Today, a girlfriend of mine and I were having a discussion about a couple of women we have known in our lives and how they have conducted relationships and romantic affairs. I think we concluded that when it comes to relationships, there are quite often three types of women. Which type are you?
The Woman Who Should Have Left Her Relationship Long Ago
This is the woman in a relationship that is physically or emotionally abusive or borderline abusive. Many times, if this woman is not being physically hurt, she doesn’t even realize that she is being or has been abused.
This relationship fails to meet up with any iota of a decent relationship. It is a situation where, for a long time, this woman has endured a man who is noncommittal, disloyal, or generally unsupportive in the relationship.
My girlfriend calls this woman “Cookie Johnson.” Earleatha “Cookie” Johnson is the wife of retired Los Angeles Lakers basketball star, Magic Johnson. Throughout their tumultuous relationship, Cookie stood by Magic through his unwillingness to commit, his infidelity, and ultimately in spite of his contracting HIV as a result of unprotected sex with other women. In a 1992 interview, Magic indicated that he had unprotected sex with so many women, he could not pinpoint who infected him.
In the same interview, Cookie stated that after they were married and Magic revealed to her that he was infected, she could not leave because she loved him and because she did not want to deal with matters on her own.
As of that interview, Magic was resolved that he was doing God’s work to spread his message and was finally settled enough to be married to Cookie. Cookie was resolved in supporting this man that she had been building love with for 14 years despite all of his offenses on her.
Here, there is the ever-present question of whether Magic would have continued to sleep around had he not been infected. It is quite possible that if Magic has become a faithful man, Cookie had no control or direct influence over that decision. He essentially doesn’t have much of a choice now.
If you asked me, I would say that it is a relationship that Cookie should have left a long time ago.
The Woman Who Left Only to Pursue the Same Man Over and Over Again
Some women may eventually be wise enough or fortunate enough to leave a relationship with a man that treats her poorly only to find and date the same kind of guy, over and over again. Thus, even though she has technically left one particular relationship, she effectively repeats that same relationship.
But, she is different from Cookie Johnson. Although she is fighting the same battle, it is with different men. It is hard to say who is in the better situation. Cookie Johnson got her man in the end, but paid such a high price that it could never be worth it. She paid with her life, her self-esteem, and her emotional freedom.
At the same time, the woman who dates repeat offenders may not get the man in the end. To the extent that she continues the same pattern of dating, she is likely to end up embittered and alone. She has the potential for emotional freedom, but she has to find it. She can to grow from her mistakes but must first recognize her relationship patterns as mistakes.
The Woman Who Left, Learned from Her Mistakes, and Moved On to a Better Man
Then there is the woman who may have had tumultuous relationships in the past. But, she has recognized the poor nature of previous relationships, and has chosen to learn from her own relationship choices and pursue a better man and a better relationship.
This woman recognizes that she only has a finite period on this earth. She realizes that she can be treated well by a man. She recognizes that there are men out there that will never make her question her values or her worth. She knows that she must look inside of herself to determine her own worth and the values she possesses.
It may take most of her life to get to this place, but she is here now. She is happy and content because before she found any man that was good to her, she found herself. And since she can be clear about who she is, her new choices in men will undoubtedly be clear.
Most importantly, if she makes another mistake about the man she has chosen (his timing, his infidelity, his failure to be supportive in the relationship), she is not afraid to make a quick exit to stay on course to finding a better man, and ultimately the right man.
Have you encountered any of these women in your life? Are you one of these women?
WEDDED BLISS WEDNESDAYS discusses marital and relationship issues. Although this is likely to be biased toward my own experiences in marriage and with relationships, I hope that you will join the discussion, ask questions, and suggest topics that you are interested in discussing. If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive my content updates by email or RSS reader.