Fear + Hope

I recently viewed a video of a Black woman describing her experiences as an atheist, and she said something that immediately caught my attention. She said, “fear plus hope equals total control”. She was speaking within the context of religion. But I couldn’t help but realize how her words are quite relevant to relationships.
Women that fear being alone, often remain in unhealthy relationships because they hope things will eventually get better. It is ‘unyielding hope’ that keeps the cycle going. We, as in #metoo will allow a man to totally disrupt our lives. Abuse comes in different forms, and many of us rationalize the abuse away, with hope. We make conscious decisions to support and be loyal to a man only concerned about his own interests. We cherish the good moments and times he seem to care, the kind gestures, the jokes that make us laugh, the sex that makes us orgasm (or not), the few times he referred to us as forever, the few promises he actually kept.
All the while he has actually done nothing. With him you actually have more problems, anxiety, and lower self-worth. But hope, is what causes us to continue to believe at any moment he will change. Some day he will acknowledge my loyalty, my obedience, my submission to him. One day he will realize his own potential, and be the man I always knew him to be.
You believe in him more than he does. He doesn’t love you, he loves being the beneficiary of your goodness, because he doesn’t know how to produce goodness on his own.
Should any relationship result in you loving your partner more than you love yourself?
~Noni Ayana, M.Ed.

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