You “attract” these kinds of guys because you put up with this behavior. You have to get outside your self-normalized vision of the world and realize that the majority of women, when the very FIRST red flags start popping up, a few weeks or months in, dump these guys and move on.
So it’s not so much that you are “attracting” them as that you don’t have a healthy understanding of what constitutes a red flag going into these relationships, and you are entirely too understanding of poor behavior, so you put up with it.
And these guys find the idea of a woman “putting up” with them intoxicating. Most people have healthy expectations and boundaries, and so respond to these guys’ behavior with negativity. They are used to feeling “misunderstood” by everyone around them. So they immediately fall for you and girls like you who “understand” them. Really, it’s just that you have a high tolerance for bullshit.
But it makes YOU feel loved when what’s really happening is that they just love how you make them feel normal and accepted.
During the year I spent single before meeting FI, I went through numerous Tinder dates. I locked down my emotions and analysed every guy. I brought up the future early on to see comfortable/uncomfortable the guy would be talking about it. I watched to see if they asked ME questions, and seemed to care about ME as a person, or just seemed to be after something FROM me.
One guy seemed PERFECT on paper. Tall, blond, handsome, smart, an oncologist.
But every single date we went on turned in to him bitching and moaning about his life. And never asking about mine. I was swayed by the handsomeness and thought maybe he was just going through a particularly tough spot, and so gave him a big longer than I otherwise would, but he just kept proving my initial impression correct. He would call me in “crisis mode” and I’d rush over only to listen to him whine and bitch about some minor thing or other at his new job.
Younger, more inexperience, FARRR less healthy me would have kept pursuing that relationship. I would have gotten my own self-esteem all wrapped up in whether or not HE liked ME. Why didn’t he seem interested in ME? Was I not intersting enough? Why wasn’t he calling very much?? Etc.
Older, more experienced, healthy me recognized his unhealthy thought patterns and negligent behavior toward me as classic martyr/narcissist/user behavior. I was able to keep enough space between us, from the start, to see that he was a deeplpy troubled and unhappy person, and his seeming lack of interest in me had NOTHING to do with me and everything to do with his own neurosis.
I am not coming from a judgemental place, trust me. I have been there. I think a LOT of the women on the Bee have been there. We are mostly speaking from experience.
With that in mind, I am going to go through your post and identify for you where YOUR own actions were unhealthy. Because all you can control is yourself, not your partner, ever. And all you can change is yourself moving forward to break out of this patter.
We continued the LDR for another 6 months, until I lost my job and he asked me to move in with him.
So am I mistaken that you only physically saw this guy once in a year, then moved in with him? Or did the second 6 months involve more physical meetings that aren’t mentioned here?
Either way, NEVER EVER move in with a guy on HIS terms. You completely give away your power when you do that. YOU see it as you being trusting and open. HE sees it as you being COMPLIANT and NAIVE.
Not to mention the obvious lesson here that people can FAKE a persona in a LDR, very easily. I wouldn’t trust the person on the other side of the LDR unless I was seeing them multiple times a month, every month. And probably not even then, until we were able to live in the same city (NOT together) and see each other on a routine basis, meet each other’s friends, etc.
He went through my phone while I was sleeping and found the text and told me to get out of his life. I was terrified that our relationship was over. I left the house and spent two hours crying in a park, writing a letter asking for forgiveness. He forgave me, and ended up proposing the next day.
– This is 3-4 HUGE red flags together and you just glossed over all of them. I can maybe overlook the snooping through your phone, but most people view snoopping as a red flag. Maybe he was a bit paranoid, trust issues, whatever.
But even if YOU can overlook the snooping, you shouldn’t overlook his massively overblown reaction. He saw something that you didn’t even say that hurt his ego, and he punished YOU for it, in a very over the top way. Reactions out of proportion to the incident are a big red flag. It’s a manipulation tactic.
The MORE hurt and angry an abuser can seem in reaction to an incident, the MORE compliant and sorry and apologetic that can get YOU to be. And sure enough, you spent 2 hours crying in a park and writing him a huge long letter professing your love and begging for forgiveness.
FOR WHAT??? For having a friend who cared about you and was giving you sound advise. Abusers can’s stand for their victims to have strong, caring friends who give sound advice. So they isolate their victims from their friends using exactly this tactic.
MOST healthy women would have walked away at that point. They would have recognized the manipulation tactic. They would have seen the huge ego that couldn’t take being hurt. They would have seen the immaturity of being blamed for something they didn’t even do. They would KNOW that the mature way to handle that would have been to have a non-confrontational chat where both partners’ feelings on the matter were voiced, explored, and validated lovingly. And they would have seen the start contrast between the HEALTHY way to respond to that situation and the VERY UNHEALTHY way your SO chose to respond.
Love-Bombing is another red flag abuse tactic he employed here. On the heels of telling you to “get out of his life,” when you responded exactly like he wanted you to, proving your compliancy to him, he “rewarded” you by PROPOSING.
After only living together for 3 months. After a huge blow-out fight in which he basically broke up with you. His test was to reject you to see if you’d come crawling back. He rejected, you came crawling back. You DID NOT stand your ground, call him on HIS nonsense (snooping, over-reacting, mis-placed blame, bully tactics, name-calling, etc), and argue for yourself – as a healthy woman would have done.
The argument was basically a power negotiation in which he proclaimed he would have ALL the power in the relationship and you would have none. You signaled you were ok with that by groveling, so he decided he’d “keep you” and proposed as a reward. Good girl, here’s a treat.
He was very angry all the time, I blamed this on his disease. We fought about everything. Things out of my control. He began to hate my parents because they’d ask me when he was going to start work, he demanded respect from them and didn’t believe he had to earn it. He began to hate my friends.
He was angry all the time (red flag) – you excused the anger by deciding there were circumstances that made it OK.
Healthy women NEVER excuse their partner’s anger. They demand respect and good-humor at all times, DESPITE outside circumstances. My FI can have the shittiest day at work, but he better not come home and try to take it out on me. I am no one’s whipping post. Instead of deciding you deserved better than to have someone take out their anger on you, you made excuses for him. That is what unhealthy women do. They accept the terrible treatment.
And not only do they accept it, they come up with an excuse for their partner so that they can DIVORCE the treatment from the person. “So and so can’t HELP that he treats me this way,” is the common refrain from battered wives and girlfriends.
The next red flag is deciding he hates basically EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE. Your parents are mean, your friends are mean. This is Isolate Your Victim 101. I’d say at least 90% of the time a partner talks badly about every single friend and family member, it’s a case of abuse and they are trying to isolate you. The next time you wind up with an SO who can’t get along with your friends and family, recognize it as a red flag.
He screamed in my face while visiting my friends apartment and that’s when I knew he was never going to change. We returned back home and I told him how I was feeling and that I didn’t think we could make things work. He convinced me to stay and promised we would fix everything.
He screamed in your face. You initially decided that crossed the line, but you then allowed him to talk you into staying. Red flag: Escalation of blatant disrespect into abuse. Red flag: Shamelessly apologetic and conciliatory when victim grows a backbone… JUST long enough to get victim to stay.
Just to reiterate, since you asked why you seem to attract these kinds of guys, I’m going to list out the red flags (and these are just the oones we know about, from your post,) so that you can see the MANY MANY places where a healthy woman would have left for good.
You don’t “attract” these guys – but the fact that you put up with their terroble treatment of you means that they default to you and women like you. No one else wants anything to do with them. Learn to recognize the signs so you can’t be victimized in the future.
– Moving in with a guy solely on HIS terms. (Signals you will give away all of your power)
– Snoops through your things with no consequences. (He has all the power)
– Manipulation via overblown reactions. (Testing his ability to KEEP the power he has, and take even more)
– Love-bombing (makes you reliant on his rewards to feel loved – gives him control over your self-esteem)
– Anger directed at you constantly (Tests just how poorly you will allow yourself to be treated, if you will excuse away their behavior)
– Attempts to isolate you from friends and family. (Doesn’t want you to have resources outside the relationship to turn to)
– Steady escalation of offenses from overblown reactions to name calling to screaming in close physical proximity and so on. (Slow but steady escalation allows time for the victim to normalize each step before moving on to the next – boiling a lobster slowly method)
– Apologetic and conciliatory WHEN it serves them and only AFTER abuse has occurred. (Just Words – if they really had the empathy to feel sorry, they wouldn’t have abused in the first place)
You have all the power in the world to avoid this type of relationship in the future. Educate yourself on abuse. Educate yourself on red flags to look out for. Put your emotions firmly under lock and key for the first few months of ANY relationship so that you can maintain enough distance to appraise yourself of the other person’s character before becoming vulnerable to emotional manipulation.