After being allegedly beat up, Rihanna isn't invoking Aretha Franklin's lyric "You're Not Welcome Anymore" to Chris Brown, which is upsetting but not surprising.
After Brown left Rihanna so bruised that she couldn't perform on February 8th for the Grammys, any rational person would never see the creep again. Prior to this case, many falsely believed that those who stick with someone after physical abuse are only doing it because they are trapped — they don't have money, independence or a viable place to go.
But clearly Rihanna doesn't fit that profile. She's enormously successful and has the cash and cachet to go wherever she wants. But now the couple is reunited.
After the incident, Brown released a statement saying, "Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired" and noted that he was "seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones."
She forgave him. Why?
I have a theory. Having covered many domestic abuse cases, I have learned that love is a habit and if your self-esteem was battered early on, being mistreated is a familiar pattern. It's not always economic.
Another friend offered this opinion — which I know is very controversial but has merit. He says that some performers don't want ho-hum, and actually get off on extremes. Often following heated exchanges that turn into violence, the abuser is repentant and apologetic. He lavishes the person with love. This yo-yo effect actually creates a stimulation and the abused believes that this time — yes, this time — he really is sorry enough to change. But change rarely happens without intense therapy.
According to People Magazine, police continue to investigate the case and no formal charges have yet been filed against Brown, who was booked on a felony criminal threat charge. Brown has no known criminal background, and though people close to the pair say they've had a tumultuous relationship at times, there had never been any indication of violence until now.
Also in the story, psychologist and author Lenore Walker stated an interesting fact. The average battered woman endures three to five violent incidents, from having her arm grabbed to an all-out beating, before she gives up on the relationship.
"The abuser also tries very hard to convince the victim that the attack was their fault," Dr. Elizabeth Miller, a Sacramento, Calif., pediatrician and domestic violence expert told People. "It's common to say, 'Honey, if you hadn't upset me, this would've never happened’."
Ladies, look at this as a cautionary tale. There are many decent men out there who don't use fists when they are angry. There are other ways to resolve disputes that are healthy vs. unhealthy. And there are also safe havens that take you in if you need to escape and create a new life.
Sadly, I have no doubt that Rihanna may be singing the blues again.