To encourage you to keep going.
To remind you to be strong.

Published on June 2, 2017 in Picture Quotes

Dear Man Who Loves The Woman Who Has Been To Hell and Back,

Last year I published the article, How To Love A Woman Who Has Been To Hell and Back. This article has since been republished on more websites than I could even tell you. It has been shared hundreds of thousands of times all around the world, and has received millions of views. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of messages I’ve received from women who have thanked me for giving them the words they could never say.

But in the last while, my inbox has also been filled with messages from men such as you. Men who are trying to love the woman who has been to hell and back, but are struggling. Men who are doing the best they can, but are hurting. Men who are trying to understand more, do better, love harder, but aren’t sure if it’s worth the pain and exhaustion. Men who are confused, unsure, lost, and in need of answers.

Dear man, the fact that you love your woman so much that you are willing to read an article to understand her more is a truly wonderful thing. That you would message me in the hope of knowing how to love her better is admirable. Men like you are rare, precious, and so appreciated. The world needs more men like you. Men who are strong, brave, resilient, determined, loyal, and willing to love at a high cost because you understand the worth of the woman you hold in your arms. You are a testament to the masculine heart that encompasses both strength and gentleness, fierceness and kindness. Hearts like yours are worthy of respect, and I give thanks that you have chosen to love the woman in your life with such determination, commitment and resolve.

I understand how hard it is to love a woman who has been to hell and back.

Because the thing is, this woman carries in her heart a lifetime of pain that you didn’t cause. You didn’t inflict this pain on her. You didn’t hurt her. You didn’t damage her heart. You aren’t the reason she cannot fully love or trust.

But you are the one she pushes away. You are the one who tries to get close to her, to love her, but fails. You are the one she won’t turn to when she’s in pain, the one she won’t talk to when she feels alone, the one she won’t draw near to when she needs someone the most.

You are the one she hurts, because she is hurting.

And you don’t deserve that.

I know what that does to your heart. I know of the times you are so damn frustrated at not knowing what to do. I know you feel like no matter how much you love her, it will never be enough. I know you are exhausted at times, and are not sure how much more you can take of this storm. I know you feel confused and sometimes none of it makes sense and you lay awake at night and wonder if it’s worth it.

But the thing is, you’re still there.

You’re still there because something tells you this is worth it.

It’s difficult for me to tell you how to best love the woman who has been to hell and back. No situation is ever the same, and I have not the mind and heart of a man in your shoes.

But this is what I can tell you.

My original article was not written to condone abuse of any kind. Our society is vocal when it comes to domestic violence where women are the victims, but far less vocal to speak of men who are abused by women. It’s real, and it happens, and I understand how my article may have been interpreted in this respect and how that may have confused and upset you. But abuse is never okay, no matter from a man to a woman, or a woman to a man.

There is a difference between a woman who is hurting and inadvertently hurts others as she works through her pain, and a woman who justifies hurting others because she has been hurt, so that makes it okay. There is a difference between a woman who is willing to acknowledge that she has hurt others, who seeks forgiveness and redemption, and who strives to do better, and a woman who plays the victim card, blames others, and does not seek to change her ways but expects others to be her punching bag. There is a difference between a woman who struggles to love but does her best to give all she can to the relationship, and one who merely expects, takes, and gives nothing in return.

I know sometimes the lines can seem blurred, and because of this you struggle to know whether to stay or leave. But you are not obligated or responsible to stay there in the face of abuse. You must still, always, protect your heart. The woman who has been to hell and back needs to be responsible for her own healing. It’s not an easy journey, nor a fast one. There are many hard days, many times she will get stuck and not know the way forward. But the important thing to consider is that she is trying – for herself, for you, for your relationship.

No-one can tell you whether to stay or leave, only you can determine what you see in her heart, whether you see growth and change and promise, or whether you merely feel like her doormat. To love a woman who has been to hell and back is not easy. But it should never mean abuse, lack of respect, lack of boundaries, or that you become a scapegoat for someone who is unwilling to heal. This is something you must be able to understand the difference between in order to answer the question of whether you should stay or leave.

I can tell you that you are not responsible for fixing her, nor does she want you to. Men are fixers, and I understand it’s in your nature to want to make this better; make her better. But this is her journey. This is her pain. Her healing will not be pretty. At times she will be the hurricane and you will need to be the storm shelter – let her rage, let her anger and her fury and her pain unleash from her heart, let the weight of the trauma she has stored in her body for so many years come undone. Don’t fight it, don’t stop it, don’t fix it. Just be that safe place for her to come home to when the storm ends and the tears begin. You cannot fix her, you can only love her.

I can tell you the woman who has been to hell and back has a story written on her heart. A story which says everyone who should have protected her, didn’t. Everyone she trusted, hurt her. Everyone she loved, left her. She waits for you to continue the story, to be the next person to reject her, abandon her, hurt her. She expects it. She thinks it’s only a matter of time. And this is why she pushes you away, hurts you, leaves you, when you have only ever loved her. She doesn’t believe she is worthy of a love like yours, and believes it’s only a matter of time until you realise this too.

You asked me what it means to love harder.

It means you will need to be better than anyone else at love. It means you will need to love with more strength, more patience, more grace, more determination, more understanding, more perseverance. It means you will need to love her more than anyone else has before or will again. It means you will need to love her until she understands what love is, and believes in a love she’s never known.

It means you will need to love her hard enough to be the one to re-write the story on her heart.

But dear man, you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t everything she needs, and didn’t have everything it takes, to love the woman who has been to hell and back.

Author: Kathy Parker

(With permission)

Please check out Kathy’s blog at :


  1. Arraki rachid June 2, 2017 Reply

    Dear thanks for this article.
    I loved her and still loving her .and by moments I’m feeling stupid with that situation.i loved her with all my strength soul and she says that she did too.i married her and was araising and taking care protecting her and her two orphans I love like my own kids.she moved from Australia to live with me and I loved her more and more.we were happy and satisfied .she left me cruelly after cheating on me with a bastard I was trusting as he was the saxophone teacher of the kid.she started abusing me right in the beginning as she was accusing me having an affair with my secretary when I was not.i did huge things to ensure her and make her trust me trust my love for her .nothing works even she knows that she is the one I love and no way I had any affair .by the past she cheated on the father of the kids with the guy cross the street and went to tell her previous husband (my friend) when he was dying from stomach cancer.she confesses that to me before we get married and I trusted her redemption.i gave all I could I loved her and her kids who became mine.i tried to forgive her as I know she bipolar and I wanted to help her.she started insultin ignorin blackmailing confused and keep accusing that I’m the one who destroys evrything .she says sorry timidly as she knows obviously that she does the biggest mistake ever and she does it twice then .according to her religion(she s muslimah) she knows that it’s a big sin but says Allah will forgive her as he kinows what’s in her heart …!i m devastated and in a big pain since a year and half confused and don’t know what to do !i don’t know if I have to move on or keep trying to get her back when she doesn’t let me any chance even I know that she is in pain too.we were promising tick and thin .i was promising eternal love .shes Australian and living thousands miles away .
    Please help.

  2. Spots June 2, 2017 Reply

    This choked me up, as I am living it. I love my extremely difficult wife more than words can ever say. It will never be sufficient though to gain her trust completely though I’m obviously not those from her past that have traumatized her so deeply.

  3. Jason June 2, 2017 Reply

    I’m in tears at every word I read, and love my sweetheart with all my heart and soul, I’m the one who is confused the who has a question mark over my head and heart constantly, the one who does react but never a second goes by in my life that I don’t love her and is constantly in my thoughts, my heart yerns for peace for my sweetheart J.V.H thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your thoughts. J.J.S

  4. Christopher A Treto June 4, 2017 Reply

    Thank you. I was going to forward this to her to maybe give her some insight on what she is doing. Then reading on I saw that I am too damaged and feel some of the same things she might be feeling. Like everyone that was supposed to be there for me hasn’t showed it. Its soo tough and feel alone in this. To make things more confusing we have a beautiful 6 week old daughter. And our 1 year marriage anniversary is tomorrow. What a messed up year to celebrate. She wants to do nothing while I went to get a payday loan and went to the jewelry store before finding out it’s a super sad day for her not a celebration that we are together. Fact of the matter is that I did give up and came to the conclusion that my boundaries were stepped over way too far and way too often no matter how much I voiced it, they were trampled on repeatedly. Signed divorce papers then told of our baby on the way. Well I’m here and was told that the only reason is because of our daughter. Where there is truth to that, I was hoping for us to be able to give this innocent baby a chance at a family together. Two parent’s together. Something I never remember is both parents in the same room ever. Don’t know what is the right move. Dont know to even give the gifts tomorrow. Dont know that she even wants me here. I give it to God.

  5. blinded July 25, 2017 Reply

    blinded July 25, 2017 Reply
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    This really hit home for me my wife is also bipolar and she does the same thing she always says I’m verbally abusive and im not I dont curse at her or insult her i merely call it how I see it and its always i don’t say anything without being mean and she will talk about her feelings and when i say something im ignored because she doesn’t feel good she has been on a trip to her home town and when she was there she didn’t really call me she called me crying asking me for money in which i told her to call me if she needs more money plus i gave her money for her trip i think she cheated.i feel it .plus she talks to guys behind my back i don’t care about it what i did care about it is how she treated me when i was messaging my friend that’s a girl.i was only messaging her with advice about her problems.but i still get it for that .she doesn’t admit anything still about what i know i call her our on her lies and she’s quick to leave me .she always does this without no remorse.nothing. im the problem she says .im about to leave her it wasn’t like this in the beginning she straight up did a 180 on me .i wish she would just come clean or situationship plain ol hey I’ve lied to you in the past im sorry here’s why .but nothing im so confused but i don’t think i have any more feelings to go if she leaves again im done.

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