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He Hit Me Because He Loves Me...

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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

Roses are red
Black eyes are blue.
I brought these flowers
To make it up to you...

I knew a girl who broke up with her abusive boyfriend (probably for the 100th time) after one of their many fights, which were only getting more violent. As delicately as I could (and walking the thin line of “interfering”) I told her that going back to him was a bad idea and she deserved better.

She explained to me, as one explains to a child, that she really loved him. As if that fixed and justified and forgave everything he did to her - the insults, the pushing and hitting, the destruction of her things, threats and bullying. I pointed out that obviously he didn’t love her (also evident by the number of other women he slept with) and perhaps she should invest more time in loving herself than loving him. Well, whatever, they are back together again.

Another girl I knew took a totally different approach to an abusive relationship. Her boyfriend smacked her, leaving a bit of a bruise around her eye. The next day she turned up at his house with her nose in the air to collect all her things. Noticing her black-eye, he was appropriately apologetic, slobbering and pathetic (chances are he was more worried about himself and the trouble he might get in when people saw his beat up girlfriend than he was worried about her). What the poor idiot didn’t know was that instead of using makeup to conceal her bruise, she’d used makeup to enhance and exaggerate it. Did it teach him a lesson? I don’t know. She wasn't stupid enough to stick around and find out.

With Valentines Day just around the corner, maybe some of you will reflect upon what it means to be loved by another. Maybe you will consider what it means to love yourself. And hopefully your definition of love will include a little bit of self respect. A little bit of self worth.

If you want to get philosophical, consider that love is patient and kind… “It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…” (Corinthians 13:1-13)

If you want to get factual, consider that between 2000 to 2004, forty-five women in New Zealand were murdered by their partner or ex-partner. And from 2000 to 2006 the number of recorded offences for a male assaulting a female increased every single year (www.nzfvc.org.nz/PublicationDetails.aspx?publication=13955).

And if you want to get real, make sure you keep an eye on your girls and help them out. Sometimes we need support. Sometimes we need someone to talk to. And sometimes we need to be reminded that loving others isn’t supposed to make us feel like shit.

This February 14th, go out and buy the stupidest, corniest, cheesiest Valentines Day cards you can find. Seal them with a kiss in a bright red envelope. Send them to your Mum, your sisters, your Grandma, your best friends. Remind those wonderful women just how special they are - with or without a man.

If you or a friend needs help see http://www.womensrefuge.org.nz/index.cfm?objectid=0CFAF01E-1321-AE99-69956C4A39EC0BFA

Download Factsheets & Resources, including the "Are you being abused?" questionnaire from: http://www.womensrefuge.org.nz/index.cfm?objectid=0CFAF59C-1321-AE99-69B6370FA1355618

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