Help, I Have An Addiction To Bad Boys!

Women that take dating a bad boy to the extreme and marry a man in jail, is it ever a good idea?

At one time or another most women have dated a “bad boy.” It usually happens in our 20’s when hormones are still running high and we are attracted to looks more than character. I certainly was one of those women. It all started when I was in high school and dumped the all American, blonde haired blue-eyed, sweet Southern guy for a quick-witted, tall, dark and handsome dude.  The “dude” and I became tighter than tight and I raised him up in my mind to God status. In my eyes, he could do no wrong. I was crazy about him even though all signs pointed towards disaster and heart break. He told me everything that I wanted to hear whether there was a shred of truth to any of it. I now know that he was what would be considered a pathological liar. We dated through high school and a few years after. Years later, I googled him and read that he had been arrested for fraud and sentenced to prison. Was I surprised? Not in the least. Thankful that he and I parted ways long ago.

Did my first bad boy experience sour me on the idea? Not in the least! I went on to date, live with and marry bad boy after bad boy, including a Jewish drug dealer, a narcissistic French chef that thought the rules of the road or marriage didn’t apply to him, a Persian night club singer that wasn’t “ready for a girlfriend,” even though he had a key to my apartment, and a sexy Russian mortgage broker that forgot to tell me about his wife and toddler at home. As you might have guessed, yes, I love the exotic guys. There were more winners, but I think you get the drift.

These Romeos often wreck havoc and break hearts, spirits, bank accounts and decimate self-esteem, so why do women go for the dangerous types?

* Bad boys are often extremely good-looking. (enough said)

* Bad boys are exciting often going from one adventure to another, taking risks and living in the moment. It is exhilarating to be a part of that.

* Bad boys have a variety of women to chose from, so a woman will feel special when he picks her.

* A bad boy will take you out of your regular, boring routine, and add just enough drama to shake things up.

I thankfully grew out of the need to date bad boys, but it took me a long time. I was 39 by the time I had had enough. Working on my self-esteem, and developing a strong spiritual practice turned things around. I also believe that as I got older, as my hormones changed, the need for drama with men waned. 

Some women, however, take the bad boy addiction to an extreme and actively seek out the ultimate bad boys, men in prison, and even on death row. Most of us wonder, what in the heck would possess a woman to befriend and even marry a man guilty of the most heinous of crimes and will most likely leave prison in a wooden box?

I remember being terrified in the mid 80’s when a mad man called Richard Ramirez, known as the “Night Stalker,” began breaking into homes, mostly in Southern California, in the wee hours of the morning, murdering and raping the inhabitants. I worked nights at a restaurant in West Hollywood and used to run home the three blocks to my apartment, locking doors and windows until the maniac was caught.
He finally was apprehended and sentenced to death following his conviction for 13 murders, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries.
An article on MailOnline states, that, “inexplicably, Ramirez, a native of El Paso, Texas, had a following of young women admirers who came to the courtroom regularly and sent him love notes. Some visited him in prison, and in 1996 Ramirez was married to 41-year-old freelance magazine editor Doreen Lioy in a visiting room at San Quentin prison. Relatives called Lioy a recluse who lived in a fantasy world.”

Upon hearing of The Night Stalker’s admirers, I was blown away. I understood the attraction to the bad boy, but I could not wrap my brain around the fact that a woman would find a man that was a self -proclaimed devil worshiper, murderer, and evil to the core, sexy and desirable. I wondered if these women could have a sensible bone in their body, or thought in their heads?  An article on the website for ABC news, states, “Men serving time for some of the most notoriously heinous crimes apparently have enough sex appeal to turn death row into a sort of lovers' lane.”

Many notorious killers have female admirers and even have gotten married behind bars. The Menendez brothers, who are known for their conviction, as a result of a much-publicized trial, for the murders of their wealthy parents, entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife Mary "Kitty" Menendez in 1989, were sentenced to life in prison.
On July 2, 1996, Lyle married longtime pen pal Anna Eriksson, a former model. The two were divorced on April 1, 2001, after Eriksson reportedly discovered that Lyle was "cheating" on her by writing to another woman. During November 2003, Lyle, then 35, married Rebecca Sneed, a 33-year-old magazine editor from Sacramento.
During June 1999, Erik, then 28 years old, married Tammi Ruth Saccoman, 37, in a prison waiting room. Tammi later stated "Our wedding cake was a Twinkie.”

Women who date men in prison come from all walks of life. Many are professionals with successful careers, attractive and intelligent. Not all are abused, sad, lonely and nutty like we might assume or like to think.

If you’re considering a relationship with a man behind bars, you should keep in mind that it may be a rather lonely existence. You’ll still be watching movies alone or with friends, spending holidays alone unless it happens to be visiting day, and pretty much all other special or important occasions by yourself.
Some women say they like bad boys because they can change them. It is sort of a project for them. But, if your guy’s incarcerated, you’ve got your work cut out for you, and it’s not your job to change someone else.
If you want to get out of the loop of dating the bad boy, or jailbird, work on your self-esteem. Get involved with things that bring you joy, something that gives you a creative outlet and cultivates your talents. When you feel that you have meaning in your life, are of value and importance, you won’t feel the need to look outside of yourself for validation. When you love your own life, a romantic partner will be the icing on the cake, but not the whole cake!

The really bad boys can often be narcissists that know how to manipulate a woman and get you to think that you are in love with them. There is always counseling, support groups and online forums to help hash out your feelings and help you to make better choices.