Can we really repair damaged goods?

It’s always hard to fathom why some of the most determined, driven, attractive and successful women are also the neediest when it comes to men.

A FOF friend found out her (second) husband of 15 years has been a serial cheater. She’s filed for divorce but hasn’t left him and has persistently tortured herself ever since her discovery–two years ago. Intellectually, she knows his philandering is a symptom of some deep-rooted psychological problems that have absolutely nothing to do with her.  Yet, she feels demoralized and somewhat paralyzed and unable to move on. She’s afraid to leave and venture out on her own. She often talks about her unhappiness and tries to understand how be could hurt her so much.

Her husband apologizes over and over but she knows he will never change his ways. “His affairs validate him,” my friend says.

It all seems so complicated, when, in fact, it’s not. Some of us gravitate to “damaged” men, for a variety of reasons:  We think we can save them; we didn’t get enough love or validation from our fathers, so we actually feel comfortable with unloving men; put another way, we don’t feel deserving of a good man.

I have a 30-year-old friend who says she’s in love with a man who is clearly an alcoholic. He goes off without her, gets drunk and even winds up in bed with another woman. Then he tells my friend what happened, gets weepy and says he’ll stop drinking because he needs her so much. Of course, he doesn’t, and probably won’t.

Hopefully, my young friend will cut the cord and leave this man alone with his bottles and boo hoos. She’s sad now, but not as sad as she’ll be after she gives up the best years of her life.



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2 Responses to “Can we really repair damaged goods?”

  1. Duchesse says:

    I applaud women who leave- and sometimes it takes a transformative moment. (All the entreaties of friends fall on deaf ears, till she is ready.) A friend left after a freak accident showed her that, as she said, “I cannot live another 20 years this way.”

  2. Karen says:

    Our society has taught us so well how to be victims, remain there, and to believe we are what the world we see would like us to believe. After 50 it all began for me by traveling internal to be happy with me and not put my eye on the “issue” that I focused on, on the outside of me. I didn’t see my self as a victim, but I sure played the part. Fixing damaged goods is an insightful blog. We are only ever responsible for self.


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