What Makes Men Run From A Good Woman?

by Mark Ivar Myhre on October 29, 2010

It’s a beautiful crisp Fall day here in Portland.  Although I hate using the word ‘crisp’ to describe the weather.  I’d much rather use it to describe potato chips.

I hear it’s snowing like crazy up on Mt. Hood right now.  Guess I better go check it out.

But before I do, I recently received a question that went something like this –

“Mark, I’m a really good woman, and I treat my man well.  But I keep hooking up with guys who either beat me or cheat on me.  What’s going on here?”

Relationships always contain many different dynamics, so let’s see if we can break this situation apart and look at some of ’em.  First, let’s look at the man in question.


But before I do, let me ask you a question.  There’s a popular theory that says women always go for ‘bad boys’.  Because of the intrigue and excitement, I suppose.  Do you think that’s true?  Leave a message and tell me your take on the situation.  Seriously – I really want to know what you think.


Now, as for the man who cheats and beats and then retreats…

I believe it’s not human nature to be mean and disrespectful.  Instead, that type of behavior has to be learned.  Usually, it starts early in childhood – and it’s a product of shame.  As such, it becomes deeply ingrained.

Sometimes a person will just choose early in life to be mean, as a way to cope with the ‘big bad world’.  Either way, the habits develop early and stay late.  These habits don’t change without a HUGE amount of work.

So it’s important to understand:

Niceness does not cure meanness. You can be as nice as you want to your bad boy, and it will not make him a better person.  Rather, it will probably just reinforce his current behavior, because he’s being rewarded for being a jerk.

He’s going to keep on acting the way he’s been acting.  Because apparently, it’s working for him.  He’s getting positive feedback from you.

So am I saying you should just be a bitch instead?

No.  That doesn’t work either.

While I don’t believe it’s human nature to be a jerk, I do believe we form habits and beliefs and behaviors early in life.

We develop patterns of behavior and they don’t change easily.

And they rarely ever change because of someone ELSE’S behavior – whether you’re being good or whether you’re being bad.

They change because the person in question has a life-changing event in their lives.  It’s called a ‘defining moment’.  A defining moment changes the direction of their life.

People Change Due To A Defining Moment In Their Lives.

Then out of the defining moment, the person makes a powerful new choice and a powerful new decision.   And follows it up with more new choices.

(‘Powerful’ meaning a choice or decision that has a lot of EMOTIONAL INTENSITY behind it.)

It’s that first choice – and then the following decision – that actually makes the change happen.  (And then, of course, the follow-up choices and decisions.)

Being nice or being a bitch usually will not precipitate that initial choice or decision in the other person.

Well how do I get him to change?

You don’t.  Trying to get the other person to change often amounts to codependency.

And that can be a hard pill to swallow.

You don’t get him to change.  Because you CAN’T get him to change.  So don’t even try.  The only solution is to look at your own life, and change yourself instead.

I heard that!

You just groaned.

I know, I know, if you had a nickel every time you read that little tidbit of advice, you could just go out and BUY a man.  Then you wouldn’t HAVE to work on yourself.

In the meantime, however, while you’re growing your nickel collection, let’s look at the practical solution…

And it starts with taking your power back.  To do that, you’re going to have to tell yourself the ugly truth –

“I am responsible for my own life here.”

I have my OWN beliefs and behaviors.  I have my OWN patterns.  Just like he does.  Just like he’s a schmuck for having his particular patterns, so my patterns must be a little off, too, or else I would never be attracting this type of guy into my reality.

And that’s the real issue here.  It takes two to play the game.

See, not all men cheat and beat and then retreat.

Don’t kid yourself here.

You DO have strong beliefs about whichever sex you’re attracted to.  We all do.  It’s woven into the very fabric of our being.

And whatever I believe becomes what I create.  And beliefs of this nature come with a TON of emotional intensity.  There’s no way I could NOT create men (or women) acting out of these powerful beliefs.

(Powerful beliefs, by definition, are ones that have a lot of emotion behind them.)

Now, here’s where the courage comes in.

How willing am I to look at my own beliefs?

Very few people in this world have the willingness to look at their powerful beliefs.  For the obvious reason that the emotional intensity propping up those beliefs usually come from intensely painful thoughts and feelings.

The Beliefs I Won’t Question Are Surrounded By Pain

See, if I’m going to question the belief that all men or all women are whatever – then it’s going to bring up painful memories from the past.  Or if not the memories, at least it will bring up the painful thoughts and feelings.

And I don’t want to be in pain.

I think I’d rather just talk about how all women are… or all men are…

That’s much easier.  Then it’s not my responsibility.  Then it’s them; not me.

The only problem is, nothing changes.  I might find a man or a woman who looks good at first, since we’re all on our best behavior during the ‘honeymoon phase’ or the ‘probationary phase’ – depending upon how you look at it.  But sooner or later, their hidden nature comes out.

And the pattern is repeated once again.

Because I’m always going to attract someone in accordance with my powerful beliefs.

It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s just the way it is.

Another problem comes from the fact that those painful emotions don’t go away by themselves.  In fact, pain unattended always spreads.

Which seems even less fair, until you step back and look at the big picture.

You’re here on this earth for a tiny, tiny sliver of time.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s like a millisecond of time.  If you believe like I do, that you existed before this life and you will exist AFTER this life, then it opens up a lot of questions.

Like, what is important down here on earth?  What are my priorities?  What are my values?  What lives on after this life?

What is WORTHY of my attention?

I’ve chosen to believe I’m here to learn and stretch and grow and become more of who I really am.  It’s the second most important thing in my life.  (Behind spirituality, of course.)

Because I believe the growth I experience here transcends this very short lifetime.  And what could be more important than learning about love?

Maybe I came into this life knowing I’d take on certain limiting beliefs about relationships and love and all that stuff.  And one of my goals is to overcome those beliefs by dealing with my secret fears and my hidden pain.

And if I’m going to look at my own relationship patterns by looking at the pain around my beliefs, then at some point I’m going to have to forgive myself.  There’s no way around it.

Forgiveness HAS to be part of the equation.  To see how forgiveness fits into this whole puzzle, click on the link below –


And what have I not mentioned in this short article?


But we’ll have to save that topic for another day…

In the meantime, let’s get to work on the relationship patterns by going to –



Lucia from Greece October 29, 2010 at 11:22 am

That`s a great article. We indeed attract the same kind of person until we heal a certain wound, until we forgive oourselves. The manual of forgiveness was a big help for me.

Martty October 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I was never attracted to the bad boy type myself

Echo Foxtrot October 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Just a few thoughts here….
First, what makes a “good woman”? With due respect to the woman who submitted the inquiry, “goodness”, and lack of same, are subjective qualities.

As for the “beating and cheating”….those are just as common female behaviors as they are male behaviors. Political correctness in our society and media prevent those realities from becoming widespread knowledge.

As for men running from women in general….chalk that up to political correctness, as well. Women hold all the cards in our society, men hold none. Men can’t force women into motherhood, but women can force men into fatherhood. A loud argument is all that is needed to get a man thrown into jail for domestic violence….even when there is NO violence. That is because Joseph Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act…..and got it passed by denying men’s groups the opportunity to present the evidence that women batter men as often as the converse.

Which is why men are best advised to go to HER house to play….and grab his coat and run out the door at the first sign of raised voices. Much easier to run out HER door than it is to get her (peaceably) to leave HIS door.

Ms. L. Carmel October 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Hi! Mark,
I Really LOVED The Article. I Think People Can Really Learn A Lot From It; And Maybe Even About Themselves!
Thank You VERY MUCH For Sharing It With Me.


Kate October 29, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Great article Mark.
It is so totally ingrained in me from watching my mother try to cure meanness with niceness. It’s also self preservation, thinking you can calm the situation down and so therefore carry on your Pollyanna illusionary life together. If I be nice enough it will rub off on him. As you say, it only rewards bad behaviour and reinforces him. I learned that being nice is a way to stay safe.

On Kate’s blog.. Cutting Cords of Attachment

Echo Foxtrot October 29, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Women are attracted to “bad boys” not because they are bad boys, but because they like the idea that a bad boy has the gumption and other personality attributes that are necessary to provide for them and protect them.

Perhaps for that reason, women often reject men who insist on going “dutch” on a date.

The marriage rate is at it’s lowest point in recorded American history. My guess is that is because men have woken up and realized that, if they marry, they stand a good chance of later being trashed in divorce courts.

My definition of a good woman, for what it’s worth, is one who is willing to “get” these concepts. Unfortunately, most women reflexively dismiss them.

Samuel Johnson October 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

The basic problem with the majority of women who get treated this way IS
poor self esteem. They subconsciously believe they DO NOT deserve a loving man who will treat them right. Consequently they choose men who will mistreat them.

MLK October 31, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Unfortunately I don’t really believe that men or women ever get together because of love. It is usually based on a perceived need or want. So to categorize all males as the type who “beat” or “cheat” is not really accurate. In the right circumstances all women or men can become either. Just my opinion that when we attach to someone to meet a need and it is not met…we all have the capacity to do whatever it takes to get the need met. Make no mistake people are very committed to certain emotional needs and always look outwardly to get them filled. Again..just my opinion.

Rosana November 2, 2010 at 12:16 am

I’ve been alone for alog time. First, because my job and my son occupied all my time. I’m happy and although I do like men that look like bad ones if any of them tries to cheat o heat me, I say godd bye and go away.

Sara November 8, 2010 at 7:02 am

I just have to respond to Echo’s comment: “Women hold all the cards in our society, men hold none.”

Excuse me????? You are way off on this one. In fact, most of your “facts” are in error. 80 percent of domestic violence is against women and children, and I could go on. I’m not saying women are without fault, but they have been scapegoated since someone first put the blame on Eve. In fact, the repression of FEELING is really the repression and subjugation of the Divine Feminine Energy–an energy that all beings have in their makeup. The devaluing and repression of this energy is what’s causing so much imbalance and lack of compassion in our world.

Anyway, Mark, this is YOUR blog and I wish to let you know I just discovered your site, and I am much impressed with your honestly, sincerity, and insightfulness. I will be reading more. Thank you for being willing to FEEL. And to share that Feelings are extremely important.

Many Blessings to you!

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