Man Up | Ep. 222 • November 27, 2017
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or over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D., has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their dating and love lives.
Once a nerdy, skinny professor of philosophical psychology who couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life, David is now director of Aura Transformation Corp., and a world renowned dating and life coach using therapeutic methods. Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, including AXN, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore. Formerly a professor at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Tian is actively researching, speaking, and publishing in the areas of philosophy and psychology.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man,” is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in The Man Up private Facebook group and answers based on his experience Coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
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When Your Abused Ex Goes Back To Her Ex
Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video, I answer the question: When your abused ex goes back to her ex. Welcome to Man Up Episode 222.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD and this is Man Up!
Hey! I’m David Tian, PhD. For over the past 10 years, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness, and fulfillment in life and love. Welcome to Man Up Episode 222. I’m in Bali, Indonesia and it’s raining now. You can probably see that. Luckily, we got the swim in just before the rain started coming down. This is rainy season, November, here in Bali. I got to show them all our mess.
It’s a nice two-story loft. Did you show the upper part? Not just the living room. I just got choked there with the microphone cord. I didn’t just randomly make an ‘uh’ sound. Okay, cool. Welcome back to me. Okay, I got a question here from Tyler from the Man Up private Facebook group, which you should join. Click the link, join the group. Tyler’s question is about a screen and a half. I’m going to try to summarize it, but I’ll read most of it.
Tyler says, “How do you deal with working with an ex-girlfriend who cheated on you?” That’s his ostensible question. He’ll end with that question. That’s not the actual most important question from him though, as you will see the more you read his question.
“Me and her were together for about two months, but the relationship started because she left her abusive ex boyfriend for me. We met through work. The problem was that she was stuck living with her ex-boyfriend because her mom had died when she was at the age of 14, and her dad mentally lost it after that and became an alcoholic, so she had to support herself after the age of 16.” That’s very sad. She’s going to need a lot of therapeutic support, if she’s not very psychologically disturbed already, having lived under that roof with those two people.
Anyways, she couldn’t move out and couldn’t afford to live there by herself because he helped pay the bills. “From what she told me, the ex and her had a kid together, which is true. The ex wanted nothing to do with it, so he put it up for adoption, which she didn’t want. Now, that left a lot of trauma for her. Apparently, he only cared about himself, only used her for sex, never tried to create a connection with her.”
Okay, I’m going to come back to that. So, get this, right? She’s got a lot of excuses for not taking charge of her life. Yes, she had a horrible family situation, but that doesn’t mean that she is now beholden to this man. What a woman will do who is very manipulative is, and I’ve covered this in many other videos, the white knight and the narcissistic pairing. Another way to put it is the pleaser and the emotional vampire which could be any number of cluster B personality disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic, borderline personality disorder, and very dangerously, the most dangerous are the psychopathic ones. That whole cluster would find a victim, and they match very well.
What’ll happen is, a white knight like Tyler will latch on to an emotional vampire and he’ll be happy doing it because his fantasy is him rescuing. That’s why we call it the ‘white knight’. He’s going to rescue the damsel in distress. The manipulative female is very used to playing the damsel in distress when she gives her distress stories, when she gives her sad stories that are often fabricated, at least half of it, if not all of it. In this case, it makes sense that she would have come out of that home. These actions that she was in with this other abusive relationship also makes sense.
What’ll happen is, the emotional vampire will also have the other side of it, the coin, and there’s one side of the coin, the other side of the coin. The emotional vampire has another side, which is the co-dependent, the pleaser. The pleaser has another side, and it turns into a narcissist. This is what happens with a nice guy PUA who learns some skills and learns to see the world in a different way, a kind of red pill way, and then he flips to the other side and becomes a very manipulative, bitter, cynical, lying person, like player, who in his darkest moments feels a lot of guilt and will break down and cry about all the bad things he’s done. He thinks that’s the way that he needs to be to get the affection and to make his way in the world.
Those are two sides of the same coin, this is my point. She’s also got the two sides of that same coin. She basically became a victim of another emotional vampire, in this case, the ex-boyfriend. Now, she’s going to take out that emotional vampire dynamic on another victim. She’s the victim in that relationship with the ex-boyfriend, he’s using her, manipulating her. She’s the damsel in distress who needs rescuing, who then triggers that and then wants to rescue the bad boy as well; their neurosis match. Again, the two sides.
And then when she gets too abused – he basically sucks her dry of all the validation and narcissistic supply that he’s craving for, then she’s had enough. She’s like, “You’ve sucked all the blood out of me, emotional vampire, now I’ve got to go off and I need to lick my wounds.” She’s going to find her own victim, in which case her own victim is Tyler.
So you see – it’s sort of like – a vampire is a good analogy. In the Twilight movies, there’s the big vampire. And then there are the new vampires who just got bitten and have gone through a few months of the agony of turning into a vampire from a human, and they’re new to the whole thing and they’re still trying to figure out how to get blood and all that stuff, right? And then there’s that middle, intermediate vampire who is a teenage vampire.
There’s a hierarchy, like a food chain. It’s a literal food chain in the vampire example. You’re seeing a literal food chain in the emotional vampires here. So, her ex is feeding on her. When she has enough and she can’t take that anymore, she then goes, and licks her wounds, and looks for somebody else she can feed on to shore her up, make her stronger so she can come back into that abusive relationship, where then she can play the role of the co-dependent. She’s stuck in the middle of that.
It depends and seeing where Tyler goes, he might end up perpetuating that cycle and find his own victim, and this will continue on and on. What’ll happen is she’s going to get his sympathy, he’s then going to then – this is the nice guy story. The nice guy then blames the ex and demonizes the ex without ever meeting that guy. He doesn’t know anything, just going off with what that woman says. When you start to listen, listen to the stories, learn the psychology, like 97% of the world has no clue about psychology. They just treat themselves like robots that fit into a capitalistic machine of production.
As we go further and AI starts taking over all of those jobs and everyone is out of work like you’re seeing in the US now, you’re going to have to pay more attention to your mind, because that’s all that’s left: Your mind and your emotions, how your mind works. What’s happening is, she’s going to now give her pity party story to suck him in. He’s going to now say, “Fuck you, ex”, having never met him, and that triggers his rescuer fantasy of the white knight.
So, he’s now white knighting with her, and then we get into the stories that she uses to villify her ex. So, she couldn’t move out. Oh, yeah. Poor her, since she was 16 years old. What? She couldn’t get her shit together? There’s so many other things she could’ve done, practically speaking, versus going and living with an abusive ex or abusive boyfriend. She’s very complicit and that was very much in her free will to do so, to stay with him or leave him. So, she couldn’t move out, couldn’t afford to live there by herself because he helped paid the bills. He paid the bills, but she willingly allowed him to do that. She willingly became dependent on him for a reason. Vampire is another reason why it’s a great analogy; the victim, which offers up her neck to the vampire, is complicit in that whole thing. She keeps coming back to him. You see that in some of these vampire stories, by the way.
“So from what she told me, the ex and her had a kid together, and the ex wanted nothing to do with it so he put it up for adoption and she didn’t want. Now, that left a lot of trauma for her.” Trauma that she accepted. You can’t just think, the guy can’t just take the baby and put it up for adoption without her being unable to do anything about that. This is her victim story, and you bought into it. It’s easy to demonize the guy. All of society does that. All of society blames the guy without even going into the details of the story. You’ve done the same thing; you’ve white knighted yourself, and you’ve demonized the man, and you’ve fallen right into her trap because of your own psychological neurosis, Tyler. All three of these parties are deeply disturbed psychologically and need serious help. I think Tyler is the one who could be saved the quickest. These other two sound pretty fargone, and you’ll see why.
“Apparently, he only cared about himself, only used her for sex, never tried to create a connection with her. Cheated on her multiple times; doesn’t want to get married, etc.” Typical bad boy, ex-boyfriend stuff. Yeah, and she fucking stayed with him for years and had a baby with him. What does that say about her? I really want to put an end to all of these white knight guys who demonize the ex and fall into this trap of listening to the bullshit that this girlfriend uses to trap him. This is going on over and over again. There are actually much worse stories than this that are in the Man Up group, but they’re not as instructive because they’re so extreme and everybody who hears them are just like, “You stupid idiot, dude. What are you doing?” This is more borderline, so I’m pulling this one out.
“Anyway,” he says, “Over the course of two months, she fell super hard for me right away. We had lots of sex, fell in love, went on several dates, and even talked about moving in together so she could get away from her ex.” This was over two months that all of this stuff he says happened. There’s a pattern in psychopath relationships which is the over-valuation, the idealization. Basically, what these cluster B personalities will do is make you see yourself as if you’re Superman. That’s the idealization phase, where they idealize you and really lift you up, get you hooked, addicted, on her narcissistic supply. You get used to that feeling of, “Wow, she really loves me. Somebody really loves me. Somebody really thinks I’m awesome.” That’s setting you up for the big fall.
It’s sort of like you give somebody something they’ve never had before, like first class on an airplane. I don’t know, that’s an example that I think about. And then you say in the next flight, you give them a 14-hour long flight on a first class suite, and then the next flight they’re in fucking economy class on United or some shit like that. It’s like – then they used to fly economy the whole time, but now they hate it. The contrast; that’s how they set you up for the fall. What do you want, then? At that point, you want to get back to where you were before, because now you’ve tasted it. That’s the manipulative thought process that comes to them naturally in an unconscious level for most of them. They just know that this will get you hooked.
You can read all about this in a lot of the literature on psychopaths. So then he says – so she took him on this whirlwind idealization phase. There’s also a lot more complex things about the idealization phase. He says, “Well, after we started talking about moving in together, after two months” – did you? Did your alarms not go off at all? That’s because she fucking hooked you in the idealization phase. “She starts ignoring me for a week.” There we go, now it’s happening, right? It’s like when you get the fish to bite the hook, and now you reel it in.
“After we started talking about moving in together, she starts ignoring me for a week and eventually tells me, “Me and my ex have worked things out. I’m sorry.” So a week later, she messages me saying how she misses me so much and how her and her ex aren’t together, but I kind of ignored it. Eventually, one day after work, she just kissed me out of the blue.” So, she’s hooking him back in again. It’s like the push-pull, hot and cold. This is a very addictive rollercoaster of emotions, like a slot machine effect. That’s how slot machines get people. They think there’s going to be a big win coming up, they give them a little bit, you win a little bit, and then you win nothing for a long time, and then you win a little bit more. It keeps getting them hooked. It gets them hooked and it keeps them coming back.
“After a month of talking again, I had a talk with her basically saying it’s going to take some time for me to really trust you again because I need to believe that you’re not with your ex still.” He’s still thinking everything is just normal, everything is logical. He’s still buying into the bullshit, right? After that, she stopped talking to me for a week, and later my best friend finds on her ex Facebook profile, a picture of the two of them kissing.
I told one of my super-close – Okay, so now there’s all of this co-worker bullshit of one co-worker checking in on her, and another co-worker putting pressure on her. And then she says, “How many times do I have to tell him that me and my ex aren’t together?” Anyway, he says, “It’s super hard and awkward to have to see and work with her every day at work. How do I go about dealing with a situation like this where she cheated on me for her ex and I still have to work with her?”
Actually, Tyler, that’s the least of your concerns. What’s going to happen for Tyler is he will fall for another woman like this. He will never have success in a long-term relationship until he figures out this dynamic and heals from the psychological wounds that would allow him to be such a victim in this situation. The other two are pretty far gone. You hear about, “He forced her to give her kid up for adoption”? Give me a break. She could’ve put her foot down and gone off with that. She’s in that dependent position, she likes that in her unconscious mind. She’s comfortable there. That’s her comfort zone, and there are probably all kinds of things in her childhood pre-14 years old that explain that, that we don’t know about, and he doesn’t know about. He’s not even aware of those factors.
And then you look at the abusive boyfriend, the ex-boyfriend, and what a powerful position he’s in in terms of that food chain of the vampires. This is a tale of emotional vampires and the nice guys who become their victims. In a way, the nice guy is an emotional vampire. He’s just really weak. He’s on the bottom of that totem pole. This is just an emotional vampire all the way up and down there. It’s really important for Tyler to see that he’s not some noble figure, that he’s not the healthy one, who is being taken advantage of.
Everybody is being taken advantage of, and you willingly entered into that victim relationship with her. Until you figure out what compels you to do that, why you responded so much to her stories that sucked you in, that didn’t raise those alarms that would’ve actually appealed to you. Until you figure out why that’s happening in yourself, you’re not going to be able to avoid this in the future. Or you’re going to turn bitter, hard, cynical, and reject everything. That’s the red pill alternative, and you’ll just lead a very negative life, a life full of negativity. I don’t want that for you. I want you to have a life of positivity, of joy, of fulfillment, of happiness. The rain just stopped, so ironically as we finish the video. I will see you in this next episode. I will see you in the private Man Up Facebook group, where Tyler asked his question and that’s where we get our questions from this show.
So if you liked this, join the private Man Up Facebook group. We have a lot of great guys in there. We also have free courses in there on things like how to get out of the friend zone, how to make your relationship passionate, and so on. I’ll see you inside the Man Up private Facebook group. Until then, David Tian, signing out. Man Up!