On Loving An Abuser


When Rihanna tearfully confessed to still loving Chris Brown on “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” my good friend called me immediately. She was outraged. “How could you still love someone who beat you?” she said, vacillating between confusion and outright disgust.

I’ve never been physically abused but have been in my share of verbally abusive relationships where I got served with a two-for-one package of infidelity and mistreatment. Despite the fact that I walked away, I found that love doesn’t have an off/on switch.

After falling in love with someone, and investing time and effort into the relationship, it’s hard to relinquish those feelings overnight even when everyone says you should.

It’s no debate that logic should reign supreme in cases of any form of abuse. Women should put their safety, health and well-being first, and value themselves enough to end toxic partnerships. But that doesn’t mean their feelings for their partner just disappear in thin air, no matter how hurtful the circumstances of their relationship.

Evelyn Lozada is speaking out for the first time since she was violently head-butted by her husband of 42 days, Chad Johnson. In an interview with ABC’s Amy Robach that airs tonight at 11:30 PM EST, she says:

It would have to take sometime [for us to speak again]. I love him very much and I think that us being away from each other is the right thing. So when is he going to say sorry? […] It’s the hardest thing in the world to walk away from someone that you really love/ But you have to walk away because I have to protect myself.

What are your thoughts on loving the abuser, Clutchettes? Is it wrong for Rihanna and Evelyn to still love the men that attacked them? Is it irresponsible for them to admit it publicly? Discuss.

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  • Britt

    Society is so quick to label a man an abuser, but when a woman like Evelyn has well-documented track record of violence and fighting she doesn’t get that title. These one-sided views on violence are damaging society. We can’t laugh and look at it as entertainment when Evelyn jumps over tables to fight people, throws drinks and bullies former friends and cast mates.

    Also, I don’t think we can compare Evelyn to Rihanna. Evelyn was not beaten. She was head-butted, and it was wrong, but it’s not the same as being beaten. You run the risk of desensitizing people to a serious issue like domestic violence when you make women like her poster children.

  • Downsouth Transplant

    Her pain does not create a gain for me, even if Yep, I don’t care much for her BUT, i have no problem helping her kick his behind while i call the cops!

  • you know, I don’t like commenting about abuse but these blog discussions and comment sections about recent high profile abuse cases have really opened my eyes to one thing: A lot of people have a profound misunderstanding about abuse and it’s consequences. It’s like somehow the people responsible for relaying information about abuse have not explained it in a way that’s readily accessible to the public. It makes me think that abuse is a really prevalent and embedded issue that is still, sadly, swept under the rug. I hope I’m wrong.

    • StacyAustralia

      You’re right. I’m a social worker and my colleagues and I have seen some sad situations. Not only that I know of personal issues to. When I was in grad school I did an advocacy project about teen domestic violence (ironically we started project right before the Chris & Rihanna incident) teens starting at Age 15 are not only being abused but getting killed. It was a very very sad project for us.

  • ChiTown

    I support victims of domestic violence, however Evelyn is a famewhore. And if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. But my question is how in the heck can you slander other women, walk across tables to attack other women, and sit around on camera and bash other women…… all to become a victim youself? Evelyn is a joke. No one feels bad for her because she’s a non mutha fuckin factor. I really hope this is the last we will see of her forever. I’ll bet she won’t jump in anyone else face. They should go straight for the forehead.

    • Jess

      I’m tired of people justifying Evelyn’s abuse by Chad because of her fighting with other women. Men fight other men all the time but we can feel sympahy for a man if someone unrelated attack him – like Black men fight each other all the time but we sympathize if a white man attacks him in an unrelated instance unrelated to and vice versa.

      Sorry, but two or more women fighting each other is ot justification for a man to hit her. Sure,women may need tolearn to get along and relate to each other better without resorting to catfighting and glass-throwing, but she still does not deserve to be hit by a man who was never involved in her fights with other women.

      cIs it ok then if a woman beats up on her husband/boyfriend just because he may get into fights with other guys on the football field/at the bar/at the club etc.? I don’t think so. i swear, i definitely now understand why so many women get their asses beat by some men with the mindset floating around here!

  • The truth is neither of these women know what love is. Evelyn slept with Chad on the first night and set herself up for failure. If she hadn’t slept with him so early, she wouldn’t have caught feelings for him so quickly and might have seen some of the warning signs. Plus, she was trying to capitalize on fame. A recipe for disaster. I have compassion for her but she must take responsibility for her actions. If not, it will happen again, and maybe with worse outcomes. Chad is an abuser, plain and simple. He should and will suffer for his actions. I think Evelyn and Rhianna should be identified as women with emotional problems. Michelle Obama, for one, is a proper model of a wife.

    • Chillyroad

      “Chad is an abuser, plain and simple. He should and will suffer for his actions.”

      Evelyn has abused more women, more black woman, than Chad ever has. When will she suffer for her actions? So abuse is only abuse when it comes from a man? Sorry but in my world, man woman or child if you put your hands on someone you are an abuser. I dont care what type of genitalia you have.

      Its sad to know that as a woman, I will only be defended if my abuser is a man. This attitude is why Evelyn and Tami were allowed to abuse and bully so many women on that show…because they were women.