Dear Men, why do you like your women broken?

Why do you like your women insecure?

So you can make them feel better?

Why do you like your women fragile?

So you can give them strength?

Why do you like your women broken?

So you can glue them back together?

Why do you like your women hurt?

So you can mend them?

What do you do when you find someone strong, and confident, and relatively undamaged?

You don’t know what to do with us. Perhaps we make you feel useless? We don’t appeal to your ego?

So many men are intimidated by a strong woman:  pretending to be helpless (or being genuinely fucked up) is the only way to get your time and attention.  Sure, we all like to be needed, but if you have a choice, why choose the damaged ones?

From what I’ve observed, you pick these kinds of women because you need to feel wanted and helpful. You probably have your own self-worth issues.  Having someone weaker and damaged allows you to focus on them and temporarily avoid your own issues.  This makes you feel better about yourself, but this is like two injured people helping each other to limp along, rather than having a strong partner to prop you up.

Who is actually the better friend or partner for you?  Think about it.


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0 thoughts on “Dear Men, why do you like your women broken?

  1. Not that I looked for them but I had a share of damaged ladies. I do however like them strong. I do not mind the back talk if anything I appreciate it as they are honest about what they want. Able to express without me having to guess. Which make them more playful she needs more attention and takes more guts to hold. she becomes a challenge… god the thrill of body and mind.

    That said the weak if one could call them that since they endured their private hell for what ever reason. pretty much took a hike after becoming stronger.

    Okay that was me getting all fired up and ramble. Sorry about that.

    And both sides would want to feel needed, wanted, loved and cherished.

    • Interesting those women left when they became stronger. Perhaps they were using you for support and encouragement?

      I used to tell myself that I liked my ex being a “challenge” because otherwise I’d be bored. But over time I’ve realized that it was a coverup for simply not liking how he treated me.

      • It might have been my own fault. growing apart and getting bored. Getting stronger is one thing but losing playfulness is so so. true they might have used me that is the other side of the story.

        Well I understand where you come from. and being bored is no good. but in the end it is an interaction between two.
        But you should be able to complain and still ask for what you need.
        I truly believe in that give and take. maybe I am just a hopeless romantic.
        It odes go both ways.

        • It HAS to go both ways. At least for me. I see so many imbalanced relationships, people using each other…perhaps I should write about that…it’s been bouncing around in my head for a while. We use people for some many things…but how often do we like a person for who they are? Instead of what they do for us?

          • I am all for that and would love to hear what you think. It would bring a good conversation to the table.
            Both ways means communication. I know that on times was lacking.

            We stare blindly on what people do for us that we forget to know the person behind it. Do we get used to being pampered and start abusing their love.
            Can we love/like a person without gain? There always being something we need. Or is getting things done, using people enough to say you like that person.

            t is a big thing to get your head around.But sounds a lot like selfishness doesn’t it.

            Okay My brain is now working overtime LOL.

  2. I don’t set out to find damaged ones, but that’s the way it ends up somehow. Frankly, I think we’re all damaged in our own ways. As someone once said, we all have baggage. The trick is to find someone whose baggage matches yours. Or something…

    You know what I mean…

    • Of course – we are all damaged to some extent. I’m really thinking about men I know who spend a lot of their time and energy on very obviously damaged women (who I also know) – like fully fucked up on the surface a angry, tangled up in other relationships, insecure, etc…not in any place for a relationship right now. It’s fascinating to me how that can be attractive to some men.

          • Well, it’s something that has puzzled me for a while. Especially due to one close female friend and the men who flock to her, in contrast to my experiences. And the debate I sometimes have with people about how men are afraid of strong, confident, women. But what finally prompted me to write was a conversation with a friend two nights ago…about why he is spending his time as he does.

          • Well, I can only speak for myself (and I’ve told you this before), but I have self-esteem and self-worth issues. So a woman like you, for instance, I wouldn’t feel worthy of. Hence the intimidation. As for your friend, there could be any number of reasons he’s spending his time the way he is. I’m sure there’s not one defining answer at there.

          • Yes, I suppose we have had this discussion before. What would help you realize you are worthy?

            I sometimes get frustrated because I think all people see is the confidence and strength, and don’t realize that I, too, have weaknesses, crises of confidence, and need help on occasion. I’m not just that great at asking for it.

          • I hate to argue with you (ha!) but I would humbly suggest that all of my strengths and vulnerabilities are laid fully bare on this here blog. Sure, the balance may be skewed toward strength, but it’s when I’m feeling vulnerable or scared that I’m most compelled to write it down.

  3. I like to call it the hero complex that I feel a lot of men suffer from. They feel the need to save the weak and damaged. I’m not sure if it’s something that they can help or not. But problem with that is after you have saved her, she becomes stronger, her problems aren’t emphasized anymore, his problems are a lot more visible. They weren’t before because the girl was so fucked up, that was all you saw. Every problem the relationship had was somehow the damaged person’s fault. So what happens when she becomes less damaged?? You start to realize how imperfect the guy is too. But, for some that adjustment is hard. Most of the time the man doesn’t handle that transition well. So, I don’t really know why the weak is more attractive. It’s in their nature to be the protector, hero :). Hence my conclusion, hero complex.
    Plus, damaged sometimes means a bit of crazy and wild. That for some guys means fun. A challenge to tame the wild, I suppose :).

  4. Many men suffer from what is called White Knight Syndrome – they find a damsel in distress irresistable. The unconscious thinking is, as you touch on in a few places, that it makes them feel stronger, wanted, needed, gives them a purpose, et al. However the real “thinking” is that once helped or fixed, she’ll have no choice but to fall in love with him. Of course that doesn’t happen. Usually it turns out she says, “Thanks. I feel better now. Who are you again?” I know this because I once suffered from this delusion – and being aware of it – that is why I am now a Grey Knight.

    • I think it’s a critical flaw in thinking… because a) we can’t ever really fix anyone from the outside, and b) someone who is desirous of being helped (or falls in love with someone for that reason) won’t transition well to a more equal relationship.

      How do you avoid making the same mistakes again?

  5. I have more to add…most men, just like women, like to feel safe with their other half. A strong-willed, independent woman usually ends up spending time with a submissive doormat of a man, whom she grows to despise for his weakness. The other extreme, a man very similar to her, she grows to detest for his selfishness. What she requires is her equal, and that, is very rare to find.

  6. I’m glad I read the comments before I responded. At first it seemed to be a challenge to my natural tendency to nurture. After reading the comments I realize that what I look for is a strong woman that is willing to be vulnerable for me. She wants me to take care of her despite the fact that she is perfectly capable of doing it herself. Similar to the way I operate. I don’t “need” anything but when I find someone wanting to care for me I am drawn to them. Back to feeling challenged (only a bit), it makes me happy to take care of others. I almost live for it, really. But I have learned the lessons about the type of women you are describing and instead encourage them to care for themselves as perhaps that is the critical piece that is missing.

    • You articulate this very well, Beatnik. I absolutely have my moments when I am vulnerable and need help. Ultimately it’s what I want in a partner – not unyielding, or selfish – but equal. I like to help people but I need someone with a backbone as well. I have no desire to “fix” someone. It’s a huge turnoff.

      • Indeed. I have never wanted to “fix” anyone or taken them on as a “project.” I’ve always only wanted to help those I’m drawn to, and have honestly found some of them to need more than I could ever provide. More along the lines of professional help, or as I already said, to learn how to help themselves. So, I enjoy a woman that will conquer the world by day but melt into my arms by night.

  7. I don’t like my women broken. Unfortunately, that’s often how I find them. I have done my best, many times, to help them up. Put themselves back together. Become stronger, for themselves. Not for me, not to my design, but to their own. My wife was a lot like this – very damaged, very broken, very weak-willed. I refused to let her give in to me just because she thought it was what I wanted. I refused to accept her bowing to my whims. I like her being strong enough to call me on my bullshit. That’s sexy!

    • I couldn’t agree more. And kudos for recognizing that the healing has to come from within. I don’t understand why anyone thinks they can fix someone. We can support, encourage, etc…but for someone to really change, they have to do it themselves.

      • Absolutely. My dad used to say to me that there’s no fixing something that wants to be broken. And some people do. They like being broken. They revel in the drama and heartache. They embrace it because it gives them an excuse to be miserable and unhappy, which is easier than trying to find a way not to be miserable and unhappy.

  8. I think that men generally are built to fix things. We like to come up with solutions, rather than just sit and listen. Whether it’s a person, a pipe (and as a plumber we get to show you our butt crack… and we know how THAT just drives you wild), or a building. Show us something broken and we just want to fix it.

    Personally I love a woman who knows what she wants and is full of life, assertiveness, and wit. A big smile and an easy laugh…. that’s pretty much all I look for. Well… and a nice pair of shoes.

  9. I think you bring up all kinds of things with this topic. I have found that being in need is attractive to nurturers or men who want to help. ( “weak” is not always the right word but I know what you mean. I think that acting weak is a strategy used by women but that’s another topic. ) Nurturing and helping is an awesome trait in a man. I do think that NOT showing any vulnerabilities is some instinctual man repellent…maybe they don’t see how they can fit that type of woman. Maybe they have not thought past the immediate easily place of “fixer” to venture beyond into the place of what Beatnik du Jour knows. I personally think it’s a mixture of a guy not venturing farther while at the same time a woman not showing her vulnerable side – not showing a “way in”. I don’t know but this is a great discussion.

  10. I’ve just discovered your blog and have enjoyed the perspective and honest introspection that comes through in your words. This particular entry has more than piqued my interest…in fact, it resonates with my experience at many levels.
    Your question, in a way, begs the obvious…well, with respect to men who are looking outside their relationships for that ‘something that’s missing.’ An irony in itself, truth be known for many, in that what is typically ‘missing’ for those of us who have been there, is not found ‘outside’ of us, but only from an honest look ‘within.’ That said, I speak from the experience of looking ‘outside’ a marriage to a woman who was ‘broken,’ but unable to be ‘fixed’ by a man who would not acknowledge his own vulnerabilities. So, he found himself involved in a string of relationships with women whose outward personnas reflected the strength you write about here. Their ‘strength’ in some ways brought out or illuminated the inner strengths I doubted, but, not surprisingly, what drew them to me was the vulnerability that I projected…not pathetic ‘weakness,’ but rather an openness and willingness to expose myself in the shadow of an ‘affectionate strength.’

    These relationships were not lasting and most often crumbled from either ‘discovery’ or my own inability to find the strengh to move forward honestly. That is, until I met the woman to whom I am currently married. Recently divorced and feeling the sheer strength of being free from a troubled marriage, all I saw and felt was that sense of independence and ‘confidence’ that had been so alluring to me in the past. But here, she was unattached…and, as I’ve alluded with respect to others, also drawn to my openness, as well as the intellect she saw in my work and PhD. I was more than smitten by the connection…by the ways in which we complemented each other…but not aware of what lay beneath the surface in each of us. Her ‘strength’ drew on me so deeply that I left my marriage of 20+ years and over the next couple years we moved in together.

    All went ‘well’ until a bump along the road…an inexcusable breach of trust on my part (but not a threat to the relationship)…pulled the ‘trigger’ on what she had ‘hidden’ to some extent from the relationship. Her marriage had been a 20 year trail of emotional (and to a lesser extent, physical) abuse that she had managed to submerge. The ‘damage’ revealed itself as classic PTSD and her own snse of ‘strength’ and privacy refused to acknowledge the source, so it was (and has been) projected onto me. I, myself, have grown immeasurably from the experience that ‘triggered’ the release, but the ‘damage’ for her is irreparable in so many ways. We survive in a strengthened relationship, but one that will likely never realize the potential or, more honestly, what we had hoped the relationship might be…an ideal that was more that than what reality would yield.

    I suppose I share this more as a reflection of the complexity of seeing strengths and weaknesses in others and the perils, as with many things, of trying to define each other in some kind of dualistic world of either/or…of black and white…when nothing is either and reality lies in so many shades of grey (no pun intended). And, last, there is probably no human dynamic that lends itself to this false ‘dualism’ than gender. And after 50+ years of feminism and real advances by women, if anything, I see the culture retrenching itself along the stereotypes more than ever.

    I do apologize if this doesn’t lend itself to your argument, but I hope it offers some degree of illumination to the complexity of relationships in an increasingly grey reality.

    • Thanks for taking the time to read and write such a thorough comment. First, thank you for spelling “pique” correctly πŸ™‚

      I wasn’t specifically talking about those looking outside a marriage, but I suppose it applies. Sounds like you have been on quite a journey. I think applying the lens of looking outside a marriage colors things a bit…because it’s not just about seeking something you yourself need, but something you also aren’t getting in your current relationship. Hope that makes sense.

  11. I’ve always wanted a partner, not a fixer-upper.
    But I’d put the effort in for the right woman. Fortunately, found a strong, willful woman who can stand on her own two feet and nurse me back to health when I break one of mine!

  12. so much running through my head as I read the post and ensuing comments…no answers of course, just a lot of rumination on my part. however, one of the comments above sticks out around two strong individuals that are able to be vulnerable with one another. I’m sure I’m applying that to my own situation and therefore out of context, but (yes, there’s always a “but”) – he and I are very similar in many ways, first born, typical a-type natural leader (or bossy boots), independent and always the strong one. for our colleagues, family and friends.

    with dh, my strength is a gift and a bane. often, in counseling he brings up that when i’m vulnerable or expressing a need from him, especially emotionally, he just doesn’t “get it”. I’m the strong one, that’s how he’s always known me, it’s how I am at work and in everyday life that it just doesn’t suit him to have to be strong. *sigh*

    with him, and yes, I recognize that he and I are limited by the parameters of our chosen relationship, we are both free to be strong and vulnerable and to lean into one another as needed. and I can’t articulate how freeing, exhilarating and terrifying that is.

    • It’s interesting to apply the premise to people looking outside their marriage. I think that those extra marital relationships are entirely different and it’s an unfair comparison – because you don’t have the day-to-day to also contend with. It’s all fantasy…even if some real life creeps in. I’m sure I’m not making myself all that clear…perhaps there’s another blog post coming on this…but I guess, said another way: in an affair, you can choose what you bring and don’t bring to the table. It’s not the same in a marriage. Does that make sense?

      • absolutely makes sense *and* it’s very true. I remember when dh was involved in the affair that almost ended our marriage, 13 years ago when we only had our daughter, then a toddler. one of our conversations, in which he said many shitty things (some very true) but one was how “easy” it was with judy. she didn’t nag him, she didn’t spend money foolishly, she played on several volleyball teams etc etc. and I just stopped and looked at him and said: “of course because she doesn’t have to live with you in the day to day. no mortgage, no children, no pets. if I were her i’d be playing on two soccer teams and coaching one as well as not needing to spend foolishly on clothes for a growing child, or pantyhose for the office. everything between you and her is in a bubble. In that bubble, everything is better, more “real” as real as can be when you don’t have anything else to think about.” – even now, in counseling we talk about her a lot and what he was going through at that time in his life and our life together. what he has a hard time wrapping his head around is that he intended to leave our marriage and start anew with her (blog post for another time), for me, i was seeking sexual satisfaction outside of our marriage. (one) of the mistakes on my part was not being explicit that after years of asking to go to counseling (begging, demanding, pleading) i decided to seek it outside of the marriage. i should have asked for an open marriage or continued to hold out. i didn’t. i own that and continue to work through what the implications are because they are multiple, even more so as i know as much as i love dh, and i do, i cannot go back to the status quo of a passionless, sexless and emotionally bereft marriage.

  13. There’s that old canard about like recognizing like. I think that men who go for broken and damaged women are broken and damaged themselves, in some way, and they don’t always realize it. It’s not so much that they want to fix a woman, I think it’s more that they want to appear strong by comparison.

    Bullies are not strong people, they are weak people who pick on weaker people so that they are perceived strong by others.

    A truly confident and secure man (an Alpha) wants the same qualities in a woman and vice versa; the insecure Beta male/female will pick broken and damaged everytime…because then they, like a bully, appear to be what they are not.

    • It’s a good point you raise, for sure. I’ve met many men who act as if they are Alpha’s but they are broken and insecure. It’s very disappointing as a secure women when you finally realize this about someone.

      • I’ve known men who acted like Alpha’s only to learn they were really just insecure Beta’s faking it.
        I agree with you, it’s a major letdown when you realize who they really are…

        • It’s actually how Johnny Id and I met…he commented on my “Giant” series and had that insight into him, from what I’d written, way before I’d figured it out.

          • Isn’t that usually the way of it though? It often takes someone else saying it or in your case writing it for us to get that light bulb moment and think…YES! that’s it! Self introspection is usually prodded by someone else.

  14. For a long time, I dated “broken women” (or more precisely “bat-shit crazy women”) until I met my wife. When we met, she was strong, smart, and not willing to take any shenanigans from me. We have been together 15 years now. I think that my whole “broken women” thing came from the fact that my parents were divorced when I was a teen and I spent a lot of time caring for and worried about my mother.

    Either that, or my “broken women” were really hot and I am an incredibly shallow individual….

  15. I really did not know what to say about this post when I saw it last week because, I myself am not the most undamaged women. My vulnerability comes through IRL and in blogging.

    But I would also like to think that I have my own kind of confidence.

    • Serins, I think you are amazing for being able to state you are “not the most undamaged”. It’s very brave to recognize it and put it out there. Self-awareness is so critically important and I might humbly suggest, when you are self-aware, your damage is significantly minimized πŸ™‚

What do you think?