When Love Really Isn’t Love

Over the course of years, I have met some truly amazing women, who in my opinion, are strong in every sense of the word. They put family first, which is something that I admire, and they make sacrifices daily to ensure that their family unit is strong. Most recently, I had lunch with a friend who had an intimate lunch with another friend we share. We hadn’t heard from this friend for some time and she had all but fallen off the face of the earth.

When I asked how our friend was doing, I was sad to learn that almost everything in her life had fallen apart. Now, let me take you back just a moment. Post marriage, this friend was vibrant, sassy and independent. She has been married now for about 16 years to a man who has reduced her to a sliver of what she used to be. Her husband has never been one to communicate, but on the outside, he seemed like he was a decent man. I was unhinged to learn that my strong, enthusiastic and full of self esteem friend had been reduced to a woman who is unsure of herself, and accepts the blame for everything wrong with her marriage.

In retrospect, isn’t that how some men seek to break women down. First isolate, then dominate. The end result is the same, if a woman goes with the program she will lose her identity and eventually become unsure of who she is. This is unfortunately what happened to my friend. She is a mere shell of the woman she used to be, and her husband has convinced her that she is responsible for every negative situation and circumstance that has ever occurred in the marriage. He convinced her that it was her fault that they lost their home. It was her fault that he cheated on her. It was her fault that Michael Jackson died.

Get my drift. Everything is her fault. I know for many of us, we say, “oh, that could never happen to me”. Well, I would have said the same thing about her, except she is now living proof that it can happen. When a man wants you all to himself and wants to isolate you away from those who love you, steer clear. It’s not cute. It’s not love. It’s a plan. Although our friend is unsure why she stays, she presses on and tries to make the marriage work, while he refuses help, or responsibility on any level. At this point, I can only pray that my friend finds solace within herself and the strength to leave.

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