I get it. You left a guy who's been hurting you in some way for years, right? Or, you left a guy who seemed like the one you left before~because he reminded you of the guy you left...did the same kinds of things, and you knew you were heading down the same path, right? You're wondering if all that's out there are bad men, and thinking that's all you can find so it must be true, so you either have to pick the best from a bad bunch and "train" him, or just stop dating altogether. Well, you are right, and wrong at the same time.
Destructive men look for and find certain women. The women they find crave something they offer, and that something is usually intensity, passion, speed, and excitement. Women who find this kind of guy get used to having romance on steriods and from look for love and partners who play into their fantasy of what romance "should" be, or what they wish it really was. The women who believe that all the ordinary guys are boring and can't hold their interest or the ones who get into relationships fast, and date too soon after a destructive relationship ~ or ~ they start feeling lonely after the dust settles from a break up. They are serious when they say they're done, yet somehow, they start wanting his contact or initiating it, or they hope one last conversation or email or text or whatever, will cause him to finally "get it" and come running back, begging forgiveness and understanding, and proclaiming he changed this time...and if he does, they believe it because they want to, and because they cannot yet handle that unexpected void that is guaranteed to come after you leave a toxic relationship. It feel like loneliness, but it is not that at all...it is your first hurdle to expect and to overcome if you are ever going to have a successful break up and keep toxic guys out of your life forever. Miss this part and you are doomed to go back, or to start dating other destructive and abusive men, period.
A relationship with a destructive man is always and forever unworkable, so you need to understand that a destructive man is anyone who is toxic, disconnected, emotionally stunted or vacant, not showing concern for you, your life, your interests or opinions, your health, or your needs. He may be emotionally or physically abusive or harmful in some way, even if only slightly or inconsistently~and he will have many good qualities that you use to negotiate against yourself with, so the bad stuff is more tolerable. A destructive guy may seem financially unaware or actually be financially in control, and controlling, which could feel comforting and like you are being taken care of, but he can also be, or become financially abusive as a way to keep you with him or as a way to maintain his power and control in the relationship.
Destructive guys, simply put, are guys who negatively impact your life in some way consistently. That's all you really need to know to make the decision about staying with or returning to a guy, or not. If there is any destructive pattern, you need to end it. When you do, educate yourself about destructive guy behaviors even though you think you already know what they are after living it...and focus on the other side of the equation at the same time ~ you ~ because there IS an interaction that brought you together, there is something he saw in you and there is something about you that leads his type to you. That doesn't mean you are at fault for being abused or harmed, it means your radar isn't workin. It means you are not aware of yourself and how you are perceived by toxic men and how they work your desirable relationship qualities to their advantage. No woman ends up with a destructive guy without being tricked in the beginning, but to ensure you never return to a toxic guy AND never have another relationship like that again, ever, ever, ever, you have to learn about you after you grasp what the hell just happened (the "him" part & why he does/doesn't do "x").
Once you get that, you will be able to learn how to spot these guys a mile away, and more importantly, you'll know how to deflect them, because you can't stop a destructive guy and they cannot change, so no more resisting what is, it's time to surrender to the truths about him, and face your truths too, without judging anything...just seeing it all objectively, like you are watching a movie, so you can see your power is right there, waiting for you to take charge of your life.
Here are a some Destructive Behavior Traits:
*Repetitive, cyclical arguments that go nowhere (similar to how a teenager would argue).
*Twisting what has been said.
*Changing the meaning of what he said or promised.
*Claiming you misunderstand or implying that he has superior knowledge.
*Judgmental of others but not sincerely self-reflective, never self-correcting.
*Agreements and compromises are not absorbed or meaningful, but appear to be.
*Agreeable for self-serving purposes (hollow promises and committments).
*Isolating a word in your sentence and harping on it, even taking it out of context and repeatedly using it to prove you wrong (this is called using lexical meanings).
*Inconsistent kindness: lots of generosity and good old fashioned charm and affection, followed by the polar opposite, or noticable slowing of attentionwhich he will downplay and dismiss as "normal" or blame on a distraction ie: money, bills, stress, kids, boss, job...
*You / the relationship suddenly becomes a lower priority, after a very passionate start.
*That "I have found my soul-mate" connection you shared feels different, or disappears.
*Noticeable emotional disconnection for no reason and without warning.
*Disconnection is denied, downplayed, or rationalized ~ only to resurface the same way.
*Mood shifts and irritation, especially if you stand up to him or hold him accountable.
*Unresolved arguments and agreed upon changes that don't last for long.
*Discounting, discrediting, judging and/or disregarding your experiences or feelings.
These are only some of the commonly shared behaviors of destructive people that signal an unworkable situation ~ so why would anyone go back to that?!! There are many reasons, but to start with, these behaviors are far more subtle than anyone would expect, and they can easily go undetected for a long time and gaslighting is also a part of this world~which is a "wear-down" technique that essentially trains you to doubt yourself and question your instinct and confidence, sabotaging you no matter what you you've see, heard, or know to be true.. You will wonder more about what is wrong with you and if you are actually experiencing these things or not because at the heart of the problem is deception of the slimest, most evil kind. You are not in a relationship, you are in a head game and a state of confusion and survival. The outside world, and you, see one thing, the reality is quite another. It takes time to get your head around that...and you subconsciously linger on the beginning, when he was so nice, and charming and everything good ~ and you try to reconnect with that thinking the way things turned is the problem when it is the way things started that was the biggest deception of all, then once you were hooked, he became himself because he knew you would continually try to make it work, ie - tolerate him far longer than another woman would.
These guys always have unworkable relationships. They always create "crazy-making" relationships. They can't do them any other way; they are emotionally retarded.
When you give up on them, you can do so guilt free, and then bust your ass learning the truth about toxicity in relatioships, how to spot it when dating, how it shows up in subtle behaviors early on that you may dismiss, or rationalize or interpret early on...and then balance your training so you know how you got entangled in this web, and how to work your inner sassy back to the surface and protect yourself from harm going forward, forever. These two sides have to be learned so you CAN spot these guys a mile away, stop the craving for intensity after you leave the intense guy, which will feel like loneliness, and understandably so, but it is not, and set out to have a successful break up that will change the way you do relationships, love, and dating forevermore.
1) PERSONALIZE your learning.Identify the Specific destructive traits you have been dealing with, NOT just random information on abusers and losers. Make it personal and all about you and your relationship and it's patterns. Learn about this stuff from a personal perspective. een, but do it with a self-serving purpose, not to confirm if he is as big of a loser as you expect ~ not to bash him (as nice as that idea might feel) but to help you break free from the clairty it will give you, and to help you see the patterns you were dealing with, and why you grew so exhausted from this crazy-maker.
2) Know what YOUR Traps are ~ feeling lonely is one big one...it will lead you back into harms way. Learning things like it isn't actually lonliness you are experiencing but a void that is created from stopping the choas and intensity, can be enough to help you move on to the next part of rebuilding your life in a much more powerful and self-protective way.
Do so and ou won't ever get sucked back in or set up by him or any other guy who has these traits ever again, for the rest of your life.
The Home Study Program
It isn't just anger, aggression, or physical attack that signals a destructive or toxic relationship, there can also be an eerie calm or quietness to destructive guys, or they may seem very confident, but it's actually arrogance, and most likely intensity that you interpreted, misjudged, or ignored for whatever reason or desire (or because of the chemistry).
Destructive guys are very intense when they are trying to pull you into their world. They can have intensity outside of intimacy too, and it can make them quite successful with some things (job, success, money, sex, romance,) but unable to handle emotional connection or depth of feeling. They do one thing at a time really well, but when many things are happening at once (ie: balancing family + career + money demands), then he drops the ball on the emotional connection first to uphold impressions and to feed his ego.
If he is using a lot of intensity in some area in particular, it's like it zaps his time and energy from other things, so there is always an imbalance to his life that will begin to affect you personally. If a destructive feels like he is being questioned or undermined in any way, he may have quick bursts anger or lose control for a just a moment, followed by a quick retreat, embarrassment that you feel responsible for, or an justification/apology.
He may "gaslight" you, which basically means, you are made to feel like you misunderstand things or that the conversation you had was not actually had, or if you don't repeat what he said precisely the way he said it, he will claim to have never said it at all, or he will claim that a promise made was not actually made, or that it wasn't made in the way you understood it, and you know better. There is a lot of word play and interpretation that goes on in his head, and he is convincing about his righteousness. No matter how on the ball you are, it can throw you and cause you second guess and yourself and doubt your memory. It's exhausting, but it's also a way to make you rely on him more for basic things because it very slowly undermines your memory, your intelligence, and your self confidence.
There are other signs and behaviors, these are just a few, but it is traits like this that show up frequently and are often difficult to put your finger on. Relationship-centered, trusting women get trapped and sucked back in because of these things, and because they think no one would really do this stuff or be so calculating because they are not that way themselves, but when women who are the most capable of self-reflection, change and growth expect that everyone else can also grow and change at the same level, they get spotted and trapped by toxic men because they are more tolerant and more likely women to change and to accept less, and the destructive guy needs that. Destructive men cannot change ~ and that is a tough concept to accept when change comes easily for you.
Women in bad relationships often have the same expectations of their men (and others) that they would have of interactions with normal, mutually respectful relationships. They get caught up waiting and expecting the situation to get back to the "normal" they saw in the beginning, when they were charmed, deceived, and most likely pursued with intensity. The tactics and default actions I mentioned above set her up to believe that the guy was normal in the beginning, and then something happened, but the reality is, destructive people fake the beginning and then slow their game or drop their guard after they've won someone over and have their trust. "Normal" for a destructive, is nasty. It's the side of them she gets after she fell into the day to day rhythm of life with him, after he's sure she is really on the hook and he knows how to play her because he learned how she is likely to respond to his behaviors, and tests her often to keep up the game. Hopefulness, giving other chances, accepting apologies, and expecting awareness about the pain he causes traps her further because changes never last...but they are promised and so, keep her second-guessing if he is the good guy she met, or the bad guy she experiences.
When you are always second guessing yourself and wondering if you are wrong, or if you have misunderstood things ~ you naturally begin to question yourself...was it really my misunderstanding? Has my memory fooled me? Did he really forget? Is he right that he never did say "X," or agree to "Y..." but then you remember he did and you remember it clearly. It's a total head-game relationship that keeps you invested and trying, and because these warped guys are very convincing, you stay for too long, and return repeatedly often, to those false promises of change that will not be fulfilled.
These are NOT the only characteristics to look out for, but if you notice them, pay attention! Notice how you feel and if you are being gaslighted and resist the urge to doubt your instinct. Look for patterns and watch for the word play. Notice what happens after you request a change and he agrees to it...does the change actually happen, and if so, how long does it last? These are the things to pay attention to when you are trying to figure out if your relationship with someone is workable or not. It simplifies things quickly, because changes and positive improvements don't last long with these guys, it's like they have the emotional level and ability of a 13 or 14 year old and their memory is selective and self-serving. The inability to change and an inability to acknowledge the pain he causes are also very good indicators that it's a hopeless relationship of harm and you need to bail ~ it's necessary, not workable, so you are failing unless you stay and try harder.
If you realize your situation is unworkable, it is very important to know how to respond to the pattern you have with him. Consistent patterns will be visible if you look for them and make the connections, and patterns tell you that you are responding in a certain way ~ in a way that keeps the cycle going, in a way that empowers him (and disempowers you), and that also works to keep you trapped and hopeful.
I often refer to these patterns and how they work together as Trait-Traps, his destructive behaviors being the Traits, and your responses becoming a Traps. He relies on you to respond in a certain way, he tested you and learned your responses, and he counts on you delivering consistently so he can out maneuver you. After you begin recognize a the pattern, however, you can break out of the cycle he put you in. The most important self protective step you can take is to respond differently the next time you spot a destructive, manipulative tactic occur. Shift into observation mode so you can see the patterns as that will help you distance yourself emotionally.
My programs help you spot the patterns, the Traits AND the Traps, giving you your power back. Once you see the patterns and match his traits to your expected responses ("traps"), clarity comes instantaneously. You'll not wonder another second if your relationship is workable or unworkable. You'll know. If you determine it to be unworkable, you stop the craziness and the on-again/off-again by crafting new responses that are self-protective and different than what you've done before. Eventually spotting a destructive and unworkable relationship becomes fast and automatic; you'll see it, AND know how to respond, which frees you from this kind of harm forever. Once you identify specific Traits & Traps in your relationship, the jig is up and you can't ever not see it again, which goes a long way to helping you decide when a break up is necessary, and when you can feel guilt free about it.