Mean-man magnetism

There is a certain aura that bad boys exude that some women find hopelessly irresistible.

There is a certain aura that bad boys exude that some women find hopelessly irresistible.

That is why many intelligent and beautiful women dote on abusive bullies.

Some women seem to seek out and attach themselves to bad men. Some women simply cannot break free from the emotions that tie them together and they cannot see that they are being short-changed.

Jubulile Malombo, of Northcliff in Johannesburg, says she was in love with a man with a mean disposition.

"He was always moody and abusive. He abused me physically and emotionally for more than three years. He was a cheat and a dog. He used to tell me that I was fat and ugly and that I smelled. He said he did me a favour by loving me and he only made love to me on my pay-day.

For three years, my friends and family begged me to leave him, but love blinded me so much that I begged him to stay with me, though it was clear that he did not want me any more. His behavior affected my self-esteem so badly that I wanted to kill myself."

Gomutso Mokoena, a young, beautiful woman from Vosloorus in Gauteng, says she is a victim of an abusive relationship with a man who sleeps with everything that wears a skirt.

"Deep down I know he is poison in my life, but I'm so scared of being lonely. Every day I hope that he will change. But the more he cheats, the more I love him."

Sophia Jacobs says her ex live-in Zimbabwean boyfriend used to control her every move and used to display violent tendencies when she was not home, but she still loved him.

"My ex used to go out all night and not tell me where he was. He used to shout at me and threaten to chase me out of his flat if I asked too many questions. I was jobless and an illegal immigrant. He used to threaten to call the police if I talked too much. I loved him so much that leaving him was not an option. Eventually I left. It was a very difficult decision to make. I had emotionally bonded with him. He was so handsome and neat. Some nights I could not sleep thinking about him and where I was going to get the next meal and money for rent from. Today I thank God I left because a year later he was arrested for killing one of his girlfriends."

But why do abusive men attract so many beautiful, intelligent women?

Joburg psychologist, Hanan Buskshin, says it goes back to when our ancestors started living in groups for their survival. People started looking and attaching themselves to the ones who would protect them - the leaders, the alpha males.

The so-called alpha males seemed fearless and brave, but above all, protective. They were the men who would kill the wild animals, run fast enough to escape the storm and build strong dwellings to protect others from the enemy. These protectors guaranteed survival.

So some women still feel weak at the knees when they see men with this trait. They believe his strength will protect them against the enemy and ensure their survival.

Buskshin says because some women cannot see that the mean guy is not better equipped than the nice guy to protect them, it will take a few more centuries for the genetic ancestral DNA to wash out of our system.