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[QUOTE=realguy]It"s when these women complain they can"t find another that bothers me. How can anyone date a person who holds love in such disregard?
The woman I married wouldn"t let a man abuse her nor think of any man who is this type in any high regard. That was attractive to me. Many men liked this fact about her. Shows she knows quality. It"s also called loving yourself. When one can do this. Then their ready to love another.[/QUOTE]

RG, I think Goody and Ruth both make a lot of sense and really know from where they speak. In the first sentence above, it sounds like you're saying women who have been through this like Goody and Ruth, didn't deserve to be loved by anyone because they were once in abusive relationships. That's a bit harsh. We all have the right to make mistakes and learn lessons.

But being the type of person who would find themself in this kind of relationship usually goes back to a woman's childhood. Francene Hughes is a really good example. From what I remember from the book and movie, her childhood was not abusive, but her parents were somewhat cold and withholding, etc. She came from a very old fashioned background, and when she married her husband Mickey, he didn'tstart abusing her until after they married, and by then she believed "stand by your man, you take the bitter with the sweet" and all that, in fact that's what her mother told her. Everyone in her life was against her leaving him, even as his abuse escalated to horrific levels. She divorced him, but he got in a car accident and his family insisted she move in next door and care for him, since he was the father of her kids and "it was her responsibility' and the abuse continued to escalate until she felt so trapped, tortured that she snapped and set his bed on fire while he slept. I wouldn't dare even try to imagine what she must have gone through or why. But to say she doesn't have the right to get well and find real love is pretty harsh. I heard another abused woman tell her story and how after she got away from her horribly abusive husband she met another man who was wonderful to her, but she was still pretty shell shocked. They were out to dinner and he raised his hand to summon the waiter, and she ducked out of reflex. It took a while, but he loved her for all her wonderful qualities until she was able to gain the security and confidence to heal from the abuse.

I consider myself very lucky that I was never in a physically abusive relationship. But I was in a relationship that could possibly be described by some as verbally or emotionally abusive at times. As I struggled to maintain my self esteem in this relationship, I still stood for things I never thought I would, as a feminist who read "Men Who Hate Women and The Women Who Love Them" and all those books, and such. I made a mistake in staying with him so long, but I think it's wrong to say that's why I haven't found anyone else, or why I don't deserve to find anyone else. I knew he had little experience with women, and like you suggested, was trying to be accepting of people by "cutting him some slack" and not excusing his behavior, but telling him what I found acceptable and not acceptable, instead of storming out the door in a huff at the first little slight. I had gone 31 years without ever having dated, ever having held hands, slow danced, kissed, or being touched in any kind of romantic way by any man, and I figured it was time to try it, for pete's sake!

I admire your wife and women like her. I think it's wonderful that she thinks so highly of herself, and I think she's lucky that she probably has never known what it's like be physically overpowered to the point where she's afraid for her physical safety on a regular basis, and when authorities are notified, they do nothing, teaching her the treatment is acceptable and ok, to be hurt and then be told she doesn't have the right to say "ow." But I also really admire women like Goody and Ruth as well. Women who, for whatever reason, gave their love to a man they found out after the fact was unworthy of it, and was able to trust and love again, and like Goody said, the real love of a good man polished the rough edges of her heart, like love does. We all have our battles and crosses to bear, but the simple fact is that some of us have more hard knocks to survive than others, and larger crosses to bear than others, and some are more biologically, hormonally or chemically or environmentally able to deal with them better than others. The only real tragedy of having been in an abusive relationship would be to come out of not having learned anything at all from it.

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