Hey guys! Check out my video for February! In this month of love, my message is for the single ladies! Do share your thoughts! XOXO
Have you ever wondered what the chances are that you’d stay in a bad relationship? Probably not. I never gave it much thought myself until I read an interesting article about how we as humans are likely to view investments. I can’t remember where I read the article or who the author was but I remember something stuck out to me about the way that he/she explained a person’s disposition to investments using the following scenario:
Let’s assume you go to the cinema to watch a movie. After scanning through available options, you settle on the one you think would be interesting. You pay for your ticket, grab your popcorn and head to the hall excitedly. A few minutes into the movie, you realize that it’s not along the lines of anything you like or it’s just really boring. What would you do?
There are two possibilities that may immediately come to mind:
- To sit through the movie and bear the boredom; afterall, you already paid for it. OR
- To leave the cinema hall the moment you realize the movie is not what you hoped it would be, and either pay for another movie that would give you what you need, or go elsewhere to have a good time.
According to the author of that article, most people are likely to choose option 1, i.e sit through a movie they do not like or are not likely to enjoy rather than leave the hall to choose a different movie or go do something else.
This got me thinking about why people stay in bad relationships. Why do people resort to sticking with unhappy relationships, abusive relationships, stuck-and-heading-nowhere relationships? Think about it: there are many people who say “we’ve been together for xx years so we just have to make it work” even though they know that their relationships are filled with bitterness, anger and resentment. There are people who prioritize the duration of their relationships over the quality of it and tend to focus on prolonging the duration rather than improving the quality.
This is because people worry about how much they have invested in a bad decision (in terms of time and money) and become obsessed with making it work. This kind of thinking continuously looks backwards and regurgitates the investments that have been made into the relationship rather than the returns on those investments. It’s a way of life that prevents many people from taking risks and daring to seek new possibilities. It’s a way of life many people have adapted to.
So here’s a challenge for you: Look back on your relationship and ask yourself if you have received returns on your investments? Please bear in mind that these returns should not include children. You do not need to invest your heart in a relationship to get a child so focus on other things like: are you respected? are you treated with love? Do you feel, in spite of the bumpy days that your partner will consistently support and care for you like you do for him/her? Are you confident, in spite of the turbulence you might face that your relationship is headed for a happy ending? That your relationship is filled with substance and not just symbols?
For once, forget about the investments you have made and ask yourself if you are happy in your partnership.
Because the truth is it does not matter how long you have been investng if you have been investing wrongly. It is equivalent to pouring water into a basket but refusing to stop because you have been at it for a very long time. The basket will never fill up and you will never stop pouring. So do what’s good for you.
If there is one thing that exhausts me on social media, it is the volume of opinions that are rammed down people’s throats as facts. There are so many opinions on social media these days that the thought of even logging onto facebook exhausts me. Even Twitter, my favourite social media app is becoming toxic by the day. And while Instagram is not that bad, I fail to understand the need to post pictures of my life so people can like them to feed my self-esteem.
Drained as I may be though, I am not one to sit around and leave people to believe erroneous opinions simply because I don’t want to be bothered. Nope… the thought of sitting around while people go on and on about how their opinions are facts is a bother on its own. Forget being a bother; it is a crime – one that relationship social media is constantly engaging in.
For some time now, I have seen people post all kinds of advice about relationships. A few days ago, a lady on Twitter posted what she called a “survival kit” for young wives. She went to highlight that she had been married for 13 years, had three kids and had survived the damage she faced in her marriage. She went on to indicate that women who are preparing for marriage should be prepared to be “really really damaged” because that was a rite of passage of some sort. The post had many retweets, many nods, many agreements and a few outliers like myself who just did not agree.
You see, growing up, marriage was never packaged as a good thing to have, yet it was communicated as something that must be desired. Mothers and aunties often said in my language, “ile oko, ile eko” meaning a husband’s house is like a school. Now, if you attended the same schools in Nigeria that I did, you’d understand why this was certainly not something to look forward to. Marriage was packaged as a war front where your only chance of survival as a woman was to surrender yourself to some form of education and societally acceptable behaviour that would not in any way bring reproach to your husband. Some aunties went as far as highlighting that men could do whatever they wanted in marriage and it is your duty as a woman to build your home, lest you be regarded as foolish. Unfortunately, a bible verse was even used to further drive the message home:
“The wise woman builds her house; but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down” – Proverbs 14:1
And so I spent most of my childhood watching women scurry around to save their homes so they would not be regarded as foolish. Women stopped talking to their friends because their husbands did not want them to have friends. Women stopped working because their husbands did not like their line of work. Many women looked and still look the other way whenever their husbands chased women with shorter skirts and longer weaves…“At least he is not bringing them home”, they said. And as they built, some of their husbands tore down, leaving these women in the endless cycle of building and restoring. But that is not the worst of it. The worst thing is these women became mentors. They became the council of advisors for many women. They taught and still teach many young women to prepare for bad marriages.
“After one year, you will see changes in him”
“Once you hit ten years, the marriage becomes really tough”
“The ups and downs get worse with time but you will be stronger because you will be used to him by then.”
Oh wow! Sign me up real quick for the forecasted suffering, will you?
I’m being sarcastic but many women do sign up. I remember seeing an advert for a book about getting rid of the other woman in your marriage and a young lady wrote a comment along the lines of “Where can I get a copy? I don’t have a man yet but I need to be prepared.”
Why are we constantly preparing for bad marriages? Why are we accepting the experiences of others as the status quo and hoping for their suffering to become our reality? Why are women romanticizing the idea of having a “survival kit” for a lifetime commitment like marriage? I have so many whys but you already get the gist. Women are constantly bending over backwards to reiterate the gloomy forecast of marriage, and do you know why?
Many women do not dare to demand better for themselves. I find in this social media age, that the more retweets an opinion has, the more likely it is to be regarded as fact. Many people out there believe that the reality of others is bound to be theirs so they buy into damaging opinions really quickly and begin to prepare for the gloomy days ahead. Many people believe that if X is giving marriage advice and has been married for 15 years, then that advice is the gospel. LOL. So let’s say I work as a cleaner at a bank for years, does that qualify me to give you advice on investments?
The fact that a person has been married for years does not mean they had a substantial relationship with their spouse. Heck, people are married for years and live like strangers in the same home. People are married for years in abusive relationships. People are married for years to other people who do not want to have sex with them or even touch their skin…. yet we tend to believe the duration is equal to positive experience? Nope, it is not. It will never be. And you need to start telling yourself that if you want to stop preparing for a bad marriage.
Instead of listening to the survival kit gang, the ‘I’ve been married for xx years’ gang or the ‘your man will cheat or change’ or whatever kind of evil they’ve been stewing in for years gang, take a deep breath and ask yourself what you really want. Do you want the status quo of pain and unnecessary education? Or do you want a marriage where the ups and downs do not include cheating, abuse and alienation?
Dare to demand better. Life on its own is tough. Rather than prepare for a bad marriage, be kind to yourself and aim for a good one. If you prepare for a bad marriage, anyone who proposes marriage will do. But if you dare to demand better for yourself, you might just be the exception to the status quo. XOXO.
You probably think this post is about how time heals all wounds even though it doesn’t erase any scars. Sorry to disappoint you, but it is not.
In recent relations with people, I have discovered that time is a gift. A gift many of us are unaware of. A gift that can literally save us from all the heartache we complain about on social media. Time is a precious gift, not just because we can’t get it back once it is wasted, but because it is a teacher.
Have you learned to give people, things, dreams, ideas, visions time? That is one thing I learned this year. Especially when it comes to people.
“Time reveals all things”.
This is no ordinary cliche. It is a life motto. It is a lifesaver. It is an open secret. Time reveals who people are. Time reveals the truth in relationships. Time reveals the cracks people hide underneath well-crafted masks designed to deceive and emotionally bankrupt.
It is so easy to be swept off by the initial aura of a person. It is easy to believe people are who they say they are, especially when they have the whole good person act together. It is easy to fall for the non-existent good in people who have perfected the art of ‘appearing to be’ as opposed to ‘actually being’.
Just because people are Christian or appear to be religious, it does not mean they are not users. Let us get this straight and not get carried away with the misconceptions of their appearance or even their words. There are many bible-quoting, demon-chasing, tongue-speaking people who are out to use others to their advantage without caring about the emotional or psychological bankruptcy they will leave behind. These people put on the garment of humility in order to connect with your good nature, because they know that nothing in you will relate with arrogance. But wait. Take a deep breath. Listen closely and watch carefully. Observe earnestly the faux humility that’s laced with entitlement and ask yourself if humility can truly co-exist with an entitled nature. If you are struggling with the answer to that one, it’s NO. The two cannot co-exist.
But being the good-natured person that you are, you avoid jumping to conclusions the first time of entitlement rears its head. You ascribe it to a difficult phase in their life, a need you’ve been chosen to fulfill, and you even hope that your good nature will change them, because you know exemplary conduct has the power to change a person.
Can I just put a pin in your bubble? Oops! Not waiting for a response to that one. Here goes:
You cannot change a user. Your good nature can’t. Your sacrifices can’t. Your words of encouragement can’t. If anything at all, users view you as a more viable candidate for their selfish ends the more you try to change them. They will spur you on with encouraging words regarding your self-sacrifice. If they are callous enough, they will go the emotional route, and confess non-existent feelings for you – confessions that negate their actions or even perceptions of you. They will ‘lovingly’ discourage you from pursuing any goal that antagonizes what they can get out of you because they are focused on the end goal – to use your good nature, skills and influence to their advantage, after which they will suddenly come up with a list of your faults and explain why they have oh so patient with your excesses.
How do you prevent yourself from falling into this? Give people time. Don’t jump into emotional confessions just because they put pressure on you. Oh yes! they will do this in order to cement the foundation of their faux humility and entitlement and to implement the modus operandi of your emotional and psychological bankruptcy. Don’t be quick to jump onboard their bandwagon, cheering them on in dreams where you are the support ATM where no deposits are made. Don’t think it’s awkward not to say “I love you” back when they have said it a million times. Don’t feel the need to tell them you miss them because it seems unbalanced that they seem to miss you more. Give them time.
Time to reveal their true nature and their perceptions of you. Time to show that they are truly who they are they are, or not. Give them time to reveal their real intentions, because with the power of time, users get frustrated and everything bubbles up to the surface. Give them time, not to prove you wrong (because you are not to form negative perceptions prior to engaging with them), but to show you in actions the kind of relationship they are hoping to build with you. Yes, it may seem like you are overly cautious; but rather be that than have another piece of yourself stolen away by an emotionally-unavailable user whose feelings for you were based solely on what they can get from you. You might even feel like you’re losing out on some people with your cautiousness, but guess what? genuine people always stand the test of time.
Use time to your advantage. Let it teach you. let it show you. Let it reveal all things. Time is power. Start using it right.
PS: This post does not mean you should not be kind to people. By all means, be kind. But don’t be roped into an emotional investment with a person whose end goal is to use you.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I spent last weekend at the Girl Ignite Africa Summit where I was a mentor with seven other amazing individuals. We all got along from the moment we met and spent so much time laughing together, you would have sworn we’ve known each other for years. This connection and positive energy gave us so much optimism, we decided at some point during the weekend to go river rafting.
Now if you know me personally, you already know that I have an irrational fear of being inside water, especially if my feet can’t touch the ground. You might also know that when I am unsure of something I am about to do, I get all the information I can about it, just to make sure I don’t fail. Yes, I took that whole “Be prepared” mantra from my High School Girls Scouts pretty seriously.
So, before I agreed to go river rafting, I already had all the information I needed. I’d never paddled in a bathtub, not to mention a boat, but I was ready to put everything I learned through observation to practice. Afterall, I learned many other things through observation – driving, cooking, playing volleyball…somewhere in my head, the rules of lawn tennis lay dormant and will be awoken very soon. I digress.
Four of us got into the raft – four ladies who were super-excited and who got along well the entire weekend. The guys by the shore told us “Get in, it’s easy” and so we got in. The raft was pushed into the water, and the task to move in a desired direction fell on our shoulders. We were alone and we had to paddle. And that was when we realized this was no easy task. Some of us believed we had to paddle backwards to move forward while others thought the opposite. Some of us paddled stronger than others, making the raft turn around in circles over and over again (I blame the river current partly for that one). And I believe some of us were so obsessed with making sure everything ran smoothly, that we could not help but speak loudly and tell everyone what to do.
But that was not the only problem we faced. As we waddled on the river, speaking at the top of our voices, trying to figure things out, those on the shore of the river kept yelling out instructions. “Paddle backwards!” “Count to three and paddle together!” “Move the raft forward!” “Turn around”…. The instructions we did not get before we left the shore were now being released in dozens of screams. Mixed with the cacophony of our own voices, we were soon stuck and frustrated, sitting on a raft in the middle of a river, rather unhappy with the fact that we could not hear each other or figure out how to move in the direction we desired.
And in the midst of all that, I had an epiphany that made me laugh.
Isn’t this how relationships work?
In the beginning, it is so great to connect with a person who just gets you, makes you laugh and thinks you are the brightest, most amazing person ever. And the observers of this chemistry will very often encourage both of you to get into the boat. “He is such a sweet young man, I have no doubt he will treat you with dignity, respect, and love.” “She is such a loving young girl. I have no doubt she will make you happy”. And excitedly, we get into the boat, believing that chemistry is all that is required to row the boat forward. That’s until we get the shock of our lives when we realize there’s that little factor called communication.
I guess you’re thinking “Oh please communication is easy”. Well, I used to think so too until I found myself sitting in that raft, trying to just paddle back to shore so I could get out and mourn our failure. And then it dawned on me… Communication is easy when you are not in a difficult, sticky, or in our case, a wet, lost situation. You cannot claim to be an excellent communicator if you have only been in rosy situations where you did not have to make an effort to communicate. You cannot claim to be an excellent communicator if you pay more attention to those screaming instructions from the shore than you do to the person you are in the boat with.
This is perhaps the real reason many relationships crash when they face difficulty. Sometimes, in the rocky phases of our relationships, we pay a lot of attention to what others have to say based on their own personal experiences. We trust the perceptions others have of our partners more than we trust our own perceptions. We trust the biased opinions others have of our situation rather than listen to the person we are in the boat with. We spend more time communicating with the outside world than we spend relating with the person in the ship. This applies not just to romantic relationships but also to our relationship with God but this is a post for another day). We tend to speak more to others about our situation and our partners than we speak to our partners. And maybe sometimes, we speak to our partners, but we do this so loudly, that we deafen them with our ‘megaphonorious’ (this is not a word) opinions.
Sometimes, our over-zealous optimism tends to ruin our relationships more than build them. Many of us go into relationships with pre-conceived notions of how they should work. We believe relationships have a universal framework they are based on, and we go in with the notion that the person we are with knows how the framework is structured. We don’t realize that while we may have a framework in mind, we must never forget that the person we are with is not a robot who responds to the buttons we push. That person is human with a different perception of relationships. And unless we let them be themselves, we will never move the ship of relation forward. Like we were going around in circles on that river, relationships where expectations are based on pre-conceived notions rather than an in-depth understanding of individual qualities, expectations, and perceptions, often end up going around in circles till one person gets tired of the ‘not-so-merry-go-round’ and decides to leave the boat.
But leaving is not the answer to communication and perception problems. I know we live in an age where people cut other people off the moment those people piss them off because they are on some “I don’t allow negativity in my space”. Honeypie, a person who disagrees with you without subjugating you or belittling your dreams is not negative. You are just bad at communicating. Rather than leave, learn the skill of effective communication.
That was another epiphany that hit me as I fought the desire to just get back to shore and leave the boat. I had no right to leave. The fact that my over-zealous optimism was not working, was not enough reason to quit. I had to take deep breaths and listen to what the others in the boat thought. I had to communicate what I knew in a different manner. I had to take what I could from the shore and ignore what was not necessary. Most importantly, I had to realize that it was not about me. It was about me AND the people in the boat with me. It was about their expectations, understanding their intentions and realizing that they had the same goal I did – rowing the boat forward.
We cannot row relationships on our own, no matter how efficient we are. We cannot let our over-zealous optimism and over-efficiency make others seem inadequate. We cannot let a little frustration push us into giving up. Sometimes, all we really need to do in those rocky times is to breathe, shut up, listen to what the other person has to say, and ensure that when we do share what we know, we share it in a manner that is helpful, constructive and encouraging.
With this in mind, we finally rowed the boat forward and it was great to have that victory and learn that lesson. Below is a picture of us as we arrived back at shore, happy, ‘unfrustrated’ (this again is not a word) and educated in what I now believe is a communication masterclass masked as a fun activity.
Have you done any activity that taught you lessons in communication? Please share.
Maybe….just maybe… marriages break down for one simple reason no one is paying attention to.
I had an interesting epiphany as I conversed with a friend last night. It was not a Eureka! moment, nor did the word Voila! come to heart. It was a theory that formed as the conversation progressed, highlighting what I believe may be the reason marriages go from “I can’t get enough of you” to “It feels like we just live together”.
In this age of information, there are so many ideologies and notions about marriage that are passed on to people via all information platforms, especially social media. If you are an African woman, the list might be along the lines of:
- Submit to your husband at all times
- Learn the art of silence
- Know his favourite meal and cook it all the time
- Learn the best sex moves you can and impress him every time
- Wash his clothes – it’s a sign of love (Just in case you have been looking for the recipe to keep a traditional man happy, this is it).
The list for men is pretty short
- Provide (Yep that about sums it up. You want to be a man now, don’t you?)
But there are no guarantees that all of these things will be sufficient to keep your marriage afloat. As a matter of fact, many of these marriages which are built on efficiency still somehow find a way to fall apart. And of course, many of us these days are so disappointed in the institution, we are beginning to view it as a burden. But what if we start to do some things differently?
You see, in my many years of relating with people and being a ‘life coach’ for romantic relationships (I should get that business card printed now), I have learned one very important lesson.
It is not your efficiency in the fulfilment of your ‘expected obligations’ that keeps your partner happy, interested or committed.
If it was that, then so many marriages will be happy considering the Voltron mode many women assume once the ring touches the finger. It is not about how much you get done or how well you get everything done. It is not about how early you rise in the morning to ‘do something around the house’ or how dinner is ready at 6pm everyday. It is not about how you sort out the bills or get the children ready with little or no help. It is not about how skilled you are at ironing your husband’s shirts or how well you have mastered the art of handwashing his pocket squares.
These are all activities that keep you busy and for some, come with the territory of marriage. But maybe, just maybe these activities keep you so busy you ignore the most important thing you should be doing.
You stop learning about your partner.
We all hear of the couples who drift apart and settle for divorce in the end. We see those who live like flatmates even though they try to present rosy romance on Instagram. We know them, we’ve heard their stories. Yet, for some reason my brain cannot grasp, we repeat their patterns, assuming erroneously that Sally at the office was the reason hubby left or Ben the gardener was the reason Mrs Simpson no longer found pleasure in her husband.
I’ll tell you my theory: Maybe Sally at the office was paying hubby so much attention and learning his new interests that he felt like his dreams were valid again. Perhaps, Ben the gardener noticed the new hairdo every week and the change of nail colour that made Mrs. Simpson feel visible again.
Perhaps, people are too busy trying to efficiently run their marriages like an operations managers runs a fleet of deliveries, that they forget to communicate with the person who makes the marriage.. (I mean, you can’t exactly be in a marriage with yourself now, can you?).
Perhaps people are too tired from the 101% level efficiency they have to be on, that they forget to sit and crack jokes with their partners, listen to new music, try out food, and learn a new dance together. Perhaps people just get so involved with the symbol of the marriage, they forget the substance of it – a relationship – a ship where two people should relate. Sure, the ambiance in the ship is not always endearing but perhaps, there will be more days of love than days of heated words. But even heated words show some form of relationship, and they definitely beat days of silence- not silence from anger or pain, but silence because the fire has fizzled out and no one is willing to light another match.
I put it to you that this efficiency mode of running your marriage is not even for the survival of your marriage. Deep down, it’s for your ego. You view marriage as a cotton field and you want to be the best cotton picker who always exceeds the quota for the day. You want to say you earned it, and pride yourself as you tell people it’s hard work to be married and oh well, you just know how to keep it together. You focus so much on doing the work that you forget to relate with your partner.
So the point? You are more likely to keep your marriage alive if you don’t get up in the efficiency of maintaining the symbol more than you get caught up in discovering more about your partner and relating endearingly.
Advice: Know you can’t do everything. What technology can do, let it. What money can sort out, let it. What a third party can do, let them. Get excited about spending quality time with your partner and discovering more about them. Take every chance you get to peel another layer of partner and marvel at the pleasant surprise (well, not all the time) you will find. XOXO
You need to stop letting worry steal your joy. In this video, I share simple tips to help you enjoy your singlehood as a lady. Please share with friends and hit the subscribe button on my YouTube channel 😉
The channel name is Demi Fayemiwo or you can just click here
If there is one life code you should know like the back of your hand, it is how to beat emotional and psychological abusers at their own game. I did a video on the cycle of abuse, and how you can spot an abuser before they get to you. You can check it out here. By understanding the cycle of abuse, it is easy to spot an abuser before they abuse you. And if you are able to spot a potential abuser, you can easily beat them at their own game. In this post, I will give you a few simple tips to help you understand abusers better and beat them at their own game.
The disclaimer here is that these tips may not work 100% of the time especially if you have been in an abusive relationship for a while. But they are guaranteed to work if the relationship is still in its early phases and you can already spot the signs of abuse. They have worked for me a few times, so take note. They are really easy and are based on the premise of self-control. Beating emotional and psychological abusers at their own game is like undoing every move they make on a chess board.
#1 Abusers are not as confident as they come across. More often than not, the reason abusers are successful in abusing you is that you are unable to spot their fake confidence. If you have watched the video (link above), you will understand why. They literally bombard you with so many compliments at the beginning, such that you can’t help but swoon over them. Well, don’t get carried away with swooning. Pay attention. Watch out for snide comments about the success of others. Listen to what excites them – the success or the brokenness of others? How do they react when someone they perceive as better than they are steps on to the stage?(Note: This person could be your friend, colleague, relative etc. It could even be you in certain circumstances). If you watch closely enough, you will see an abuser cower slightly when they perceive someone stronger is in your life. Then they will immediately follow up with a barrage of snide comments that are intended to downplay the achievements or persona of the other person. At this point, smile and do nothing.
Yes, you read right. Don’t stand up to defend your friend, relative or colleague. Hey, the comments may even be directed at you, but you don’t need to let your hair loose just yet. This is a game of poker. You simply cannot reveal what you have. This principle is called “stooping to conquer”.
#2 Once the abuser believes that you are easy prey and the time to walk all over you has arrived, he/she will begin to poke at your identity and the things that they once complimented you for. Remember when they called you “intelligent and beautiful”, you will suddenly become “dull with ashy skin and breakouts”. Remember when they said your sense of style was on fleek? You will suddenly become “cheap and slutty”. Now, this is where many people get confused. They assume silence is the answer to these thinly veiled insults. But nah… Surely you don’t want to lose your cool at this point but you also don’t want to keep quiet. What you want to do is destabilize the abuser by simply saying…”I am surprised you feel this way about my…(sense of style, intelligence, job…etc). You said just last week that you were impressed by it.”
Now at the point, the abuser will look very confused and try to understand what you are doing. They will immediately realize that you have been paying attention all this while, and will reprogram the strategy – they will either skip to the next phase which is to take unveiled pokes at your identity by comparing you with other people or their exes, or they will revert back to the compliment stage where they distract you with exaggerated notions of yourself that you need not believe. Do not fall for the latter and if they proceed to the next stage, here is what you do.
#3 Abusers know that comparison is what breaks a person’s spirit. Being told that you are not as good as your friend, your colleague or even your partner’s ex can have you in mental hell for some time. So they use this tactic very carefully. They can make a passing comment about how Sally cooked spaghetti better than you do, and from there, it graduates to outright statements like “Nelson is a better provider than your broke ass”. Now the abuser at this point is looking for emotion. The abuser wants you to lash out at the comparison and bring hell up from the darkest abyss of your soul. And I bet you, you will want to rouse all the madness within yourself in response. But take deep breaths because this is what breaks the relationship.
Look impressed. Yep. You read that right. Look impressed as your abuser makes the comparisons. “I should call Sally and ask her for that Spaghetti recipe” or “Wow! That Nelson must have been quite the guy. Why did y’all break up?”
This will throw your abuser off course completely and the confusion you will see on his/her face will be absolutely laughable. Don’t laugh. The situation might get volatile. Simply finish whatever you were busy with, pick up every last thing you own if you are not in your home and leave as amicably as possible.
The abuser will at this point go back to the drawing board, ready to either restart the process or terminate the relationship. Irrespective of the decision they make, you have ONLY ONE option – delete their details, block them completely and act like you’ve been hit with the spell, Obliviate where they are concerned.
Then pour yourself a glass of wine and pat yourself on the back as you say to yourself “You’re doing great sweetie”.
P.S: this post stayed in my drafts list for two and a half years. I dated an emotional abuser and I conquered. I hope you do too!
Feminism is just absolute nonsense! Really now! Look at how it has altered the dynamics of society, making women think they own the place and call the shots when clearly this world was built for men and men alone. This feminism is an unnecessary revolution staged to destroy what actually works in society to create a system where roles have been changed, slaves have become masters and life has become hell for men. Women no longer want to cook for their husbands because of feminism. Women no longer want to be bothered with house chores because of feminism. Women now want equal pay (like they have the same responsibilities as men). Women want to be respected like men (like seriously? Did Sarah not call Abraham Lord?)
Of course, men are retaliating; men no longer pick up the bill on dates they invite women to because well… she’s a feminist. If she wants equal rights, she should pay the bill. Men can no longer tell their wives what she can or cannot do with her life. They can no longer decide if she gets to study further or gets to keep her childhood friend. Their authority in their homes has been undermined because of this feminism nonsense. Women no longer want to submit; they don’t want to apologize when their men cheat; they don’t even ask what they did wrong that led him to cheat and try to fix things. They have these groups like FIN on Facebook that provide support and improve their self-esteem. This feminism nonsense has made women too strong! So strong that men no longer find them appealing, and have to now subject potential spouses to interrogations aimed at testing their aversion or adherence to submission. It has become a necessity to screen submissiveness, no thanks to this feminism nonsense.
This feminism nonsense has come to erode the hearts of impressionable young women who do not understand the need to be weak and vulnerable so they can be appealing to the men who are available. These women think they deserve better because this feminism nonsense said so.
Women now want to negotiate equal pay at work because feminism said so; they have no respect for men who are psychologically, emotionally and physically abusive because of this feminism. Women now speak up, they meet up, they hold their heads up because feminism said so. Can this feminism nonsense just die a natural death like du-rags and over-sized jeans did? (Or are those not really dead? Lord help us!
Of course, these views are not my own. These are the views of many people out there who have absolutely no idea what feminism is or how it came about or even why it is necessary for society. There are interestingly many people out there who still believe the burden of keeping society falls on women and I bet if you are one of them, you just got disappointed reading this paragraph. HEHEHE. Sorry, not sorry.
I started writing this post about four years ago, and for some reason, I did not finish it. It was a very angry post, written with a lot of emotions that would have caused you all to wonder if my page was hacked.
Since I have decided to finish all the posts I saved as draft in honor of forgotten dreams during the month of August, here goes:
You may not like the tone of this post but I will simply come out and say it: the abuse many women suffer in relationships is often a result of ill-conceived notions others have projected on to them. Notions that have come from the realities of others, which are now projected as facts rather than the isolated experiences they are. Notions that lead them to believe there is nothing better out there, notions that continually impress on their minds that abuse is a normal way of life, and no one is free from it. Yes sure, there are self-esteem issues to consider and parental patterns that have been imprinted from childhood, but in this post, let’s first discuss the impact other women have on the movement of abuse.
There are many women in the world, in this age of enlightenment who indeed believe that abuse is a normal way of life. There are many women who spread notions such as “all men cheat”, “a man can still love you and cheat”, and “learn to avoid speaking up so he does not abuse you.” There are many Christian women who stand in places of influence and indirectly support the abuse of their fellow women.
I remember watching a video where a woman had asked a panel of Christian women for advice concerning her marriage where she was the breadwinner and was abused everyday by a husband who was in a drunken state most of the time. One of the female panelists started by asking her if she was watching what she was saying to her husband, because you know, “speaking to him disrespectfully could provoke his anger.” HUH???!!! A woman had just said in the full view of a gathering of women that she was getting hit everyday by her husband and the first point was to address her manner of speaking (via speculation) and proceed to advise her to watch war room and find an older Christian woman to mentor her. I closed the video thinking if that is what young Christian women will get from being mentored by older Christian women, they are better off taking advice from magazines.
I tried to imagine the impact the position of this woman on the panel had on many women who were in abusive relationships and present in that gathering.
It’s probably my fault
I should do better
A wise woman builds her home. I need to stay so the world does not consider me foolish
I came to the conclusion that the reason many women accept abuse is not necessarily because they don’t have the strength to leave. It is not because they can’t find their feet afterward.
It is because society and the church make it seem as though leaving an abusive relationship is a crime. Many Christian women are quick to spring up and say “God hates divorce” but would not speak up to proclaim that the same God wants his children to be loved and treated with dignity and respect. Many Christian women march in favour of blind submission where their counterparts are exploited and humiliated over and over again. Many Christian women… wait for it… believe indeed that abuse is NORMAL; so normal, that they do not even call it abuse anymore. They call it the authority of the husband, the right of the husband to correct his wife… They say things like “all men cheat. It is just the grace of God that protects us from diseases” (I kid you not, someone said this to me).
They consider women who leave abusive situations as rebellious women who are undeserving of support and love. “If she needs help, she should go back to her husband”, they say. WOW… No wonder the tales that touch mostly come from the church (I am not referring to any church in particular).
The culture of silence is one many Christian women still seek to protect. The art of appearing ‘picture perfect’ has indeed been perfected so much that any woman who seeks to break the code of conduct by speaking up is seen as a wave that must be silenced, else other women follow her lead. The culture of victim blaming is prevalent. In a bid to appear pious, fellow Christian women will convict an abused sister for her lack of tolerance but will not stand up to the man who broke her spirit.
So of course, many Christian women accept abuse. They put on their lipstick and foundation, position their hats at the perfect angle and flash the smile that has fooled many into believing their idyllic lies. They quieten their hearts before they head out to church with their everyday mantra:
“God sees what I am going through. My reward is in heaven”.