Carmen Electra has revealed her ideal man is a "bad boy with a good heart." She describes this man as someone who has been through a lot in life, and has had to work on himself. He is a spiritual person with a strong self-awareness, someone who has "worked all the steps" and is ready to settle down after experiencing all of the craziness of life. This is a common desire for women - wanting a man who is thought to be “bad.” This conundrum of falling for the rebel, the tough guy, and then dealing with the consequences that brings, has been around since people have been looking for love. What is it about that “type” that attracts so many?
It could be the image, or the idea that someone like that might be sexier than someone else, or it might be the thrill of being with a man who often decides not to follow the rules. Whatever the case, it can often lead you down a path of darkness. Very often the outcome is that the “bad boy” makes you feel bad. You see him as having been through a lot, maybe even having suffered, and you might want to try to make things better for him, but it comes with a price. Someone who breaks the rules might do so in your relationship, too, by lying, cheating, and even possibly insulting you. To an outsider, it might look like simply asking for trouble. Why, then, would someone knowingly put themselves through that?
In my book How Could You Do This To Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal, I talk about the trust sand traps that keep you mired in a relationship like this. The first is, you want to give him the benefit of the doubt. In other words, you want to believe what he says and take it at face value, whether it is that he is sorry, or he didn’t mean it, or he didn’t realize what he did would hurt you. It is a way to make yourself feel virtuous since you are being understanding and patient, and you keep giving him another chance. You can say to yourself, look what I’m willing to put up with. Another trust sand trap you can get stuck in is the idea that he loves you so much he will change his bad behavior for you. This concept allows you to stay in it and tolerate whatever he does while holding onto the hope that over time he will come to treat you the way you want. You are going to be the one who is more special than all of the other women, and be able to bring out the good in him. And finally, there is the idea that we are meant to accept the good with the bad. He wants you to feel sorry for him for how hard he’s had it, and all the pain he has been through. This can work on your guilt. So by staying with him, it gives you a feeling of being in control since you are choosing to put up with it, which can help to alleviate your feeling guilty about not being accepting enough.
If any one of these three trust sand traps are at play with you, surprisingly the relationship might be a way of going about trying to make yourself feel good. You raise your self-esteem by making you feel you are a strong, tolerant, and forgiving person in contrast to his being so bad. If you find yourself here, you may want to explore other ways to boost yourself up. Try to begin to trust your own truth by admitting that his lies and the other troubling things he does are not okay, and probably won’t change. Protect yourself by putting limits in place and refusing to go along with the bad behavior so you don’t have to continue to be mistreated.
Hopefully Carmen’s “bad boy” has gotten all that negativity out of his system and is ready now for a smooth, good ride with her by his side.
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