Is any man better than no man? I just don't get it.

Now I’m not saying I’m the sharpest knife in the drawer, but some people are so screwed up I wonder how they draw breath.

I got a call the other day from a guy who called to tell me that my assistant has a serious drug problem, that she was a slut, that when she called in sick she wasn’t really sick but off doing drugs and banging guys, and that he thought I should get her some help. Total bullshit, as far as I can tell from her performance and demeanor, which is unfailingly professional. After considering whether to tell her about the call or not, I decided to, since I figured she had a right to know somebody was calling her workplace and trying to hurt her professionally. She rushed out and didn’t come back for a couple of hours, and then was visibly upset – well who wouldn’t be? Turns out it was her boyfriend. They’d been having problems for a while, and he’d up and moved out (left the city, in fact) and his last act was to call her workplace and tell her boss that she’s a druggie and a slut. I’m comforting her as best I can – that asshole! Don’t worry, I didn’t take it seriously – until it dawns on me that she’s upset because he’s left her. What is she going to do without her man? How could he walk out on her when she loves him so much?

WTF??? This is a guy who is such a disrespectful, vindicitive dick that he calls your work and attempts to get you in serious trouble. And you want him back? You want to know what you did to deserve to be left? Shit, girl, ask what you did to deserve to be treated so badly! Are you so afraid of being without a man that you’ll take just any old asshole, and nevermind how he treats you? How can I comfort you when what I really want to do is tell you to grow a spine? Ladies, I’m proud to be one of you, but sometimes I just don’t get us.

From a great tv show that was cancelled before its time…

“I understand what could make a woman feel like any man is better than nothing. I just don’t understand what makes any woman feel like she has nothing to begin with.”
-Sports Night

oh, I am so there!

I spent years listening to one of my friends bemoan this man (who on their best times, lived w/her at her house, cheated on her at every opportunity, left her, then for the next decade would stop by her house on his way home after a date w/another woman for a quickie) - she’d go on and on endlessly about “this time, he said ‘bye’ instead of ‘see ya’, I think he’s really leaving me this time!” Ummm, he’s not really with you, so he can hardly leave, and trust me, he doesn’t mean **anything ** more than ‘hoping to fuck you some more some time when it’s convenient for me’. No, I didn’t put it that way. I will say, however, that the slime had the good sense to slink out of my way w/o attempting eye contact whenever we crossed paths.

I dunno why some of us do things like this. (carefully not mentioning certain slimebuckets I had the bad sense to marry fercryinoutloud)

Hell, I’m a guy and I wonder about the same thing.

Actually, since any man you date will be imperfect, and no man will be perfect, and since perfect is better than imperfect, no man is better than any man. Right? :slight_smile:

Of course any man is better than no man! How else do you think I got dates? :wink:

Dear Blessed Jesus, I hear you. However, just for shits and giggles, here are a few of my theories on why such women hang on to such men (with all due respect to the fact that this type of situation can work in the reverse, or among gay couples, the OP’s about a hetero female, so I’m going with that). . .

a) As a single gal (who’s happy not to have to share the remote), I can tell you that the pervasive assumption still seems to be that being single is not “normal” (as a result, if people view you as pretty, smart, funny, or possessed of whatever other qualities they think are pertinent to catching a mate, they consider it very strange indeed if you do not have one). I can also tell you that one of the things I appreciate when I am dating someone is the fact that people stay off my back… that, and having a date for weddings. :wink: So maybe this girl is just horrified by the idea of people looking at her like she’s The Elephant Man and/or feeling sorry for her because she’s single.

b) I truly believe that sometimes people confuse the “hard work” and “compromise” that is necessary in a relationship with the relinquishment of power in the situation. In other words, your assistant may be deluding herself into viewing this asshole’s current and previous behavior as simply a “rough patch”, something that happens to ALL couples. My whole life growing up, my sister was the consummate Bitch On Wheels. We all loved her, and still do, but she wasn’t always easy to live with, and generally got her way. Now that she’s married, however, I look at the things that woman puts up with from her husband and wonder who the hell she is, and what she’s done with my sister???

c) Over the past couple of years, I’ve discovered what happens to people who don’t feel like anyone (I mean ANYONE) has ever loved them. I, personally, having been the Spoiled Little Princess growing up, have never had this issue. As a result, I am probably NOT too good at making the aforementioned “compromises” (in other words, worship me or leave, Buddy). However, recently I’ve gotten to know a woman who honestly does not feel like anyone (including her parents) has ever really loved her. And I’ve watched what she’ll endure in a relationship for even one iota of an inkling of a pinch of love…

That’s my dollar and two cents. Make of it what you will. I have to go home now.

“Being Single means you always know whose fault it is that the trash hasn’t been taken out.”

And I don’t get it, either. Frankly, I’m quite content with no man (sorry, guys) and don’t understand my mother’s insistance that I’m missing something.

I can’t for the life of me imagine what. :wink:

Having once been where your friend is, Jodi, I can tell you that it’s a self esteem issue. Likely she is convinced, for whatever reason, that she either can’t do better or doesn’t deserve better and so she puts up with the emotional, psychological, and possibly physical abuse, grateful that he “loves” her and convinced that she is lucky to have him and if something is wrong, it’s obviously her fault because she’s flawed.

auntie em

I’m afraid I was one of those people, and I knew I was bait for some idiot who would tell me no one else would ever love me, so I simply didn’t date when I was in my early 20’s. It may have been a harsh remedy, but it did keep me out of reach of the assholes. Yes, being and feeling alone can be bad, even horrendous. Being with an abusive lout is worse.

I will have love, honor, and respect, or I will have nothing. If that’s absolutist, so be it, but I do a good enough job damaging myself. I don’t need someone else’s help.

“I’m feeling much better now.”

Don’t get me wrong – I love men. Tall, short, fat, skinny, bald, hairy, whatever – I wouldn’t want to do without 'em. And I hope to find Mr. Right someday, wherever he’s hiding.

But I wouldn’t trade my self-respect to have a man on my arm and in my life. I wouldn’t want to be with a man who didn’t like me enough (never mind love, just plain old like) to treat me well – and I don’t mean like the Queen of the Universe (though worshipful adoration will of course not be spurned) but like a person worthy of simple common decency. It’s not the “I love me a man!” thing I don’t get; it’s the “go ahead – treat me like a doormat!” thing.

It just doesn’t make sense to me – to see a woman get treated appallingly bad and then hear her ask What’s wrong with me? And I can’t even say “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with you” because there is. But it’s not what she thinks it is – the inability to keep a man – it’s something else – the warped belief that someone else’s bad behavior is her fault. But only if that “someone else” is a man, of course; she’d never take that shit from a girlfriend.

I’m not sure if men put up with this level of crap from women. Probably they do. So I shouldn’t cast it in terms of gender. I don’t understand why anyone would react that way. I mean, I see it, but I just don’t get it.

Opening a thread in the Pit without such a PATHETIC ATTEMPT at vulgarity?

The shame, the shame…

OK -

I’m old enough to remember these terms:

‘Old maid’

‘Confirmed bachelor’

I also remember that they were age-delineated:

a woman who reaches 30 w/o marrying is an ‘old maid’

a man who reaches 36 w/o marrying is a ‘confirmed bachelor’

you may now discuss the social origins and/or impact of these terms.

Same here. I am the apple of my father’s eye. He would do anything, go anywhere, and give the shirt off his back to make me happy. He used his love appropriately though, teaching and disciplining me in the ways of being self-reliant. Because I knew I was loved to the point of “good parenting”, I was able to love myself. I had parents who put aside their own selfish desire to make things easier for themselves and who actually took the time to raise me properly. I value me, and because of that I cannot ever imagine allowing a man to abuse me.

This past Thanksgiving, a dear high school friend of mine told me he would be visiting from California for Christmas. He was bringing his new fiance home to meet the family, and he asked me to put together a New Year’s party for them. I agreed. December came and went. I planned the party. Christmas came and went. I didn’t hear from him. I called his mother’s house on New Year’s Day, and he had been in town for a week and just hadn’t called. Then he says, “Oh, we’re on our way out the door to visit Mama’s relatives an hour away. I’ll call you tomorrow.” I, of course, said “What the fuck do you mean? You asked me to plan a party for you guys, and I did!” His response? “You actually did that? Wow. Well, uh, I have to go now, but tell everybody I said hi, and I’m really sorry for not being there, but I’ll call you tomorrow. We’ll go catch a movie.”

The party went on without him, and so has my life. He called the next day, but did he apologize? Fuck no. I will never speak to him again as long as there is breath in my body. I don’t put up with that shit, and I certainly wouldn’t if he and I were dating. I am valuable. Period.

I was thinking it was one of two things:

a) rohypnol; or

b) a panel van and a couple of accomplices.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :wally

Hear hear! :applause!:

I’ve been there – the stories I could tell…

I didn’t realize until I was in my mid 20s that self-esteem plays a bigger part in one’s life than one may realize. As Shrew mentioned, parental guidance/acceptance plays a major role. Unfortunately, so does society and the mass media. I remember thinking back in high school that I would never, ever look like a model on the cover of Seventeen; therefore nobody would ever love me.

The underlying subconscious message? “I’ll take what I can get” :shudder:

The sad truth is that Jodi’s co-worker probably has no idea why she’s “flawed”…or, if she does, she’s swallowed it to the extent that she’d let herself be involved with such a fuckwit. And I can understand where Jodi’s coming from, in that if your self-esteem’s been high to begin with, it can be difficult to understand why someone else’s would be so low.

Hopefully Jodi’s co-worker learns something from all this…

Um…I don’t have much to say but that I agree.

Seeing as how I’m not of much help, allow me to link to my favorite comic strip.

Originally posted by Jodi

Bada bing. You said the magic phrase. “I wouldn’t trade my self-respect”. If you have no self-respect to trade, however, I’m guessing you’ll wind up with an asshole & beg them to keep you.

I’m very lucky insofar as I have parents like Shrew’s dad. They’ve always respected me & taught me that I should respect myself. Ergo, they’ve taught me that I’m worthy of respect - if some guy acts like an asshole, buh-bye for him.

My closest girlfriend was terribly abused by her mother physically, emotionally, verbally, psychologically. Not sexually - that was about the only one on the list she managed to avoid. Her mother told her she was lower than dirt in almost every way. Not worthy of anything even resembling respect.

Since I met her almost five years ago, she’s had at least two relationships with guys who didn’t respect her - and she took it. She’s finally learned in the past year (through a relationship with a wonderful man) that she’s worthy of respect, & fuck any “boyfriend” who won’t deign to give it to her.

She said something interesting to me, though, those times when I commiserated with her about the assholes she was pining after. She said something to the effect of,

“I know I take this crap, and I know a lot of other women who do & would probably take this crap, but you’re different. I know that if a guy fucked with you, you’d be gone. You’re really strong & smart like that”.

And I told her; it’s not about any of that, it’s about self-respect. I know I should be treated nicely 'cause that’s what I was taught & shown. It’s all about the self respect. And thankfully, she’s learned that. Hopefully this woman will learn that as well - she just needs a shove. A large one, I’m guessing.

As auntie em noted, this is not limited to women. A very good friend and former almost-boyfriend of mine (who I’ll call “J”) got involved with a man (“T”) who seemed to be near-perfect: very nice, very involved in J’s life, very much in love with J.

Over the course of several years, it became apparent to me through IM conversations with J (they’d moved to the other side of the state) that there was trouble in paradise. T was starting to be jealous, controlling, and treating J like shit. We actually had to have a “code word” to initiate a real IM convo, because T would log on as J to see where J had been.

I lost touch with J for a while (T was apparently limiting J’s online freedom) until a social club that I’m a member of noted in its email newsletter that “J” would be bartending at the next event. So I e-mailed J and told him I’d see him there, with a parenthetical aside about whether or not he’d gotten rid of “the asshole” yet.

J never showed up at the event. The next weekend, however, he was at my local bar, in town to visit for a while. With a black eye and a gash on the temple. It turns out that T saw that the e-mail I’d sent was from me and made J open it in front of him. T then proceeded to punch J in the face and try to gouge him. J had “escaped” the next day and was staying in town for a while.

But here’s the kicker (other than my insane desire to show T his own optic nerve)…J was mad at me for getting him in trouble with T! He wanted to get back with him!

I didn’t understand it. I still don’t, really. I mean, I understand the self-esteem issues involved. But I just don’t get the dynamic that says that a man who controls and HITS you is someone you want to get back with.

I have/had lousy self-esteem. I spent years and years in self-loathing, for my looks, for my weight, for my mental and emotional attributes. But I would never stay in a controlling or abusive relationship. Not in a million years. I don’t understand that…


Well as society would have it, you are only a woman if you have a man. Everything is geared towards couples. Little girls are taught that being mommy, wife, and companion are what life is about for the female gender. Lots of things are changing, have already changed, and hopefully will continue to change. People have started to realize that having a mate is not necessary to survive in today’s world. But there are women who just feel like their lives are not complete unless they are half of a couple.
I am definitely not one to take any crap off of anyone. I’m a nice person, do anything for anyone that asks, and generally a do-gooder. But I’ll tell anyone up front that I’m honest, straightforward and have no tact whatsoever. So if you don’t want to hear it then don’t ask. Men tend to be put off by these particular personality traits. So be it. We need to learn that your worth is not measured by your marital status.

“It’s better to be alone than to wish you were.”—Eve’s wise old Aunt Ida