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JET Love

Ask ShanTellem: She Hits Me

Dear ShanTellem,

I’m a 39-year-old male who has been in a relationship with a woman for 9 years. We have a 3-year-old son, and I love her. I’ve never talked about what goes on behind closed doors, but I figured I’d write in to you. My woman beats me. She slaps me, calls me names and has admitted to cheating on me twice. I’m writing now because I came close to choking her last week. I know that my son shouldn’t see this type of treatment, but I’m a man. What can I do to fix this?

Signed,

She Hits Me

Dear She Hits Me,

Abuse of any kind is unacceptable. Someone who loves you will NOT say or do things to tear you down. I get it. The stigma of a man being abused by a woman is not an easy one to navigate. But staying silent, and worse, staying in a situation where you are not valued is the ultimate punishment. You can love her from a distance, and allow your love to evolve into the type that does not require you to be involved with her in any way other than raising your son.

There is nothing that you can do to “fix this.” Man or woman, abuse is abuse. You need to leave and if you cannot right now, come up with a plan to do so.

If I were you, I’d move to get custody of my son. To say that this woman is a bad influence is an understatement. Leaving a woman who isn’t treating you right doesn’t make you “less of a man.” No, you shouldn’t have to “take it because you’re strong.” To hell with that and honestly, staying will only make you weak.

The reality is that the longer you stay in this relationship, the more damaged you’ll become. Toxic relationships that do not have physical abuse still leave scars, so one where a partner is physically assaulting their mate will certainly make you feel less than worthy.

Sooner or later, if you haven’t already, you will develop stress-related medical conditions and you run the risk of serious harm, including death.

Break free. Make sure your child is protected by bringing your girlfriend’s abusive ways to light via the court system. Develop a positive self-worth to the point where you will no longer accept anything less than proper, respectful treatment from a mate.

All of this is easier said than done, and I’m sure you’ve probably been told this before. But you wrote to me for a reason, and I’m hoping that you do indeed find the courage and strength to leave. Click here for some resources to help you in your journey.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

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Shantell E. Jamison is a digital editor for EBONY.com and JETmag.com. She’s also a radio personality, and cultural critic. Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.