Relationships..they do my head in! I am a very goal oriented person and also very sensitive to the moods of family and colleagues, so that if you come to me with issues, I will go all out to get a solution and also try to cater to your emotional well being..
But with relationship issue, I get stomped all the time. Now, as a black woman, I am naturally more familiar with relationships from the perspective of the 'hurt black woman' so much so that when I read about the rise and rise of 'absentee dads or single mothers aka 'baby mamas' especially in the African American community, I immediately come to the conclusion that the man did not step up to his responsibility. This is because in my Nigerian perspective every woman just want to settle down and build a loving family not play the field for life like most men seem to want to do.
How naive was I?
Enjoy the following article from a Tired Black man
"I'm a very tired black man".
April 26, 2006
I just got out of a relationship that lasted roughly about six months. It is the second of two
similar situations I've been involved in dating single black mothers. This last situation
ended only three weeks ago and it's left me totally crushed, disgruntled, and ultimately
confused about where we're headed as a nation.
If anyone should be ready to settle down
you'd think it would be a black woman whose found a man interested in loving and taking
care of both her and the children she's had by outside men right? Wrong.
When I first met Erika I was introduced by her sister Vicki who is a former co-worker of
mine. Vicki badgered me for at least two months about how much alike her sister and I
were and how she wanted us to meet. I hesitated but after some urging I decided to
entertain the offer. Turns out Erika and I had ALOT in common. The arts, political views
social interests, family matters, a fierce chemistry, and did I mention our birthdays were
only a week apart? To say we "hit it off" is a gross understatement. After a very intense
month and a half of dating and getting to know one another Erika began to court me about
an exclusive relationship. I told her I wanted to take our time. I had just gotten out of a
relationship no more than a couple of months before we started dating and I wanted to be
certain what she and I had began wasn't a rebound situation for me. In addition Erika had
a six month old daughter by her ex-boyfriend who was incarcerated and I wasn't convinced
they were a done deal. This is where it gets interesting.
Erika hadn't heard from this man or any of his family for at least three months before she
and I started talking. Not a letter, a phone call, or a family visit to check up on their child,
or Erika herself for that matter. Not a gift...NOTHING. Turns out this brotha has three or
four other children (all different baby mothers). He was incarcerated for narcotics and had
actually taken her on the run with him through three different states before the feds caught
up with him. How did they make ends meet? This man wasn't able to provide for Erika so
he had her stripping to bring home money for the both of them while on the run (a real lady
killer). A fraudulent pimp / wannabe thug who hadn't realized at his thirty four years of age
that his hustles of choice weren't working out for him. He'd been incarcerated numerous
times before and was still at it. Erika got pregnant by this man and had to come home to
her family to have the child. This is where the man got picked up. Well after some
consistent and rather persistent reassurance Erika convinced me she was over this
physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive man and was ready to move on with the next
chapter in her life.
Well the months go by, and I'm up with this woman every night caring for this man's little
girl. I'm feeding her, I'm babysitting her, I'm transporting her back and forth to the family
and to the sitter. I'm adoring her. I'm helping rear this child. She even started calling me
"Da Da". Meanwhile Erika was evicted twice and being the man that I am I helped her
move and get into new housing situations. Each time she was sure she'd be denied due to
her past rental history. Still I always made sure she landed on her feet. I helped her get a
job and showed her how to get all the benefits necessary for her and the child. We're
spending every other day together. She doesn't have a car so I'm letting her borrow my
mine to run errands and pick me up after work. She even got pregnant by me but we
decided the circumstances were far too stressful to give birth to another child so we opted
for an abortion in January.
We broke up once ( for a day ) but got back together and from time to time we'd reassure
one another of the faith, depth, and growing commitment in our relationship and how
excited we were about the future. Time marches on and we're enduring all the ups and
downs. Then one day the social services office informs Erika that her child's Father will be
getting released the first of April. So the entire months of February and March we're having
constant in depth, lengthy conversations about where she's at in her feelings for this man.
She lets me know up front that even though they've had NO correspondence for over eight
months that he's probably going to be expecting the two of them to still be a family. Every
time I'm assured by her that she just needs to talk with him when he gets out and inform
him that they are a done deal and iron out their arrangement with their child. My
insecurities are high because I've decided I'd like to spend the rest of my life with this
woman but I'm not convinced she's really through with this man.
Well the last week of March Vicki calls Erika to inform her that baby daddy was home and is
calling around looking for her. So Vicki gives Erika a number to reach this man and after a
phone call she gives him her home address so they can arrange a time to meet for a face to
face sit down. Now as her man I wasn't given the time, the date, or the place.
So on Friday March 30th this meeting takes place. I leave work early to get a haircut and
I'm eager to meet with Erika because she called me earlier at work and kind of picked a
fight with me about our relationship and it's direction. I found it timely that she did this the
week the man got home from prison so I want to talk to her face to face. So I show up at
Erika's house unexpectedly. When I get there I find baby daddy has walked in just five
minutes before my arrival. His first reaction to me is "whose this nigga?". I calmly walk
over to the man we'll call "Neil" and introduce myself as Erika's boyfriend of the past six
months. His immediate reaction is hostile. He throws his hands in the air and begins
staking his claim that this is his family of the past four years and Erika better let me know
as much. I look at Erika expecting her to back me and finally tell this man all she's been
dying to say.
She looks me square in my eyes and says "I’m just not ready". I begin to fill with confusion
and rage because I'm faced with a physical confrontation that my woman could have easily
diffused. Not a good time to choke...but that's exactly what she did. So now I'm standing
in the middle of her living room with her baby's father telling me to get my **** and get out.
Just like that there was a transfer of domain. I was now the outsider looking in. I had just
I didn't get a call from Erika that evening, no apology to smooth things over, no
explanation, no regret, NOTHING. Just like that she was out of my life. My skin crawled for
two days. My mind ran wild with worries for her safety and the child's. Was he
manipulating her? Did she behave this way as not to escalate an impending confrontation
with two important men in her life, therefore opting to get me off the premises? So many
questions and no answers for two days.
Well Sunday finally came and I called Erika to get clarity and inform her that if she was still
in the presence of Neil I wasn't going to stand for it as her man. What followed further
shook me at my core. She began yelling at me saying things like "you got on my fuckin
nerves, I tried breaking up with you three times before” ( a falsehood). I know you need
to hear this for your own closure but for future reference you need to know the following: If
you dealing with a single Mother you better know, you don't RUN ****!! If you gonna deal
wit a black woman in the future you need to know that you ain't gon be pushin her around."
Then she put Neil on the phone and he ever so calmly tells me "...nigga dis ain't yo
woman.." After I promptly curse him out Erika gets back on the line and announces "It's
over...for once be a man and DEAL WITH IT!! I had the entire exchange on speaker phone
for her sister Vicki to hear.
What's hurt me most is that Erika later told a mutual friend I was the sweetest man she'd
ever been with but Neil was her best friend and she really didn't know how she was going to
feel until she saw him again. Once she did all the feelings came back and it was like they
hadn't skipped a beat, that she and I had been having our problems anyhow. Then she told
this friend that she used the situation as a way to end things because it was easier. Even
though we'd been reaffirming our feelings and our commitment for one another and our
situation the WHOLE month prior to his return, she was actually telling people this. After
everything this man put her through she fixed her mouth to call him her "best friend". The
same man who had beaten her, pimped her out, jeopardized her safety by taking her on the
run, failed to provide for / and or protect her was a "REAL MAN". She needed a thug.
I'm still in shock. I quit my job because I haven't been able to function. I know something
inside of me isn’t' right and it's scaring me because I haven't cried yet. I find myself in the
middle of doing things and fail to notice I'm tearing up at times when I don't even recall
thinking about her. Still, those good hard sobbing kind of cries? They haven't happened
yet...and that's scaring me. I went from spending everyday with a woman and her child, to
NO contact with them at all. It's like they never were. Like they died to me. Before she
left she attacked my worth as a man. She showed our relationship no respect the way she
ended it and she showed little to no regard for me as a friend or a person who sacrificed
much for her and her child's well being. I feel used. I've lost hope in the belief that I'll get
an apology, or a better explanation. I lost my lover, I lost a friend, and I feel like I lost my
family. I don't have children of my own. So outside of my immediate kin this is the first
time in my life I've felt like I was responsible for a unit of my own. I'm left trying to piece
back together a life that was unfulfilled before this woman and child entered into it.
I'm sick of being called a "good black man" but watching black women show NO respect for
it. They'll tell me how "sweet" I am, how they've "never been with a man as in touch with
their feelings", how they've "never communicated" so well. They've "never felt so safe or
secure", they've "never been made love to the way we do". All of these beautiful things but
in the end they still opt for abusive dead end relationships with ex-cons, wanna be
gangsters, and aspiring felons. I'm 31 years of age. I want to settle down and start a
family. It's the only thing missing in my life. My options seem to be argumentative,
confrontational, defensive, promiscuous women, with children by men who didn't value
them enough to place a wedding band on their finger before they placed a life they never
intended to care for in their womb. They don't seem to know what REAL manhood is
anymore and they shun it when it shows up. I can fix damn near anything around the
house, bring home over thirty five thousand a year, hold my own in any physical
confrontation but I can't figure out what's going on in the minds of our black women. I'm
fed up with being told I'm a "good man" and watching men who value none of what a
woman is worth walk off with her as the prize and all too often she's more than willing to
follow. I feel hopeless and doubtful.
I'm tired of black women hurting me.