Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Rebound Guy

Why do we do it to ourselves….?

In the depths of my despair, having made the dreadful and heartbreaking decision to leave the father of my children and potentially screw them up for life… along comes “The Rebound Guy”.

The problem with them is that they are often predatory, almost always unsuitable, and in my case hard to shake off!

At the beginning he was great.  I was terrified of being alone – but with him as my support, I didn’t have to be.  He hung on my every word; answered my calls at the first ring; cooked me dinner; and we had more sex in six months than I'd had in the previous 10 years of marriage.  Fantastic!

In addition, he encouraged me to buy myself a few new clothes and some sexy underwear (no self-interest there then!), and I was told that I had a “fantastic arse”.  Crude? Yes!  But having felt invisible for the best part of 20 years – OMG it felt good.  

Well, it felt good for a bit… and then… it really started to get on my nerves. 

The helpfulness and support turned into unreasonable and demanding behaviour.  But when you feel you’re drowning, you just cling on regardless.
Finally, I tried to end it and he went all 'bunny boiler' on me.  I was going through a divorce.  He was supposed to support me - but he ended up causing me more aggravation than the ex-husband...  

I just wanted my old life back – well, the bit where I got to see my friends and had a bit of time to myself.

As unbearable as it is to be ignored – it is equally unbearable to be smothered.  Is this just a problem we women create for ourselves?  Not happy if our man doesn’t notice us and irritated if they do?  No wonder men get confused!

Not long after I left my husband, a great friend of mine upset me deeply.  “Your husband may have behaved badly,” she said “but you have to take responsibility too, because you have allowed his behaviour”. 

I was deeply offended.  But I did think long and hard about it. 

I could never have changed my husband and I don’t want to beat myself up about it.  And I made a choice with the re-bound guy at a time when I was drowning and clutching at straws.

And here’s the point I’m trying to make.  When we’re in the depths of despair it is hard to make decisions – and that’s why The Rebound Guy happens but never lasts.

But we women have to take charge and responsibility for our choices. 

Have the Rebound Guy, a ton of sex and a few new pairs of knickers.  Reclaim your mojo.  But when the chaos is over, it is crucial to stand back and look at the patterns of behaviour in our various relationships, to stop ourselves going from one extreme to the other.  In our desperate search for someone to love us, we fool ourselves that problems will go away – that the new man is not totally unsuitable, but a ‘breath of fresh air’. 

Deep down, we all know it’s not true!

But we can break the cycle.  We can choose to and find a man who’s somewhere in the middle.  Or, if the signs aren’t good, have the courage to walk away.

So – as I always think you should be prepared to take your own medicine, my Rebound Guy has now finally got the message and I’m going back out there…  I may be some time…

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