Skip to main content

I Kissed the Bully… Would You? by Rylee Ryder

It’s difficult to fully understand what someone else is going through. Having never been in an abusive relationship personally or even been close to someone living in one, it was a bit difficult for me, initially, to really understand the dynamics of such a relationship. The easiest reaction is to ask why the person doesn’t just leave? Why put up with that kind of treatment? Why couldn’t they see the red flags that were staring them in the face and not get into the relationship in the first place?

How very naïve of me! As Atticus Finch says in To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his [her] point of view, until you climb inside of his [her] skin and walk around in it.” How very true!

In her book, I Kissed the Bully… Would You? (AuthorHouse), author Rylee Ryder lets us into her world and lets us walk a mile (or two or three) in her shoes. She gives the reader the opportunity to really see inside her abusive relationship. How did it start? How did it feel? Why didn’t she leave? Why did she feel she couldn’t? Sadly, when these relationships go from emotionally and verbally abusive to physically abusive, it gets even harder (and scarier) to leave. And when there is a child or children involved, the stakes get even higher.


To call her husband, “Darth” a “bully” is a gross understatement. Rylee was lucky she got out alive. The news is filled every day with stories like hers that didn’t end so well. Rylee is very open and candid about her relationship and her thought process throughout.

When she first met Darth in high school, she had no idea about emotional and physical abuse, and as their relationship moved forward and eventually led to a pregnancy and marriage, she was not equipped to handle the situation of living with an addict and abuser. For the sake of her child and their small family, she tried to deal with it as best she could. She thought she was doing the right and honorable thing, but it got harder and harder, and Darth’s abuse got more and more dangerous. But she felt trapped.

It took years for Rylee to finally build up the strength and resolve (with support from AA and Al-Anon) to extricate herself from her hellish marriage. It didn’t come easily and without a lot of setbacks, but she did it and now she is on a mission to help others.


As one reviewer says, the book is “full of vital information on how to recognize and deal with dysfunction in addictive or abusive relationships.” Rylee’s staunch resilience and determination can serve as hope to others who find themselves in similar situations and those who may be struggling after recently getting out of an abusive relationship. It shows other women that they are not alone. This can be life-changing and even life-saving.

“I felt determined to tell my real-life story because I believe that there is a responsibility to spread healthy, constructive solutions to women who might not even realize they have acclimated to dysfunctional circumstances,” says Rylee.

The author says that in her moments of weakness she would find her strength, “because where I was going with my life was much more important than where I had been.” On the last page of the book, you learn that, “The story lives on in the next book…” Rylee has much more living to do and her story isn’t finished yet. I’ll be happy to catch up with her again in the sequel!


About Rylee Ryder:

Rylee Ryder unequivocally understands abused women because she has been one. But once she learned that abusers can also be attentive and affectionate, she learned she did not have to live in terror. After forgetting how to believe in herself, and feeling obligated to do anything it took to save her family, Rylee ultimately found a way to save herself.

Since leaving the domestic environment she has captured in her book, she has established a healthy life with a solid support system, which includes dating, riding her horses, and letting her dogs up on the couch.

Through her writing, Rylee not only wishes to share her story and being an “easy target” but to teach others that they can overcome the impossible, even with the situation feels overpowering or life-threatening. I Kissed the Bully – Would You? is Rylee’s first book, with a sequel to come.

I Kissed the Bully… Would You? by Rylee Ryder
Publish Date: February 18, 2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Author: Rylee Ryder
Page Count: 376 pages
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 978-1665514736
Barbara Wilkov

Barbara Wilkov has a varied career background, having worked in education, sales for several start-up magazines, fundraising and event planning for the American Heart Association, and marketing, communications, PR, and social media for a congregational church, a children’s non-profit, and an emergency and specialty veterinary hospital. Barbara is also the co-founder of an award-winning website,, that focuses on healing difficult mother-daughter relationships from the adult daughter’s perspective. Look for a book in the not-too-distant future! A Stamford, CT, native, Barbara has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and English, and an MS in Education. She loves to act and is honored to be a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Leave a Reply