulted by my approach on this

subject, and for that, I apologize. My intention is not to assume that
people cannot think for themselves, but rather, I want to stress to you
the profound impact that mainstream media can have on the psyche.
The mind and heart are both extremely fragile, and for this reason,
they’re very susceptible to any form of nurturing. Why do you think
love songs are so popular?

I titled this chapter Alternate-Ending Thinking for the simple fact that
I want you to start expecting different outcomes in terms of your
relationships. What would happen if (instead of taking him back) the


girl in that romantic comedy told her boyfriend to hit the road? As a
viewer, you would probably leave the theater very unsatisfied, because
you’ve grown to expect that they’ll reconcile.

Unfortunately, real life isn’t always so rose colored.

Fantasy vs. Reality

Continuing with our theme of modern entertainment, let’s assume that

your reality is a movie. To better illustrate this, I’ll use the example of
Regina, a real-life woman whose name has been changed to protect her
innocence. Let’s see how Regina’s fate would’ve turned out had she not
possessed the insight of alternate-ending thinking.

Regina was a childhood friend of mine, and as we grew older, she

became more like a sister to me. If it weren’t for our closeness, I doubt
she would’ve confided in me about her dire relationship with a man
she’d been seeing for almost three years. Looking back, I’m glad I was
there for her.

Their romance escalated quickly, and three months after they began
seeing one another, he moved in with Regina. They started playing
House. It’s said that you never truly know a person until you live with
them, and Regina can verify this theory. The man who once wooed her
with flowers and romantic dinners suddenly revealed a side of himself
that was less than desirable, and every morning, she woke up to it.


While her boyfriend never abused her, he became stingy with his
affections. His life consisted of work, sleep, and Guy’s Night, leaving
Regina to pick up the pieces. It wasn’t long before her days consisted of
cleaning up his messes, cooking all of the meals, holding down a day
job, and tip-toeing around the house to preserve his sleep. She soon
realized that he didn’t truly want a girlfriend…he wanted a live-in

Like most women, Regina bit her tongue in the hopes of saving her
relationship, a sacrifice which her boyfriend didn’t seem to appreciate.
Instead, he grew uninterested in sex, opting instead to spend the night
elsewhere while leaving Regina home alone. When he piled through
the front door at 4 am, he refused to answer for why he was out so late.

Regina would soon find out.

After a hard day at the office, Regina came home to find her boyfriend
watching television, but with one major difference…there was another
woman on the couch beside him. It had been months since Regina
spent a quiet evening with her man, yet here he was sharing their home
– her home – with another female. Despite the rage burning inside
her, Regina insisted upon a happy ending, so instead of lashing out,
she went into the kitchen to start dinner.

She listened in agony as they shared a laugh together, probably (she

thought) at her expense.


“He told me she was just a friend, Derrick,” Regina confided in me. “I
really want to believe that, but I just can’t.”

“You need to kick him out,” I insisted. “That’s your place, Regina, and
he’s squatting on it.”

My response seemed logical enough, at least, to me it did. Regina, on

the other hand, held on to her belief that true love always prevails, and
she merely laughed at my advice. Inside, I was brewing with pity for
my friend and anger towards the jerk that was using her, but what
could I do? She was a grown woman.

Regina hoped that with the passing of time, the strange woman would
dissolve into the past, but the opposite became true. More frequently
than ever, Regina came home only to find herself as the third wheel.
On some occasions, the duo would be leaving just as Regina arrived,
and she was never invited to tag along. Finally, she decided she had

There would be no happy ending for this love story.

“He must’ve thought I was stupid!” she vented to me. “I told him to
pack his things, because I wanted him out before sundown. It was


I want you to ask yourself how this story would’ve ended had Regina
held on to the ideal of true love conquering all. Would she have settled
as the third wheel, turning a blind eye to the realities at hand? How
long would her boyfriend’s charade have continued had she not put her
foot down? I doubt that any Hollywood heroine (no matter how love
struck) would’ve tolerated such neglect.

When to Think Alternately

There is no guidebook to tell you when to fight for your relationship

versus when to call it quits. Each situation is unique to the individuals
involved, and the final decision to stay or leave depends solely on one’s
personal happiness. Some couples have broken up for the most minor
of reasons while others stick it out in spite of constant hostility.

There are certain instances, however, when a woman must utilize

alternate-ending thinking. As the old saying goes, she needs to “wake
up and smell the coffee.” Contrary to the fairytales conjured up by
Hollywood, real life is just that – real. Rather than be deluded by the
hopes of a happy ending, a woman stuck in a volatile or dangerous
situation would do well to take charge of her own story.

Situations of domestic violence (verbal or physical) obviously call for

an escape plan, but what about the less obvious problems? Couples
divorce everyday due to “irreconcilable differences,” but are these
people simply being whiny? After all, it stands to reason that the


passion dies after years with the same individual, so why don’t these
people just suck it up?

Research has shown that dissatisfaction within a relationship can be

strong enough to affect a person’s health, resulting in loss of sleep,
appetite, and overall happiness. Unfortunately, many women follow in
Regina’s footsteps by tolerating a situation which is no longer pleasing
or satisfying to them. When they do this, they bottle up feelings of
sadness, anger, and jealousy until they’re out of excuses.

That’s when it’s time to leave.

Is being single really that bad?

After licking her wounds from the breakup, Regina experienced a

peace she forgot existed. Suddenly, the world was filled with
possibilities, and not just in terms of relationships. Of course, the
realization that she was free to date whomever she pleased was
exciting, but for her, being single again meant so much more.

For the first time in three years, the knots in her stomach ceased. No
longer would she have to worry about whether her boyfriend’s eye was
wandering, and if her house was a mess, at least it was her mess. She
could come and go as she pleased, her time belonged solely to her, and
the future was wide open.


She was free.

It’s human nature to seek out companionship, but at what cost? Should
a woman stay with a man who mistreats her simply because she refuses
to be alone? What does that say about her if she can’t stand on her own
two feet confidently? The answer is not a whole lot. If you can’t be
happy as an individual, you won’t be able to make another person
happy either.

Looking back, Regina never beat herself up for being walked all over.
Instead, she regrets the three years wasted with someone who never
appreciated her in the first place. She wonders what could’ve been had
she devoted her precious time to someone or something else, but the
past is in the past, and all she can do now is look forward.

From this day on, I want to ask you to leave the past behind as well.
Realize that your time and emotions are valuable, and only give them
to a man who truly deserves them. Fairytale endings are a nice idea,
and under the right circumstances, they can exist. You just have to able
to tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Chapter 10: Where are all the
good guys?

“All the good guys are either taken or gay.”

laugh every time I hear women say this. Maybe you’ve said it
yourself, completely convinced that you’re doomed to wander the
earth alone. The sad truth is that you might, if you don’t change
your outlook on relationships.

Truthfully, being single is a much better alternative than being

involved in an unhealthy relationship. As you’ve learned from our
previous chapters, women who repeatedly fall for bad boys develop
almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, dooming themselves to never find
true love. The only way to find a genuinely good guy is to break the
cycle, and this will be the focus of our chapter.

If you’re serious about seeking out a quality relationship, the first step
you must take is to discover your understanding of a good guy. What
qualities make a guy good or bad? How are healthy relationships
different from unhealthy ones? What do good guys look for in a girl?


These are just some of the questions that can put your search into

Second, you must look inwardly to discover what is holding you back
from being with a good guy. I won’t deny that you desire a strong,
quality relationship, but something’s obviously not jelling, otherwise
you wouldn’t be reading this book. Do you feel you even deserve a good
man? If not, ask yourself why. Taking a good, long look at yourself can
reveal a lot about your love life.

“You have to be your own best friend.” I forgot who once told me this,
but the line was so profound that I never forgot it. It’s hard to deny that
the advice is sound. A person can have all of the friends and family in
the world, but if they don’t know and care about their self first, they
will have little hope for healthy relationships.

In terms of good guys versus bad boys, quality men are naturally
drawn to a woman who knows her value in the world. Bad boys, on the
other hand, seek out weak women as though they’re prey. If you think
about it, this all makes sense. What self-respecting woman would dare
allow herself to be demeaned? The answer is none.

As you can already see, finding a quality guy means changing both your
external and internal viewpoints. While this may sound like a large
undertaking, it’s not. Let’s begin with a side-by-side look at the
qualities of good guys and bad boys.


Good Guys vs. Bad Boys

There is no clear-cut dividing line between good guy and bad boys, but
the differences are there. Odds are you’re very familiar with the
characteristics of a bad boy, but take the time to decipher between the
two, and judge for yourself who you like better. The following are five
major areas in which these two characters differ:

• Confidence vs. Cockiness

Hardly a day goes by when a bad boy doesn’t ramble on about himself.
The strangest part about this bad-boy quality is that the rambler
seldom has anything to brag about in the first place. He’s just speaking
to be heard, and most people just want him to shut up. In short, he’s

Confidence, on the other hand, is a silent form of self-assuredness that

is typical of a good guy. If he accomplishes a huge project, he lets the
work speak for itself rather than boast about it. His source of strength
comes from within; he has a solid sense of esteem that makes bragging
unnecessary. In other words, he doesn’t need to prove himself.

• Self-Respect vs. Selfishness

Bad boys are, by their very nature, selfish. They want it their way come
hell or high water, and nobody (least of all a woman) is going to


convince them otherwise. What often accompanies this trait is a

complete lack of concern for other people. There is no looking before
leaping on part of the bad boy; they just leap without any thought
towards the consequences.

Good guys realize that if they want to get respect, they also have to give
it. Good guys respect themselves enough to know that they deserve
what’s best, but they also take into account how their actions will
impact those around them. Rather than just do whatever they want,
they think about the outcomes before acting on them. There’s a huge
difference between loving yourself and loving only yourself, and good
guys realize that.

• Carefree vs. Reckless

Bar fights, totaled cars, and holes in the wall are just some of the more
common examples of reckless behavior on part of a bad boy. Similar to
selfishness, there is little to no thinking involved in this particular
character trait. Cockiness even plays a factor, as acting wildly is (in a
bad boy’s mind) the perfect means of displaying his authority in any
situation. At its root, however, it’s all smoke and mirrors.

The extreme opposite of recklessness is being overly cautious, also

known as boring. However, a good guy doesn’t have to be reckless in
order to avoid being dull. Rather, he is carefree. Bungee jumping,
goofing off with buddies, or surprise dates are just some examples of


how a guy can be fun without being a meathead. The personality of a

carefree guy is also worlds above that of an irresponsible bad boy.

• Anger vs. Violence

It’s no secret that life can be hard sometimes, but bad boys get carried
away when it comes to how they handle such situations. Often,
violence accompanies feelings of stress or frustration in a bad boy,
which is never called for. Rather than find a constructive means of
releasing his emotions, a bad boy will react dangerously, and anyone in
his way better watch out.

Good guys, on the other hand, accept that life can be difficult, and
they’re certainly not immune to aggravation. Rather than endanger
those around them, however, good guys have a grasp on how to deal
with such negative feelings. Punching bags, sports, or even alone time
are just some methods in which a good guy would handle his anger.
The best part is that there are no innocent bystanders involved.

• Let’s talk about sex.

Any woman who’s been involved with a bad boy knows what it feels
like to be used sexually, even if she won’t admit it. In terms of
intimacy, bad boys have little to no concern for their partners feelings.
Sex is usually done on their terms, and there is zero love involved. It’s
not uncommon for bad boys to insult their partner’s bedroom


performance, brag about their sexual escapades, or even cheat. The

result is a broken, demeaned woman.

Good guys tend to view their partners as people, not sex objects. If
she’s not in the mood, he doesn’t pressure her, and when she is in the
mood, his focus is usually on her pleasure. Like all males, good guys
have a healthy sex drive, but they know where to draw the line. To
them, discussing or demeaning their partners’ performance with
others is taboo, and cheating is wrong. They know that the backbone of
any healthy relationship is respect, even when it comes to intimacy.

Are you ready for a good guy?

I ask this question with all sincerity. So many women say they want a
decent man, but when it comes down to it, they end up dating the exact
opposite. What’s the deal?

It all goes back to the theory of the alpha male.

To refresh your memory, the alpha male is the leader in a pack of wild
animals. Speaking in terms of human beings, an alpha male emits
energy of authority and confidence that women find irresistible. In
short, he is a challenge in the eyes of women, and we all know that
people always want what they cannot have.


In contrast, beta males are a step below the alphas. They are
submissive, taking orders rather than giving them. When talking to a
woman, a beta male will be overly accommodating, agree with
everything she says, and drown her in compliments. In other words,
he’s a “nice guy,” not to mention a huge turnoff.

But can’t a nice guy be an alpha male as well? Who says that a true
alpha has to be an arrogant, obnoxious woman beater? The problem
with women who constantly date bad boys is that they end up falling
for the wrong alpha males. In the battle of good versus evil, they
choose Darth Vader over Luke Skywalker. Both men are large and in
charge, but only one has the potential for being a good boyfriend.

“Being an alpha male does not mean you have to be loud, brash, and
arrogant,” said John Alexander, author of How to Become an Alpha
Male. “Quite the opposite. An alpha male will carry with him an air of
authority which drives women wild with desire. Even though he may
not be the best looking guy in a group, his confidence will make him
the natural leader.”21

Martin, Nick "Do Women Like Alpha Males? The Answer Women
Don't Want You to Hear!." Do Women Like Alpha Males? The Answer
Women Don't Want You to Hear!
Answer-Women-Dont-Want-You-to-Hear!&id=1559441. (accessed
April 16, 2009).


If you’re serious about changing your love life, you must take the time
to form an opinion about the men you’re exposed to. Don’t settle for
the first guy who approaches you simply because he’s there. Take the
time to get to know him, and if you’re not jibing with him, walk. Reread
the differences between good guys and bad boys listed above, and
memorize the qualities.

You’re time is too precious to be wasted on just anyone.

Know Thyself

Many women seek self-fulfillment through relationships. If they’re not

paired up with someone – anyone – they feel as though they’re not a
whole person. For this reason, they tend to settle for the first bloke who
comes along, and a result, they end up very unhappy.

I think the worst mistake anyone could make is to find their value
through a relationship. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You can’t
make another person happy if you’re not happy by yourself.
Relationships should not be viewed as a crutch, but rather, as an
experience to enrich the wonderful person you already are. Until you
can wake up alone, make a cup of coffee, and go about your business
without needing someone else, you won’t be ready for a healthy


But I’m not an unreasonable person. I know that loneliness isn’t fun
for anyone, but let me ask you this: Would you rather be alone, or be
continually put down by a man who doesn’t appreciate you? Is it really
that hard to exist without such a monkey on your back? If it’s being
alone that you can’t stand, what about all the other people in your life?
That’s why God gave you family and friends, not to mention woman’s
best friend…the dog.

If you’re stumped on any of these questions, allow me to answer for

you. It would be far better to be alone than have your mind constantly
polluted with insults. You do not need that type of toxicity in your life,
as I’m sure those friends and family members of yours would say.
Heck, maybe the dog would too.

Good guys are seldom (if ever) attracted to women with low self-
esteem. Bad boys, however, are naturally drawn to a woman who will
submit to being treated like a doormat. She is like the pedestal which a
bad boy steps on in order to elevate his own self-worth. In contrast,
good guys are mesmerized by a woman who loves herself and is
capable of loving others as a result.

A good guy wants a woman who doesn’t need him, but rather, wants

But how do you learn to love yourself? The title of this section says it
all…know thyself. What are your talents? What personality traits make


you a good friend? What are some of the goals you’ve put off to be with
your bad boy? Now would be the time to start making them a reality.

As an exercise, I want you to think of one person in your life who really
makes you happy. This person can be anyone from a friend to your
mom, just as long as they are a strong and positive influence in your
life. Once you’ve narrowed that individual down, contact and get
together with them. It’s as simple as that. There’s no pressure involved;
just spend time absorbing the positive energy and feelings they have
towards you. Consider this exercise as a mental upper, and a much-
needed one at that.

Each week, try to contact at least one different person in your life, and
spend time with them as well. So many times, we neglect important
relationships when we’re involved with a significant other. It’s time to
start changing that.

Where to Look

Once you’ve obtained a grasp on your self-worth, there’s no harm in

fishing for a date or two. As long as you’re armed with the knowledge
of good guy and bad boy behavior, you should be more than capable of
picking a man who’s suitable. The following are some great places to
meet Mr. Right:


• Coffee Shops

You can get more than a caffeine fix at these venues. Coffee shops have
skyrocketed in popularity over the years, drawing people from all walks
of life. So grab a friend and a cup of java, and see what else you might
run into.

• Parties

Parties are ideal for meeting men, and in many ways, they’re like
networking events for singles. The vibe is laid back, everyone’s
enjoying themselves, and mingling is practically required. Being
around friends also takes the pressure off of introductions, making it
easier to get to know that hunk in the corner.

• Your Social Circle

One of the best places to go searching for men is through your network
of family and friends. Using the people who know you best increases
your odds of finding love. There’s no harm in telling your social circle
that you’re single and looking, and if your friends are anything like
mine, they’ll jump at the chance to pair you up!


• Church

Church can be a great place to meet quality men, provided that you’re
actually religious. Once again, know thyself, because if you put on a
façade, you’ll only end up looking bad in the long run. In the event that
you are religious, churches are filled with great single men who are
almost always a good catch. Even if you don’t find true love, the
spiritual enrichment might be fulfilling for you.

These are just some ideas for places to meet men, but it’s certainly not
exhaustive. Just keep your eyes open, and if you see someone who
catches your eye, go for it. Remember that in the world of dating, most
guys are more afraid of you than you are of them. As long as you know
what you like and maintain your standards, it won’t be long before you
find that good guy you’ve been searching for.

Chapter 11: Nice guys can be bad
boys too.

ou can’t judge a book by its cover.

In our previous chapter, you read about the many advantages

of dating a nice guy over a bad boy, but are these advantages fool
proof? Are all nice guys created equal? The simple answer is no.

“The best criminals never look the part.” This isn’t my line, but rather,
a good buddy of mine who works in law enforcement came up with it.
If you think about it, the concept is quite smart. Stand a well-kempt
man in a business suit next to a grubby, unshaven, and poorly dressed
guy, and who would you suspect of armed robbery? If I were to guess,
you’d probably point the finger at the latter, but wouldn’t you be
shocked to learn that Mr. Perfect was to blame?

Looks can be deceiving.

People are very visual creatures, and some are completely incapable of
looking beneath the surface. Flip to any major television network, and


you’ll likely be swarmed by reality programs that transform an “ugly

duckling” into a creature more suitable in the eyes of society. Almost by
instinct, humans gravitate towards what’s beautiful, never bothering to
see past the exterior. The wisest criminals know this, and they use this
gullibility to their advantage.

By now, you may be wondering what law enforcement has to do with

bad-boy relationships, and the answer is nothing. Rather than give you
a crash course in criminal science, my objective with this analogy is to
convince you of one truth…

Some nice guys can make the best bad boys.

Do you think Jackie Onassis saw it coming when her husband, the late
President John F. Kennedy, hosted his affairs with Marilyn Monroe?
By most guys’ standards, actor Hugh Grant had a sweet deal with his
former girlfriend, actress Elizabeth Hurley. Not only was she a rising
talent, but she was drop-dead gorgeous. Why, then, did he cheat on her
with Divine Brown, a prostitute? Musical sensation Chris Brown has
the definitive clean-cut exterior, but he allegedly beat his songstress
girlfriend, Rhianna, in 2009.

“O that deceit should dwell in such a gorgeous palace!” Even

Shakespeare’s little darling, Juliet, discovered that love can be blind.
Upon learning of her cousin’s death at Romeo’s hand, she recited this
line which (in my opinion) speaks volumes to the subject at hand.


Nice guys can be bad boys.

Jackie’s Story

Like most little girls, Jackie (whose name has been changed) dreamed
of her wedding day from an early age. She had every detail, from the
flowers to the dresses, preplanned, but none gave her goose bumps as
much as the vision of her beloved. In her mind, he was the usual mix of
tall, dark, and handsome, but most importantly, he adored her.

Her fantasy appeared to take a turn into reality the day she met Jason
(whose name has also been changed) on the steps of the campus
Catholic Center. His outward appearance surpassed all of her
expectations for beauty, and the fact that he belonged to such a noble
ministry was proof of his good character. In Jackie’s mind, Jason was
perfect for her, and he was the man she had always dreamed of.

The two began their relationship slowly, and within time, their dating
evolved into a serious commitment. Jackie was not blind to the
affectionate manner in which other females approached Jason; after
all, he was gorgeous. In spite of this, he appeared to only have eyes for
her, so she never worried about him straying. She found solace in the
flowers and impromptu kisses he showered her with, relishing in being
the only one for him.

Life was perfect.


Jason was a pre-Med student at the university, so his time was divided
between Jackie, his studies, and his hospital residency. Convinced that
she found a good thing with this man, Jackie was more than patient
with his limited schedule. After all, she was convinced she was going to
marry Jason, and he had to do what was necessary to ensure a quality
life for her and their future family. Why on earth would she stand in
the way of his success?

They had been dating for one year when Jason’s time became even less
available to Jackie. It got to a point where she would only see him once
a week, but nevertheless, she remained understanding. Rather than
grow frustrated, Jackie’s heart softened to Jason’s hectic lifestyle. She
repeatedly offered to bring him dinner, visit him, and do his
laundry…anything to relieve some of his stress. She was a bit taken
back when he adamantly refused, but she convinced herself that he was
just being stubborn.

He was the perfect man, and he didn’t want to impose on her.

One day, Jackie’s best friend called with a serious tone in her voice,
and the words which came out of her mouth almost stopped Jackie’s
heart. Jason had been caught eating dinner with a mystery female, and
his behavior was anything but platonic. He ran his fingers through the
woman’s hair, held and kissed her hand, and when the check came, he
rushed to pay it. He was obviously on a date…probably at the same
time that Jackie was fixing him some dinner.


At first, Jackie refused to believe her friend’s claim, but this girl was
like a sister to her. She had no reason to lie, and she only had Jackie’s
best interests at heart. Still, the story just didn’t add up. Jason was
always so sweet and affectionate. He worked hard, and that’s why he
was always so unavailable. And besides, he looked perfect, so how
could he not be?

Jackie was in complete and utter denial.

Still, her friend’s testimony did shed light on a lot of Jackie’s questions.
Suddenly, she realized why Jason grew so unattainable, and his refusal
to accept her favors seemed to make better sense. He was terrified that
she would uncover his secret infidelity. If she showed up unannounced
to offer him dinner or other kindnesses, he might be exposed for what
he truly was…a cheating liar.

To make a long story short, Jackie confronted Jason about her friend’s
claim. Realizing he had no choice, he confessed that (for months) he
had been dating not just one, but several other females behind Jackie’s
back. He apologized, but the damage was already done, and Jackie
ended things right then and there.

Her reality of a fairytale wedding became fantasy once again.


The Impact of Deception upon Women

It was a good year or so before Jackie dated again. In her mind, if a

man as decent looking as Jason was untrustworthy, who could she
trust? He had all the qualities of the stereotypical “nice guy,” yet he still
managed to break her heart. She didn’t know if she would ever be able
to love again.

Women in Jackie’s situation are like abused puppies. They innocently

and willingly give love to someone who appears to deserve it, only to
discover that their sentiments were unappreciated. What results is a
strong belief that they can trust no one, and it’s only after extensive
time, healing, and patience that they feel otherwise. Until this happens,
their guards will remain up and strong.

In fact, I would dare say that a bad boy is better than a deceptive nice
guy. At least bad boys are honest in their appearance, never bothering
to disguise the reality that they’re cruel at heart. Bad boys give good
women a chance to decide for themselves whether or not they want to
bother with them. Men such as Jason, on the other hand, waste the
time and emotions of perfectly good girls like Jackie. Everything about
them, from their habits to their looks, is a lie.

After the demise of her relationship, I had a heart-to-heart with Jackie.

She and I met during my freshman year at the university, and we grew
to be pretty tight friends. Once she healed from the initial sadness of


her breakup, she quickly grew angry over Jason’s audacity. In her eyes,
almost two years of her life were lost to someone who never deserved
them in the first place.

“When I was with Jason, there were several occasions when guys asked
me out,” she recalled. “Being the good girlfriend that I was, I politely
declined their offers, but that’s not to say that I wasn’t tempted. These
were really cute, nice guys, and they gave me an open invitation to get
to know them better. I look back, and I just can’t help but wonder
‘what if?’”

Women who’ve been deceived by bad nice guys also tend to carry their
mistrust into future relationships. Genuinely-good men everywhere are
paying for the sins of ex-boyfriends, and it all stems from the abuse of
trust. A woman who’s been cheated on or lied to can easily become
jealous of her new boyfriend’s female friends or co-workers, and if he
doesn’t pick up the phone immediately when she calls, she gets lost in
a flurry of anxiety and concern over what he’s “really” doing.

What results is an endless cycle of negativity that ruins solid

relationships. In his innocence, the new boyfriend grows frustrated at
his girlfriend’s constant skepticism. He can’t move, speak, or live
without worrying that she will misinterpret his actions, taking any and
all joy out of being with her in the first place. Rather than move on
from the past, deceived women tend to hold on to it, and as a result,
they throw away any chance of finding true love.


What’s a girl to do?

How does a woman know when she can trust a man? When she’s been
burned one too many times, is it possible to learn to trust again? Is
there any way of discerning whether or not a guy is sincere?

No one said that dating and relationships were easy, but that doesn’t
mean that you have to close yourself off from the idea of love. No
matter how you’ve been mistreated in the past, there’s always the
potential for a healthy and satisfying relationship. And while it may
feel as though you’ve got the worst luck when it comes to guys, the
truth is that everyone’s had relationships go sour. You’re not alone.

The first step towards seeking and finding a healthy relationship is to

reclaim your happiness, and this can only be accomplished by letting
go of the past. There’s no user manual for how to do this; you simply
have to acknowledge what went wrong before and move on from it.
Learn from your past relationships, realize what you do and don’t want
in a man, and see to it that every future romance meets (or surpasses)
your expectations.

It’s been said that the head and heart rarely agree. If, however, you
want to learn how to decipher between the nice guys and the scam
artists, you’ve got to put your thinking cap on. Open your eyes, not just
your heart, and develop a knack for reading between the lines. While
you don’t want to become overly skeptical when it comes to your


relationships, you don’t want to get swept away by your emotions


For starters, become a body language guru. No matter how nice a man
may seem at first, if his demeanor rubs you the wrong way, it might be
best to second guess him. Maybe he seems overly interested in
charming you, or perhaps he’s slightly obnoxious. He could even relish
in flirting with you or any other woman in the room, in which case, he
could very well have the potential to cheat. While there’s no surefire
means of judging a character off bat, listen to your gut. It will never
lead you astray.

For argument’s sake, let’s say that you end up in a situation such as
Jackie’s. You think you’ve found Mr. Wonderful, but before you know
it, you’re unhappy. He’s become more of a stranger than a boyfriend,
and while you try to not grow jealous, you can’t shake the emotion
either. Once again, that gut feeling kicks in, and you suspect that
something’s just not right. Odds are you’ve hit the nail on the head.

When this happens, you have to decide between staying and being
miserable, or leaving and finding your joy again. So many women stick
around in bad relationships for the mere hope that, one day,
everything will get better. It doesn’t. While it’s perfectly natural for the
passion to dull after years with the same person, it’s not natural to
completely neglect one’s partner. With that said, you must take care of


your own happiness first and foremost, and if the man you’re with is
hindering it, get rid of him.

Somewhere out there is a truly nice guy waiting to make you smile.

Chapter 12: What is real love

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding,

mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good
and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes
allowances for human weaknesses.”

hese words by American advice columnist Ann Landers sum
up nicely what love truly is. The search for love is universal,
impacting people from all cultures and societies. These four
letters have spawned the creation of thousands of songs, novels, and
films, satisfying the public’s thirst to find the real deal.

From the moment we’re born, love plays a role. An infant surely
wouldn’t survive without the unconditional care and protection of its
parents. As we grow, we thrive in the support of our families and
friends, finding security in the group. From there, we attempt to
recreate the actions of our parents by seeking out suitable mates in an
effort to start our own homes and families.


The cycle of life comes full circle, and all because of the desire for love.

But love is not exclusive to romantic passion alone. A child can love an
animal, a grandmother can love her grandchild, and two friends can
platonically love each other. A priest can have a fulfilling loyalty to his
church, and even a chef can experience love for the perfect concoction
of spices and herbs. The many means of loving vary, but each carry
with them the same premise…sacrifice.

Up until now, your reading has focused on the characteristics and

effects of bad-boy relationships. You’ve learned how to recognize an
unsuitable partner, and are well schooled in the various types of abuse.
You’ve even learned that a seemingly nice guy is fully capable of
betrayal, and the only way to stand a chance at finding a meaningful
relationship is to love yourself first.

In all bad-boy relationships, the quality of sacrifice is absent. There is

no give-and-take. Any woman who’s been involved in a negative
relationship knows the frustration of giving and not receiving, and it’s
exhausting. Bad boys expect to take as much as they desire, knowing
full and well that their women will allow for it. What results is an
imbalance in the relationship’s chemistry, which can only lead to
hostility and resentment.

While popular opinions about love vary, the general consensus is that
true love is selfless and sacrificing. A person who is genuinely in love


tends to care more about his or her mate than they do themselves. This
is the same care and concern that fuels a mother to save her child from
a burning building, or pushes a married couple to stick together “in
sickness and in health.”

Consider the following story.

The Power of True Love

Don and Michelle were happily married with three children. The
couple lived a full life of Little League baseball games, family dinners,
and romantic date nights. Their devotion to God and the church was
evident not only in the many ministries they served in, but also in their
children’s faith. They had many blessings, and they thanked God for
them each and every day.

Their lives took a drastic change in 1994, and it all started with a
bruise. While walking home from the mechanics, Don stepped into a
street hole, leaving purple flesh behind as a souvenir of the accident. In
all other respects, he was fine, and life went on as usual.

Almost two months after stepping into the hole, he noticed that his
bruised leg was not healing. While most injuries of this sort would have
at least diminished by that point, his leg held tightly to the blemish,
refusing to give it up. While this certainly wasn’t cause for panic, the
family thought it best if he paid a visit to the doctor. Perhaps the


problem was as simple as a vitamin deficiency, in which case, a trip to

the pharmacy would do the trick.

They had no idea that their lives were about to be shattered.

Donald was a bit surprised when the doctor ordered blood work, but he
cooperated. The results showed the presence of Multiple Myeloma, an
incurable cancer of the plasma cells found in bone marrow. While they
didn’t know it at the time, his diagnosis would mean rounds of
chemotherapy, and eventually, the disintegration of his spinal cord.
Four years of battling the silent killer resulted in Donald becoming
wheelchair-bound, essentially handicapped. As much as it hurt his
pride, he became entirely dependent upon his family for even the
slightest of needs.

But he wasn’t the only one suffering. Michelle’s life went from marital
bliss to the continuous sacrificing of her time, energy, and happiness.
Besides tending to Don’s every ride, meal, and medical treatment, she
also had to shoulder the burden of raising her family. When she wasn’t
at work, she was home researching holistic treatment for Don’s
sickness, monitoring the doctors’ diagnosis, and never leaving his side.

She was the glue that held her family together, and she wouldn’t have
had it any other way.


When the kids had reached their teenage years, they teamed up with
their mother in an effort to maintain somewhat of a normal household.
By that time, Don was too sick to work, and he was forced to retire. His
spine had been reduced to oatmeal, and any time he wanted to move,
his wife and children had to carry him. In a matter of four years, the
family experienced every emotion from sorrow to anger, and they grew
stronger for it.

It was 1998 when Don’s cancer progressed, forcing him into a

vegetative state and permanent hospitalization. The constant beep of
his heart monitor assured his family that he was still alive, but the
dazed look in his eyes was a constant reminder of his condition. Two
days after he first entered the hospital, the doctors said that he only
had one week to live. His youngest daughter, Jeannie, was barely a
woman, and she was forced to watch the man who loved, provided for,
and protected her die slowly. To add insult to injury, her father
couldn’t even speak to her.

“He had been in a vegetable-like state for a few days, not speaking to
anyone,” Jeannie said. “His eyes would be open, like he was afraid to
close them because he knew if he did, he would be gone. So it was
really hard looking at him with his eyes open, but not being able to talk
with him.”

The day of her father’s death, Jeannie was at his bedside while her
mother and other family members spoke to the hospital staff. As


though he sensed that he was about to take his final breath, her father’s
spirit managed to break through the bondage of his bodily sickness,
and he snapped out of his vegetative state. The all-powerful love of the
human spirit prevailed.

“I was at his side telling him how much I loved him, and how he was
such a great father, and he turned his head towards me, which was
startling at the time, since he really hadn’t been able to respond to
anybody. He then looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Hi Angel, I love you.’
I couldn’t believe that he was able to talk to me. I started crying even
harder, and telling him over and over again how much I loved him too.
I truly felt the presence of God at that very moment, and I will never
ever forget that feeling.”

True Love is Holistic

I chose to share Don’s story with you for one very important reason…it
is holistic. It displays the multiple layers of love in all of its different
forms, and each is integrated. His story illustrates how selfless, strong,
and determined people are when they genuinely love one another.

In it, you learned about a wife who chose to suffer alongside her dying
husband, rather than abandon him in his time of need. Her children
willingly sacrificed the blissful ignorance of their youth in an effort to
ease their mother’s stress, and in turn, help comfort their father. Even


death could not stop Don from expressing his love to Jeannie before
taking his final breath.

If you were raised in an abusive household, or are used to nothing but

bad boys, you may find Don’s story hard to believe. Let me assure you
that it happened, because I was there. I grew up with Jeannie, and I
was there the very day her father’s cancer was diagnosed. I watched
Michelle and her children carry his six-foot frame down the hallway
into the bathroom or bedroom because he couldn’t walk himself. I
comforted Jeannie as she soaked her pillows with tears the day he died.

Even in the midst of incredible darkness, I can attest to the power of

true love that I witnessed through Don’s family.

What can you gain from this story? My hope is that you’ll see love as
more than sex and romance. Instead, you’ll view it as an unconditional
and sincere desire to make another person happy. I want you to
become inspired by the mutual commitment its characters had towards
one another, and see that not one of them was taking without giving as
well. Even in spite of their personal sufferings, each member of this
family cared more for the wellbeing of the other.

As a result, they had a bounty of love to share and draw strength from.


Love is a friendship that has caught fire.

Let’s attempt to discover what real love is like by breaking down our
opening quote. This first line has graced the covers of greeting cards
for decades, and for good reason. It’s nothing but pure truth.

Think of your very best friend – the one person whom you can tell
anything to. It’s not necessary to have romantic feelings for this
person, and in fact, I’d prefer you didn’t think of someone you were
particularly affectionate about. I want you to pick a comrade, through
and through.

What comes to mind when you imagine this friend? I would assume a
slew of memories float to the surface, evoking a variety of feelings from
joy to sorrow. Whenever this person came to you in distress, how did
that make you feel? If someone was speaking ill of them, I’d be willing
to bet that you’d rise to their defense. You and this friend have been
through thick and thin, and you show no signs of changing that.

The foundation of any romantic relationship is this very idea of

friendship. It’s choosing to stand by a particular person not because
you have to, but because you want to. There’s a popular joke that says,
“You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.” As
much as I love my family, I would have to say this is true. Friends are
people we put in our lives for one very simple reason…


We can’t imagine living without them.

Most people would agree that at some point, a friendship makes

romance impossible. Dating gurus everywhere have labeled this
phenomenon the “friend zone.” In short, people enter this dreaded
territory when their feelings evolve to that of a brother and sister,
making the idea of passion nothing short of awkward. While some
loving relationships grow from this dynamic, I think it’s safe to say that
most remain platonic.

If you get anything from this opening line of Landers’, I would hope
that you learn to take your time when developing relationships. If you
find a man who piques your interest, don’t rush to seduce him before
learning what makes him tick. Discover what hobbies and interests you
two have in common, and attempt to witness all facets of his

This brings up another point, and that is to say that many guys will
want to move at a faster pace than you. Some may be put off by your
slow-moving nature, but don’t be deterred by this. In reality, you’ve
just saved yourself a world of trouble. If a guy is genuinely interested in
you, he will not only honor your wishes, but he’ll also desire to take his
time with you. On the other hand, any guy who pressures you to jump
into a sexual relationship is obviously not concerned with how you feel.

You just dodged a bullet.


It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and


What is this “quiet understanding” that Landers refers to? It is the

nonverbal communication that lovers share just by looking at each
other. Without saying a word, they can relay information to one
another, and the message is received. It is complete and thorough
comfort in one another’s silence.

As much as I hate to quote popular culture, there’s a line delivered by

Uma Thurman in the movie Pulp Fiction that illustrates quiet
understanding perfectly. While sharing a meal with Vincent Vega, the
two suddenly run out of topics to discuss. Uma’s character, Mia, breaks
the silence by addressing it as such:

“Don't you hate that? That comfortable silence. Why do we feel it

necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable? That's
when you know you've found someone really special: When you can
just shut up and share a comfortable silence.”

It is only through the friendship discussed earlier that two people can
achieve this level of co-existence. They know one another’s quirks,
behaviors, and mannerisms thoroughly, and as such, can acknowledge
their partner’s thoughts and feelings without saying a word. This type
of understanding does not evolve quickly, but rather, takes months and
years to develop.


When it does, however, you’ll be able to say a lot to each other without
saying anything at all.

Mutual confidence is the certainty two people feel when they can rely
on one another. There is no room for selfishness when it comes to
mutual confidence. It is unconditional, making both partners
comfortable in everything they say or do to each other. In essence,
mutual confidence is trust.

Don trusted that Michelle would stand by him during his adversity,
and she did. People in similar situations look no further than their
significant other for comfort and security, solid in the knowledge that
they’ll find it. They know that their feelings are mutual, and all they
need to do is ask for support or understanding in order to receive it.

In your bad-boy relationship, where have you found mutual

confidence? If you’re like most women, my guess would be nowhere.
Secrets are not kept, feelings are seldom taken to heart, and comfort is
in short supply. As I’ve said before, bad boys are inherently selfish,
caring too much for themselves to care for anybody else.

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”

Everyone’s heard this popular saying, right? In all respects, it’s true,
but especially in terms of true love. Forgiveness frees the soul to
continue thriving, whereas holding on to the past weighs it down.


If you or someone you know has been involved in an abusive

relationship, I’m sure you’re more than familiar with forgiveness.
You’ve been knocked down so many times, only to get up for more.
Women in bad-boy relationships are possibly the best forgivers out
there, but unfortunately, this is not good enough.

The problem with forgiving a bad boy is that he never even asks for the
blessing. He finds no sorrow in his crude actions, and what’s worse is
that he never learns his lesson. Forgiveness is only fruitful when it’s
excusing a mistake, but the behavior of a bad boy is seldom
unconscious. He knows good and well what he’s doing, and he’s not
sorry for it.

It is loyalty through good and bad times.

I think we’ve covered this idea a great deal through Don’s story, so I
won’t spend much time on it. However, there are a few points I’d like
to make about love thriving through good and bad.

“A true friend is not someone who’s there for you when the sun is
shining brightly. A true friend will stand by your side through the
storm as well.”

I was young when my mother spoke these valuable words to me. She
was trying to teach me how to choose my friends wisely. As I grew
older, I learned they applied to romance as well. It’s very easy to


remain loyal to someone else when life is easy, pleasant. It’s when the
chips are down that you learn who truly cares about you, and vice

Without going into too much detail, I was in high school when a close
family member passed away. At the time, I thought I was quite
popular, but this tragedy removed the blinders from my eyes. A
majority of the people I considered true friends never even asked how I
was doing, and only a few stood by my side through my sadness.

That was how I knew who genuinely cared about me.

The next time you’re involved with a man, see how he reacts when the
storms of your life strike. If he runs and hides, get rid of him. If, on the
other hand, he holds out an umbrella for you, odds are you’ve found a
keeper. I’d dare say he loves you.

It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for

human weaknesses.

This element of true love is where most women involved in bad-boy

relationships get confused.

While it’s true that nobody’s perfect, a bad boy is just…bad. He makes
no apologies for his behavior, or if he does ask for forgiveness, he only
repeats his vile behavior. What results is a vicious cycle of abuse, and


the women get caught up in it. In the eyes of a woman in love with a
bad boy, she is the comfort in his distress, the strength to his human

She is wrong.

It’s one thing to say that nobody’s perfect, but an entirely different
thing to treat people poorly. True love accepts the other person for who
they are, but it does not make excuses for mistreatment. If a woman
loves a man, she supports his endeavors, encourages him during times
of frustration, and highlights his accomplishments. In turn, he does the
same for her.

Love in a Nutshell

Love is nothing other than soul food, and this is the very reason people
are constantly in search of it. They want to feel the unconditional
nature of caring for another person, who in turn cares about them.
They want to share themselves with someone who truly desires to
know them more.

Love is a mother who would die for her child. It’s a child who mourns
the loss of a pet. It’s the heart-wrenching pain a person feels when a
friend is struggling. In short, it is giving fully of oneself in order to
make another’s life easier. It is pure, untainted adoration and


When you find it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Chapter 13: Cheaters tend to be

here’s nothing worse than realizing your boyfriend or husband
has had an affair.

Your heart feels as though it’s been stabbed. Images of him in bed with
another woman race through your mind, making your stomach turn.
You remember all of the sweet nothings he’s whispered into your ear,
and wonder if he’s done the same to her. The sorrow of being
unappreciated is quickly replaced by anger over his infidelity, only to
return to sorrow once again.

You wonder if there were signs you missed. Did his eyes ever wander?
What was that mysterious number on his cell phone the other day?
Maybe that girl who he said is just a friend is far more than that. You
spend hours – days – combing through potential evidence, driving
yourself crazy in the process.

Finding a good man isn’t easy. What’s even more difficult is finding
one who’s just as serious about commitment as you are. Right now,


thousands of faithful women are soaking their pillows with tears over
the discovery of their cheating boyfriends. The worst part is that many
of these women will pardon the crime and take these men back.

When he repeats his infidelity, they’re shocked and even more crushed.

This opens a floodgate of questions in the minds of the wronged

women. Why did I take him back? Why didn’t I see this coming? What
is it about her that he likes over me? What did I do wrong? If you’ll
notice, most of these thoughts place blame on the faithful, rather than
point the finger at the unfaithful.

In this chapter, we’ll attempt to uncover the mystery behind why men
cheat. Science and psychology play a large factor in unfaithfulness, so
read on for the crash course. We’ll also tackle the issue of trust, and
how it plays a large role in the prosperity of a healthy relationship.
Most importantly, I want to show you how to recover from infidelity in
order to thrive in both life and love.

Let’s get started.

Why do men cheat?

Before we get started, let me just say that men aren’t the only ones who
cheat. Women are also fully capable of being untrue, but their
motivations are very different. Women who cheat do so to make up for


a lack of intimacy and emotional stimulation in their full-on

relationship. Men – not so much.

To most men, cheating is an opportunity for sex…plain and simple. The

opportunity to sleep with a new woman is like the smell of a new car to
them; it’s fresh, novel, and different. Some men cheat out of fear
towards the level of commitment they’re experiencing with their
regular partners. In other words, they sleep around to maintain the
feeling of being in control. On the flipside, it’s not uncommon for a
middle-aged man to strike up an affair in order to gain a sense of his
lost youth.

Still, none of these reasons make infidelity seem forgivable, and it’s
not. Perhaps science can help explain further.

In a 2007 report on MSNBC, scientists looked at evolution as a

possible explanation for why men cheat. The report stated: “Biologists
believe men cheat by the Darwinian instinct to spread their genetic
seed to more mates (whereas women would want one mate to get
protection and support)…Psychologically speaking, men who cheat
are often the child of an adulterer. They are repeating behavior that


they know and looking to correct that feeling that no one ever loved
only them.”22

So (pre-historically speaking), men naturally fear the drowning out of

their DNA in the genetic pool, and as a result, they find it necessary to
fertilize wherever and whenever they want. Hmm, that still doesn’t
seem fair, does it? After all, the world’s population is more than
crammed, which was certainly not the case for our cavemen ancestors.
Times have changed, so why don’t these men get with the times?

Personally, I think all of that Darwin crap is just that…crap. It’s an

excuse, similar to when guys blame their pigheaded behavior on the
fact that they’re “just a guy.” That doesn’t make the behavior any less
unacceptable. The fact is that (to many guys) cheating is a rush, a high.
They want the sex, sure, but they especially want the thrill of getting
away with it. This begs to ask…

Are cheaters repeaters?

While I’m not speaking for all men, I would have to say that the answer
to this question is yes. For some men, cheating is like a drug, and once

"Do men cheat for the thrill? Or the sex?." May 15,
2007. (accessed April
24, 2009).


he’s gotten a taste of the narcotic in his system, he wants more. The
odds of a man cheating again rise even more after he’s repeatedly
forgiven for his crude actions. He wants his bread buttered on both
sides, and the fact that his girlfriend will permit his misbehavior is
even more enticing.

I’m going to take a second to contradict myself, though. There are cases
when a man is truly sorry for his infidelity, but that doesn’t help the
woman much, does it? How can she be certain that she can trust him
again? No amount of flowers or candy is powerful enough to replace
the trust that he’s thrown out the window. Is she better being safe than

According to Psychologist, Dr. Diana Kirschner, not all cheaters are

repeaters, but the evidence does support the notion. In her article Once
a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Five Signs to Help You Know, she cited
that among married couples, cheating is relatively common: About 22
percent of men and 13 percent of women cheat. According to recent
studies, even spouses who describe themselves as "happy" with their
marriage have affairs.23

“Of course there are players or sex addicts that will cheat and cheat and
cheat again,” Kirschner said. “These are the ones you truly have to

Diana Kirschner, Dr. “Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Five Signs
to Help You Know.”,-Always-a-Cheater?-Five-
Signs-to-Help-You-Know&id=1485348. (accessed April 24, 2009).


watch out for. How do you tell if you are dealing with a chronic

According to Kirschner, there are five major signs that a woman may
have a habitual cheater on her hands. Take a look at the following
signs, and see if you recognize any. From there, it’s up to you whether
or not to call the relationship off.

• He’s unapologetic: If his infidelity has been discovered, and

he doesn’t seem to be remorseful, odds are he’ll do it again.
• He maintains contact with his mistress: Those suspicious
phone calls or late-night “meetings” may not be all in your
head. If you suspect his lover is still around, she probably is.
• He’s less romantic with you: A cheater who’s truly sorry
will often grovel for your forgiveness, showering you with
affection. Anything less is a sign he’s not ready to change his
• Conversations cease: Much like he will become less
affectionate, a chronic cheater who’s unapologetic will often
close off entirely to his girlfriend.
• He refuses to make up for his mistakes: If he laughs off
your suggestions of romantic vacations or couple’s therapy, you
can be certain that he doesn’t take your relationship seriously.

Repeating cheaters are a lot like criminals…dumb. They think ten

seconds at a time, and don’t cover their tracks very well. Most of the


signs of a chronic cheater are obvious, such as lipstick on his shirt, or

panties that aren’t yours. Others are less obvious, but it can’t hurt to
keep your eye out for them.

Here are some not-so-obvious signs he may be fooling around:

• He works late…a lot.

• He has new hobbies or interests, and you’re not invited.
• He’s stingy with sex.
• He takes a lot of “business trips” that don’t involve you.
• You receive phone calls from strange women, or worse, they
hang up on you.
• His entire demeanor towards you is detached and distant.
• The credit card or phone bills have mysterious charges or
numbers on them.

My goal with giving you these signs is not to make you paranoid, but
rather, to educate you on how to protect yourself and your feelings.
There’s nothing worse than being played for a fool. If you suspect you
might be sharing your man with another woman, it never hurts to have
an advantage.

In contrast, a cheater may not be a repeater if he shows a sincere desire

to reconcile with you. Often, a man who is truly sorry for his behavior
will establish a newfound appreciation for being with you. He’ll go to
great lengths to spark romance, open the lines of communication, and


maybe even suggest couple’s counseling to further cement your


From there, it’s up to you to decide what will happen next.

Are you the problem?

Earlier, I mentioned that women tend to cheat for emotional

fulfillment that they don’t get from their regular partners. In some
occasions, men will do the same.

Believe it or not, men have feelings; they’ve just been taught to

suppress them. Ever since they were little boys, they’ve been lectured
that crying shows weakness, a lesson that they’ve carried with them
into adulthood. However, just because they don’t show sadness or
insecurity does not mean that those emotions aren’t brewing inside of
them. They are.

Men seek committed relationships for many of the same reasons

women do. They want that constant source of support that stems only
from someone who truly loves them. When this support is absent,
some men will go to extremes in order to find it. In other words, they
have affairs.

According M. Gary Neuman, family counselor and author of The Truth

about Cheating, most men cheat due to emotional dissatisfaction


within their relationships. A survey conducted by Neuman found that a

very small percentage (8 percent, to be exact) seek affairs for solely sex.
The rest of his sample felt unwanted, underappreciated, and
emotionally unsatisfied with their full-time partners, causing them to
seek acceptance in the arms of another woman.

“This feeling of under-appreciation and lack of thoughtfulness far

outweighed any other reason for infidelity,” Neuman said.24

While little can reestablish trust after infidelity, there are steps women
can take to inject emotional fulfillment into their relationships. By
creating a safe harbor for his feelings and needs beforehand, it’s
possible for a woman to keep her man from straying in the future. Here
are a few tips:

• Acknowledge his accomplishments. Even if he just takes

out the garbage, thank him for it.
• Compliment him. Women aren’t the only ones who enjoy
being told they’re beautiful.

Neuman, M. Gary. "Are You Pushing Him Into the Arms of Another
Woman?The Truth about Cheating (2008),
infidelity_statistics/#more-206. (accessed April 24, 2009).


• Encourage him. Take note of his talents and strong points

whenever he’s feeling frustrated or insecure.
• Pamper him. When he comes home from work, pop open a
cold beer for him, and give him some quiet time to unwind.
• Ask about his day. Just showing interest can mean the world
to him. If he isn’t much on words, don’t press the conversation.
The fact that you cared to ask speaks volumes.
• Pick your battles. Not everything requires a fight. Him
leaving a dish in the sink is not that big of a deal.
• Pay his way. Surprise him by footing the bill for dinner every
so often. Even better, buy tickets to the movie of his choice.
• Don’t forget your friends. It’s important for couples to
spend time away from one another, and that’s where friends
come in. Time apart in your own social circles not only allows
for male and female bonding, but it also gives partners a chance
to miss each other.
• Don’t snoop. Nothing screams “I don’t trust you” like
combing through his inbox and cell phone. If you’re that
suspicious of his activity, why are you with him in the first
• Kiss him. So many times, women leave the sexual intimacy up
to the guys. Instead, spark a passionate evening yourself by
spontaneously kissing him, or tell him you’re “in the mood.”
Show him just how desirable he is to you.


These actions are only to be taken in an effort to sustain a healthy

relationship. Like I’ve said before, if he’s already cheated on you, odds
are he’s going to do it again. Pampering him in spite of the fact will be
the same as rewarding him for having an affair. Instead, use these tips
to balance out the dynamics of your relationship before he strays, and
you’ll give him no reason to in the first place.


They say that no relationship can survive without it, but once a woman
has been cheated on, trust tends to go out the window. She either stays
with her unfaithful boyfriend, uncomfortable with is every move and
word, or she dumps him. Once free from the tainted relationship,
however, is it possible to trust again?

At the risk of repeating myself, men everywhere are paying for the sins
of cheating ex-boyfriends. A woman may find the most romantic,
faithful man on the planet, but if she’s been betrayed in the past, she’ll
inevitably suspect her new love to stab her in the back. The abuse of
trust is like a disease that spreads, eventually killing any chance a
woman may have at enjoying a healthy relationship.

Whether you’ve forgiven your cheating lover, or are trying to spark a

new romance, the following advice is intended to help you move on
from the past. Only by letting go of our demons can we stand a chance
at a future filled with love and happiness.


• Forgive: It’s impossible to forget, and I’m not expecting you to

do that. But forgiveness is powerful, in that it frees you to move
forward. If it wasn’t so effective, it would be easy to do.
• Find support. Betrayal is not meant to be endured alone, and
that’s what girlfriends are for. Besides your friends, seek
comfort in family members who truly care about you. There’s
no better medicine to cure hurt than love.
• Create an ultimatum. This tip only applies if you’ve forgiven
a cheater. Make it clear that it’s you or his mistress, but he can’t
have both. If you find even one outgoing message to her, he’s
out the door…period.
• Let it go. This also only applies if you’ve forgiven infidelity.
Once you’ve forgiven him and created an ultimatum, move on.
Don’t fuel your relationship with doubt, anger, and guilt trips.
If you want your romance with him to continue, you must allow
it to continue.

Final Thoughts

There’s no solid rule on how to deal with a cheater. Each relationship

has its unique dynamics, so it’s really up to the offended to decide how
to proceed. My hope with this chapter is simply to convince women
who are involved with repeat cheaters to stand up for themselves.
Learn the signs of unfaithful behavior, and don’t settle for it. Your time
and emotions are an investment into the relationship, but you need to
get some return on them as well.

Chapter 14: Learning to Trust

ithout trust, a relationship will never survive. Even if it
does, it won’t be worth either person’s time. Relationships
lacking a foundation of trust are fueled by hostility,
jealousy, bitterness, and heartache. To me, that sounds more like a
nightmare than a romance.

A woman who loves a bad boy has a skewed idea of what trust truly is.
Rather than trust him to never cheat on her, she trusts that she is the
one he spends most of his time with. Rather than trust him to never lay
a hand on her, she trusts her knowledge of how to behave around him
so as to prevent a violent outburst. When he does behave negatively
towards her, she trusts that he will apologize, only to repeat the cycle
all over again.

She trusts that things will never change.

On the contrary, healthy relationships are built upon the trust that
stems from appreciating the other person’s feelings. Both people know


the agony of infidelity, and wouldn’t dare place that burden upon their
partner’s shoulders. Physical and emotional abuse isn’t even an option,
and apologies are always heartfelt and sincere. Each values the time
and emotion contributed to the relationship, and they regard these two
factors as dearly as their own.

So what do you do when your trust has been abused? Is it possible to

let down your guard for another person? How do you get back up after
being repeatedly knocked down?

This chapter will aim to answer these questions.

For starters, you need to know that you’re not alone. Every day, women
and men are realizing the hard truths about relationships they only
thought were genuine. Hearts are being broken due to cheating, abuse,
or lackluster feelings, and the epidemic shows no signs of stopping.
Love truly is a battlefield, and as soldiers, we’re bound to get shot at
from time to time.

The important thing is that we get back up.

Back to Jackie

In Chapter 11, “Nice guys can be bad boys too,” you read about Jackie
and Jason. To recap, Jackie fell in love with Jason, a medical student at
the college she was attending. Everything about Jason was perfect in


Jackie’s eyes, but eventually, he began spending less time with her. It
wasn’t long before Jackie learned that the love of her life was cheating
on her with several other women.

She was crushed.

Jackie licked her wounds for about one year, convinced that she would
never find love again. Part of her wondered if there was something
wrong with her, and if so, was that the reason why Jason betrayed her?
Another side of her worried that if a guy as wonderful as Jason couldn’t
be faithful, could any guy?

“I was blinded by the idea that Jason was the best that I could do,”
Jackie said. “Maybe it was his looks, or the fact that our names were
alliterated. I was very drawn to how he was becoming a doctor, but no
matter how you slice it, I thought that the sun rose and set on him. It
never occurred to me that he could just be a jerk who wore scrubs.”

As an active member of her sorority, Jackie frequented local mixers on

campus. It was at one of these events that she met Reid, a member of a
nearby fraternity. He began pursuing her shortly after her breakup
with Jason, but the timing was off for Jackie.

“I just wasn’t ready to get involved with anyone else,” she said. “I didn’t
know if he was sincere, or if I could trust him. Reid was a nice guy and
all, but my heart just wasn’t into it.”


Fortunately, Reid’s was. Knowing good and well about Jackie’s

breakup, he displayed incredible patience, opting instead to develop a
friendship with her. Like a puppy dog, he came whenever she called,
and dropped his plans to be by her side. His friends thought he was
crazy, but he couldn’t care less.

“He was really kind of pathetic,” Jackie remembered. “Part of me felt

bad about getting this guy’s hopes up, but he didn’t seem to care.”

But you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, a fact that Jackie
realized one night during her senior year in college. Her roommate left
town for the weekend, and Jackie found herself alone in her dorm
room. Eerily, the entire campus seemed to be bare that night, and she
couldn’t stand the silence. As usual, she called up Reid for company, or
if anything, just to hear the sound of his voice.

He didn’t pick up.

“I was frantic, because he always picked up,” she said. “Part of me

wondered if he’d grown impatient with me, and then another side of
me imagined him out with other girls. I can still remember the sick
feeling in my stomach at just the thought of that. I missed him so

Jackie fought the urge to call him back an hour later. She reasoned
with herself that he was probably just out with the guys, a well-


deserved treat for all the time he devoted to her. She attempted to
watch some television, but failed. When he still hadn’t returned her
call, she moved on to the Internet, cleaning, and walking around
campus – anything to keep her from blowing up his cell phone. Three
hours later, she finally gave in.

She wasn’t fast enough.

No sooner had she reached for her phone did Reid call her instead. He
was just as she thought…out with some of his fraternity brothers.
Jackie grew familiar with Reid’s voice over the year, but it wasn’t until
that very moment that she realized just how beautiful it was. She was
head-over-heels in love with him.

“He said the bar he was in was really loud, and he didn’t hear his phone
ring, but by that point, I didn’t care what his excuse was,” Jackie said.
“I was just glad he called me back, and that’s when I realized, ‘Hey, this
guy really does care about me.’ I don’t know what came over me, but
when I finally got him on the phone, I just started rambling about my
feelings for him. I was completely unguarded.”

Jackie and Reid tied the knot in April 2009.


Take your time.

If you learn one thing from Jackie’s story, it’s that you should take your
time with relationships. Rather than rush into anything, Jackie
remained at a distance until she was comfortable with the idea of
dating again. Reid’s dedicated patience served as proof that his
intentions were genuine.

If a guy has eyes for only you, he will do whatever it takes to make you
his, even if that means being your friend. On the other hand, men with
a tendency to cheat work at a much faster pace. They don’t care about
your personality, passions, or life…they just want to get with you. If
you’re hesitant about them at all, they won’t wait for you to come

They’ll just move on to the next girl.

Jackie’s fairytale ending serves to prove another point, and that is to

say that friendship and trust go hand-in-hand. She and Reid took the
time to get to know one another, and as a result, they grew closer. They
learned what made each other tick, experienced ups and downs
together, and solidified their care and concern for each other. They
didn’t just become lovers…they became partners.


Is it good to not trust?

If you’ve been betrayed, odds are you’re not too quick to trust again.
This is totally natural, and to be expected.

What if I told you that not trusting can actually be a good thing, if done
in moderation? If you think about it, this makes sense. After all, what
sane person would make themselves completely vulnerable to a brand-
new situation or relationship? In every scenario, it’s always wise to take
precautionary measures.

Life is a journey, and the speed bumps along the way are merely
learning experiences. You may have experienced one of these “speed
bumps” in a previous relationship, when you learned that your love
was not being returned. Jackie experienced a similar problem when
she noticed Jason was not being as attentive to her. What resulted was
the realization that he had been cheating on her for months.

Whenever you hit one of these metaphorical speed bumps, the

important thing to do is not blame yourself. Recognize that there is
nothing wrong with you; you’re merely learning on the journey of life.
As long as you grow from these and all unfortunate incidents, you’ll
only become stronger as a person.

Jackie grew by learning the warning signs of a cheating boyfriend. She

grew by realizing the value that friendship plays in romance. She


learned the signs that a man truly cared for her, and as a result, her
ability to trust came back.

Learn from the past.

While it’s perfectly natural to hesitate to trust, if taken to extremes, it

can be unhealthy. How can you expect to find love again if you don’t let
your guard down? The fact is that there are thousands of men in the
world, and many would make for wonderful partners if given the

The first step towards finding a fulfilling relationship is to forgive the

past, but don’t forget it. Forgiving enables you to move on to bigger
and better things, while not forgetting arms you with the knowledge
you didn’t have before. Once again, life’s bumps are learning
experiences, and you can only grow from them.

Take note of any relationships that ended badly, and recognize what
went wrong where. Was your boyfriend growing distant? Did he abuse
you in any way? Were there mystery social outings that he frequented,
but you weren’t invited to attend? By remembering these and any other
signs of betrayal, you’ll know how to prevent the past from repeating

Most important, however, is to take charge of how you view yourself in

life and love. While it’s critical that you give of yourself in a


relationship, make sure that you’re taking as well. If the dynamics of a

relationship are unbalanced, it has no chance at survival. Learn to love
yourself first, and demand that same love from your partner.

Trust yourself first and everything else will fall into place.

Chapter 15: Becoming an
Independent Woman

hen I think of independent women, one person
immediately comes to mind…Christine.

Christine’s story has all the elements of triumph over tragedy. Her
relationship with her husband got off to a rocky start, as do most bad-
boy relationships. Before she knew it, she was nursing black eyes and a
newborn baby…my friend, Tara. Today, both women are grown and
freed from the bondage caused by the negative man in their lives.

They are independent.

I’ll go into greater detail with Christine’s story later in this chapter, but
first, I want to touch a little on what independence is. The Merriam-
Webster Dictionary defines the word as “not subject to control by
others,” but I think it’s much more than that. Being independent
means owning yourself, your likes and dislikes, your passions, your
goals, your time, and your emotions. It means not apologizing for any


of these personal attributes, and running with them as far as they will
take you.

Women in bad-boy relationships are (for lack of a better word) afraid

of independence. Whether or not they believe it, they’ve been taught by
the men in their lives to surrender their independence for the sake of
their relationships. They are afraid to speak their minds, dream their
dreams, and go wherever they choose to go. Years of suppression has
made the concept of true independence inconceivable to women who
love bad boys, which I feel to be the greatest crime of all.

If a woman is fortunate enough to escape her bad-boy relationship, she

finds herself lost and incapable of coping with her newfound freedom.
Like a soldier returned from a war, she has a hard time coping with life
off of the battle field. She’s grown used to taking orders and dodging
bullets, and knows no other way of living.

She needs to be taught how to relive her life.

What’s sad is that many women who’ve abandoned bad-boy

relationships go back to the very men who ruined their lives. To them,
these men mean security, albeit a negative type of security. These
women know what to say, do, and think when around their bad boys,
and they find a tainted form of solace in that. They’ve discovered
comfort where there is nothing but discomfort, and they know no other
means of existing.


If you’ve found yourself in this frame of mind, this chapter is for you.
By the end of your reading, my hope is that you’ll see the calm after the
storm, and embrace it. The most beautiful thing about life is the ability
to change – to carve out your own pathway. At the end of your life, I
want you to be able to look back and be proud of your
accomplishments and choices.

There is a better way of living, and it all starts with becoming an

independent woman.


Christine was 24 years old when she met Ken, a police officer and part-
time Karate instructor. Everything from his looks to his athleticism
attracted her to him, and it wasn’t long before they began dating. His
demeanor was exceptional, and Christine honestly thought he was the
most romantic, considerate man she’d ever met. She fell head-over-
heels in love with him.

One year into their relationship, Ken asked Christine to marry him.
Her parents (who were of strong Italian descent) felt their daughter
was too young to wed, and they doubted the engagement from the
start. There was something about Ken that rubbed them the wrong
way, but Christine dismissed them. She was in love, and felt ecstatic
over the shining diamond on her finger.


Unfortunately, things started to take a turn for the worst.

Ken’s true colors began to show with the crude comments he’d make
toward Christine. He called her every insult in the book, from fat to
ugly, and he ignored her tears that resulted from his behavior. While
Christine used to lead an active social life, Ken decided that she should
no longer visit with friends, and the time she spent with her family was
closely monitored by him.

It was during one of these family visits that Ken went too far. After yet
another crude remark toward Christine, her mother spoke up in her
defense, which would prove to be a mistake. Without any reservation,
Ken pushed Christine’s mom into the stove, severely bruising her arm
and backside. He screamed a warning to both women that they should
never underestimate him.

He was right.

Christine decided she’d had enough, and during the car ride home, she
told Ken she refused to marry him. His answer was no, but Christine
stood her ground. Her resolve was not powerful enough to control Ken.
While driving through a residential neighborhood, he pressed heavily
on the accelerator until the car hit a good 70 miles-per-hour. He was a
police officer; the rules didn’t apply to him. Thinking only of the safety
of herself and others, Christine conceded to go on with the wedding.


Two months after they married, Christine became pregnant. In her

heart, she hoped that the pregnancy would be the answer to her
troubled marriage, and in some ways, it was. Ken was still verbally
abusive, but for the sake of the unborn child, he held off on his
occasional beatings. That didn’t change the fact that, in his mind, he
owned her, and everything he said and did portrayed this attitude.

Christine was eight months pregnant the day she came home early
from work. To her surprise, Ken’s patrol car was in the driveway, and
in the bedroom, he was found sleeping with another woman. Emotions
of anger, jealousy, and disgust consumed Christine as she screamed at
Ken and his mistress. How could he do this to her, the woman who was
carrying his child? After gathering herself, she told him to leave and
take the mattress with him.

She could never sleep on that thing again.

With the strength of family and friends to rely on, Christine raised a
healthy baby girl all on her own. She dated from time to time, but her
life’s purpose had changed. She had another human being to take care
of, and she took on the role of a single mother with grace and ease. In
her mind, she didn’t need anyone else to bring up her child. Her love
was enough.

Her daughter, Tara, grew up witnessing the prototype of an

independent woman. As a little girl, she’d watch her mother cut the


grass in the summer’s heat. When finished, Christine came in to fix

dinner before lovingly kissing her daughter goodnight. There was no
need for a man in their household, and the concept of a third party
never even occurred to Tara. Christine took care of it all: cooking,
cleaning, fixing, building, and providing.

Her best asset, loving, was the fuel for it all.

Tara never heard from her father, and it never fazed her either. Today,
both she and Christine are the best of friends, their bond sealed by the
partnership of growing and learning together. Like her mother, Tara is
single and independent, having learned from her mother’s experience
about what love truly is. It’s because of her mother’s example that Tara
is complete without a man in her life, and until she finds one who
respects and appreciates her, she’ll be fine on her own.

Christine got her happy ending after all.

So you’re single. Now what?

Being on your own may be difficult if you’re someone who’s always

been in a relationship. If you’re not used to watching television alone at
night, you may find the change hard to adjust to. Let me assure you
that it gets easier.


The following are some tips to make your journey to independence

easier, if not thoroughly enjoyable. By having patience with the
process, you’ll soon discover that being on your own has many
benefits, the strongest being self discovery. Within time, you’ll have
learned a great deal about yourself, your passions, and your goals in
life to make for meaningful relationships in the future.

Let’s get started.

• Accentuate the positive.

Rather than focus on how strange it is being on your own, focus on the
good things. This is especially important if you’ve just left a bad-boy
relationship. Isn’t it nice not having to walk on eggshells constantly?
What about your self esteem? Odds are it’s much stronger without the
constant criticism. Those knots in your stomach have loosened as a
result of not worrying what (or who) your bad boy is doing. The future
is yours for the taking.

It’s only natural to want love in your life, but just remember this:
There’s a huge difference between being in love with someone, and
being in love with their potential. Women who claim to love bad boys
are only drawn to what these men can be, not who they really are. Save
your time and feelings for a man who will truly appreciate them.


• Fulfill your own dreams.

There’s a vast world out there, so don’t wait to find someone to share it
with. Experience it yourself! If you’re constantly placing your sights on
finding love or marriage, you’re going to miss a lot of good stuff along
the journey.

If you’ve always dreamed of owning a home, start saving your money

and do it. Don’t assume that you can’t until you’ve got someone to
share it with. If you want to go to school or change careers, that’s your
choice, and only yours. We’re only given so much time on this planet,
so make the most of it.

• Treat yourself.

There are other fulfilling things in life besides being in a relationship.

Besides, all work and no play equal zero fun. Take the time to smell the
roses, and pamper yourself. Don’t deny yourself the pleasures of life,
because you deserve them.

Take that trip you’ve always dreamed of. Set up a “girl’s night out,” and
hit up that fancy restaurant you’ve been eying. Loosen up with a visit to
your local spa. Do all of the things that were only thoughts while in
your bad-boy relationship. The beauty of being independent is doing
whatever it is you want.


• Rely on your social circle.

Women in bad-boy relationships are often isolated from the people

and things they love, which is just another form of abuse. The beauty of
one’s social circle is that the love is unconditional. Regardless of being
neglected, they will always welcome you back with open arms. Run to

Being with those who love you is the ultimate cure for loneliness, so
call a friend and set up some plans! Your network is there for one
reason, and that’s because they want to be. In you, they see a
wonderful person who is deserving of affection and respect, so soak up
as much as you can. Believe it or not, it’s possible to find love in places
other than a monogamous relationship.

Final Thoughts

Being independent is not a punishment…it’s a right. Each individual is

placed on this planet with different personalities, talents, and
aspirations, and nobody has the right to hinder them. Can you imagine
a world where people were not able to lead their own lives? There
would be a shortage of inspiration, growth, and overall happiness.

I understand that going out on your own is scary, but in the end, you’ll
wonder why you waited so long. What would’ve become of Christine
and her daughter had she not put her foot down? Odds are she and


Tara would be broken women, rather than the strong minds and souls
they’ve evolved into.

A man who genuinely loves you will want you to be happy and free. If
he’s secure in his own independence, he won’t feel it necessary to hold
on so tightly to you. He’ll trust that your love is genuine, and he’ll
return it willingly. Until you find a man who treats you the way you
deserve, you’ll do better on your own.

Chapter 16: Falling in Love with

et’s be realistic…no woman would choose to be with a bad boy.
There’s nothing remotely attractive about laziness, vulgarity,
hostility, and the other negative qualities attributed to bad
boys. So why are so many women stuck in these doomed relationships?

Would it be safer to say that women want their love returned? Rather
than being physically or verbally abused, wouldn’t women prefer to be
cuddled and adored? A man who works hard, has values, and puts his
all into a relationship sounds much better than one who doesn’t. What,
then, is the appeal of a bad boy?

As a society, we’re drawn to the underdog; we root for him. Rags-to-

riches stories intoxicate the mind, and the concept of someone
overcoming the odds is more than appealing. Like a chunk of coal
turned into a diamond, people can’t resist finding something beautiful
in the ugliest of places.

This is the only realm where a woman can submit to a bad boy.


A woman isn’t in love with the abuse, insults, or infidelity that is

characteristic of bad boys. She’s in love with a bad boy’s potential. She
dreams of the man he could be, not the man he really is. She sees the
dignity displayed in good boyfriends, and in her mind, she imagines
her bad boy adopting this same behavior. Until he does, she waits,
destroying her happiness in the process.

What attracts women to bad boys?

It takes years of knowing a person before you see their true colors.

When a relationship first starts, people tend to be on their best

behavior. In the case of a bad boy, he’s often charming, and he may
even display perfect manners. It doesn’t hurt if he’s good looking
either, but beauty truly is only skin deep.

Women who fall for bad boys are often the victims of false advertising.
What they see is often very different from what they actually get. Bad
boys are, if anything, excellent schemers. They know what they want,
and nothing will stand in their way. With that said, if he has to put on a
façade in order to attract a woman, a bad boy will do it.

He’ll just wait until she’s in his grip before revealing his true character.

From this point, the decision to stay or leave depends solely on the
woman’s inner strength. A confident, secure woman won’t waste any


time kicking a bad boy to the curb. Women lacking this inner
foundation, however, tend to stick around. Rather than accept the
situation for what it really is, they find solace in their imaginations,
dreaming of the day their abusive men change.

They never do.

The Impact on Self-Esteem

When a woman falls in love with a man’s potential, she’s setting herself
up for disappointment. This is the equivalent to expecting a lion to turn
into a lamb…it’s just not going to happen. If you want a lamb, go out
and get one. Leave the lion alone.

What is the impact on a woman when her bad boy doesn’t live up to his
potential? In a nutshell, her self-esteem takes a beating. She wonders if
she’s the reason why he’s not changing. The longer she harps on this
thought, the weaker her self-worth becomes. In an effort to better the
situation, she rakes her mind for other avenues of making
circumstances better. When none of them work, she becomes even
more frustrated.

The relationship suffers, as was the case with Courtney.


Courtney and Ryan

From an early age, Courtney dreamed of falling in love and starting a

family. She had it all planned out: She would finish college by the age
of 22, and by the time she was 24, she would get married. One year
later, she would have her first child, and the Tupperware parties would

Things didn’t go exactly as planned.

By the time Courtney was 25, she wasn’t even in a relationship, let
alone pregnant. While most girls would consider this a blessing,
Courtney was seriously upset. Her urgency to rush into domestic life
led her to date any and every guy who asked her out. She set her
standards low for the sake of being in a relationship.

When Courtney was 27, she met Ryan. He was charming at first, and
his role as a popular DJ in town was more than appealing. Courtney
reveled in being on his arm at the local parties, raves, and dance clubs
he worked at, and she loved nothing more than watching him in action.
In her heart, she felt she’d found Mr. Right.

Six months into their relationship, Courtney moved in with Ryan. She
was one step closer to becoming the wife she’d always dreamed of
being, but unfortunately, Ryan had different plans. Marriage was the


last thing on his mind, and instead, he devoted most of his energy to

The seed of frustration was planted within Courtney.

When Ryan wasn’t working the clubs, he held down odd jobs delivering
pizzas or fixing houses. If he had a resume, it would’ve been stuffed
with different employers, as Ryan generally didn’t stay longer than one
month at a job. His flakiness got under Courtney’s skin.

How could Ryan be a good example for children with such a horrible
work ethic? How could he provide for their family? Why was he not as
serious about marriage as she was? Would he ever change? Courtney
waited two years to find this out, only to be disappointed repeatedly.

One day, she snapped. While leaving the house for work, Courtney
kissed Ryan goodbye and asked him to clean the bathroom. He
mumbled his response, and went back to sleep. When Courtney
returned home, she found Ryan lounging around on the couch. He was
still dressed in his pajamas, but that wasn’t the worst part.

Courtney went to the bathroom, only to find it in worse shape than it

was in that morning. Ryan could not even manage a tiny chore such as
cleaning, much less hold down a steady job. Courtney had tolerated a
lot during her relationship with Ryan, but for some reason, the
bathroom incident sent her over the top.


She didn’t even tell him she was leaving…she just started packing.
When he finally got up to see what she was doing, he got an earful. As
she left for her mother’s house, Courtney told Ryan that it was over. He
was never going to change, and she was a fool for thinking otherwise.

It was just too bad she wasted two years to figure that out.

Know what you want.

People only change if they want to, and nothing you say or do will
make this truth any different. With that said, expecting a bad boy to
suddenly evolve into Prince Charming is a huge mistake. You’re only
fooling yourself, and hurting yourself in the process.

The only way to correct this mistake is to know what you want in a man
before starting a relationship with him. Have some standards! Don’t be
like Courtney, settling for just anyone. Consider your time and
emotions as valuable, and don’t waste them on someone who doesn’t
deserve them.

Women, by their very nature, are nurturers. They love to help, comfort,
and support other people, which are all beautiful qualities. The
problem is that sometimes, they waste these qualities on people who
never asked for them. Bad boys don’t want to become better men…they
just don’t care. A woman’s loving nature would be better used on a
man who’s willing to receive it.


As an exercise, I want you to write down who your ideal man is. Be
picky when you do this; don’t skimp on qualities. Remember that
you’re the prize, and any man lucky enough to have you needs to
deserve you.

To be honest, I’ve actually done this exercise myself. While I can’t tell
you what you should want in a man, I can share with you my list of
qualities I look for in a woman. Here’s some of it:

• Intelligence
• Kindness
• Sense of humor
• Strong work ethic
• Self respect
• Low drama
• Humility
• Love of family and friends
• High achievement level
• Manners

Notice that looks aren’t on this list, and the reason is simple…looks are
subjective. The most beautiful woman in the world can have the ugliest
personality, thereby making her completely unappealing. In contrast, a
plain-looking woman can be wonderful on the inside, and as a result,
she’ll be gorgeous. You have to look on the person’s inside first. From
there, determine whether or not they’re a suitable match for you.


Final Thoughts

Stop dreaming about your ideal man, and go get him. Don’t adopt a
bad boy expecting him to evolve into the perfect man, because you’re
only wasting your time. Take a good, long look at your relationship,
and determine if you’re in love with who your boyfriend really is, or
just his potential. Deciphering between the two can shed a brand-new
light on why you’re sticking around.

Chapter 17: Rebuild your

y now, you’ve read about bad-boy behavior. You’ve learned
that abuse comes in many forms, including emotional neglect.
Through your reading, you now realize that nice guys can be
bad boys too, and in some instances, it’s just better to be single.

Yet even with all of this information, are you really convinced of that?

Women who are naturally drawn to bad boys often need guidance for
rebuilding their lives. Being single doesn’t come easy to them, and in
many cases, they’d much rather be tied to a bad boy than be on their
own. Much of their difficulty stems from within, and requires
professional help through counseling. There are, however, certain steps
you can take today to start down the right path.

Let go of the past.

Before delving into the topic at hand, you must understand that there
is nothing wrong with you. Every person is unique, evolving from


different circumstances both in their youth and adulthood. In spite of

your past, you must know that it’s not your fault if you were abused.
The only person who can be blamed for such cruel treatment is the
abuser, the bad boy. Letting go of the past is the first step towards
moving forward into a bright future.

In fact, the only problem you could possibly be faulted for is remaining
in such a negative situation. If pleas from family and friends go ignored
on your part, you have no one to blame but yourself. There is no shame
in making mistakes; the only real shame is not learning and growing
from them.

I want you to consider your difficult circumstances as blessings. That’s

right – I said blessings. Every adverse situation we go through in life
molds and strengthens us, giving us ample opportunity to evolve as
human beings. If you think about it, you’ve got an edge over women
who’ve never been involved in bad-boy relationships. You’ve made it
through the most severe of storms, and while the memory may be
tough, the experience is invaluable.

Once you’ve decided that you want a better life for yourself, it’s up to
you to make it happen. Fortunately, you won’t be alone in this
endeavor. Most everyone has a network of loved ones to rely on, and of
course, you can’t forget the strongest of friendships…yourself. Armed
with the knowledge and experience of bad-boy relationships, it’s time
for you to take charge of your circumstances.


It’s time to start rebuilding your life.

You are your environment.

People aren’t just thrown into unfortunate circumstances with no

escape route. You were not mistreated by the man in your life because
you deserved it, or because you’re just unlucky in love. Metaphorically-
speaking, a person who falls into a well doesn’t deserve to be there, and
if they’re smart, they’ll scream for help and climb until they make their
way out. They don’t simply throw in the towel, assuming that they
belong there.

I want you to consider your unfortunate circumstances as you being

trapped in a well. It’s dark, you’re beat up from the fall, and you’re
extremely lonely. Rather than give up, it’s paramount that you do
whatever necessary to get out of your dark situation. You have to see
the light again, and the only way you’re going to is by climbing out.

You have to change your environment.

Everything that happens to us in life is a result of our choices. If we

surround ourselves with negativity, we will reap negative
consequences. In contrast, the more positive choices we make the more
positive our lifestyles will be. No one would choose to fall into a well,
but if the person were wise, they’d realize the darkness engulfing them,
and they’d take the necessary steps to emerge from it.


Similarly, you must take charge of your life. You are behind the driver’s
wheel, and you are the one directing its path. But what does it mean to
“take charge of your life?” There’s more to it than you might think.

Consider the crowd you hang around with. What do they do for fun?
Where do they spend most of their time? Are they goal driven, or do
they waste their time away? Do drugs and alcohol occupy most of their
time? What about the clothes they wear? Are they dressed respectably,
or do they relish in promiscuity?

These questions may all seem trivial to you, but let me assure
you…they’re not. There’s an old saying that insists “birds of a feather
flock together,” and this is very true. We are our environments, and the
people we spend most of our time with have a direct (and powerful)
impact on how we live our lives. With that said, you must take into
account the company you keep, and if you feel they’re a negative
influence in your life, get rid of those relationships.

But how do you know (for a fact) that these relationships are bad for
you? The answer can be found within yourself.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: When problems arise in your
life, the people who stand by your side and help you are true friends.
Everyone else can be discarded. Another great indicator of a
relationship’s positivity is how it makes you feel. Do you constantly
doubt yourself when around these people? Is your stomach in knots, or


are you completely at ease? Do you feel you can be yourself around
them, or is it necessary for you to meet their expectations in order to

Severing ties may sound difficult, but it’s one of the most significant
changes you can make in your life. Think of your relationships as a
garden, and the weeds are the bad influences in your life. The more you
allow the weeds to grow, the more they strangle the beautiful flowers.
In contrast, by removing the weeds, you’re giving your garden ample
room to grow and bloom.

You’re changing the environment of your garden.

Accentuate the positive.

By removing the people who are bad for us, we in turn remove all the
negative things that accompanied those relationships. Places we
frequented, or activities we used to participate in become no more. And
while this is all good, it’s unfair to say that the change will be easy.

In the wild, animals typically travel in packs. They survive in the group
setting, and depend on the other animals for companionship,
protection, food, and all other life needs. An animal without a pack is
as good as dead.


While humans tend to be more civilized than the animal kingdom, we

also work in packs. We thrive in belonging to a group, and our desire
for companionship is strong. With that said, it’s not as easy as it may
sound to sever ties with people we’ve known for so long, no matter how
bad these people are for us.

I’m not asking you to give up your “pack.” Instead, I’m asking you to
change it. Replace those negative relationships with brand-new
ones…positive ones. Very often, the first place we can turn to for love
and support is our family.

You may also find that some of your friends are true-blue, and you
can’t live without them. This is fine, so long as these friends do not
associate with the negative influences you’ve left behind. You must
remove each and every character that was bad for you, and you must
do so completely. You’re either moving on with your life, or you’re not.

There is no in between.

But where else can you find positive people to share company with?
Volunteering your time to a charity is good, in that you’re giving of
yourself, as well as meeting likeminded individuals. Another good
venue for finding positive influences is church. Religious groups
everywhere are filled with ministries that aid everyone from at-risk
teens to the elderly, and the friendships that evolve from such work can


last a lifetime. You may also want to turn to your family to introduce
you to new and worthwhile relationships.

Psychologists everywhere attest to the fact that you cannot break one
habit without replacing it with another. This is no less true when it
comes to the company we keep. If you’re going to break your habit of
negative relationships, you must replace it with positive relationships.
Once you do, you’ll be amazed at the peace and tranquility that
consumes your mind, body, and soul. No longer will you feel the need
to be anyone other than yourself.

Before you know it, those old relationships will only be a memory.

What about love?

By now, you may be wondering how changing the company you keep
can help you in terms of love. First, I want to remind you that in order
to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, you must love yourself. It’s
paramount that you be happy as a single person before sharing
yourself with another. If you’re still desperate to be in a relationship,
look deep within, and ask yourself why it’s so important to you.

If you want to find a good, decent man, the only place to look is via
good and decent people. It’s just that simple. Think about it: If you
want to go fishing, you’re not going to hunt in the middle of a forest,


are you? Of course you’re not. You’re going to go where the fish are;
you’re going to hit up the water!

The search for true love is just another reason for changing the
company we keep. If you continue to surround yourself with the same,
worthless nobodies, you’re going to have nothing but worthless
nobodies to choose from. If, on the other hand, you travel in positive
company, you’re odds of finding a good man increase substantially.

Be prepared, however, because securing a good man’s heart is slightly

more difficult than getting with a bad boy. Remember that bad boys
aren’t interested in lasting relationships, and as such, they tend to take
any woman who’s willing to be mistreated. In contrast, good men have
standards; they want to find love just as much as you do. As a result,
they might move slower than the bad men you’re used to.

It is for this reason that you must love yourself first. I know I’m
repeating myself, but I just can’t stress this point enough. It’s only
when you’re comfortable in your own skin that you’ll be able to handle
the possibilities of a good and healthy relationship. Only once you
know your own worth will you be able to present yourself to someone
who truly deserves you.

Rebuilding your relationships takes time and patience, but these are
also the reasons for why it’s so important. Don’t live your life solely for
the goal of finding a new romance. Instead, enjoy the ride, smell the


roses, and take advantage of all that you missed out while in your bad-
boy relationship.

When you’re not looking, love will find you.

Chapter 18: All about Abuse

t never ceases to amaze me how little people know about abuse.

They either turn a blind eye to it, or receive mounds of worthless

information that means nothing. Perhaps you’ve heard some of this
garbage yourself, and are confused as to the meaning. The myths and
theories surrounding abuse (both verbal and physical) are like a plague
to our society.

This needs to be fixed.

If you or someone you know is involved with an abuser, then it’s safe to
say that no one can teach you about abuse. You know about it first-
hand. My hope is that you’ll see the forest for the trees, and rise above
your situation. Once you do, maybe you can go out into the world and
teach it the truth about violence towards women.

In this chapter, I want to address some of the misconceptions about

abuse. Perhaps you’ve been fed some of this information yourself, but
know that it’s false. The simple fact is that abuse in any form is wrong,


and it’s not the way life should be spent. You need to remove it from
your existence, no matter what anybody says.

Let’s begin by addressing some of the most common myths about

domestic violence. These statements are so outrageous, that I can’t
believe anybody even thought them up. Not only are they completely
inaccurate, but they’re enough to make me want to scream out loud.

Misguided Myths about Domestic Violence

• Domestic violence is a “poor person’s” problem.

It’s commonly accepted that people of lower economic status

are the only victims of domestic violence, but this just isn’t true.

People from all walks of life are victims and abusers. Domestic
violence isn’t picky when it comes to choosing its victims. It
doesn’t matter if your white or black, rich or poor…everyone
can be subjected to it. To think otherwise is just ignorant.

Believe it or not, people in high-level, power positions are

extremely capable of abuse. If a woman claims she’s been
abused by her powerful man, he’s got name recognition and
respect from the community to back him up. What’s more is the
fact that he knows other people in powerful positions, and can
use that as a threat against her speaking out.


In a nutshell, domestic violence is evident in all demographics.

It is not just a “poor person’s” problem.

• Abuse is the result of drug abuse, stress, or mental


This is just another lame attempt at excusing crude behavior.

While it’s true that many abusers drink, do drugs, or struggle
with mental illness, these problems are not the catalyst for
domestic abuse. Each person is aware of his or her problems,
and they have the power to fix them. Passing the blame onto
external circumstances is just a cop out.

Very often, victims of domestic violence feed into these excuses.

They believe that because their partners have anger-
management issues, or struggle with alcoholism, that they must
stick around. In the victim’s mind, their abuser needs them,
and love will conquer all. Unfortunately, that love never gets

And sometimes, it kills.

• Domestic violence doesn’t affect other people

If you think abuse is a problem exclusive to you and your mate,

you’re wrong.


About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually

abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.25
What this means is that for every three women you pass on the
street, at least one of them has been the victim of abuse. Do you
think that problem isolates itself with her alone?

It doesn’t.

That woman has a family. She has parents, siblings, friends,

and probably children. Her pain is shared with everyone who
loves her, and her problem eventually affects their lives as well.
Just because the abuse takes place behind four walls does not
mean it doesn’t spread. It does.

• The women could leave if they wanted to.

Many women in abusive relationships stick around, but their

reasons vary. One thing you can be certain of is that they don’t
enjoy being beaten or demeaned.

As stated above, it’s not uncommon for women to stick around

under the myth of love. They feel that if they stand by their
men, the situation will eventually better itself. It often takes
getting knocked down several times before they see the light.

Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman's Lifespan:
the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women's Health, 1999


The sad reality is that women in abusive situations are afraid.

They’ve been backed into a corner, so to speak, with no hope
of getting out. Somehow, they fell into the grip of an animal,
and he refuses to let her go. It’s not uncommon for abusive
men to threaten a woman into staying. She does so, if not for
her own sake, then for the sake of her children.

Without the proper resources for escaping, a woman could very

well die trying.26

• Maybe she deserved it.

Doesn’t this one just make you want to scream?

It is never, under any circumstance, okay to abuse another

person. People disagree and argue, yes, but we’re civilized
grown-ups. We should know a better method of settling our

A man who hits a woman isn’t a man whatsoever. He’s a

coward. It’s no secret that men are physically stronger than
females, so where’s the challenge? It’s not a fair fight, and
what’s more is the fact that it’s just cruel.

United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey,


God did not put you on this planet to be treated poorly. He put
you here because you’re a good person with talent, personality,
and an ability to love others. You’re needed by so many people
other than your bad boy. Look around and see all of the people
who love you.

They don’t think you deserve to be hit.

The victim can be who you least expect.

As you just read, victims come from all walks of life. Every race, age,
economic class, and sex can be subjected to abuse. You probably know
this fact very well, but for whatever reason, you deny the fact that
you’re abused. Believe it or not, you’re not alone.

People of color may have a sincere fear of prejudice, preventing them

from seeking help. It sounds crazy in today’s society, which is much
more integrated than fifty years ago, but it’s true. Some people of color
are still plagued by the fear of racial tension, and this only makes their
fear of seeking help that more real. But ask yourself what’s scarier:
Living in constant fear of that next beating, or taking a risk and getting
the help you deserve?

Lesbian or gay couples are not excluded from abuse either. Similar to
people of color, people of homosexual orientation also fear prejudice
from the public. In turn, this affects their ability to seek help. If this


sounds like you, I want you to understand that abuse is abuse, no

matter how you slice it. What’s more is that there is help…it’s just
waiting for you to seek it out.

While this book has focused entirely on female victims of abuse, it is

not farfetched for men to be on the receiving end. For whatever reason,
these men stay with their volatile women, never reaching out for the
aid they need and deserve. Much of what prevents them is shame.
They’re embarrassed that a woman controls their lives, and they don’t
want others to look down on them. Trust me, they won’t.

Other situations of abuse are much more complex than mere

embarrassment. Maybe you’re an illegal immigrant afraid of
deportation. Or perhaps you belong to a specific religion that promotes
male domination, and you’re afraid of going against your sect. I assure
you that there is still help! The resources provided at the back of this
book all aim for one thing and one thing only…to end abuse.

What about teenagers?

It’s one thing to run from a domestic abuser, but what if you were
forced to see that same person every day? This is the situation that a lot
of teens find themselves in. Even if they break off a relationship with
an abusive partner, there is no hiding. Each day, they’re forced to walk
to same school halls with the very person who wants to hurt them.


If it seems outrageous that a teenager could be abusive, let me assure

you that it’s not. The seed of abuse is often planted early in a child, and
once they hit their teen years, it ferments. They’re trying abuse out for
size, so to speak, and anyone unfortunate to become involved with
them is at risk.

For starters, there are several warning signs you should look out for in
a boyfriend or girlfriend that may indicate abusive tendencies. These
include, but are not limited to:

• Extreme and unnecessary jealousy

• A refusal to end the relationship
• An obsession with hurting you, verbally or physically
• Bragging about treating others badly
• Constant insults to you and others
• Abuse of drugs or alcohol
• A history of ruined relationships, both romantic and platonic.

If you notice any combination of these in your boyfriend or girlfriend,

the chances are good that you’ve got an abuser on your hands. Keep
your eyes open early on, and steer clear of the person before things get
out of hand. You could be saving yourself a world of trouble just by
thinking into things.

But what do you do if you’ve already gotten involved? Just like anyone
else in an abusive relationship, you should seek help. Just because


you’re forced to see the individual every day at school does not mean
you’re doomed. Go to your school counselor; that’s what they’re there
for. Tell your family and friends, and watch as they rally around you.
There’s strength in numbers, and love is the most powerful weapon of

What if I have a stalker?

Just because you got away from your abusive partner does not mean
they won’t hunt you down. It’s scary, I know, but it’s just a fact of life.
Their obsession is not only with you…it’s with regaining their control
over you, and it’s not right.

Stalking is a severe form of harassment that affects every aspect of your

life. Contrary to popular belief, stalking is not limited to some
deranged maniac standing outside of your house. Any time you receive
a phone call or gift that is unwanted from that person, they are
invading your privacy. In some instances, the situation spreads to
people near you, and family and friends also become the victims of
your stalker.

This is a crime.

The first thing you should do if you have a stalker is call the police.
They will instate a Personal Protection Order (more commonly known
as a Restraining Order) on the person. But be prepared, because many


stalkers are too obsessed to abide by these restrictions. The fact

remains that if they come anywhere near you, they’ll face serious
criminal charges.

You can also take charge yourself. Make a case by noting down every
noticeable move by your stalker, and present it to the police. By
recording each stalking incident by date, time, and offense, you’ll have
a lot working for you.

The following are some steps you can take:

• Call the police every time the stalker contacts you, either
directly or indirectly (i.e. with phone calls or gifts).
• Buy a Steno notepad, and carry it with you always to record the
date and time of each stalking.
• Don’t erase phone message from the stalker, and share them
with police.
• Don’t throw out any cards, letters, or presents from the stalker.
• Note every detail about the stalker: height, hair color, car make
and model, etc.

The Types of Abuse (Revisited)

Abuse is multifaceted; it comes in all shapes and forms. Very often, a

physical abuser will also limit his victim’s monetary and social needs.


By utilizing different forms of abuse, the abuser sinks his heels deeper
into the victim. They gain the ultimate control of another person’s life.

At the risk of repeating myself, abuse is never an accident. The abuser

knows good and well what he’s doing, and he plans each and every step
towards additional control. There is no love involved…only an
insatiable desire to gain and hold power over the life of another

Take a look at these common (and often overlooked) methods of abuse

and control. I wouldn’t be surprised if you recognized some of these in
your own bad-boy relationship.

• Threats

This is often what makes it so hard for women to leave abusive

relationships. Threats go beyond making a woman fear for her life,
however. It’s not uncommon for abusers to use guilt as a means of

Has your bad boy ever threatened to leave you? Maybe he’s gone so far
as to threaten to commit suicide if you don’t say or do something he
wants. The situation gets worse when two people share a dark secret
together, such as drug use or infidelity. These similarities give an
abuser ammunition for further threats, as he’ll often claim to go to
authorities if he doesn’t get his way.


• Intimidation

He looks like he wants to kill you, and you’re seriously afraid he will.
To add fuel to his fire, he throws objects, punches the walls, and
screams at the top of his lungs. You are powerless to stop him.

This form of abuse is a lot like a grown-up temper tantrum. The abuser
wants to get his way with you, and he’ll raise hell to do so. As a result,
you’re constantly walking on egg shells, never feeling completely at

• Emotional Putdowns

If you’ve been with an emotional abuser for a while, you probably think
you’re fat, stupid, ugly, worthless, and a slew of other negative things.
You’re not. Emotional abuse is one of the most common methods of
cruelty, so don’t think you’re alone.

By using verbal insults, an abuser gains control over his victim. He

instills within her a need to please him, to gain his approval. What she
doesn’t realize is that if he truly loved her, he wouldn’t put her through
such torment. She’s wonderful just as she is.


• Isolation

Only when an abuser has limited his victim’s world to him and him
alone does he have complete control. This means no friends and
family, not even a phone call. His victim must be completely dependent
upon him for all needs, including socialization.

Even if a victim is allowed to see friends and family, it comes at a cost.

She has to let her abuser know where she’s going, who’s going to be
there, and when she’ll be back. If she’s even one minute late, there’ll be
hell to pay. In fact, if he calls her while she’s out and demands she
return home, she better. The control is unstoppable.

• Making Light of Things

The victim may know good and well that she’s in a bad situation, but
her abuser will downplay her concerns. He won’t apologize when he
hits her, or he may even convince her that she deserved it.

Shifting responsibility for the abuse on the victim is sick and twisted,
but unfortunately, it’s all too common. Maybe you’ve become
convinced that your actions earned you that black eye, or if you just
watched what you said, you wouldn’t have gotten into that horrible
fight. Let me repeat myself: Abuse is never acceptable. A real man
would know that.


• Using Children

Abuse gets really ugly when children are involved. It’s not uncommon
for an abuser to use children as pawns for getting what he wants. He
could threaten to beat them if the victim doesn’t do as he says, or he
could threaten to steal them from her. It’s an unfair and cruel reality.

An abused victim with children would do well to get them out of the
situation as fast as possible. Every person deserves a happy childhood
– that period in life when there were no responsibilities and plenty of
good times. As a mother (or father), you should do whatever you can to
ensure your children are safe and at peace.

• Chauvinism

He’s the man, and as such, you do what he says. Women who are
subjected to chauvinism are often treated like servants. They take care
of the cooking, cleaning, and children, while the abuser sits around as
“king of the castle.”

Sex is also commonly abused by chauvinists. A woman’s body is not

her own, but instead, it belongs to her abusive man. If he wants sex,
he’s going to get it, and the fact that she’s not in the mood isn’t even
important. This type of abuse can have a serious emotional impact a
woman’s sense of esteem.


• Monetary Privileges

An abuser can further stake his claim on a victim by controlling her

money. Maybe he doesn’t allow her to get a job, or he limits her to an
allowance. He could even take her money without asking for it, or
spend the family income on something lavish that he feels he deserves.
It’s also not uncommon for an abuser to keep income a secret from his

The idea behind this type of abuse is the same as all the others…to
establish control. He wants his victim to be dependent upon him for
any and all of her life needs, including her financial needs. He will
stoop to any means in order to make himself the sole provider of
everything in her life, including her happiness.

Chapter 19: Real Life Stories

othing I’ve said in this book is more powerful than the words
of actual women who’ve been there, done that. When you’re
stuck in a bad-boy relationship, it’s very difficult to see
things objectively, as the following women will tell you. Very often, the
persistent love of people who care for you is necessary to show you the
light, and it never hurts to learn from the mistakes of others.

From physical beatings to dead beats, these stories portray the

complexity of bad-boy relationships in all forms. Some of these tales
may sound familiar to you, and that’s because they are. Abuse isn’t as
rare as you may think, and it generally paints the same portrait, no
matter who is involved. If anything, it helps to know that you’re not
alone in your situation.

Some names in the following stories have been changed for privacy
reasons, but the details are true-to-life. Read on, and relate to women
who’ve been involved in negative relationships, and have made it out in
one piece. Be inspired by their words of wisdom and advice, and take
the steps necessary to implement them into your own life. Tragedy is
only beautiful if it plants the seed of wisdom, helping those in need.



Tanya – North Carolina

I met Ed online, through one of the popular dating sites. I’m not
bashing Internet dating, but when they say you can be anyone you
want to be online, they’re right.

We emailed back and forth for two months or so, and eventually, we
moved up to phone calls. Something about his voice excited me, and I
couldn’t wait to meet him in person. He couldn’t either, and we quickly
set up a date at a local coffee shop.

Thankfully, his real-life appearance matched the photos on his profile,

and he was very handsome. A part of me wondered why such a good-
looking, well-rounded man needed online dating, but then again, I was
looking for love on the Internet too. Who was I to judge?

The next month was what I now refer to as “the calm before the storm.”
Ed was very attentive, called me every day, and complimented me
regularly. I felt like I struck gold. Gradually, however, his affections
diminished. This upset me, of course, but I figured that every
relationship hits a plateau at some point. This seemed to be ours.

His apathetic nature quickly evolved into brutality. He criticized

everything from my clothes to my reading material. If it was important


to me, he had something sarcastic to say about it. His patience wore
thin, until it got to the point where I felt like I was walking on egg
shells with him. The tiniest thing could ruin a pleasant evening

The confusing part was that (for someone he apparently disliked) he

spent most of his time with me. He never went out with friends; he just
wanted to stay home with me. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand
why he wasn’t breaking our relationship off. The tension drove me

One day, I was running five minutes late to a casual dinner at his
house. He called to see where I was, and when I told him I was on my
way, he blew up at me. He screamed, “It’s too late now! Just forget
about it!” I couldn’t respond before he hung up on me. The situation
was hardly a crisis, yet for some reason, he blew it out of proportion.

Hindsight is 20/20, and looking back, I’m amazed at all the excuses I
made for Ed’s behavior. Friends would urge me to drop him, but I
always had a reason not to. In my mind, he wasn’t selfish – he was
“introverted.” He wasn’t unloving – he was “uncomfortable with
intimacy.” He didn’t have anger-management issues – he was “just
having a bad day.”

To any woman out there involved with a bad man, I urge you to listen
to those around you who love you. Allow them to see clearly for you,


and heed their advice. Get out before it’s too late. There’s no telling
what would’ve happened to me if I never left Ed.

Mary Ann – Georgia

I’ve always liked the lavish things in life, so the idea of an extravagant
wedding always appealed to me. When I was 22, I made that fantasy a
reality when I married my boyfriend of two years, Zack.

I learned the hard way that a wedding is just an event, but a marriage
is a lifetime commitment. In my case, I was committed to an abusive
partner who enjoyed making my life miserable. To this day, I wish I
hadn’t rushed into things.

It wasn’t more than two months after tying the knot that I regretted
marrying Zack. He was a police officer for the city we lived in, but he
thought that he was the law in my life as well. His cruel treatment
started off small, with an insult here and there. Nevertheless, they hurt
my feelings, and they quickly weighed down on my self esteem.

His rude comments were eventually exposed to those around us.

Friends would visit our home, and he’d go off on a tangent about the
tiniest things. The laundry I accidently shrunk wasn’t a mistake – it
was because I was stupid. Everyone listening just stared in awe at him,
but to Zack, he was a comic genius.


I could go on forever with tales of his abusive behavior. Let’s see, there
was the year of his 24th birthday, when he went out with his co-workers
and their wives, but I wasn’t allowed to join them. Then there was the
time he sprayed me with his Mace because I wanted to go out with my
friends. And how could I forget the time he punched me in the face,
forcing me to blame my bruises on a “drunken accident?”

Equality was missing in our marriage. Zack could do whatever he

wanted, while I had to ask his permission for everything. I couldn’t
visit friends without his supervision, and when he did tag along, he
ruined what would’ve been a fun evening with his miserable attitude. It
got to the point where I had no social life, not because I didn’t have any
friends, but because I couldn’t go anywhere without him…and nobody
wanted him there.

One day, I was alone in the house watching television, when it hit me,
“I have no life.” And I really didn’t. I was robbed of all of my choices,
passions, happiness, and friends. It got to the point where the only
thing I didn’t have to clear with Zack was permission to breathe, and I
couldn’t take it any longer.

I called my mother, and lived with her until the divorce was finalized.

If I could give any advice to women in similar situations, it would be to

do the exact opposite of what I did. Take your time when getting to
know someone, because you might be marrying misery. Abusive men


test you to see how much rope you’ll give them, and each time, they
take a little more. Get out before you run out of rope completely.

Danielle – Tennessee

Some people are comfortable with being alone. I never was.

My mother and father divorced when I was a baby, making me the only
child of a single mother. Like most members of Generation X, I was a
latchkey kid. The television babysat me after school while Mom was off
at work, and the loneliness eventually got to me. At the time, I had no
idea how deep the impact was.

When I was a kid, I remember envying my friends and their fathers. I

wondered what it would feel like to have the love of a man, and as I
grew into a teenager, I made up my mind to find out. I dated anyone
and everyone I came into contact with, and because I was so
unselective, I ended up with a broken heart more than once.

My frustrations with love were not enough to stop me from finding it

wherever I could. For some reason, I just could not be single. In my
mind, being alone meant I was nobody. I placed all of my self worth
into being in a relationship, making me very vulnerable to bad boys.

I was 20 when I met the ultimate bad boy…Stephen. There was

something different about him, unique. He was gorgeous, and I’m not


too proud to admit that I found him irresistible. But it was much more
than his looks that attracted me…it was his charisma. His voice seemed
to speak words more eloquently than anyone else, and he was very easy
to fantasize about.

All the girls wanted him, but for some reason, he only had eyes for me.
We began an exclusive relationship only two weeks after dating, and I
was quickly swept off of my feet. I still smile looking back, when my
room was covered in dried roses I collected from him. He adored me,
constantly flattered me, and his kisses were just too sweet. I was
convinced I was in love.

I moved in with Stephen two months into our relationship, a mistake I

would soon regret. I was geared up for domestic heaven, but it turned
into more of a hell. Something about living together brought out an
ugly side to Stephen. He was controlling, and ended up treating me
more like a maid than a girlfriend.

Living together, I expected the sparks in our relationship to fizzle

slightly, but never to the extent that they did. He never touched me
anymore, and any time he looked at me, his face was unemotional. One
day, I even asked him why we never have sex any more. He told me I
needed to lose at least ten pounds if I wanted him to sleep with me. I’m
ashamed to admit this, but that comment was powerful enough to
launch me into a six-year battle with anorexia.


Eventually, Stephen’s house became my house, and only mine. He was

constantly “working late” or out with “the guys,” and in the meanwhile,
I waited impatiently for him to return. I wanted to pass my time by
inviting friends over, but I learned the hard way that I wasn’t allowed
to do that. He, on the other hand, was living the high life, and I was
missing out on it.

Stephen never laid a hand on me abusively, but that doesn’t mean

damage wasn’t inflicted. In my quest to find companionship, I ended
up just as I always was…alone. But I was more than just alone…I was
broken. I remember sitting by myself on that couch wondering why he
didn’t love me, if I was really fat, or what I could do to change things.
At the time, I didn’t realize that the problem wasn’t with me.

It was with Stephen.

I owe my sanity to the love of family and friends, and I advise any
woman involved with a bad boy to do the same. You’re not alone; there
are tons of people around you who are more than willing to lift you up.
Be selective with your relationships, and remove any that infect your
happiness. In truth, you’d be better off by yourself than with someone
who mistreats you.

Brittany – New Mexico

My story isn’t one of abuse, as much as it’s about settling.


Like so many women, I’ve always had a thing for the musicians. I
started frequenting the local music scene in high school, and became a
groupie in my own right. To this day, I will never forget the moment I
met the lead singer for one of those bands. I wish I could forget it.

His name was Eric, and he was gorgeous (even without his guitar). We
chatted after one of his shows, and he wasted no time asking for my
phone number. I was ecstatic! My mind quickly painted visions of true
love, road trips, and backstage kisses. I can’t believe how pathetic I

I never failed to notice the flock of women that would surround Eric.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to be drawn to his good looks.
Nevertheless, I told myself that females were just part of dating a
rocker, and I learned to live with it. In all other respects, he was mine,
so I found solace in that fact.

Back in those days, I participated in a lot of activities that, today, I’m

ashamed of. Drugs were, of course, part of the music scene. I seldom
passed on a marijuana joint, and alcohol was like water to me and my
crowd. For some reason, we weren’t having fun unless we were
tripping, stoned, or wasted in some fashion. Eric even went so far as to
dabble with cocaine, a habit that would seriously affect our


At some point, I grew tired of the mayhem, and I waited four years for
him to grow up. He never did. Instead, he nursed his pipe dream of
mainstream success in the music industry, snorted his drugs, and
spent his spare time warming the couch. He lacked ambition, and it
became clear to me that a future with him was bleak. Frustration
quickly replaced romance in our relationship, mostly on my part.

Like so many women, however, I weathered the storm. I kept telling

myself that things would get better, or if I just pushed him a little
more, he would one day see the light. He never did. He was set in his
loser ways, never wanted to talk about marriage or kids, and continued
dreaming his dreams.

One day, a very handsome man approached me while grocery

shopping. His name was Scott, he was dressed nicely, and I could tell
he had a good job (or at least some job). I was a bit surprised when he
tapped me on the shoulder, asking if I knew of a good cake mix. “Who
is this guy?” I told myself. Overall, he was really kind and handsome,
and I was more than flattered by the attention. I don’t know what came
over me, but when he asked for my phone number, I gave it to him.

Long story short, our first date was the most fun I had in a long time. It
was certainly a refreshing change from Eric, who I broke up with the
very next day. Two years after bumping into Scott at the grocery store,
we got engaged, and I’ve never been happier.


So what is my advice to women dating losers? Don’t waste your time or

energy waiting for a guy to become the man you want. If he wants to
grow up, he will, but he’s not going to change for anyone other than
himself. It’s worth it to hold out for someone who meets your
expectations and really loves you.

Trust me.

Erica – Kentucky

I’m a perfect example that a guy doesn’t have to beat you in order to
abuse you.

I met Chris at the club he was bartending at. He was good looking, as
most bartenders are, and he made a lot of tips flashing his dazzling
smile at the ladies. He got a bit more than a tip from me, though.

Most bartenders throw small talk at the patrons, because it’s just part
of their job. For some reason, however, he continued talking to me. He
really seemed interested, and I was thrilled! I’d been single for almost a
year, and the fact that this hot, funny guy was into me more than
bloated my ego. When he asked for my number, I had to work hard at
remaining cool.

Early in our relationship, I remember seriously believing I’d found the

man I was going to marry. He was thoughtful, romantic, and paid so
much attention to me. Hardly a day went by when he didn’t tell me I


was beautiful, and every once in a while, he’d buy me flowers just
because. He was too good to be true.

We dated for a year when we decided to live together. Without

reservation, I packed my things and moved in with him. To this day, I
wish I’d made a different decision.

That sparkle in his eye which he had for me suddenly faded. He worked
a lot, and I expected that, but we seemed to spend more time together
when we didn’t live together. I convinced myself that this was all part
of the process – that all relationships lose their spark at some point.

Only it was more than that. I went above and beyond to force the
relationship to work, and he didn’t seem to appreciate any of it. I
bought furniture for his place, cooked decadent meals, and did
everything I could to make our house a home. In return, I got criticism
and insults. We weren’t even having sex anymore.

One day, I got the idea to visit him at work. I just wanted to see him,
and maybe surprise him with a kiss. I showed up to the club, only he
wasn’t there. When I asked his coworkers where he was, they told me
that he wasn’t on the schedule for that day. I couldn’t believe it…he lied
to me.


I must have looked pathetic, because one of the waitresses seemed to

have pity for me. She came up, and explained that Chris was seeing his
ex again, and he was spending the day at her house.

“Please don’t tell Chris I told you,” she said. “But I just think you
should know. I’m sorry.”

I didn’t know what to do. I had no idea who this ex was, or where she
lived. Even more terrifying was the thought of confronting Chris about
the situation. What would I say? How would he react? I was at a loss,
and the only thing I knew was that I couldn’t take this sick relationship
any longer.

I packed my things.

I was almost finished getting my stuff together when he waltzed in the

front door. Looking back, the smug look on his face makes me want to
puke. It was quickly erased by shock over the suitcases surrounding

“Where are you going?” he asked.

I told him I knew all about him and his ex. When he asked how, I told
him it didn’t matter. I was done being unappreciated and mistreated,
and I sure as hell wasn’t going to be cheated on. He begged and


pleaded, as most any man in this situation will do, but it was too late. I
refused to play second fiddle to another woman.

If I have any advice for other women, it would be to stop lying to

yourselves. Don’t force a relationship to work by giving 100 percent,
when you’re getting nothing in return. Your time, money, energy, and
emotions would be better spent elsewhere. Find someone who
appreciates you, your time, your personality, and your company. Don’t
settle for anything less.

Kristy – New Jersey

A real man doesn’t hit a woman. A real man isn’t afraid to love and
protect those who are important to him.

I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, as most young people do. I got
pregnant at an early age, and one year after my son was born, I got
engaged to the father, Kevin. In my mind, I wished for the happy home
with a white picket fence, maybe even a dog. I envisioned family get-
togethers, school recitals, and dinner table discussions about how our
day went.

What I got was something much different.

My mother always told me that it’s the quiet types you need to worry
about, and Kevin was always like this. He was very introverted.


Affection was something he struggled with, but I just brushed it off as

part of his nature. I truly was in love with him.

For some reason, I felt that because we had a child together, things had
to work out. In a perfect world, they would have. Unfortunately, things
don’t always go as planned.

Several months before the wedding, we moved our family into a house
that my father built. There are certain perks to having a contractor in
the family, I guess. At first, everything was great. I’d stay home with
the baby while Kevin was at work, and when he returned, we’d sit
down to the table and share each other’s company. It was just like in
the movies…the perfect family. In all respects, I was happy.

But something changed once he put that ring on my finger. He became

even more withdrawn, and I felt like I was a burden on him. I
wondered what I did wrong, and how I could make it right. My efforts
to talk to him weren’t well received, and he’d often lash out, telling me
what a pain I was. I kept silent to maintain the peace.

Things got really ugly the day Kevin came home and found the laundry
wasn’t done. I meant to get to it, but the baby was sick at the time, and
I was preoccupied with taking care of him. What was I supposed to do?
Nevertheless, Kevin screamed at the top of his lungs. I can still hear the
baby crying from the shock of it all. With rage in his eyes, he marched
closer to me, drew up his fist, and punched me in the face.


I fell flat on the floor.

I couldn’t get back up, because he insisted on kicking me, smacking

me, and “teaching me a lesson.” It was a good thing I didn’t have a day
job, because I don’t know how I would’ve explained the bruises to my
coworkers. Instead, I was a prisoner in a violent nightmare, and there
was only one method of escape.

I called my dad.

Luck was on my side. This wasn’t my house, and it wasn’t Kevin’s

either…it was my dad’s. He contracted it, and everything was in his
name. He had the full authority to kick Kevin out, and he did. But first,
he had to get a few things off of his chest.

I won’t get into the fight that broke out between my dad and Kevin, but
let’s just say that I’ve never seen Kevin so scared in my entire life. He
actually quivered, and it felt good to witness that. My dad waited with
me while Kevin gathered his clothes and other belongings, and he was

I didn’t press charges. Don’t ask me why. I think I didn’t want to add
any more drama to an already dramatic situation. I was just grateful to
have discovered Kevin’s true nature before marrying him. I was one of
the lucky women, all things considered. As far as our baby went, I told


Kevin he can visit, but he has yet to. It seems I really was a burden, and
Kevin was finally relieved of it.

If I learned one thing from my situation, it’s not to beat yourself up if a

relationship isn’t making you happy. The problem isn’t you. If you love
your partner with all of your heart, but don’t receive any love in return,
consider that a sign to get out. No matter if you’re married, have
children, or both, there is never an excuse for being abused or
neglected. If you can’t get out for yourself, then get out for all of the
people who love you.

Tyler – Massachusetts

I feel kind of weird admitting that I’m a man who was abused, because
men usually aren’t on the receiving end of such neglect. But I was. My
family raised me to respect women, and hitting them was certainly out
of the question. If a woman hit you, you took it like a man, and didn’t
fight back.

I got married to who I thought was a wonderful woman, Carla. Looking

back, I wish we didn’t rush into things, but we did. We only dated for
ten months before getting engaged, and six months later, we got


It soon became apparent to me that Carla was eager to have children.

Having gotten married so soon, I wanted to wait a little, but she wasn’t
having any of it. That’s when the viscous comments started.

“What’s wrong? Aren’t you man enough to get me pregnant?”

“Why are you such a scaredy cat?”

“You’re worthless!”

It was a living nightmare. Eventually, it got to the point where I’d do

anything to keep the peace, even if that meant getting her pregnant. I
just wanted things to be good, you know? Deep inside, however, I knew
I wasn’t in love with her anymore. How could I be in love with her?

We tried to get pregnant for months, but nothing happened. We went

to the doctor, and found that there were no physical problems with
either of us. We were perfectly capable of conceiving a child, but for
some reason, it just wasn’t happening. Today, I can’t help but thank my
lucky stars that it didn’t.

Unfortunately, Carla wasn’t as relieved as I was. In fact, she was livid.

The insults became a daily thing, and constant at that. What started
out as verbal abuse quickly grew into physical violence. Every time she
came home with a pregnancy test, I cringed, because if it turned out
negative, I knew I was in for it.


She’d smack me incessantly, telling me I was “good for nothing,” “not a

real man,” and what not. For some reason, the fact that we couldn’t
conceive was all my fault, and she had no part to play in it.

A few weeks later, I found a message on our voice machine from Carla’s
ex boyfriend. Don’t ask me why he was stupid enough to leave it
knowing I lived with her; he just was. He mentioned how much fun he
had with her last night, and how he couldn’t wait to see her again. I
could get into the other gross comments he left, but let’s just say that it
made my stomach turn.

When Carla got home, I played the message for her, but there was no
remorse in her face. Instead, she smiled sarcastically, and went on to
tell me that if I couldn’t get her pregnant, she would find another man
who could.

I immediately packed my things and left. The very next day, I filed for
divorce. There was no respect left in our marriage, let alone love. Our
entire relationship became nothing but a sick conquest to have a baby,
and I thank God that we didn’t. I can’t imagine how miserable my life
would be today if we had.

To any men who are in abusive relationships with women, I would say
to not be ashamed. If anything, be proud of the fact that you’re a
respectful, decent person. On that same note, don’t stick around with
someone who isn’t. Just because you’re too good to hit a woman does


not mean that you should have the happiness sucked out of you.
Recognize when you’re being mistreated, and get out. Someday, you’ll
find a woman who deserves you.

Heather – Louisiana

I’ve never been the victim of an abusive relationship, but I’ve had a fair
share of friends who were. I’ve learned from their experiences that
misery truly does love company.

One of my friends was married to a man who insulted her, neglected

her, and occasionally raised his hand to her. I can’t tell you how
frustrating it is to watch someone you love submit to such treatment.
Every story of abuse just got worse, and nothing I said or did was
powerful enough to get her to leave.

Then I had another friend who wasn’t physically abused, but the man
was obviously using her. He cheated on her, insulted her, and took for
granted every ounce of love she gave him. Still, she stayed.

Speaking in terms of someone on the outside looking in, I can’t tell you
how painful it is to be powerless to stop such treatment. If I could’ve
chosen for any of these friends, I would’ve gotten rid of these men a
long time ago. But what could I do?


I’m not going to lie: There were many times when I yelled at these
friends of mine. It wasn’t because I didn’t love them, and I certainly
didn’t want to be rude or insulting (Lord knows they’ve experienced
enough of that), but I just couldn’t take it anymore.

They’d ask for my advice, I’d give it to them, and they’d allow the same
thing to happen over and over again. When things didn’t work out,
they’d run crying to me, and the cycle would continue. In my mind,
these were smart and capable women, so I couldn’t understand why
they didn’t see my point of view. It enraged me!

Misery loves company. The men in their lives were miserable, so they
shared that misery with my friends. My friends were miserable because
their men were miserable, and they shared that misery with me. Pretty
soon, I was the miserable one! It was just the same story over and over
again, and you can only listen to a broken record for so long before
growing tired of it.

I don’t know who I was angrier with: The men for being such jerks, or
my friends for allowing themselves to be demeaned. To me, it made
perfect sense to kick these guys to the curb, but it seemed nothing I
said registered.

At the end of the day, you have to be responsible for your own choices,
and this was what I realized. I couldn’t choose for my friends, but I


could choose whether or not to listen to their stories of abuse. I chose

not to.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, realize that the situation is not just

about you. Listen to those who love you, and have the decency to take
their words to heart. Don’t drag them down with you. If they take the
time to plead with you to leave your abusive relationship, do so. You
and everyone around you will be happier for it.

Chapter 20: Stories from
Domestic Abusers

lmost 2,000 women in the United States die each year from
domestic violence, and that statistic shows no signs of slowing
down. This means that for every four women you pass on the
street, at least one of them is a victim of abuse. Perhaps that woman is

Up until now, you’ve read a lot on the subject of bad boys, abuse, and
domestic violence. You even heard real-life stories from the mouths of
women who have been in these tragic situations. But what about the
men? What goes on inside their heads when they’re yelling or hitting
the women in their lives? Is it a rush, or do they have no idea of what
they’re doing?

Let’s find out.

This chapter includes several stories from men with a history of

domestic violence and abuse. Their histories and reasons for abusing
vary, but at the core of each is an uncontrollable desire to control. Read


to learn what they did and why they did it, as well as how they
overcame their negative impulses.

Charles – Connecticut

Charles and his girlfriend, Patti, had been dating for three months, and
their relationship was on solid ground. They loved being together,
rarely got into a fight, and the intimacy was great. Charles said he
remembers thinking this was the woman he was going to marry, and he
was proud to be seen in public with her.

This feeling of serenity changed the night he and Patti attended a

friend’s party. Charles was across the room talking to someone, when
he found Patti chatting with another man. According to Patti, he was
an old classmate from high school, but to Charles, that explanation
wasn’t good enough.

“I waited until we got home, and I just went crazy,” Charles said. “I
slapped her in the face, and yelled, calling her every derogatory name
in the book. The jealousy was uncontrollable.”

Patti cried and held her hands up in defense, but she was no force
against Charles. From there, he grabbed her around the neck and
began choking her. As a result, her face turned red, and he let go just
before she lost air. He pushed her through the window.


“When that happened, I just stood there shocked,” Charles said. “I saw
her on the ground outside, and she was picking the chards of glass out
of her arm. The jealousy I felt was quickly replaced with serious
remorse over what I’d done.”

Charles apologized to Patti, and swore that he would never hit her
again. He said a serious depression took over him at what he’d done,
and he began to drink heavily as a result.
“I felt like a monster, and I just wanted to numb that feeling,” he said.
“My dad was abusive towards my mother, and I vowed to never be like
that. So when Patti forgave me,

I was determined to change my ways.”

Only he didn’t. According to Charles, the closeness he and Patti used to

have changed ever since that first incident of abuse. She was less
affectionate, and rarely wanted to have sex with him. This only further
infuriated Charles.

“Looking back, I can understand why her feelings changed,” Charles

said. “But at the time, it just made me mad. The alcohol didn’t help
either. I just hit her like it was nothing, because that was the only way I
knew to express my feelings.”

Almost a year had passed, and Charles was beating Patti on a regular
basis. His initial remorse over abusing her quickly grew out of control.


His methods of domestic violence included smacking, pushing,

choking, and even burning her with cigarettes. The verbal abuse was
almost constant.

“When I was beating her, I remember intending to kill her,” Charles

said. “The feeling of power and control was so addictive. It was like her
life was literally in my hands, and I had to choice of whether or not to
spare it.”

Charles said the anger he felt while hitting Patti was like a horse
wearing blinders. He could only see the expression of his emotions
through the abuse. He credits Divine intervention with the fact that he
never took Patti’s life.

“She would be on the brink of death, and suddenly, I cooled off,” he

said. “I don’t know why she never left me.”

But Patti did give Charles an ultimatum. She told him she wanted him
to enter anger-management classes, or she would leave. “Her bags
were already packed,” Charles remembered. “So I knew she meant
business. Part of me knew I really needed help, so I pleaded with her to
stay. I signed up for the classes the very next day.”

In anger management, Charles learned effective means of controlling

his emotions. If something is bothering him, he tells Patti. If he feels


the rage coming on, he gets up and leaves. The two are still together,
and it’s been one year since Charles turned abusive.

“Sometimes, she’ll be talking about something, and I can feel the

irritation coming along,” he said. “But I’ve learned how to control my
feelings better, and she’s learned my limits as well. We’re both making
a sincere effort to live peacefully together, although it’s not always

While Charles has taken full responsibility for his actions, he said
growing up in an abusive household has permanently affected him.
Every day, he watched his father beat his mother. Although he didn’t
display the behavior until manhood, Charles feels that witnessing such
behavior was to blame.

“Patti and I have a son, and he copies everything we say and do,” he
said. “Children are like sponges; they absorb their environments. I’m
trying very hard to set a better example for my son.”

According to Charles, if a man says he’s never going to hit a woman

again, don’t believe him.

“I can’t tell you how many times I promised Patti I would never beat
her again, but I did,” he said. “Unless your boyfriend or husband takes
drastic steps, such as anger-management classes, he’s never going to


Jon – North Dakota

Jon is another product of an abusive childhood. After years of violence,

his mother left his father, and Jon never saw her again. As he grew up,
he remembers feeling very insecure, especially around women.

“I never dealt with my mother leaving; I just pushed it to the back of

my mind,” Jon said. “When I started dating, I would get jealous over
the tiniest things. It was like I was terrified of another woman leaving

This problem came to a head with his girlfriend, Tammy. When she
wasn’t around, Jon would check her phone and email messages. One
day, he found a text message from an unknown man, and this sent him
off flying.

“She was upstairs in the bathroom when I found the text,” Jon said.
“When she came downstairs, she didn’t know what was coming.”

Jon said he didn’t even wait before punching Tammy in the face. He
towered over her, and demanded to know who the mystery messenger
was. She explained that he was just a co-worker, but Jon didn’t believe
her. He proceeded to kick and smack her until she ran out of the house.


Like Charles, Jon attributes his behavior to a difficulty in expressing

his emotions. “I didn’t know how to tell her that I was jealous or
insecure, so I just showed her how angry I was.”

Jon apologized, like so many men do in this situation. Tammy forgave

him, but the abuse continued. Any time a man would talk to Tammy,
Jon would intervene. It got to the point that any man who even looked
at her was in for it.

“I’d get in these guys’ faces, yelling and threatening them,” he said. “To
me, they were walking on my territory, and that infuriated me.”
Jon admits that, even when acting out, he was aware of his behavior.
He knew he was overreacting, but at the same time, he was powerless
to stop it. The feelings of rage were unstoppable.

“I could see Tammy’s face, and it was just as shocked as the faces of
these guys,” he said. “They were looking at me like, ‘this guy is nuts!’
And I really was.”

Similar to Patti, Tammy said she gave Jon an ultimatum.

“I told him he needs to work on himself, and then – maybe – we could

work on our relationship,” she said. “But the way things were going, I
couldn’t see a future with him. I loved him, but he didn’t love me back.
If he did, he had a weird way of showing it.”


Jon sought out counseling, and that’s where he got to the root of his
jealousy and emotional problems. Finally, after more than twenty
years, he came to terms with his mother leaving. He learned that just
because one woman failed to love him does not mean another woman

“I saw Tammy in a new light,” he said. “I looked back on all of the

things she did for me, and realized how genuinely she loved me. For
the first time in my life, I had a woman that truly cared about me…and
I almost lost her.”

Today, Jon still struggles with his abusive behavior. He says he still
cringes every time Tammy talks to another man, no matter how casual
she’s being. The difference is how he handles the situation.

“I usually just turn away,” he said. “If I can’t see it, it’s not really
happening. It’s better than getting lost in the rage. When I used to act
out, I couldn’t see or think of anything else. I was almost under a spell,
and I didn’t want to go back to that.”

Jon equates domestic violence to being addicted to heroin. “You’re not

hooked to the woman…you’re hooked to the abuse. It becomes the
bond that seals your relationship together. There’s no love. Just like a
drug addict, you either keep using, or you withdraw and move into
sober living.”


Jon admitted that out of everything he subjected Tammy to, the insults
were the worst. Even while talking down to her, he knew he was being
cruel, but he was powerless to stop. He said playing with her feelings
was like molding her however he saw fit. He’d criticize, she’d forgive
him, they’d get close again, and he’s throw in a new form of criticism.

“I watched her self esteem diminish, but I never stopped treating her
poorly,” he said. “You can punch a woman, and she’ll heal, but the
impact you have on how they feel about themselves lasts forever.”
Through counseling, Jon learned that his desire to insult Tammy
stemmed from his own low self-esteem. As a result, Tammy entered
counseling as well. She said it was all she had left.

“Not a day went by when I didn’t feel fat, ugly, or stupid,” she said.
“Something as simple as cooking dinner would send me into a panic
attack. I worried if Jon would think it tasted bad, or if I put too much
salt in. It was just like walking on egg shells. I doubted everything I
said and did, and I needed help.”

Jon and Tammy are still together, and he hasn’t hit her in almost two
years. He admits he’s come close a couple of times, but has learned
how to cope with his feelings in a healthier way.

“I got the help I needed, but that doesn’t mean I’m healed,” Jon said.
“Each morning, I wake up and tell myself, ‘I’m not going to hit Tammy


today.’ That affirmation seems to help, because it’s literally a daily


Paul – Montana

Paul and his girlfriend, Katrina, were dating for almost two years,
when she discovered his true nature.

They met in college, and quickly sought out each other’s company. If
they weren’t together, they were talking on the phone or text
messaging each other. The honeymoon phase of their relationship
seemed to last forever.

“I just couldn’t be away from her,” Paul said. “I’d dated a lot of girls,
but she was something entirely different. Everything about her enticed
me. I actually thought she was the one I was going to settle down with.”

They were so attached that it felt weird the night Paul attended a party
without Katrina. She was out of town for the weekend, and he missed
her instantly. He went to the party anyways, figuring it would help curb
the loneliness.

“She was out of town with her parents, so we couldn’t even talk on the
phone that much,” he said. “My options were to sit in my dorm room
and sulk, or go to the party and be with tons of people. So I went.”


Paul belonged to a fraternity on campus, and as such, had plenty of

options when it came to women. “There was always a mixer with the
nearby sororities, and a lot of those girls were easy on the eyes,” he
said. “I guess they thought I was too, because they hit on me often.”

Such was the case at the party. A few hours and several drinks into it,
Paul was growing weak to the loneliness. He said all it took was some
heavy flirting from a particular female, and he was in the bedroom with

“At the time, I wasn’t thinking,” he said. “All I knew was that I wanted
some intimacy, and this girl was going to give it to me. I didn’t think
about Katrina at all; I just blocked her name and her face out of my
mind completely.”

The next morning, Paul woke up with the realization of what he’d
done. Rather than feel remorse, he felt good about his decision to cheat
on Katrina.

“Something clicked inside me, and told me that I didn’t want such a
heavy commitment to one girl,” he said. “At the same time, I still liked
being with her, so I never told her about cheating on her.”

He also never told her how he continued to cheat. Paul said sleeping
with other women was like a high to him. He knew he shouldn’t be
doing it, and that made the act all the more appealing.


“You know how they say that shoplifters steal not out of necessity, but
for the rush?” he said. “That’s how it felt when I cheated on Katrina. I
didn’t like these girls I was sleeping with. I just slept with them
because, in my mind, it was dangerous.”

Paul said the time he spent with Katrina grew less and less, so that he
could accommodate his new “addiction.”

“She noticed, too,” Paul said. “I could see the worry in her eyes, but I
just shut it out of my mind. I didn’t like the idea of upsetting her, but I
was selfish. I wanted her, and I wanted all the other girls too.”

Paul had cheated on Katrina over twenty times before she discovered
what he was really doing. In a nutshell, he was unfaithful in the wrong
place, at the wrong time.

“One of her friends was at the same party, when she caught me kissing
another girl,” he said. “Even then, when I knew I’d been found out, I
still couldn’t manage to feel regret for my actions. I knew it was
probably over with Katrina and me, but for some reason, that didn’t

Katrina confronted Paul, and he apologized wholeheartedly. To his

surprise, she forgave him, and he felt elated.


“I couldn’t believe she still wanted to be with me!” he said. “Of course,
she made me promise to never cheat on her again, and I told her I
wouldn’t. I might as well have crossed my fingers behind my back as I
said that.”

Paul said Katrina’s willingness to forgive him almost seemed like a

license to cheat again. He felt that she would go through anything to
maintain the relationship, even if that meant allowing herself to be
unappreciated. In his mind, he knew this was wrong, but at the same
time, she asked for it.

“It sounds messed up, I know,” Paul said. “But I couldn’t help but feel
greedy over the entire situation. I was out of control with the women I
was sleeping with, and even better…Katrina didn’t seem to care! I was
anything but a good boyfriend to her.”

It was only a matter of time before Paul was caught red-handed again.
This time, he said the results were much worse.

“She just cried non-stop. She couldn’t even talk, because she was so
upset. Part of me felt guilty, but a sick side to me felt like she deserved
it. It was almost like she asked for it by forgiving me. We broke up that

Paul said he never verbally or physically assaulted Katrina, but in the

end, his neglect for her feelings caused a lot of damage.


“I saw what I’d done to her. That sparkle in her eye that I loved so
much was no longer there. Looking back, I can’t believe I did that to

According to Paul, the worst part about his breakup with Katrina was
having to watch her with other guys. Three months after dumping him,
she moved on to another relationship. Paul remembers seeing the two
holding hands on campus.

“They just looked so happy together, like I used to be with her,” he

said. “Of course, I felt jealous, but what could I do? I ruined a really
good thing with her. What’s worse is that I didn’t have a thing to show
for it. No love, no relationship…nothing. I was alone.”

To mend his broken heart, Paul resorted to his old ways. Rather than
seek out a meaningful relationship, he sought comfort in the beds of
random women. It wasn’t long before he contracted a sexually-
transmitted disease.

“It was a huge wakeup call for me,” Paul said. “I realized that I had a
problem much bigger than the STD. I was a sex addict. It wasn’t that I
was incapable of loving another person; I was just incapable of being
intimate with only one partner.”

Today, Paul is still going to therapy for his addiction, which he says is
under control. That, combined with medical treatment for his disease,


has made a tremendous change in his life. It’s also affected how he
views relationships and dating.

“I struggle with my addiction every day. I can barely pass an attractive

woman on the street without checking her out. But I’ve learned that
nothing beats that deep connection you can have with another person.
I ruined my chances at that with Katrina, but hopefully, there’ll be
someone down the road for me.”

Craig – California

My dad was a domestic abuser.

I remember watching my mother quiver in the corner as he yelled at

her. One time, he threw a shoe at her because dinner was taking too
long. Peace was a foreign word in our household. Hostility was
something I was much more familiar with.

I was seven or eight years old when Pops had a heart-to-heart with me
about women. I could smell the liquor on his breath as he spoke, and
his eyes had a lazy, sloshed look to them. He sat me on his lap, and
uttered the words I would never forget:

“Son, women are worthless. They’re only good for a few things, and
they’re barely good at those. When I hit your mother, it’s for her own
good. She deserves it. Don’t ever let a woman push you around.”


And I never did let women push me around.

I married Laura when I was 18. She and I were high school
sweethearts, but that wasn’t the real reason why I asked her to marry
me. In my mind, she belonged to me, and no other man should ever
have a shot at being with her. They would over my dead body.

Even though I felt this way, I never let Laura know. On the outside, I
was the love of her life. I took her out on dates, complimented her on
occasion, and did all the things boyfriends are supposed to do. I guess I
really did care about her, but in truth, she was the only girl who ever
gave me the time of day.

I had everything planned out in my head. I knew I had to keep my cool

until we were officially husband and wife. Once she was mine forever, I
would place my mark on her. Sounds sadistic, I know, but that’s how I
thought at the time.

We got married, went on our honeymoon, and moved into a one-

bedroom apartment together. She wanted a dog, so we got a poodle.
Laura always loved dogs.

Everything seemed all right on the outside, until that fateful day. I
came home from a hard day at work to find Laura all dressed up. She
told me she was meeting some of “the girls” for drinks, and this made
me very angry. For one thing, there was nothing on the stove for


dinner. To top that off, she didn’t even ask my permission; much less
invite me to join her.

I was furious.

Without thinking, I grabbed the strap of her dress and tore it off. I told
her she looked like a slut, and was not going anywhere. In response,
she grew angry, and marched upstairs to find something else to wear.
She wasn’t shaking in the corner like my mother used to, and to me,
this meant I wasn’t putting my foot down hard enough.

“Don’t ever let a woman push you around.”

These words from my father echoed in my head as I ran after Laura,

pushing her into the wall. The force was strong enough to make a hole,
and Laura struggled to free her arm from it. As she was stuck, I
repeatedly smacked her in the face, yelling all sorts of insults at the
same time. She cried, but I was too busy enjoying the power to pay any
attention to her pleas.

Laura didn’t go out that night, and before long, I realized how horrible
I acted. She locked herself up in the bedroom, and I pleaded through
the door for her to forgive me. After almost an hour of coaxing, she
finally did.


But it was too late. I’d already gotten a taste of the power. The logical
side of my brain knew it was wrong to hit Laura, but I couldn’t get over
the rush. It was like an addiction, and I was hooked for life.

What resulted was two years of verbal and physical abuse. Laura wasn’t
permitted to work, and if she needed money, she had to ask me for it. I
screened all of her phone calls, forbad her to use the Internet, and
refused to let her go out. If I didn’t like what she was wearing, I’d tell
her she looked like a whore, and made her change.

She would’ve left me, but shortly after, we became pregnant. I wouldn’t
doubt if Laura hoped this baby would answer our marital problems,
but it didn’t. Even while she carried our daughter, I refused to let up on
the beatings. The fact that she delivered a healthy baby was a miracle
to me.

Two months after our daughter was born, Laura’s mother showed up
unannounced. She demanded to see her daughter and granddaughter,
and forced her way into the house.

“Don’t ever let a woman push you around.”

Dad’s advice sounded off in my head once again. I didn’t think twice
about grabbing Laura’s mom by the arm, flinging her across the room.
I raised my fist, and one swoop, punched her in the nose, breaking it.


Laura screamed in defiance of my actions, and I gave her the same


She left that day, taking the baby with her.

That very afternoon, two policemen arrived at my door to arrest me.

Laura and her mother wasted no time pressing charges, and both had
more than enough evidence against me. Not only were their faces badly
bruised, but both witnessed an assault on the other. I argued with the
cops for a good ten minutes, but it did no good.

I spent over six months in the county jail for domestic violence. At first,
the time enraged me even more, but at some point, I got to thinking
about my ways. I grew up in a negative household, and I brought that
negativity with me into adulthood. It got me nowhere but behind steel
bars. In the meanwhile, my wife and daughter were out in the real
world, surviving without me.

As part of my sentence, I was to undergo two years of professional

counseling for domestic violence and anger management. Laura and I
divorced, and I wasn’t allowed to see my child until passing a complete
psychiatric analysis. Today, I’m alone and dealing with my problems
the best way I know how.

One day at a time.


Mike – Texas

My first three years with Kelly were incredible. She was beautiful, I was
happy, and we did everything together. I even went shopping for a ring
to propose to her with, but then everything changed.

I snapped.

I was in a bad mood to begin with, but she said something sarcastic to
me (I forgot exactly what) and it set me off. I had almost an idle hand,
and out of nowhere, I just smacked her. I can still see the look of shock
on her face, but in my mind, I felt fulfilled, satisfied.

Before long, I looked for every excuse in the book to beat her. If I didn’t
like what she was wearing, I beat her. If I didn’t like the way she stared
at me, I beat her. Sometimes, I would just be agitated, and take it out
on her. She’d be sitting on the couch minding her own business, and
I’d march up to punch her in the face.

All of this would be followed by sincere apologies on my part.

Sometimes, I’d even go so far as to buy her flowers, candy, anything to
repair the relationship. She’d always forgive me, and in my mind, I
laughed at how gullible she was.


I remember hitting her one day, and she actually had the nerve to
speak up to me. She told me she wished she’d never moved in with me,
and I told her to leave. When she didn’t, I asked her why.

“Because I love you, Mike,” she said. I laughed in her face.

I grew up in a single-mother household. Mom was a drunk, and she hit

me frequently. Come to think of it, the only time Mom paid any
attention to me was when she smacked me around. I guess the apple
doesn’t fall far from the tree.

As a child, love was only something I saw in the movies. I didn’t really
exist to me. In fact, abuse was the only concept I had of love. Mom
would tell me that I deserved to be hit, or that she was only doing it for
my own good. I was too young to put her alcoholism and abuse in the
same package; all I knew was the fear.

Kelly was my first real taste of love, but it wasn’t powerful enough to
control the instincts my mother bred into me. I viewed Kelly’s coddling
as weakness, and never appreciated all the little things she did for me.
When Kelly told me she loved me, I never believed her.

I got a sick sort of high out of calling her names. I’d rip through her
self-esteem, and watch as her face contorted into sadness and hurt. I
liked it. Looking back, I can say that I lost all respect for her, and it was
all because she put up with me.


She allowed me to treat her badly.

Sex was especially fun for me. I enjoyed forcing her to do things she
was uncomfortable with. If she wasn’t in the mood, it was too bad for
her. I even told her that she belonged to me, and she will do as I say.
Against her will, I’d force myself onto her. There was no cuddling when
I was finished. Instead, I’d tell her to leave and go into the spare
bedroom. If she left the room, even to go to the bathroom, there’d be
hell to pay.

I was cruel. I hit Kelly with a bat, knocking her unconscious. I’d race
down the road with her in the car, threatening to crash it. Sometimes,
I’d beat her so hard, she’d vomit. During all of this, there was a fire
burning inside of me, and the only way to cool it down was to exert
more pain on her.

It all came to an end the day I got home from work, and found no trace
of Kelly. I screamed, demanding that she come out at once. I was
hungry, and I had some things I needed to take care of with her. She
still didn’t answer. I stomped throughout the house, and the rage grew
inside me the more I couldn’t find her. Finally, I opened the bedroom
door, and saw Kelly on the bed.

She’d sliced her wrists open, and was dead.


I’m ashamed to admit this, but I kicked her corpse off of the bed and
screamed into the air. There were no tears for her loss – only anger
that she’d left me. No longer would I have a doormat to step all over.
No longer would the high of beating her race through my body. She’d
taken from me my very reason for existing, which was to bring myself
up by cutting her down.

I now realize that death was her only way out.

I called 911, and everything went over as a suicide. There was no

questioning about the dynamics of our relationship, and nobody ever
found out the reason why Kelly took her own life. Her parents were
suspicious, of course, but they had nothing on me. I was free to live my
life the way I wanted.

The first couple of months without Kelly were boring, at best. I didn’t
miss her as much as I missed the violence. I thrived on it; I needed it,
and she took it away from me. I remember thinking of her as a bitch for
doing that, like she was the selfish one.

It wasn’t long before I started up another relationship. Like with Kelly,

the new woman moved in with me, and it wasn’t long before I got back
to my old ways. I learned the hard way that not every woman is as
sweet and tolerant as Kelly was.


This new woman wasted no time phoning the police, and she pressed
charged immediately. I got a slap on the wrist from the judge, and was
forced to take anger-management classes. I wish I could say that they
helped, but I still feel those violent tendencies each and every day.

Evan – Arizona

I met Mia my freshman year in college through some friends. She was
everything I couldn’t find in the other girls: beautiful, funny, smart,
and she shared the same religion as I did. For me, finding someone
with the same beliefs was just as important as their personality, so I
was thrilled when Mia came into my life.

We started dating, and pretty soon, we were in a committed

relationship together. I didn’t want to scare her away with talk of
marriage, but in my mind, I knew I found the woman I was going to
spend the rest of my life with.

I’d always had somewhat of a temper. Even as a child, I hated sharing

my toys with the other kids. My problems only grew into adulthood,
when I hated being beat at anything. In my mind, I always had to be on
top, so anyone who was better than me at something was immediately
an enemy. I got into fights quite often.


But Mia always seemed to know how to cool me down. She’d smile at
me, and tell me how wonderful I was. It got to the point where I
needed her. I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it.

For me, it was always pertinent that the woman I marry be a virgin.
Even though I had quite a promiscuous past, the woman I put my ring
on had to pure in every way, shape, and form. I wouldn’t settle for
anything less, no matter how much of a double standard that seemed
to be.

Mia and I never talked much about our pasts, but if I was going to
marry her, I had to know where she’s been. One day, I asked her if she
was still a virgin. She looked at me like I was crazy, and in fact, she
asked me, “Are you crazy?”

Then she laughed at me.

Something came over me, and I was powerless to stop it. I just
snapped. First, she was impure, and then, she was making fun at my
expense? To me, this was an outrage. Her face grew scared as mine
turned red. I got up, picked up the nearest chair, and threw it into the

“What is wrong with you, Evan?” she asked.

I called her every name in the book: slut, whore, bitch, skank…you
name it. In my mind, I knew I was overreacting, but the illogical side of


me justified my actions. Who did this girl think she was? Here I wanted
to spend the rest of my life with her, and she slept around! My mind
was out of control.

She ran out of the room, and I chased her down the street. She got into
her car before I could reach her. It’s a good thing she did, because I
don’t know what I would’ve done had I gotten a hold of her. The way I
felt at that very moment was completely and utterly wrathful, and she
probably would’ve gotten hurt.

I went back inside, and after I’d cooled down a bit, I saw the hole in the
wall from the chair I’d thrown. I immediately felt shame and remorse
for how I acted. I replayed Mia’s horrified image in my brain, and it
made me feel disgusted. Never before had I threatened a woman,
especially a woman I loved.

But I also felt disgust – genuine disgust – over what I’d learned about
Mia’s past. She didn’t even tell me how many sexual partners she had,
but to me, one was more than enough. My dreams of the perfect wife
flew out the window. It didn’t even matter that my record wasn’t
exactly spotless. My opinion of her was forever tainted.

Still, I wanted to apologize to her. A big part of me genuinely needed to

be with Mia. So I swallowed my pride, and called her an hour later.
When she didn’t answer, I called her back. She still didn’t answer, so I
drove to her house.


She was going to talk to me.

Her roommate answered the door, and lied, saying that Mia wasn’t
home. I pushed her aside, and entered anyways. I found Mia sitting on
the couch with another guy, and immediately overreacted.

“Is this the guy you’ve been sleeping with?” I demanded to know.

“No! He’s just a friend!” she stood in between me and the other guy.
“God Evan! What is your problem?”

We got into a shouting match right there in the living room. I didn’t
care that we had an audience. Something inside me had taken over,
and I was out of control. I went to grab a nearby table, but the guy on
the couch lunged at me. Apparently, Mia had told them about the chair

We got into a fight right there on the floor.

I don’t recall exactly what happened when, but before I knew it, I was
being escorted out of Mia’s house by two police officers. I stared out
the back of the patrol car at Mia, who was in tears by this point. The
rage hadn’t cooled…it was still brewing inside of me. I envisioned her
going to bed with that guy on the couch, and I threw up inside of the
cop car.


Not a good idea.

My buddy bailed me out, and I immediately set off to reconcile with

Mia. I called, emailed, and text messaged her until she responded. It
took about two days before she returned any of my messages. When I
got her on the phone, I rambled on and on about how sorry I was, and I
promised I would never act that way again.

But it was too late. The seed was sown, and I couldn’t get out of my
mind the fact that she wasn’t a virgin. By today’s standards, it seems
silly to be so upset over something like that, but I was. My family was
very strict about these things, and as a result, so was I. That’s just how
it was.

From that point on, I couldn’t stand the sight of Mia with another guy.
I got snoopy, checking her cell phone and emails for any sign of
another man. Her MySpace page would show comments from guys I
didn’t know, and this only enraged me even more.

“Were you checking up on me?” she asked when I demanded to know

who so-and-so was on her Web site.

I never answered her. I just criticized her, calling her every name in the
book. It was obvious that I wasn’t truly sorry for how I treated Mia; I
just wanted her back into my clutches. Our relationship was fine until


the trust factor was eliminated. For some reason, however, she was
determined to work it out with me.

She told me she loved me, and I wanted to believe her. Now that I
think about it, there was nothing more Mia could do to prove to me
that her feelings were genuine. The fault was completely my own. It got
to the point where everything she said, did, and wore was subjected to
my criticism.

Still, she stuck with me.

One day, I was unable to reach her. I called her maybe three times and
hour, left messages, and called some more. Still, there was no
response. My mind conjured up a slew of theories, from casual sex to
orgies, and it made me insane in the process. I drove by her house, and
she wasn’t there. So I waited.

Two hours later, she drove up. It was past midnight, and she was
dressed to impress. She was alone, but by that point, I’d gotten so
worked up that it didn’t matter. Judging from her appearance, I could
tell that she’d been out partying, and to me, that only meant one thing.

She cheated on me.


She looked startled when I slammed my car door and marched up to

her. I grabbed her by the arm and jerked her around, demanding to
know where she’d been.

“I grabbed a few drinks with the girls!” she said.

“Dressed like that?” I scanned her outfit up and down, a disgusted look
on my face.

We bickered in the street for what seemed like hours before her
roommate noticed me punch Mia in the face. With one call to 911, I was
in handcuffs once again. Mia placed a protective order against me, and
I was forbidden to come within a certain distance of her. She broke up
with me, and my dream of making her mine was gone forever.

That was fifteen years ago. Since then, I’ve sought help for my temper
through professional counseling, but I will always live with the regret
for how I treated Mia. She was a good girl – the best. We would’ve been
very happy together, if only I were a happier person.

I’m trying each and every day to be better.

Resources for Help and Support

he following are United States and international resources for
victims of domestic violence. Before using any of these, you
should know that in many cases, abusers can track your
Internet and phone activity. If you live with someone who is violent
towards you, it is highly recommended that you seek help outside of
your home. Use the library or a friend’s Internet instead of your own,
and never make any phone calls from your permanent land line or cell
phone. Instead, find a pay phone or call from a loved one’s house.
Leave absolutely no trail for your abuser to follow.

State Coalition List of the National Coalition

against Domestic Violence


P.O. Box 4762

Montgomery, AL 36101
(334) 832-4842 Fax: (334) 832-4803
(800) 650-6522 Hotline




130 Seward Street, Room 209

Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 586-3650 Fax: (907) 463-4493


301 East Bethany Home Road, Suite C194

Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 279-2900 Fax: (602) 279-2980
(800) 782-6400 Nationwide


1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 170

Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 907-5612 Fax: (501) 907-5618
(800) 269-4668 Nationwide




P.O. Box 1798

Sacramento, CA 95812
(916) 444-7163 Fax: (916) 444-7165
(800) 524-4765 Nationwide


1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 900

Denver, CO 80203
(303) 831-9632 Fax: (303) 832-7067
(888) 778-7091


90 Pitkin Street
East Hartford, CT 06108
(860) 282-7899 Fax: (860) 282-7892
(888) 774-2900 In State DV Hotline




100 West 10th Street, #703

Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 658-2958 Fax: (302) 658-5049
(800) 701-0456 Statewide


5 Thomas Circle Northwest

Washington, DC 20005
(202) 299-1181 Fax: (202) 299-1193


425 Office Plaza

Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 425-2749 Fax: (850) 425-3091
(850) 621-4202 TDD
(800) 500-1119 In State




114 New Street, Suite B

Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 209-0280 Fax: (404) 766-3800
(800) 334-2836 Crisis Line


716 Umi Street, Suite 210

Honolulu, HI 96819-2337
(808) 832-9316 Fax: (808) 841-6028


300 Mallard Drive, Suite 130

Boise, ID 83706
(208) 384-0419 Fax: (208) 331-0687
(888) 293-6118 Nationwide



801 South 11th Street

Springfield, IL 62703
(217) 789-2830 Fax: (217) 789-1939
(217) 242-0376 TTY


1915 West 18th Street

Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 917-3685 Fax: (317) 917-3695
(800) 332-7385 In State


515 - 28th Street, Suite 104

Des Moines, IA 50312
(515) 244-8028 Fax: (515) 244-7417
(800) 942-0333 In State Hotline



634 Southwest Harrison Street

Topeka, KS 66603
(785) 232-9784 Fax: (785) 266-1874


P.O. Box 356

Frankfort, KY 40602
(502) 695-5382 Phone/Fax


P.O. Box 77308

Baton Rouge, LA 70879
(225) 752-1296 Fax: (225) 751-8927


170 Park Street

Bangor, ME 04401


(207) 941-1194 Fax: (207) 941-2327



6911 Laurel-Bowie Road, Suite 309

Bowie, MD 20715
(301) 352-4574 Fax: (301) 809-0422
(800) 634-3577 Nationwide


14 Beacon Street, Suite 507

Boston, MA 02108
(617) 248-0922 Fax: (617) 248-0902
(617) 263-2200 TTY/TDD


3893 Okemos Road, Suite B-2

Okemos, MI 48864


(517) 347-7000 Phone/TTY Fax: (517) 248-0902



590 Park Street, Suite 410

St. Paul, MN 55103
(651) 646-6177 Fax: (651) 646-1527
(651) 646-0994 Crisis Line
(800) 289-6177 Nationwide


P.O. Box 4703

Jackson, MS 39296
(601) 981-9196 Fax: (601) 981-2501
(800) 898-3234



718 East Capitol Avenue

Jefferson City, MO 65101
(573) 634-4161 Fax: (573) 636-3728


P.O. Box 818

Helena, MT 59624
(406) 443-7794 Fax: (406) 443-7818
(888) 404-7794 Nationwide


1000 "O" Street, Suite 102

Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 476-6256 Fax: (402) 476-6806
(800) 876-6238 In State Hotline
(877) 215-0167 Spanish Hotline



220 South Rock Boulevard

Reno, NV 89502
(775) 828-1115 Fax: (775) 828-9911
(800) 500-1556 In State Hotline

New Hampshire

P.O. Box 353

Concord, NH 03302
(603) 224-8893 Fax: (603) 228-6096
(866) 644-3574 In State

New Jersey

1670 Whitehorse Hamilton Square

Trenton, NJ 08690
(609) 584-8107 Fax: (609) 584-9750
(800) 572-7233 In State


New Mexico

201 Coal Avenue Southwest

Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 246-9240 Fax: (505) 246-9434
(800) 773-3645 In State

New York State

350 New Scotland Avenue

Albany, NY 12054
(518) 482-5464 Fax: (518) 482-3807
(800) 942-6906 English-In State
(800) 942-6908 Spanish-In State

North Carolina

123 West Main Street, Suite 700

Durham, NC 27701
(919) 956-9124 Fax: (919) 682-1449
(888) 232-9124 Nation wide


North Dakota

418 East Rosser Avenue, Suite 320

Bismark, ND 58501
(701) 255-6240 Fax: (701) 255-1904
(888) 255-6240 Nationwide

Action Ohio Coalition For Battered Women

5900 Roche Drive, Suite 445

Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 825-0551 Fax: (614) 825-0673
(888) 622-9315 In State


4807 Evanswood Drive, Suite 201

Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 781-9651 Fax: (614) 781-9652
(614) 781-9654 TTY
(800) 934-9840




3815 North Sante Fe Avenue, Suite 124

Oklahoma City, OK 73118
(405) 524-0700 Fax: (405) 524-0711


380 Southeast Spokane Street, Suite 100

Portland, OR 97202
(503) 230-1951 Fax: (503) 230-1973
(877) 230-1951


6400 Flank Drive, Suite 1300

Harrisburg, PA 17112
(717) 545-6400 Fax: (717) 545-9456
(800) 932-4632 Nationwide


The Office of Women Advocates

Box 11382
Fernandez Juancus Station
Santurce, PR 00910
(787) 721-7676 Fax: (787) 725-9248

Rhode Island

422 Post Road, Suite 202

Warwick, RI 02888
(401) 467-9940 Fax: (401) 467-9943
(800) 494-8100 In State

South Carolina

P.O. Box 7776

Columbia, SC 29202
(803) 256-2900 Fax: (803) 256-1030
(800) 260-9293 Nationwide


South Dakota

P.O. Box 141

Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 945-0869 Fax: (605) 945-0870
(800) 572-9196 Nationwide


2 International Plaza Drive, Suite 425

Nashville, TN 37217
(615) 386-9406 Fax: (615) 383-2967
(800) 289-9018 In State


P.O. Box 161810

Austin, TX 78716
(512) 794-1133 Fax: (512) 794-1199



205 North 400 West

Salt Lake City, UT 84103
(801) 521-5544 Fax: (801) 521-5548


P.O. Box 405

Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 223-1302 Fax: (802) 223-6943
(802) 223-1115 TTY

Women's Coalition of St. Croix

Box 2734
St. Croix, VI 00822
(340) 773-9272 Fax: (340) 773-9062



2850 Sandy Bay Road, Suite 101

Williamsburg, VA 23185
(757) 221-0990 Fax: (757) 229-1553
(800) 838-8238 Nationwide

Washington State

711 Capitol Way, Suite Suite 702

Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 586-1022 Fax: (360) 586-1024
(360) 586-1029 TTY

1402 Third Avenue, Suite 406

Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 389-2515 Fax: (206) 389-2520
(800) 886-2880 In State
(206) 389-2900 TTY


Washington State Native American Coalition Against

Domestic and Sexual Assault

P.O. Box 13260

Olympia, WA 98508
(360) 352-3120 Fax: (360) 357-3858
(888) 352-3120

West Virginia

5004 Elk River Road South

Elkview, WV 25071
(304) 965-3552 Fax: (304) 965-3572


307 South Paterson Street, Suite 1

Madison, WI 53703
(608) 255-0539 Fax: (608) 255-3560



P.O. Box 236

409 South Fourth Street
Laramie, WY 82073
(307) 755-5481 Fax: (307) 755-5482
(800) 990-3877 Nationwide

International Domestic Violence Agencies


South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA), Australia



Defensor del Pueblo Advice Center

Heriberto Gutierrez 2374
La Paz Bolivia
Phone: 00591-2 33269 Fax: 08113538



Young Women Christian Association of Belarus

Krupskaya 2-70
220118 Minsk Belaru 375-17 2 4637 45 (p/f)


Metlhaetsile Women's Centre, MWIC

Private Bag 42
Mochudi Botswana
Phone: 267-377239 Fax: 267-377195


Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres

Vancouver, British Columbia
Phone: 604-876-2622 Fax: 604-876-8450

Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre

Victoria, British Columbia
Phone: 250-383-5545 Fax: 250-383-6112


Hotline: 250-383-3232

Sexual Assault /Domestic Violence Care Centre

Hamilton, Ontario
Phone: 905-525-4573
Hotline: 905-525-4162

The Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel

Mississauga, Ontario
Phone: 905-273-9442
Hotline: 1-800-810-0180

Regional Sexual and Domestic Assault Program, Simcoe

Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital
Orillia, Ontario
Phone: 705-325-2201, ext. 3284
Hotline: 705-327-9155
1-877-377-7438 (toll free from 705 area code only)


Ottawa Rape Crisis Center

Ottawa, Ontario
Phone: 613-562-2334
Hotline: 613-562-2333

Toronto Rape Crisis Centre

Toronto, Ontario
Hotline: (416) 597-1171

Montreal Rape Crisis Centre

Montreal, Quebec
Phone: 514-934-0354
Hotline: 514-934-4504


Tartu Counseling Center

Postimaja p.k. 196
51003 Tartu
Phone: (3727) 441052 Fax: (3727) 438000



The Rape Crisis Centre Tukinainen

PL 243
00121 Helsinki
Phone: +358 9 50 363 7872 Fax: +358 9 685 19 79
Hotline: 0800-97899


Rifka Annisa Women's Crisis Center

Phone: 62-0274-518720


Rape Crisis Center-Haifa

POB 44628
Phone: 04-853-0531


Tel Aviv Rape Crisis Center

Website: (Hebrew site)


Tokyo Rape Crisis Center

P.O. Box 7
Koto-ku, Tokyo 136-8691
Phone: 81-3-3209-3692
Website: (Japanese site) (English site)


Casa Amiga-Centro de Crisis A.C.

Peru Norte 878
Cd. Juarez, Chih.
Phone: 615 3850



Women's Solidarity Support Work/Counseling Service


New Zealand

Auckland Rape Crisis

Phone: 09-3667214 Fax: 09-3666887
Hotline: 09-3667213


#3, Street No. 32, Sector F-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Phone: 92-51-260636, 252534 Fax: 92-51-254678
(Deals specifically with child sexual abuse)


GABRIELA--National Alliance of Women's Organizations in the

P.O. Box 4386


Manila 2800
Phone: 632-371-2302; 632-374-3451; 632-374-3452 Fax: 632-374-


Crisis Centre for Women

Lermontova 315, 10
Irkutsk 664082
Phone: +395 2 465869 Fax: +395 2 465509

South Africa

Rape Crisis--Cape Town

(Includes links to other centers around South Africa)

Speak Out
Rape Outcry



National Center for Battered and Raped Women

Akademiska Sjukhuset
S-751 85 Uppsala
Phone: +46-18-611 27 93 Fax: +46-18-50 7394
Hotline: 18-611 40 00

United Kingdom

Rape Crisis Federation-Wales and England

Phone: 0115 934 8474 Fax: 0115 934 8470

Scottish Rape Crisis Network


Victim Support Scotland

Phone: Edinburgh 0131 668 4486 Fax: 0131 662 5400


Victim Support National Office

Hotline: 0845 303 0900

Drug Rape Trust

Phone: +44 (0) 1702 317695

Derrick Watkins, M.S.W.
Author, Speaker, Coach
Enhancing your Ability to Communicate and Connect!

Derrick Watkins, MSW, and is a speaker, author, professional
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