Saturday, November 19, 2005


This subject is much less serious than my post o capital punishment. However, it asks a question that is genuinely bothering me: Why have some many women who with whom I am acquainted chosen misfits, idiots, or wrongdoers are boyfriends? Here are a few examples:

K is an intelligent and well educated woman in her mid-fifties. Her 20-year-marrage to an intelligent and well educated man ended (from what I perceive) amicably for both of them. Since then, however, she has had relationships with guys who I can only describe as from less than ethical to seriously criminal.

Boyfriend #1 was younger than K. He wanted to date her so much that he left his job with the company that employed both of them so as not to jeopardize her job as a division manager. To me, that speaks well of him. However, when their short relationship ended, he wouldn’t let go of K. He obsessively stalked her and broke out the windshield of her car as it was parked in her driveway—two times he broke it out—before he let got of the relationship.

K’s boyfriend #2 was simply an adulterer and a lair. He was a police officer whom she dated for several months before she learned that, contrary to what he had told her, he was married.

As knotty as those two relationships were, boyfriend #3 was the real jewel in K’s crown of bizarre relationships. This guy was brilliant—a certified member of MENSA—as well as a talented accountant. Perhaps he was too brilliant and talented, for he was also an embezzler. When she met him he was singing with “his band.” He was also on parole after serving several years in prison for embezzling a half million dollars from Catholic Church. K fell for this guy and, when he suggested that they open a nightclub together where his band could be the house band, she obtained a large second mortgage on her home. Maybe that would have been OK, except K set this guy up as manager of the nightclub.

The dude pulled quite a few questionable and probably illegal schemes during the two or so years the club was in business. I’ll not go into those, except to say that I am amazed that a MENSA member could believe that he could get away with any of them. (Perhaps that he was addicted to gambling had an impact on this thought processes?) The shit hit the fan when K’s boyfriend was indicted for embezzling from a childhood chum who hired him as his office manager just after he was released from prison. That’s when K went to the club, found that there were few or no financial records, that the rent on the building had not been paid in three months, and that the club’s bank account contained $56.00 rather than the $6,000.00 or so that it should have had in it. K eventually lost the club and almost lost her house as a result of this relationship.

Then there is C. She has had so many idiots as boyfriends that I can’t write about them all. She sent one packing after, in a rage, he cut off her shoulder-length hair was she was asleep. Another allowed her toddler son to fall off a porch and break his arm while he was supposedly caring for him. A third almost got her locked in a Mexican jail when he was attempting to smuggle drugs into the U.S.

C’s present boyfriend is a 35-year-old guy who has never been employed and lives with his mother and step-father and 37-year-old brother in a 2 bedroom house. At the moment, C and her son also live with them. This dude expects to obtain a house or apartment for C and him because he was lucky enough to be involved in a car accident and expects a $100,000.00 plus settlement from the insurance company. The last I heard, the insurance company had offered him $6,000.00

Then there is A. Her relationships with boyfriends last almost exactly two years each. When I saw her a couple of years ago, she said that she would be breaking up with her then boyfriend in two months because that would be the 2-year anniversary of their first date. I asked why and she replied, “Because I always do.”

From what I know of A’s boyfriends, two years were way too long for any of her relationships to last. She once told me, “I’ve had seven boyfriends since I was 15 and all but the last have been in prison.” Of those seven, two boyfriends beat her regularly, one did get her incarcerated in a Mexican jail cell, two were drug pushers, and one was a depressed and suicidal musician.

So my questions: why do attractive and seeming intelligent women like A, C, and K select such poor specimens for boyfriends? Is it something within them that draws them to misfits, idiots, and criminals? Are these types the only kind of men who are out there?
I simply don’t know.


  1. Hi, Nick, I've been reading here for a little while. "Is it something within them...?" The short answer is "yes." I don't know if your friends fit into this category, but some women will be with any man rather than be alone, and the type of man you describe is widely available. It'd be nice if the women would remain unattached until they give themselves a chance to understand their choices.
    I hope some new plan has emerged for the family staying with you. I don't have advice, you've probably tried everything I can think of -- have you put the word out to the churches in your organization? I hope you're not alone in your efforts to help them now.

  2. Susie: Thank you for your insights. I thank you are close to the bull’s eye by observing that “some women will be with any man rather than be alone.” Yet, somehow I suspect that what drives their choices must be something beyond loneliness. From my observation, each of these women is at a much higher plane of functioning that the guys they select as boyfriends.

    For example, C has the looks of a Playboy Centerfold (when she was younger, Playboy did do a photo shoot of her). She has dated, but never had as a “boyfriend”, doctors, attorneys, teachers, and successful business men. She was married for 5 years to an ex-con who did dastardly things to her. Likewise, all of the men with whom she has established relationships are basically losers—the majority of whom have been ten or so years younger than she—and who, for some unknown reason, she believes she can “handle” (control?).

    K, likewise, has dated successful men and honest men. She was married for almost 20 years to an intelligent and gentle man. Yet, after their divorce, she has chosen only liars, obsessive stalkers, and criminals. Of these guys, she has never lived with any of them; she did rent the basement apartment in her house to the embezzler for a few months of their 4-year-relationship.

    A tells me she prefers to live alone. As I stated in the post, when I last spoke with her a couple of years ago, she had had 7 “boyfriends” in a bit over 20 years, with each relationship lasting almost 2 years to the day. She has never lived with any of them, but has slept with all of them.

    So, where does C’s need to control her boyfriends fit in? Or, K’s need for boyfriends who are liars and thieves? Or, A selecting boyfriends who are ex-cons? What I am saying is that I believe that each of these women could do better; there must be more guys out there than the ones that these women select!
    As for the family with me, it’s almost 1:30 p.m. and they are still asleep. I took the toddler to the emergency room last night; both she and her father have a “stomach virus” for which they obtained medication. (The toddler is now awake; I can hear her talking—trying to awaken her parents—from behind the locked door of my spare bedroom).

    No, as of the moment I haven’t contacted the churches of the Association of which I am president/moderator to be. The primary thing I see the family needing is an income; of course, the guy has been employed at a new job only for 3 days and he didn’t work last night because he was ill.

    Again, thanks for your insights. I’d appreciate any response to this comment.

  3. It's funny that as I was reading this post I was wishing that Susie would comment on it. I clicked to comment and there was her smiling Gumby.

    I've dated some jerks, even married one. But none of them were such total assholes and losers like these guys.

    Some women seem to want to be fooled by men. They'll believe their very obviously untrue stories and refuse to see the guy's real nature. Of course, I've seen guys with some total bitches and women who only used them. I don't know what the statistics are between men and women choosing bad partners, but it would be interesting.

    Good luck with "your" family.

  4. Squirl: Yes, Susie and her Gumby posted. Rather insightfully, too.

    I don't know if the assholes and losers who became boyfriends of the women I described are unique—or if the women are. I am also unsure about the contemporary definitions of the terms I am using. I was in my teens at the beginning of what has been called “the sexual revolution”—i.e., the introduction of the birth control pill. Then folks might have several boyfriends and girlfriends. Today, or so I am informed, that term is limited to one that one is regularly—and (usually) exclusively—fucking. That’s how I used it in the post.

    You’re right that some women want to be fooled by men. I remember a women I knew many years ago who allowed a guy to stay (hide) at her house and supported him for almost a year while believing his story that he was a C.I.A. agent hiding from Communists who were attempting to “liquidate” him. She was an intelligent woman—a university professor. I cannot understand why she ever believed that story!

    At least one of the women I wrote about—C –regularly scams and uses guys for her enrichment. However, these guys are never her boyfriends. For the most part, the guys with whom she lives and usually supports are using/scamming her. She provides for them financially, usually with the money she scams from other guys. It is almost as if they are her pimps. That makes no sense to me!

    One question: you write that you married “a jerk.” When did you become aware that he was a jerk—before or after you married him?

  5. Those babes are the idiots not the guys.

  6. I think that it is true that some women want to be with anyone rather than being alone. I think it's also true that when women have consistently been with men who are bad for them or who have treated them badly, they tend to pick those some types because it is what they are used to. Good or not, we are creatures of habit, and sometimes different, even if it is good, is scary beyond belief!

    You have a heart of gold, Nick. Please don't let bad experiences skew your views. I appreciate you!!!

  7. Freshman: You may be right—or, it may be that all of those involved are idiotic.

    Punkmom: I agree, but I add that it is not only women who dread being alone. I have been mostly alone the past 8 years. There are times when I enjoy the freedom; there are times when I feel depressed and forlorn.

    I also agree that when women have consistently been with men who are bad for them or who have treated them badly, they tend to pick those some types. It is the same with co-dependents of alcoholics and drug addicts: if a person becomes free from such a relationship, they often enter into another just like it. Maybe it has something to do with what is called our “comfort zone?”

    Likewise, if such a person encounters someone who is honest and loving, they may not know how to react to that person. Then they either may run from the relationship or treat the other in such a way as to prevent intimacy.

    Intimacy! I had not thought about that! I don’t mean sexual intimacy, I am thinking of that type of intimacy built upon trust and honesty and unconditional love. Perhaps that has something to do with it. With the women I have described and their boyfriends, I have never seen a sign of that kind of intimacy.

    I thank you for your compliment from the deepest fraction of my heart of gold. I hope and pray my views and life won’t be skewed by events past or future. At this very moment, I feel much alone, even though I have two adults, a toddler, and two cats sharing my home.

  8. When it comes to close friendships or lovers, people are hardly ever rational in thier decision making. Even the most intelligent of women can be fooled by what they see as love. I have been victim of a similar thing, but now I'm with an incredible man that is quite different then the man that I spent years with before him. I think women tend to forget that you cannot change a man and they fail to realize you need someone with similar morals.

  9. El: It sounds as if you have found love. More than what you write, I can see it in your eyes in the new (?) photo you have on your blog.

  10. my bf is ok not mean he loves me & i love him

  11. Nick, the "comfort zone" is probably an important part of what you describe. I have a favorite phrase, "the familiar is comfortable." This is true, sometimes, regardless of how crazy/dangerous the "familiar" is. It's the old "the evil that we know..." phenomenon. We keep returning to the familiar.

    The women you describe have different histories, I'm sure, but I would expect to find in all of them something like: absent and/or abusive and/or addicted fathers. Two ways (at least) to go with this: find someone who treats you the way your low self-esteem says you deserve to be treated; or find someone who is so low-functioning that you can feel powerful in their presence. There's an excellent book by Harville Hendrix, on why we choose the people we choose, "Getting the Love You Want." In a nutshell, his theory is that we unconsciously choose people who carry both the positive and the negative traits of our earliest caregivers. The positive traits attract us; the negative (which aren't immediately knowable by the conscious mind) re-injure us. If our partner becomes enlightened and willing to change the destructive behaviors, then that partner is uniquely able to help heal those old wounds. Most people, of course, do not ever become that enlightened.

  12. Lonliness is certainly not a product of simply having people around you. You are NOT are in my thoughts and prayers!

  13. Wow, and I thought I had problems because of my 90 mile long-distance relationship. I can't imagine being in a relationship with a man who was in any way abusive. I've been independent for so long, that I make my own rules, and I put up with nothing. My boyfriend tells me that I'm the first person to talk back to him, and not put up with any of his bull. Not that he's bad about any of that, but I think it's sad that there aren't more women like that out there.

  14. I recognize one of the women you use as an example. You're not telling all of the story, even though I think you probably know it. Our mutual friend uses men more than they use her.

  15. I have been with guys like some of those. I hope I have learned from my experiences. So people never do.

  16. Nick, I didn't see the question that you asked me at the end until now. I knew he was a jerk when I first met him. But he was only 18 (I was 16) and I figured he'd mature. Had I been more mature I might've been able to whip him into shape. It took him a lot of years and a second marriage to an alcoholic to finally grow up.

  17. Jody: I’m glad your boyfriend isn’t mean and that you love each other.

    Susie: I suppose the “comfort zone” this is important. Maybe that’s why people who are involved with alcoholics and drug addicts and abusive people end up going back into similar relationships when those end.

    Regarding those 3 women and “absent and/or abusive and/or addicted fathers” here’s what I know:

    K – She is the older of 2 children. Her father deserted the family shortly after her younger sister was born.

    C – She is the oldest of 3 children. Her mother was/is an alcoholic. Her father divorced her mother when she was about 11. She and her siblings lived with her mom; C had her mom institutionalized when C was about 13.

    A – She is the youngest of 5 children. When she was about 11 years old, 3 of her older siblings died within 18 months of one another: 1 in an auto accident, 1 committed suicide, and I am unsure of the cause of death of the third. Her father began drinking, had several strokes, and she cared for me (bathing, feeding, changing diaper) from the time she was about 13 until she was 15.

    Of the three, I am certain that C and A have very low self-esteem. I am uncertain about C—she is the only one to earn a degrees and she holds two masters degrees.

    I have seen the book "Getting the Love You Want,” but have never read it. Thank you for the recommendation.

    Punkmom: Thank you! At the moment I feel I can use all of the prayers available.

    Amy: I believe that long distance relationships are extremely difficult and that two people must work extremely hard to maintain one. When my ex-wife moved 85 miles away from our home to complete her education, one of my parishioners said to me, “Follow her quickly or it will be the end of your marriage.” I set in motion the plans to move; however, it took me 15 months and by that time my ex-wife had decided that she was a lesbian. End of marriage.

    I like what you say about your relationship with your boyfriend. That is the major thing I have found refreshing about my relationship with Candy: we have fought and fought, but always returned to one another. At least until now.

    Mike: Yes, Mike, you are right in all counts.

    Squirl: Maybe the thought “I figured he'd mature” has been held by many people hoping a relationship would improve. I had that thought in my marriage and also in my relationship with Candy. More than that, I think I actively worked to help them mature. On the other side of the coin, I also allow what I perceived as their immaturity to affect the way I related to them: I used the thought to make excuses for their abusive behaviors.