We’re taught that there really are only two kind of men: the “nice guy” and the “bad boy.” But, just like everything else about humanity, heterosexual men come in a spectrum. Simplifying and labeling never works, because it’s unfair to the person or persons being labeled.
People are almost always more than just 2-dimensional beings.
The truth is, sometimes that womanizing asshole is a “nice guy” who has been so destroyed by the actions of a woman he loved that he struggles just to allow himself to trust anyone. And sometimes, that beautiful, charming ‘reformed bad boy’ really is just a narcissistic asshole.
As I stated in Being Unfair to My Own Gender, I often struggle with being able to trust the motives of other women. I know the things I’m capable of, if I were willing to ignore my own ethics and principles, and sometimes I project that onto other women. Yes, sometimes that awareness of just how easy it is to turn a man’s emotion as long as you are deeply in his heart, makes me very protective of the men in my life – whether they are friends or lovers.
Thing is, that lack of trust in many women has been often proven to be utterly correct as an assessment of their motives and choices. I watch women as they destroy everything good in the man they purport to love. So many women are utterly convinced that their attempts to “improve” the man they are with come from some form of altruistic desire to see him fulfill his potential. But they can’t see just how they are actually destroying the very same things about him that they fell in love with in the first place.
And in my past, I’ve tried to do the exact same thing.
It was exactly why I don’t blame my ex-husband 100% for the death of our marriage. Were there things about him that desperately need changing for him to have a fulfilled life? Of course there were – his manipulation and abuse of people is certainly a trait that needs changing. But, it’s not my right to force that change on him – or one anyone else.
On the other hand, there are men in my life – as stated before, friends and lovers – who have been seriously destroyed by women they loved. Men who have been convinced by the women in their lives that the only thing they have to offer a woman is his wallet, his protection/defense, or some other singular trait, to the detriment of everything else about him.
Men who have never in their lives received the unconditional love that they deserve.
Men who have been convinced that how they see the world, their unique perspective, is utter bullshit – because that’s not how the women in their lives want them to see the world.
Women who somehow believe that their man must be pure and faithful, but they can sleep with anything. Women who see the man in their lives just as much of a possession as some men see their women.
Women who are so good at lying, so good at making the utterly ridiculous sound reasonable, that it takes the rest of the man’s life for him to learn to trust his own judgement again.
I know there are men that do this to women – hell, I married one. But how often do we actually talk about the women who do this to men? How is it that a woman doing these things is considered a “good woman” while a man who does these things is considered an abusive, despicable animal?
I’ve picked up the pieces of men in my life. I’ve helped them, cared about them, and tried to help them move on. But again and again, I see them mixing up with yet another woman who treats them no different than the previous women.
For women, there are millions of studies showing why a woman repeats relationships with such abusive men. Processes to help them understand this trend in their lives fill every bookshop, along with programs of self-help to encourage these women to change their lives.
Men, on the other hand, are somehow treated as if their emotional wounding isn’t just as destroyed as a woman’s. The men are told to buck up, “get back on the horse” and “back in the saddle.” And somehow if they don’t, they are called misogynistic because they avoid women in order to avoid being hurt.
Women are sympathized with when they share fears of trusting another man after abuse. But men somehow seem to be treated as if their fears are nothing. That their wounding is less than nothing.
I can’t unsee that. I can’t ignore that I’ve had to patch up and pick up the pieces of a good man’s heart. And, I’m not going to stop trying to protect men from predatory women.
I’m just going to try very hard to not assume anyone – of any gender identity – is a predator until they have shown themselves to be.