Women are nurturers. Many of us love to fix broken things and heal what has been hurt and/or damaged. Whether it be by nature or nurture, we have the propensity to see past any trespasses made against us and see the good in people and to also help it manifest. Perhaps it’s due to the maternal qualities that reside in a lot of us and is further strengthened by how young girls are socialized to be caretakers. These are redeeming qualities, however, this mindset becomes toxic when some women interpret it as an obligation to tolerate disrespect, inconsistency, infidelity and a myriad of other problematic actions. Have women really become so thirsty for a man that any man will do? In some instances, I believe that is the case. For a lot of us, however, I believe it has been ingrained in our psyches that as long as he is providing some semblance of care, shut up and “let a man be a man.” Throughout countless generations and still in some cultures today, women have been forced to depend on men for survival. Women in Saudi Arabia were just given the right to drive, for goodness’ sake. American women did not begin working consistently until the 1940’s, so it was essential to secure a husband swiftly, otherwise end up destitute. Being an unmarried woman was not a good look, and many women were forced to marry ain’t sh*t men just to have a roof over their heads and some food on the table. Divorce was frowned upon just until relatively recently, so a lot of women just had to endure a bad situation. This created some “stand by your man” mentality that has trapped women in bad relationships for eons. A lot of us watched our mothers and other women in our family tolerate treatment they did not deserve, masked under “he’s a good man, he just blah blah blah.” We love to make excuses in an attempt to justify the bad behavior from people we love, absolving them of any responsibility for their actions and sweeping all the issues under the rug. No matter your reason for staying with a man who doesn’t value you, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It will never be worth it. You’re holding yourself hostage for what? Hope that he will change? Have you given up hope that there are any decent men out there, so you’re just going to settle for the best of the worst? Is there some sort of trophy for being loyal to someone who couldn’t care less if you cry yourself to sleep every night? I don’t think so. The return on your investment for supposedly helping a man become a better person will be zero. 10x out of 9 people don’t change, and if they do, it will because they want to, not because of anything you’ve done. I don’t have the energy to take on projects, and if I wanted to raise someone, I would get pregnant. Do not make yourself responsible for the growth of other people.
Your Man is Not Gucci Mane
From the outside looking in, it appears that Gucci Mane has made a miraculous transformation since being released from prison. The man is literally glowing. He and his new wife Keyshia look like they’re on cloud nine, and they had a breathtaking wedding. We do not know the details of their relationship, but they appear to be madly in love. Keyshia was Gucci’s ride or die, supporting him through prison, years of alleged drug use and a career that comes with copious amounts of glamour and temptation. They have become relationship goals for many, proving that if you stay loyal, you will be rewarded with a ring and a lavish lifestyle. Apparently women these days do not know how to hold a man down properly and leave as soon as a problem arises. We should all be more like Keyshia, right? That’s what I have been seeing so much of. Your man deserves for you to be a loyal doormat while he runs wild through the streets, and you are a bad partner if you require more of him. How dare a woman expect loyalty from her significant other?! How preposterous! That logic irks me beyond belief. Sure, there are men who put up with women who do not treat them right, but the difference lies in that this is not an expectation of men. No man is raised to “stand by your woman” no matter what she does. Have you ever watched a movie or show where a man’s peers were telling him how good of a woman his significant other is despite her constant cheating and troublesome behavior, and that he should give her a chance to change her ways? We aren’t talking about one mistake or slip up during the relationship, but an overall toxic and emotionally draining environment. Everyone is going to make mistakes, it’s human nature, but your whole relationship should not be a merry-go-round of screw ups and empty apologies. If Gucci Mane truly made a turnaround, that’s great. Apparently Keyshia saw something in him that I would not have stayed around to uncover, and we have to stop preaching this twisted rhetoric that if you allow a man to drag you through the mud long enough, you will come out clean on the other side. A relationship is not supposed to be in a perpetual state of turmoil. Romantic love is not supposed to hurt, and while it requires work like any other relationship, it should not be a constant uphill battle. This all goes back to the sect of gender roles that require women to be submissive and subservient. Many say that women will put up with anything for money, and many say that taking care of someone financially entitles them to do whatever they’d like. This is not 1888, and you don’t have to put up with anyone’s foolery in order to prevent homelessness and despair. I didn’t know that the only thing a man was supposed to do was provide financial support. It may be better to cry in a mansion, but who wants to be hurt at all? If you allow a man to disturb your inner peace just for a designer bag and some jewelry, you don’t love him, you just love the fancy lifestyle, and you certainly don’t love yourself.
30th Times’ a Charm
“Maybe he will finally get it this time!” This is the battle cry of someone fighting to hold on to a relationship with a person who doesn’t act right and who likely never will. You lie awake at night wondering what you can try next to show him how good of a catch you are and how foolish of him it would be to let you walk out the door. You’ve seen the potential in him, and you just know that you are the one to turn this pauper into a prince. He’s shown you who he is a multitude of times, but you know that’s not the real him. He’s just been hurt by these no-good women out here. If you are taking the time to truly get to know someone, you wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place. People are unable to hide their true colors for long, and time reveals all, but of course, women love to fall in love with potential. I’m not sure why so many of us think we have the supreme power to manifest change in people, but no one is that powerful. We do not have this level of control over anyone, and trying to control things you have no power over will lead to disappointment every time. When some people realize that actively trying to change a person doesn’t work, they try the wait and pray approach. They walk all over you again and again, but you have the patience of Job; you tell yourself this time that God is working on their heart, and if you just be still, you will come out on the other side stronger than ever. Get a grip. Your efforts are futile and you are letting the best years of your life pass you by waiting on a loser to see the light. Being in a bad relationship just for the sake of being in one is selling yourself short.
We all know those “at least I got a man” type of women, even though their man is unemployed, unfaithful, ugly and God only knows what else. But hey, any man is better than no man, right? Internalized misogyny is a real killer. Some women are so brainwashed they feel it is better to allow emotional and sometimes physical abuse from a boyfriend or spouse than be single and date until a suitable partner is found. To make matters worse, a lot of women are allowing men they aren’t even in relationships with dog them out. They hope if they prove their loyalty to him, he will bestow the honor of being his girlfriend upon them. Countless women give their unwavering loyalty to men who would be gone at the first dose of disrespect. It is time that we become equally intolerant. Instead of building up a hopeless charity case, find someone who matches or even exceeds where you are in life. If you find that all you attract are men who have nothing to offer besides penis and a headache, it’s time you go inside and examine yourself. You clearly don’t think you deserve anything better. The universe gives us back what we put out, and it is impossible to attract something that is not present within yourself. I do not find it impressive to be the woman who finally made the most wild man of them all act right. All that means is you were the one foolish enough to stick around long enough for him to either get tired of his current lifestyle or all his other options showed him the door and you were the only one dumb enough to still be there. You are not Cesar Milan, but instead of teaching dogs how to behave, you have a knack for training problematic men. I have yet to read any type of content regarding a man helping build a woman into the person she is meant to be, stand by your queen while she’s down, or anything pertaining to men tolerating disrespect while a woman grows and matures. This does not have to be a double standard that withstands the rest of humanity, but it will be as long as women keep buying into the notion that you should be loyal to a fault while you do not receive the same treatment in return. Love is conditional, and not everyone should be entitled to your heart.