How to Love a Woman Who Has Been To Hell & Back

How Love Woman Who Has Been To Hell & Back

The woman who has been to hell and back is not easy to love.

Many have tried. Most have failed.

The weak need not attempt, for it will take more strength than you even know you possess; more patience, more resilience, more tenacity, more resolve.

It requires a relentless love, one that is determined and not easily defeated.

For the woman who has been to hell and back will push you away.

She will test you in her desire to know what you are made of, whether you have what it takes to weather her storm.

Because she is unpredictable—at times a hurricane, a force of nature that rides on the fury of her suffering; other times a gentle rain, calm, still and quiet.

Related: Reasons Why Damaged People Love Better And Live Better

When she is the gentle rain that falls in time to her silent tears, love her.

When she is the thunder and lightning and ferocious winds that wreak havoc, love her harder.

She is a contradiction, a pendulum that will forever swing between fear of suffocation and fear of abandonment, and even she will not know how to find the balance between the two.

Because today, although she will never tell you, she will feel insecure. She will want you to stay close, to tuck her hair behind her ear and kiss her on her forehead and hold her in the strength of your arms. But tomorrow she will crave her independence, her space, her solitude.

For while you have slept, she has been awake, unable to slow her thoughts, watching clocks and chasing time, trying to make the broken pieces fit, to make sense of it all—of where and how she fits.

She fights her demons and slays her dragons, afraid if she goes to sleep they will gain the upper hand, afraid if she goes to sleep she will no longer be in control. Tomorrow she will be tired, and your presence will smother her. She will need only herself.

When she reaches out to you, love her.

When she pushes you away, lover her harder.

New situations and places and people and experiences will make her anxious. She will be fiercely independent and long to overcome her fears, all the while as terrified as a small child alone in the big world.

Sometimes she will need to be courageous, to prove to herself she has what it takes. Other times she will need you to take her hand and hold it firmly in yours.

Sometimes she may not know what she needs, and you will need to read her like a book with worn pages and a tattered spine and be what she needs when she does not know herself.

When she is brave and steps into the world on her own, love her.

When she is scared but refuses to take your hand, love her harder.

Related: 9 Ways the Beautifully Broken Girl Loves Differently

She will live in fear of not being enough and always being too much—an endless battle to find the middle ground.

Ashamed if the scale falls one way or the other, ashamed to be herself for no one has ever loved her both when she is small and also when she is tremendous.

When she feels too much, love her.

When she feels not enough, love her harder.

Sometimes she won’t hurt and the light will shine from her eyes and her laughter will be a rare and precious melody.

But sometimes she will hurt so much from the trauma still in her body; she will ache, she will feel pain and anguish. The light will grow dim and the music will fade.

When she is the light, love her.

When she is the darkness, love her harder.

She will always love you with caution, with one foot out the door. For she does not understand a love with no conditions, one that is powerful enough to withstand hard times.

She cannot allow herself to fully trust in your love, and she will keep parts of her heart hidden—the parts that have been hurt the most, the parts she can’t risk being hurt again when she has worked so hard to stitch them together.

58 thoughts on “How to Love a Woman Who Has Been To Hell & Back”

  1. Donna R. Blount

    Thank you it is easier to handle when someone else writes your words,again,THSNK YOU FOR THE INSIGHT!

  2. So many misunderstand the premise of this essay. It is NOT about taking abuse from someone. The author is NOT talking about the damaged woman abusing anyone, unless you call a damaged woman fleeing to take time for herself abuse. A damaged woman often takes one step forward and two steps back in her relationships. I believe the author is saying to have patience and understanding and love. There is a difference between loving a damaged woman and loving a sociopath, narcissist, abuser or mentally deranged person.

  3. This whole piece is utter garbage. You’re excusing some of the worst behavior I have ever encountered. I was strong, I did try to stick it out and she just took that as a license to become an absolute monster.

    You are advocating taking abuse and basically suggesting that anybody that cannot love a borderline doesn’t have the stomach for it.
    You are delusional and almost certainly BPD yourself. If a man wrote this and said: “When he gets angry and gives you a slap, hug him,” the world would be up in arms.

    BPD women are the most destructive people I have ever encountered. I understand that it comes from trauma, but it manifests itself as pure evil.

    Anybody that is being abused should run in the opposite direction and excusing the behavior with this ridiculous diatribe makes you a massively sub-standard person. If anybody listens to you, then you could seriously have blood on your hands.

    If you’re locked in this broken, horrendous type of relationship then please ignore the psychotic ramblings of this disordered author. I found some really great people that helped me leave and get through it, they have their own websites and Youtube channels.

    Dr Tara Palmatier and Richard Grannon might just have pulled me back from the brink and you can find links to their material in this article:

  4. No surprise that your readership tends to be 100% against the crap that is being encouraged by your essay. Of course, you hear praise from the afflicted and those who thoughtlessly abuse their partners and excuse their behavior because nobody knows what they have been through and if they did they would understand why they are the way they are.
    EveryONE…all of us…have been through struggles and have issues. Sure, some worse than others. But, we have to draw the line when people refuse to accept accountability for causing others pain and continue to do it for selfish reasons and childish reasons.
    The first thought I have is that if there were an article that urged women who were victims of abuse, especially physical abuse, to just love their abusive partners harder claiming that ‘they only hit you because they are afraid to get hurt themselves,’ then there would probably be riotous boycotts and internet mobs setting fire to the cyber aether.
    Truthfully, if someone wants to love her more, help her work through it all, tolerate what happens, then may they be happy and successful with their partner. But, if someone wants to run, then they should run and run fast. And, by the same token, if someone wants to push back by being aloof, by leaving the second they are told to “Just go”, by answering their abusive games with a well-developed set of counter-measures, then let them have at it with as much support and urge those who are strung about by fleeting men who they can’t figure out and who lead them chasing from one year to the next to just ‘love and chase them harder.’

  5. In really don’t know how I got here but after reading this I feel I need to chime in. This article is complete and utter BS!

    It’s trying to say is that if a woman has been hurt/damaged than her new “lover” will need to put up with her abuse and love her unconditionally until she hopefully “sees the light” and trusts him. The truth is, the relationship will never work.

    Plenty of people have been hurt or abused and have moved on to normal relationships. If anything, the women who have been “through hell and back” should be the first to understand that acting like the ones in this article is abusive,

    It’s simple really, don’t get in a relationship if you can’t trust others. If you are with someone who plays games like this then just leave, it will never get better.

  6. Sorry, but this is a recipe for disaster. Yes it is asking the man to take the higher spiritual path, which is always recommended. But what does it ask of the women?
    And here lies the problem, grant me carte blanche, and in return….”don’t smother me with expectations! Don’t you know I’ve been to hell and back!”

    This will not work simply because, when a damaged women, has gotten everything she can out of the men, she has “conquered him” and off to the next conquest she goes. In an attempt to feed her broken ego.
    Good try, the wisdom in this article is alright. but its a fantasy, as it does not account for the role and behaviour of the female.
    At what point does she have to “love him and love him harder”?

  7. I would try to translate the text, based on my experience with girls, feeling the same way.
    “It is not that I was not loved, or they failed to love me the way I demand. It just me, I am broken, incapable to love and trust. That is why they all left, but I am incapable to find something wrong inside me.”
    What does it mean “love harder”? Is it a name of a low budget p*rn movie?
    It is sad that somebody hurted you Kathy, but sometime people do, except some broken individuals that hurts everybody who loves them. It is also sad to see that there are a lot of enablers online.
    The saddest thing is that all of the “broken hearts” are not considering that it is all their fault. I will put it in this way. Why should somebody leave you, if he is feeling good with you? And how it is all his fault? There is in my country some thing like this ” Who has been pis*ing and sh*ting in my pants?

    Wish you fast recovery and finally meet someone “good enough” and “capable to love you the right way”. Leave this “harder” for expressing the feelings in the night. It is not connected in any way with loving somebody.

  8. I was on board with this article until this line:

    “And so she will seek to sabotage the relationship; she will seek to destroy it, she will seek to leave first, she will seek to hurt you before you can hurt her. This is how she stays in control, this is how she survives, how she will ensure she will not get hurt again.”

    Just because someone has been through hell and back doesn’t give them the right to put others through hell. This only perpetuates the cycle of abuse. If she copes by hurting others then it’s only reasonable that her previous partners left her; no one deserves that.

  9. I am a woman who has been to hell and back and I disagree with this article. Being to hell and back does not give anyone a free pass to put someone else through hell. If you can’t help acting like this you shouldn’t be dating.
    This attitude only keeps a person in victim hood and reliant on others to “fix” them. Once again they are making someone else responsible for their happiness and self worth.
    Any person going into a relationship expecting the other person to tolerate abusive behavior. Why would a healthy person want to take on someone who is this out of control of their emotions and actions?
    I would suggest this person work on themselves and learn to love themselves, set boundaries, get in touch with their gut instincts (so they make better choices) and live true to their core self long before they start dating and putting some innocent guy through the same hell they went through.

  10. This is absolute and total crap. In essence the author is suggesting that if you haven’t been enough of a doormat and lowered yourself enough already then try a bit harder, try so hard that eventually any shred of self esteem you may have has been extinguished. Women like this are bottomless insatiable pits incapable of reciprocating genuine care concern or empathy so no amount of love or medication or intense psychotherapy can fix that which is broken and missing within them. They are far from the victims they appear to be, in fact, they are nothing like what they may appear to be at any given moment because they can change at a moments notice.

    I’ve been involved with many women like this and although they all appeared to be different they were all basically the same. Upon physical and emotion intimacy they all shared the same type of damaged and abused family history and they all shared the same symptoms of severe personality disorders and long lasting and continuing emotional damage, They all struggled with self image issues, all struggled with weight gain and loss, all had experienced sexual abuse to varying degrees, one woman was in her late 20’s early 30’s and having a sexual relationship with her sister and still sleeping with her father, whom at one point she asked me to kill.

    So there is no amount of affection, no amount of love and no amount of devotion that is enough to fix what is wrong with women like the author describes Suggesting there is only reinforces dysfunctional cultural beliefs among men, placing them in even more danger.

  11. You know. I’m trying to change this. I don’t need one foot out the door. I love this article. It’s not like I don’t relate to every single detail. It’s just not fair to my guy. And I don’t expect him to dance around my bullshit.

  12. I have 3 daughters.
    First of all, I don’t want them to ever have to “go to hell and back” to begin with.
    However, if they did, it wouldn’t be fair on any man for them to transfer any toxicity they’re holding onto someone else.
    For any woman who has sons or brothers whom they love….would they want those men to have to put up with this?

  13. I think the same could be said of men. Men who have been damaged are just as difficult to love. Going through changes a person. Most of the time you don’t even know that you have changed.

  14. If you’re going to take her on an other ride to hell just leave her on her own . She has already been hurt and knows how to survive . You can hurt her , even destroy her but she ll always find the force to get back on her feet again and walk away .

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