It was a long road to the happiness I have today. I had a bad habit of choosing the wrong guys before I met my husband and I almost didn't give him a chance because he was too nice and too quiet. When I worked with teen moms for three years, I saw many girls shy away from nice guys and gravitate to the losers.
Why? Why would you want to be with someone that makes you miserable and treats you poorly? The answer may surprise you.
We are attracted to what is familiar. If you have grown up in a dysfunctional home, you have most likely become accustomed to a certain amount of chronic stress and conflict. In fact, sometimes you may have equated love with being controlled or manipulated. Girls, let me encourage you to realize that there is a better way to live.
Here are some reasons you may be staying with Mr. Wrong:
- You want to feel loveable. Maybe you didn't have a close relationship with your dad. You may not even know his name. Girls often turn to relationships with men at a young age because they are trying to fill a hole in their heart from not growing up with a dad. You want to prove to yourself that someone can love you and often times, if this is a driving force in your life, you will settle for what you think love looks and feels like and miss out on the real thing.
- He says all the right things. Guys can be so sweet and charming, especially when they have the type of personality that seeks to dominate and control. You may have been dying to hear how beautiful you are, how much someone needs you...and when the first guy that whispers those things in your ear comes along, you think you've found the one.
- You never learned what a healthy relationship looks like. My grandparents have been married for almost 60 years. When my husband and I got married we decided to model our marriage after theirs. Both sets of our parents were dysfunctional and had been married several times. We both grew up in homes with domestic violence. We knew what we didn't want. But, we needed a benchmark for what we did want and so we looked to my grandparents.
- You believe you can change him. Unless someone wants to change, there is no amount of wishing, sulking, nagging and pushing you can do that will make one ounce of difference. And, if your guy doesn't want to change for the right reasons, you can't make him.
- You are afraid. Let me be very clear-- If your boyfriend/fiance/husband has ever raised a hand to you or threatened you with bodily harm, it is NOT ok. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and find a way for you and your child to be safe. If he has hurt you once, he will hurt you again. No matter what he says or promises, unless he is receiving treatment there is not hope for your relationship. Please, please get help!
- You fear being alone. You've gotten used to having someone to talk to that isn't a toddler, someone to hug you and someone that is on your team. Being a single mom is hard and you just don't know if you have it in you to trust that God has someone out there for you that will love you and treat you the way you deserve.