Abuse Cycle: Why Women Like Rihanna Go Back To Their Abusers


161029190PH00027_The_55th_ABy Staff Blogger

When Chris Brown physically assaulted Rihanna, it seemed obvious to most people, looking at the photos of her swollen face, that she should leave the relationship and never return. Now, for months, there has been speculation that she may have gone back to her on-gain-off-again lover. More recently, Rihanna came out a admitted that she had gone back to Brown and she felt that people should leave her alone to learn from her own mistakes, if in fact, going back to Brown is a mistake.

If, like most people, you’re puzzled by Rihanna’s decisions, here are some reason why women go back to their abusers that may help you understand:

1. People Change

While it seems that all Chris Brown has been doing, since he physically attacked Rihanna, is get into even more trouble, all related to his rage and inability to control his emotions, the truth is that some people really do change. We often hear about the abuse cycle, which continues to escalate and sometimes even turns deadly but there are cases where abusers and their partners get professional help and they learn how to love each other without hurting each other, physically. Aggression is learned and can be unlearned if there is a lot of work and commitment to change. While many people have opinions about Rihanna and Brown, we can never know what kind of help they have sought or are seeking.

2. It’s a Family Thing

Some people have had abuse modeled for them in their childhood and it may seem less abnormal to them. Also, abuse cycles can also span generations. A woman is raised by an abused mother who was also raised by her own abused mother. Again, without professional help, it may be difficult or even impossible to break this pattern.

3. She’s in denial

About four years have passed since Brown and Rihanna’s unfortunate altercation. It may be that as time has passed, her memories of the bad part of the relationship have faded but the memories of the good parts have stayed alive. It is not uncommon for women who believe that they are in love to minimize a man’s shortcomings just so that they do not have to make the tough decision of ending the relationship.

4. Loyalty and Commitment

While Brown and Rihanna are not married, it is quite possible that she is very loyal to him and their commitment to each other is stronger than most people think. In the last few decades, marriages end in divorce much more easily and much more quickly, but there was a time when being committed meant that nothing would end the relationship, not even abuse or infidelity. Some women take their marriage vows more seriously than anything else and nothing will convince them to end their marriages.

At the end of the day, it really is up to the two consenting adults what happens and the rest of us can only hope that they have sought  the help that they need to move forward in a much healthier way.



  1. One conversation I think is long overdue in our society regards who is worthy of forgiveness. When we inflict harm on people, we all seem to have the expectation that people should forgive us and subsequently give us a chance to make amends. But not many of us are will to give the same chance to those who wrong us.

    I’ll say the same thing I said back then regarding Rihanna and Brown’s actions… It was unfortunate that they both decided to use physical violence to resolve their issues. Instead of a confrontation that escalated to violence, they could have decided to walk away from each other. It has become far too easy to paint men as the instigators of a physical confrontation. This is not to say that it doesn’t happen… just to say that its not as cut and dried as some might think.

    Most of us on the outside looking in have no idea what has transpired between this couple since the incident a few years back. Can you honestly say that Brown hasn’t changed with regard to domestic abuse? Again far too easy to label Brown a villain and Rihanna a fool for getting back together. Until someone presents clear evidence that Brown hasn’t changed let them be.

  2. Will you people give this crap a rest. How many of you in your private got slapped, hit by a partner while in a relationship and stayed or left and went back? The public didn’t know about it so nobody was there to judge. Even if your family and friends knew and advised you to stay away you went back anyway. Let them live their lives, they will separate on their own terms in their own time. Live and let live and just plain ‘mind your business’

  3. Really no one knows what happened but the Two of them. The media is using this for readership. Word to the media: its time to move on. Clearly, they have. I pray for them and wish them well. Unless you have never made a mistake, stop judging. You’re not perfect.

  4. Wow. Sad that there is still a bunch of people trying to defend her and him. He hits other people too still, yet anther assault under his belt. Value yourself more than any of those things and this wouldn’t be a problem.
    Self love, not undying love for someone else will heal.
    After this I’m done, just another example of what not to do that celebrities do.

  5. Just because some of you don’t agree with Rianna decision on being with CB it doesn’t give us the right to label him as an abuser. Sometimes we have to let people take responsiblites for there own actions. We speculated about Whiney and Bobby accuused him for getting her hooked on drugs, and which we found out Whitney got her self hooked on drugs. We are not with these people everyday sometimes we read to much into things.

  6. Erica I hear what you’re saying but both of them choose to live in the public eye. Having said that if you put your business out in the open you should expect people being in your business! At a very young age I too was in a abusive relationship. I never saw this behavior in my home or anywhere else for that matter(I’m in my 50’s), so I assumed it was my fault for being hit. It was not until I had a baby did I say no more. And for the record while I forgave this animal I will never agree with his behavior nor never go back to him. I forgave him to help me and too this day some 30 years later he is still the mean hateful pos he was 30 years ago!

  7. radar-dreamer on

    women like rihanna go back to their abusers because they know that they are the ones who started the fight the altercation , all the drama and misunderstanding and has been lying to the police and the community all along that the man was the aggressor

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