Saturday July 26 2014

Love thy tormentor?

By Eugene Mugisha

Recently, a certain fella I know got dumped. But he isn’t concerned, because he and all of us, including the girl that dumped him know one thing; she will be back. It’s not about the guy, its the girl; she cant seem to exist without him, and his harassment of her.

Ask me why I know such people, and I will instead divert you to why she takes the harassment, and surprise, surprise, seems to thrive off it! And for that, I will give you an educated guess; the Stockholm Syndrome. If you don’t know what that is, read a book. I can’t claim to understand why it happens, I only suspect the circumstances are similar.

It’s not the first time she has left him. Even though this seems serious, more serious than the other times she has taken off, I can safely bet that she will be back. For someone with no attachment to the guy, she surely shows an extraordinary level of dependence on him. They are only dating, they aren’t even living together. But, every single time that she has broken up with him, for reasons ranging from cheating to “stealing” her money, it never lasts more than two months before they are back together.

Maybe he is a sweet talker, I wouldn’t know. This time round, she left because she caught him cheating. Again. For the nth time. But, he reassured his friends (I am only an acquaintance) that she will be back, and even set a bet. Demeaning, but accurate. It’s this bizarre behavior that drove me to Elle. I asked Elle about this strange behaviour that some girls manifest; why on earth would that girl go back to him?
Maybe a girl’s perspective would clear things up a bit. I know Elle would never take even the slightest indication of nonsense from me. But perhaps, as a girl, she would empathise. Her answer was wrapped around one word; self-esteem.

Apparently, such girls have low self-esteem. As much as it made sense, this particular girl isn’t the kind you would describe as having esteem issues. She is a physically attractive woman, has a good job, and nothing apparent that would cause her to gravitate towards such kind of men.

But Elle explained that all that is deceptive. Inside that glamorous woman is a girl racked by internal identity struggles. No, she doesn’t like the emotional, and possibly physical abuse (I am not sure if he hits her, but he does insult her, at times in public), but she needs the constant presence of that man in her life to give her structure.

Can’t she replace that man with a more humane man? Again, Elle clarified; it’s now a habit. She has grown used to having him around, he is like a bad habit. This girl clearly subscribes to the saying “better the devil you know than the angel you don’t”.

Or is it love she is suffering from? If it is, it must be a different flavour of the so-called, all so powerful and mysterious theory called love.