The Broken Woman

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Courtesy of campustyle.com.ng

 

First off let me apologize for my absence. I promise to try to never go this long without posting again!!! My last post was on the Broken Man. Read it here. At the time I wrote it I didn’t think I would write a female version of the post. I felt it would be too obvious. I then realized regardless of how obvious it is that there are broken women, the reason behind the brokenness runs deeper than the surface level thoughts people may attribute it to. Obvious or not, it still needs to be addressed. So, here it is.

Just like with the broken man, society creates the broken woman. If you haven’t figured it out already, societal pressures can break people. See, society has been putting into the heads of women since they were young girls that their value is placed in their desirability of a mate. We teach women that single means defected. Therefore, women find themselves going above and beyond to obtain the holy grail which is companionship and love. This becomes detrimental because they go to any lengths to obtain it. So much so, they spend years of their lives in unhealthy situations because they would rather be broken in a bad relationship then be whole or even broken alone.

Unlike the broken man, the broken woman does not hop from relationship to relationship to run from herself, but instead to try to find herself. She thinks her identity is formed in her connection to a significant other. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize that she loses more of herself each time she places HER identity into another human being.

While women are allowed to feel and heal from past hurts, they are only allowed to do so within the parameters society gives them.  If they take too long to heal they are pathetic. If they heal too fast they are thirsty and a serial monogamist. Even in this jaded healing, she is never really allowed to admit just how hurt she was. She also is expected to heal over and over again without ever becoming impacted or jaded by what she’s been through. Because remember, she needs to keep her eyes on the prize and get that perfect relationship that doesn’t exist. The relationship she is starting to lose faith in because she has been hurt so much.

Ladies, let me reassure you that your worth is not attached or impacted by your relationship status. Not having a significant other does not make you some broken toy that no one wants to play with. What breaks you is your constant pursuit of love despite of not healing from the unsuccessful attempts previously. As for the ladies who are on the other end of the spectrum, it’s ok to love again. Not every man is out to hurt you. Not every romance ends in heart break. You don’t have to keep a guard up forever.

We must address this because so many women are allowing their brokenness to keep them not only from healing, but from getting the love and companionship they actually deserve and desire. How long are you going to let what happened in the past keep dictating your present? How long are you going to hide behind your brokenness? You end up pushing away the very thing you want. You want to be the princess rescued by prince charming, instead you’ve become the fire breathing dragon that guards the castle. I’m not trying to blame you for what happened to you or be insensitive to your past hurt. I do though as your sister have the right to push you to take control of your healing and stop letting your hurt control you.

Fellas, I must be honest with you. You have to be patient with this woman. I beg of you, do not try to guilt a woman because she has been hurt before. Just be understanding and allow her the time and space she needs to feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable again. I’m not saying she gets to take her time and abuse your patience, but she does indeed need time. As for the woman who seems desperate to make something happen between you and her, I beg you, please don’t take advantage of her. She unfortunately has let societal pressures get the best of her. Don’t write her off as crazy. Just exhibit patience to her through your interactions with her. Lastly, I ask gentlemen, please don’t hurt this woman. I know sometimes it happens even when you aren’t trying, but just be intentional with her heart. She’s been through a lot and you hurting her is just going to make it harder for the man who actually wants to do right by her. If you won’t do it for her, do it for your fellow brethren who will encounter her. Also, be sure to hold each other as men accountable for the handling of women’s hearts.

The truth is, if you live long enough, at some point you will experience brokenness. The key is to identify it and put in the work to put yourself back together again. Ladies stop letting society force you into brokenness. Stop letting the pressure of thinking you need a significant other cloud your judgement. On the other side, do not let your past hurt keep you from enjoying and receiving the love you want. At some point you must take authority over your healing. No more brokenness. The time to heal, is now…

The Broken Man

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Courtesy of malecodependence.com

I’ve been wanting to talk about this topic for some time now. This subject became dear to me roughly about a year ago. During that time I was becoming more and more aware of the brokenness of numerous men I knew. It was at this time that I realized how broken some men really are.

I know we don’t talk about it much in society but let me just say this plainly, men hurt too. We don’t like to attribute feelings to the male species, but we must stop denying their human nature. We think if we turn our heads to male emotion it will somehow disappear. What happens though when that pent up emotion begins to manifest into maladaptive behaviors? When men start hurting every woman who crosses their path even when they don’t want to. When commitment becomes a paralyzing phobia. When bed hopping becomes a remedy to pain. Then we are ready to call men dogs. We are ready to write books, articles and dissertations about how men “aint sh*t” and how they need to get it together. We give them terms like “f^*# boys” and defame their characters. But what we fail to realize is those behaviors stem from emotions we stifled. We create monsters and then get frustrated for them acting as such.

What we fail to do is allow men to hurt and furthermore to heal. We tell men that when their heart is broken they should just get over it. We assume they don’t feel it. We encourage them to go hang out with the boys and find a pair of legs to get between. Through ignoring their pain we create men with high body counts and low emotional tolerance. We teach them that a good sexual performance can cover their emotional scars. So with every stroke they bury themselves further under their pain.

I’m here to encourage my kings and say IT’S OK TO HURT!!! Do NOT let people make you think you are less of a man because you need time to heal. You are not weak for feeling pain. You can admit you are sad about the break up. You can be honest and say she hurt you. You can be honest and say you are disappointed things didn’t work out. You can admit you wish your mother was more loving. You can say you wish your dad spent more time with you. IT’S OK!!!

Ladies let me come down your street for a moment. We cannot keep assuming men are fine. We cannot keep perpetuating the exact behavior that ends up hurting us too. If that man says he’s not ready for a relationship, leave him alone. Don’t make him feel bad for being honest about what he knows he can’t handle right now. Let me take it a step further. Stop playing games with men because you think they don’t care. When you play with a man you not only continue to scar him, but you make it harder for every woman who will come after you. Because he won’t be allowed to deal with his feelings, he will continue to bleed all over every woman because his wounds never get time to heal. I can hear some of y’all now “don’t make excuses for them.” Trust me I’m not. I’m all for people taking responsibility. Believe me, I’m coming for them too. “Well I’m a good woman and the ‘hurt men’ don’t appreciate it.” We have to stop acting like men aren’t out here going through it with women too. NEWSFLASH: “NO GOOD” WOMEN EXIST!!! Just like women start closing themselves off to men because they fear they’ll be hurt again, is the same way men start to close themselves off. Now just imagine not being allowed to feel or heal. Wouldn’t you be afraid to open up too? Knowing if you get hurt you won’t be granted the permission to express it and deal with it without having to defend your masculinity and manhood.

Now fella’s let me be all the way clear, I am by no means giving you all a free pass to be screwing people over. I just want to speak on something y’all aren’t readily allowed to express. I must say though, at some point, you all must be willing to step up and get the healing you need. You all have to stop allowing society to make you out to be these heartless creatures. You have to open your mouths and tell people that you hurt too. Even that homeboy who will try to make you seem less of a man, even though he has the same struggles but won’t admit it. How long will you keep hopping from person to person before you accept that the healing you long for comes only through acceptance of your own feelings? You deserve to get healing but it comes only by taking responsibility to do so. Stop letting society bully you into putting your masculinity into lack of commitment and sexual performance. Stop letting society demean your humanity by reducing your masculinity every time you admit your feelings got hurt. You are human and you need emotional healing just like women. You may heal differently but you need to heal nonetheless. You can only stay broken for so long before you fall completely apart. Make sure to prioritize your healing.

All I want is for men to be allowed to be human. I’m tired of men being painted out and expected to be emotional robots. It causes deep wounds that wind up hurting everyone that comes in their paths. We must start to normalize having feelings. Having feelings or hurt feelings is not the issue, lack of emotional regulation is. So, fellas just know I understand. I know it’s not easy dealing with feelings that you aren’t supposed to acknowledge you have. But no more brokenness. No more hiding behind physicality. It’s ok to heal and the time to do so, is now.

4:44 Why Beyonce’ Getting Cheated On Shouldn’t Scare You

 

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courtesy of mirror.co.uk

Naturally there has been nonstop buzz about the recent Jay-Z album 4:44. While some are ranting and raving over the lyrical genius of one the greatest rappers to ever do it, others are focusing on the love life of Hov and Beyoncé that seem to unravel on the tracks. Particularly, Jay’s infidelities being confirmed. Now I don’t mind people having some discussion over the matter, it’s what is being said that is bothering me the most. I’m seeing countless posts, statuses, and memes with the same message that “if Beyoncé got cheated on then there’s no hope for the rest of us.” This…. this I can’t rock with.

Let me just get to the point. Ladies, Beyoncé getting cheated on shouldn’t scare you because you’re not Beyoncé sis…. Now I know you probably think I’m being sarcastic. I promise I’m not. Let me explain. You are not a world known superstar. You are not one of the wealthiest women in entertainment. You don’t have millions of fans. In other words, you don’t have Beyoncé problems which might have led to the infidelity. Still not following? Ok, Beyoncé is by far the most sought-after celebrity on the planet. She is the only artist who could rival a fan base of MJ. She is celebrities’ favorite celebrity. She has reached a level of fame that few artists reach. Now imagine being the man married to her.

Last year I wrote a post on Beyoncé’s lemonade. Read it here. In it I discussed how hard it must be to be married to the most popular woman on the planet and how that must make Jay feel at times. Say what you want, but it does something to a man to be considered second rate to your spouse. For there to probably be times people bypass you just so they can get to your wife. And I’m sure some men are saying “whatever I’ll be second to Beyoncé any day.” Well you say that now until people start referring to her as “King Bey” and you start to feel emasculated as a man.

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courtesy of baddiebeyfashion.wordpress.com

Then to make matters worse, this man is an artist too. He is known to some as the best rapper alive and yet the main thing people focus on is his connection to the Queen herself. It’s one thing for your wife to be more famous than you, it’s another when she’s more famous in the same industry. It’s even worse when your talent becomes overshadowed by her and her success.

With all that said, Jay might have sought validation in the women he cheated with. Jay might have searched for his fame before it was so wrapped up into his wife. He may have been seeking to feel important again. Now this is all psychological speculation. I will never know the whole truth as to why Sean Carter decided to step out on the world’s biggest superstar. I just wonder how much of it was to feel a void that his amazingly talented wife’s fame created.

I can hear y’all now “that’s not a reason to cheat on your wife.” Well let y’all tell it Lemonade was fake, right? Shade aside, you’re absolutely right. NOTHING justifies cheating on a spouse. But I can understand it. “That’s just male pride.” We must stop trying to make men feel bad for their genetic makeup. Men like to feel important. Period. So if you are constantly in a position that makes him feel less than, it may cause issues for him that could push him to seek outside validation. This is why it’s important to pump your man up as much as possible.

Now my heart goes out to Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter. This woman simply worked her butt off to obtain the fame many dream of but it could be the very thing that shakes up her marriage. The pain of infidelity is one no amount of money or fame can wash away. Beyoncé doesn’t make people worship the ground she walks on. Yet people doing such things could be alienating her husband and making him feel less than. Is there ever enough validation to make up for the fact your Beyoncé? I’m not sure but with two new healthy babies I hope they have found the solution and I wish their union the best.

So you see, none of us should be worried because none of us are anywhere near being on Beyoncé status. All hope is not lost. But I do hope everyone sees how elevation of a spouse can play a role in marriage. While you may not be superstars, you may find yourself in a position that pushes your man to the background. Be sure to validate him and remind him of how important he is. And fellas I know it’s hard but communicate if you feel like you’re being pushed aside. Give your partner a chance to validate you before you decide you’re just going to go and get it elsewhere. So, ladies, don’t worry. Just sip your lemonade with ease because for once, you should be happy you’re not Beyoncé.

Is a Committed Relationship Before Marriage Necessary?

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Courtesy of spikesandstories.com

Recently I read an article that challenged my thinking more than anything ever has. The article was written by a woman telling her story of how she purposely never entered into a “committed relationship” with her now husband. She explained how when he asked her to be exclusive and to be his “girlfriend,” she told him no. She stated she did not see the benefit of allowing him to take her off the market while he spends another two to three years deciding if he wants to marry her. So she told him they could continue building their friendship and when he was serious about really taking her off the market (proposal) then she would acquiesce. Until then she explained she would continue to see other people and that he was free to do the same. Nine months later, he proposed.

I’ll be honest, I was completely shook when I read it because I never seen a woman turn down a chance at a relationship when she ultimately wanted to get married. It seems every woman wants to be in a committed relationship, right? What this article showed me is that maybe people, particularly women, are focused on the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on getting in a relationship, maybe they should challenge the other person including themselves to step up to get what they really want which is marriage.

Now I am fully aware this is not some formula on how to get a husband. I understand what she did may not work for everyone. If you decide to do so, do so at your own discretion. What this article did for me though was give confirmation on why some women remain eternal girlfriends and never the wife. Yes, I know some people don’t want to get married. Obviously, this article is not for those people. This is for the people who want marriage but sometimes get caught up in what happens before getting there.

I say often that dating and being “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are relatively new terms. I describe them as things we created to allow us to stall before marriage. Don’t get me wrong, when that time is used properly it is quite beneficial. The truth is most people use this time to make themselves feel secure that the person they are with are not being with anyone else. Although we all know this rarely is the case as we have seen numerous people upset to find their mate entertaining someone else.

Just humor me for a second. What if people when they meet, decided to get to know each other. As they get to know each other, they also build a solid friendship. As they build friendship they realize they may really see a future with each other. They communicate their desires for the future and potentially how that person may fit into their future. They have fun and enjoy each other’s company. They finally decide they no longer want someone else to have a chance with this person. Now they prepare to spend the rest of their life with that person because they know they do not want anyone else. They then both decide to do that together and proceed into engagement. Sounds simple, right? The catch is, they didn’t confine themselves to each other until they were both ready to take the step into marriage.

I know for some people is sounds farfetched or just plain stupid. “Why would I not want to commit to someone I really care about?” “How can you be a good spouse if you were never in a relationship?” If that is the case, why are so many people getting stuck in relationships that never move on to more? Yes commitment is important, but is it getting you what you really want. “People should date with a purpose.” Well it doesn’t get much more purposeful than not entering into a relationship because you want more than a false sense of commitment.

Basically, what I am saying is, sometimes people, particularly women, are so focused on being girlfriends, that they limit themselves to only being that, a girlfriend. This is fine if this is all you want in life. It becomes an issue though when that is as far as you go because that’s where you put all your energy. How many people do you know who have been in numerous “long term relationships?” We think it means they are good at commitment. Maybe it just means they don’t know how to go for what they really want. That’s all I’m trying to encourage people to do. Go for what you really want.

If you were interviewing for a managerial position at a company, would you accept an offer for an entry level position knowing you are highly qualified for the role you want? Yes, I’m aware that some companies require you to move your way up and some people are willing to put in the work to do so. This works out for some people and not for others. Some people are so desperate to be hired by somebody that they offer themselves up for an entry-level position just to get in the company. They hope to prove they have what it takes to get the position they really want. So they slave themselves, putting in managerial work at the entry level position. Unfortunately, so many people never move up in the company. Many end up fired, with nothing to show for the time and effort spent. What if at the time of the interview you made it clear that you were only going to accept an offer for the position you want. Letting them know when they are ready to make an offer, you’ll be willing to accept. Until then, you’ll be considering other offers.

Think about it, how much more motivated would someone feel to get their stuff together if they knew at any given time someone else could come in and snatch you up. Some people won’t care while others may pretend they don’t. You are focused on the one who does. The one who will do what they have to do because they know what they want.

Let me be clear, I am not saying people should never get into an exclusive romantic relationship ever again. What I am saying is, if that is something you feel brings you comfort, just be careful to not get too comfortable while there, especially if you know you want more. This is simply another perspective. It takes a special kind of person to hold this type of philosophy, but I’m sure for them it works. I just simply want to challenge your thinking, open your mind but most of all get you what you want and desire.

Are You His Dreamer?

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courtesy of pinterest.com

 

As always, I was recently in session with a couple. I love working with couple’s as they always manage to remind me of the little things we take for granted. In this session, the girlfriend stated she expressed her lack of desire to no longer dream. Naturally I thought she was discussing goals and aspirations for things she wanted to accomplish in life such as career and education. She corrected me, letting me know she meant as far as dreaming of the future of their relationship. She stated she was afraid to dream about a future of them together if it wasn’t a guarantee it would happen.

So often this happens to women in relationships. Women feel like the person they’re with doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about their future so they give up dreaming about it. They don’t want to get their hopes up so they decide to shoot down their dreams of what could be and what they want to be. My issue with this is that it is fear based. You only take this approach if you are afraid of not getting what you want. The truth though is, you can’t get the love you desire if you’re too afraid to even believe it will happen.

I politely had to explain to her that her role as a woman is to dream. It’s what some women do. We dream about everything. We dream about business, families, friends and of course, our love lives. We do things like create entire pinterest boards of our weddings (that would be me) and pick out our dream engagement rings (also me). We think of cute baby names for our future kids and look up dream homes in perfect neighborhoods.

Well she politely let me know she had been doing all these things and she didn’t get much of a response from him. She gave examples of times she would send him pictures of homes or talk about life after marriage and he wouldn’t respond. I smiled and told her that’s because his job is to keep them grounded in the present while they move toward the future. Most men are present oriented. Majority of them don’t think past today. Do they ONLY think present? Of course not. They think of the future and plan for it, they just don’t live in it like some women tend to do. She was not yet convinced though, stating she didn’t feel he wanted a future like she did.

The powerful moment came when he told her he needed her to be his dreamer. He told her he needed her to have faith in them and what they were doing. What she and many women fail to see, is that when you have no expectations and no faith in his ability to move forward with you, it’s a slap in the face for all the work he has put in to show you how serious he is about you. I pointed out to her that I could see he expected a future from them. When she asked how so, I simply told her, because he’s here. He shows up session after session airing out his most intimate moments with a stranger to help strengthen this relationship.

See the problem is women always want to talk about the future while men simply want to work towards it. Both have the future in mind, but they simply manifest it differently. Men aren’t going to keep telling you they want a future with you, send you pictures of engagement rings and houses for you to live in. They are going to SHOW you they want a future with you. Listen, men think talk is cheap. Therefore, if you want to know how he feels and what he thinks, watch what he is DOING not what he is or isn’t saying. They put all their effort in their action. When she gave up on their future simply because he didn’t want to keep discussing it, it made him want to stop putting in effort for their future. In his mind, it was as if his efforts were unappreciated and in vein.

The other part to a woman being a dreamer, is she needs to be willing to dream with and for him. If he has a business, don’t just be excited about it, dream about it. Dream about how he will get new contracts or how he’ll expand it in three years. If he wants to go back to school, dream about his graduation day and how proud you both will be. If he wants a promotion, dream about the celebratory dinner you all will have and the next position he can then strive for. Dream with and for him!!! Now I’m not saying be the only person in the relationship dreaming. That’s why I say WITH him. He should be dreaming too. Again, you may not realize he is because he shows it instead of always talking about it.

Dreaming for and with your man shows him you believe in him, you have confidence in him and you support him. Believe it or not, men seek the validation of their significant others more than they will openly tell you. If you want to speak to your man, speak to his dreams. Speak to his future and include yourself in it. Show him that you have faith in what he’s doing and that you plan to be there every step of the way. If you can dream of baby names and look up wedding dresses, you can dream of your man succeeding in life.

All I am trying to say is how a woman dreams about a man says a lot about what you think of him. And believe me, he is paying attention to how you do so. Men know that women think future, so if she doesn’t include him in hers, that says to him she either doesn’t want it or expect it. Women just have to understand their role which is to dream, and his which is to work to make the dream come true while keeping them in the present. Once everyone understands their position, they can better function as a team. Ladies dream for and with your man. Let him know you can dream for more than just a perfect wedding. Because long after the vows, he still needs you to dream. So, ladies get to dreaming and fellas get to working, there are some dreams that need manifesting😊