Since 1997, I have been reading and responding to advice emails from females around the globe — New Zealand, India, Russia, Japan, South America, and only a few days ago, France. While the emails deal with almost every situation imaginable — or unimaginable — the majority overwhelmingly are from women who are addicted to one or more men in their lives.
While there is generally a comment about the sex being “amazing” or “great,” that is only one of the numerous symptoms for the underlying problem. The true problem is too many women defining their value and/or worth based on what men are willing to do for them, and what men think of them, instead of defining it on what they think of and will do for themselves.
In my opinion, it is imperative that every young lady spend at least one year of her life being completely independent and self-sufficient. She should live alone, pay all of her own bills, and function as an individual. That way she gets rid of that fear of being lonely that makes so many women make unwise decisions and settle for being mistreated. That way it prevents her from feeling obligated to invite “drama” into her home and offering it a seat at her dining room table, or one side of her bed.
I am not going to sit here and profess that it is easy to let go of someone that has become your imaginary lifeline. If it were easy, I would not receive thousands of emails a month with signature lines like “Torn,” “Lost and Confused” and “Trying to Let Go.”
A lot of women will convince themselves that being with a married, or committed, man is acceptable as long he fills her head with enough viable excuses to justify their behavior. As long as his Jedi mind tricks sound like music to her ears. His wife is certifiably crazy. He and his wife sleep in separate rooms. His wife has let herself go over the years and is no longer attractive to him. His wife refuses to please him sexually. His wife hasn’t worked for years and is causing the family finances to dwindle. Blah, blah, blah.
The fact of the matter is that most of the wives are loving, supportive and affectionate. The men simply want to take advantage of the wounded deer already lying in the road. Instead of getting out and moving them to the side of the road, or bypassing them altogether, they step on the gas pedal and run the deer over again.
But there comes a point where women have to be held accountable for their own actions. Men can ultimately only do what women allow. If a man becomes a woman’s drug, she has to check herself into rehab as if he is PCP, meth or crack cocaine. She has to break all ties of communication and refuse to entertain any more of his requests to be whatever it is that she understands in her heart she does not want to be. Even if he is hers alone, if he is bringing her down and morphing her into someone or something she does not even recognize, it is time to let go.
Letting go begins with learning to love yourself. Letting go begins with protecting yourself like you would protect your mother, your sister, your daughter, or your friend if they were in a similar situation as your own.
Addiction to a man knows no social, racial or economic boundaries. There is little difference between the woman on welfare with six kids by five different men and the woman who makes a quarter million a year on Wall Street if they both succumb to the same weakness: loving a man who is incapable of loving them back.
It frustrates me to see so many beautiful, brilliant and blessed women totally immersed in drama, foolishness and self-inflicted pain. Like drugs, alcohol and other addictions, a love addiction is generally one that you sacrifice everything for — your emotional well being, your money, your time and often even your health (both stress and STDs can be killers) — and get little to nothing in return. What makes it even sadder is that most people do not even expect anything in return.
So for all the women out there addicted to men, ask yourself one question: Do you honestly think that he will not walk away from you the moment he grows tired of you, the moment he gets caught by his real woman (if you are a sidepiece) or the moment he finds a better situation with a woman who is at least as delusional as you are?
How many of you know of at least one woman who put up with years, or decades, of pure deception from a man? How about a woman who was beaten, cheated on and who accepted everything under the sun, only to be left by the man because she wasn’t strong enough to leave him? Now how many of you know of a man who allowed a woman to do all of that to him while he remained in that situation instead of leaving?