“I’m too nice. I’m going to start being an asshole.”
“Yep. Asshole. I’ve been too nice to women in the past and I get treated like a punk so now I’m going to start being an asshole. I know it’s not fair to make one woman pay for what another woman did but I’m sorry.”
A real conversation with a real man in 2016.
Dear Asshole in Transition,
My honest recommendation is that you just charge it to the game and get over it. However, you seem bent on revenge and punishment. Please know that your form of vengeance is ideally suited for and would probably make you feel better personally if visited upon the particular, specific, exact same woman who took you down through there. Other than having lady-parts and knowing you, she and I have nothing in common. In regards to the offer for me to take your bitter shit instead of her: Thanks but no thanks.
Woman who has dealt with all the assholes she’s gonna deal with, but you can call me Drea.
One thing I’m learning is that bitterness over failed relationships is not the exclusive domain of women. Men feel it too, which is comforting for me. Not because I want men to hurt but because it helps to remind me that men also can acutely feel the pain of a failed relationship. It has made me more sympathetic to the stronger vessel. As a woman, I’m inclined to feel that men bounce back quickly from these things. I’m wrong. Men get just as invested and are just as pained when that investment doesn’t yield the desired return.
Though it’s thrown around insultingly (mostly at us women), bitterness is not, on its own, a bad thing. It’s part of the human condition. Bitterness is disappointment’s “plus one” invitee to the pity party. It’s unavoidable and, for me, understandable if one had high hopes and put forth a sincere effort. However, bitterness left to germinate, grow and further seed is problematic. It hinders growth, hampers the learning process and hides the real truth of what the experience is meant to teach us about ourselves. This poor guy is understandably bitter: taken advantage of, cheated on, unappreciated, lied to, abandoned. I get it because it has happened to me too. The old folks say bought sense is the best sense and he and I have purchased some pricey sense. I’m not certain though if becoming an Asshole in Transition is the best use of this sense.
The truth of the matter is: when I was in his position in my own unhappy relationships, I knew shit wasn’t right. I didn’t acknowledge it but I knew it. From my own experiences, I know what he did: he continued to invest in the hope that his efforts would change her outlook on him and the relationship. Instead of having the courage to leave, he tried harder at a situation that simply wasn’t for him in the hope that she would appreciate the effort not realizing that she did appreciate the effort, she just wasn’t going to reciprocate. Bad people like good people. We’re easier for them to use. So I’m sure she appreciated his goodness and used it to her fullest advantage. At the end, he was left disappointed and bitter, blaming her and the rest of womankind … but not himself. Then he meets a woman who understands his need to be cautious but on top of caution, he is going to completely change who he is and be the terrible person that he feels the other woman deserved him to be except he’s not going to be terrible to her, but to a totally different, completely undeserving woman – me, except I have an opinion on that … No.
I am at a place of my own where I have admitted the mistakes of my past and I take responsibility for them. It has not been easy to admit to myself that I willingly and consciously and foolishly invested in the wrong people for the wrong reasons. I’ve stood accused and now I stand forgiven. I forgive myself and I love myself. I am not going to subject myself to mistreating myself again. My pricey sense is being put to good use. Assholes in Transition are not welcome here. Dude, stop with the bitterness. You’re supposed to taste it and spit it out. Forgive yourself for your past foolishness sir and allow yourself to love and be loved by a woman worthy of your goodness. I’ll be hoping but not waiting. Take care.
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