The Past Pains that Paralyze

Dear TRP: Question for the Men: What does it take for you all to get over past relationship pains (i.e she cheated, she broke your trust, etc)? Women always get a bad rep for holding on to past relationship pains – calling us bitter. But you guys do it too and much worse because you refuse to let another woman get close to you even if you do get married again.

My thoughts…


I have to preference my thoughts by saying first I believe God created male and female and that the woman came from the man. Now with that foundation I am going to make a statement that not many men or women think about… everything that a woman is, a man was first! 

You may say, “how is that”?  Have you ever looked at your children and you can see your mannerisms and responses?  You commonly say, “That’s your daddy”, or “Yep you got that from you mama”.  I bring this up because many times women do not understand the emotional responses of men, instead of realizing that your response IS our response.  This alone should now bring a bit of understand how men are, yes men are emotional and they hold onto things! NOW where the separation and consequently the problem arrive is in how we deal with these pains.

It starts with our upbringing!  In an effort to make sure our boys are “hard and strong” we fail to let the woman nurture them in fear that he will become “soft.” It has been instilled in a man since childhood that when he is hurt, get up, wipe it off, don’t cry and be a man.  So then when something happens to him and his natural emotion is to cry, release and want to be held by mom, we say (the man), “let him go, he’s alright, why you cryin boy, stop being soft”.  That boy becomes a man and no longer knows how to properly manage, display or release his emotions.  He was never given the opportunity to navigate through this emotional responses, and he is never asked to articulate what the problem is and what he needs to help work toward a solution.  He is told to basically internalize everything that has taken place and if there is no blood then shut up and deal with it. Not to mention women walk around saying, “I dont want no “SOFT” man.

Do you see the trigger word?

But you guys do it too and much worse because you refuse to let another woman get close to you even if you do get married again.

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This position now comes from a very complex mental guard.  Many times the reason a man has difficulty trusting again after being hurt is not always because of the hurt itself.  You see, if he has never known how to manage, process, or articulate his emotions, then when he gets in a relationship and has been convinced to “open up”, he feels stripped of everthing that is him. He feels naked, because for his entire life he has been made to believe that “men don’t do this.” When he’s cheated on, but what she took from him is what shuts him down.  She just walked away with his “innocence.”

Now you come along and you are giving all of these promises and then you use trigger word like, “Trust me, just open up to me, tell me what you are feeling?” our question is, “What makes you different from the other person who told me that?”

So your question is what does it take for us to get over past relationships?  A lot of work. You have to be in it for the long haul, but invest your time wisely.  Don’t take this as you are able to change the man. This is all about trust not changing.”
“What is it going to take?” It’s going to take a “different” type of woman. And by different I mean one that does not remind him of the one(s) that hurt him.

Hope this helps.  You can email your relationship questions to:

About Marcus Young

Marcus Young has written 5 post in this blog.

Marcus Young I am a 36 year old native of Tacoma Washington. I am an accomplished singer, motivational speaker and soon to be author. I love imparting into people tools that will empower them and help them to have successful relationships! I bring to TRP a religious, yet realistic and rational perspective to relationships and love. I plan to use my experience, insight and wisdom to help others navigate through the complexities of this thing we call love and relationship.

  • theotherhalf

    So what if you are the woman that caused the hurt and 5 years later it still haunts him. If we are having sex or apart from eachother for too long he will reference the hurt i caused. My affair was very public, there were court cases and articles written about the way it unfolded. He wanted to salvage the marriage and he said he forgave me. We did counseling and church, marriage enrichment seminars and to this day he has dreams and want to discuss it at times that are so unacceptable. Some days I regret that I didn’t cut my loses back then and just walk away. I want to be the listening ear but having to be reminded of the pain I’ve caused my family and friends all the time, just isn’t cool.Help me to help him so that we can be complete again.

  • A lot of men do hold on to emotional baggage. Most of us do so despite the harms it causes us. We get in our own way sometimes with the emotional baggage. But that baggage needs to have an expiration date. You can’t move on if you’re still dealing with past hurt. It’s always best to keep it moving! It doesn’t mean you can’t hurt or you’re not allowed to heal. Just keep it moving.

  • It’s going to take a few things, the most important of which is we need to take the same advice we give women and, “Get Over It!” Shit happens.

    Sometimes in life you’re the pigeon and other times you’re the statue. If you happen to be in a situation that you got dumped on, understand that it happens, accept it, and then begin the process of moving on.

    The next step, again involves taking the same advice that we give women and that’s recognize that the person in front of you is not the person that hurt you.

    The next woman is not the blame for the pain that the last woman caused you, and you have to see the next woman for who SHE is, not the past woman.

    The third step I’ll give is that it’s going to take a patient woman. One that understands that although he many want to move on, he may have challenges if situations arise that reminds him of his failed relationship. He may have instances where he “relapses” and she has to be willing to be there with him through them.

    However being patient doesn’t mean you deal with it forever, or wait while he’s stuck in the past. As long as he’s making progress then you make it with him. If he doesn’t then he isn’t ready and you should consider moving on until he’s completely over it.