When Is Enough, Enough?
Reflection from Afakasi Scoop podcast - Episode 12
Every girl dreams about who they’ll end up with - who their life long partner will be. The excitement of a new relationship, the endless possibilities, the hopes and dreams you hope to fulfill, your future kids you might have together, the memories you will create together, finding someone who will take care of you, understand you, and love you for you...These all play a role in how some partners are chosen (well, for most girls anyway).
by Tee I 26 November 2020
My greatest role model was my Dad. He was caring, humble, funny, hated confrontation, went silent when he was angry, loved music, always kept busy outside the house with his gardening or fixing things, and most of all...he was loving and hated anyone going to bed mad. He was so wise with the advice he gave. I loved that he took the time to understand people. He always treated my mum with respect and let her be her, the person he fell in love with. He always encouraged me to be independent and learn from the curve balls life threw at me.
In a way, I was lucky to have found a person similar to my Dad (although 19 years later and he’s still working on the DIY part!).
In Episode 12 of the Afakasi Scoop podcast we discussed how unfortunately things don’t always go the way you hope your life to be. So what happens when you think you’ve found the one and then learn who they REALLY are? What happens when they become ‘changes’? Not many people would see (or choose to see) the changes as Red Flags.
The dating phase is always the honeymoon phase. For some people, once marriage happens (or you’ve moved in together) and the kids start coming, reality starts to hit and the dream you once aspired to fulfill is then torn apart bit … by bit….by bit...until one day you hear yourself saying - “When is enough, enough? or When is he gonna change?”. Then you start justifying his actions or start telling yourself that he does it because he loves you. You think he’s right and that you don’t need to be with your friends (or have friends) anymore because you do have a family and you need to be home for them. You start thinking and believing that you are all those names under the sun that he called you because you deserved it. You start tiptoeing around conversations so as not to wake the mental demon in your partner’s head by giving quick but carefully planned answers to save having yet another argument.
In the blink of an eye, years have passed and the independent, happy-go-lucky, fun-loving person that was once you, has now become a distant memory. The person now looking back at you in the mirror is a scared, controlled, manipulated, conflicted, obedient shell of a person who is always wondering what dramas each new day will bring. You get used to all the questions they hit you with (and in some cases you get hit with more than just with words), and if you don’t answer correctly or quickly enough, you know things are going to go from zero to one-hundy real quick. If only the Red flags had been seen and acted upon loooong ago and way before it got to this point. For those of you unsure about some of the warning signs or Red flags - Here are some examples:
Before Marriage (BM) and After Marriage (AM)
BM: You used to dress up all the time just to look nice and feel good about yourself. You also wanted to look good for your partner.
AM: He no longer thinks you should dress like that and makes assumptions when you do - fights start.
BM: He was OK with who your mates were, but maybe there’s always those close mates who try and give you advice because they don’t want to see you going through dramas.
AM: These mates are no longer suitable/ they need to grow up/ they’re too nosey/ you don’t need friends because you have me now (blah blah blah)
BM: Always asked if you needed help with anything
AM: Why hasn't the house been cleaned, shopping done, dinner cooked, washing done? Must've been having an affair coz you were obviously too busy to do all of that
Or you get the questions - Where were you?/ why’d you take so long?/ it only takes 20mins to get from point A to point B and you took 25mins to get home so where did you go?/ who’s texting/calling you?/ Who’s gonna be there?/ Why can’t I come to…. And the list goes on…its like you can't do anything right. Everything is your fault.
SO, When is enough enough? The best advice I can give is - never let ANYONE control you. The only people who have a say in what you do are your mum and dad or the people who raised you - out of love. If you have friends who you know will have your back 100% - listen to them. Sometimes you don’t see things that are happening within your own life because you are too busy being caught up in it all. Your friends can see things clearly from standing on the outside and witnessing what you have been going through.
Unfortunately too many women think that their womanhood and livelihood depends on having a man by your side, even if he is not the right man for you, and are therefore afraid to let go. Maybe the fear is that they will never find someone to actually love them and not ‘own’ them. Maybe the fear is that if you leave, you won’t be able to raise your children alone. I CALL BULLSHIT!
I have witnessed two of my very close sisters go through some of these very issues and guess what - They are stronger, better, and wiser for finally realising their own Self-Worth and making that call: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. None of us want our children to grow up and witness this type of toxic relationship because it’s allowing and programming our babies to think that it’s ok to be treated & spoken to in a degrading way.
There may be some men out there going through the exact same thing with the tables turned? When Is Enough Enough for Men? Similar I guess, but that will have to be another write up. Today it's about the ladies ;) I strongly believe that NO MAN has the right to claim ownership over another and unless you are the one and only MAN UPSTAIRS - God our Father. If there are any men out there who think their woman is their property to do with what they wish and you have taken away her voice...ia alu e fa’apa lou ulu i se pou fa’amolemole lava.