5 Things Rihanna Must Do Before Reuniting With Chris Brown, Writes Relationship Therapist Dr. Sheri Meyers (EXCLUSIVE GUEST BLOG)

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Writing exclusively for Celebuzz, Dr. Sheri Meyers, Psy.D. examines the on-again, off-again relationship between Rihanna and Chris Brown, and advises the pop superstar on what to do before getting back together with her ex.

It seems that Rihanna has forgiven Chris Brown for her well-publicized beating and is considering reuniting with him. Yes, it's a wonderful thing to forgive another who has hurt you and to choose love and inner-peace over fear. However, when it comes to forgiving and then returning to an abuser who has put your life in danger, it's not as simple as changing your mind and giving him another chance.

The Lure of Abusive Relationships

As a therapist, I am often asked, why do women stay too long in an abusive relationship or return to an abuser?

An abusive outbreak is often followed by a honeymoon period in which calm prevails and emotions get managed. Chris may be apologizing for the abuse and promising it will never happen again. There’s typically lots of attention, appreciation, interest and gifts during this stage. The feel-good magic of all this loving attention fogs our ability to see the situation clearly. Rihanna is probably telling herself, "He's really sorry for what he's done, taking responsibility and promises to never do it again. I now know that he's my great love, so this time we can work through our issues. I understand him better and won't push his buttons like I did before. We've both changed, so this time it will be different."

Heads up, Rihanna: Whatever your heart or head may be telling you, it's critical you remain rational, take it slow and keep your eyes wide open before jumping in.

I can promise you that the unresolved problems that triggered the abusive situation and subsequent break-up will rise again, once the hormones of newly reunited love settle down and each of you return to your comfort zone. Don’t give your trust so easily. He must show you more. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and most importantly, safe. If you're still planning to go ahead with this crazy-in-love thing, here's what you need to do before jumping in fully.

1. Ask Him 3 Critical Questions Don’t just assume he’s got his anger under control. Seriously examine these questions with him and ponder his answers carefully:

What has he done to change? Has he really taken responsibility for past behavior? Is he truly willing to do whatever it takes to control of his anger?

Speaking of control, did you know that most abusers are not as out of control as they seem? For example, abusers are able to immediately stop their abusive behavior when it serves then to do so (i.e., when the police show up or a friend calls) and can usually control themselves in public and act like everything is fine until they get you alone. Then wham. So, don't believe it when you hear, "Baby, I just couldn't control myself."

2. Have a Plan of Action Nothing pushes our buttons more than a close, intimate relationship. You both certainly knew how to push them in each other (for better and worse). While this reunion may feel like a brand new beginning, it's important to have a game plan for how to handle your reactions and responses differently when you feel your buttons being pushed. Discuss the problems you had in the past and the changes you each need to make this time around. Know the triggers and how to avoid them and create a plan of action ahead of time.

3. Learn to Manage the Anger and Stress Better Make sure you have solid strategies in place that will help eliminate some of the shock and disappointment you’ll feel when you realize that everything hasn't magically changed since 2009. Real strength, cohesion and trust will come when you learn how to deal with problems and frustrations in a more constructive way than before. To successfully overcome conflicts, you both have to become less reactive, and look at problems through the lens of “we”, not “me." Adversity requires action. Instead of saying, "It's your fault," or, "What's wrong with you?" ask, "What now, what can WE do?"

4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate To make it work, you need the following agreement: No secrets. No masks. No lies. No games. No tiptoeing. An open, present, compassionate partnership is where honestly is valued, safe and celebrated and all problems get addressed early. Create an environment where it is safe to talk and be honest about anything and everything. If you catch yourself holding back, reshaping yourself to please him or to keep things calm, replace those dancing shoes with running shoes, fast!

5. Hold Hands, Not Grudges Can you both leave the past behind? Especially when the public won't let you? Are you both willing to hold hands, not grudges, and learn the skills you each need to make this relationship work? It all starts by having the same relationship goals and direction: to make the relationship as safe, trusting, accepting, and loving as humanly possible.

The truth is, no matter what you read, what your friends or fans say, what advice you get, or what your head tells you, if your heart is pulling you back, you'll probably go. Your willingness to forgive and choose love over fear is a worthy journey, no matter how the relationship ultimately ends up. However, reuniting with Chris is a dangerous chance you are taking with your life and well being. While you may believe you are returning to your forever love, this could be the necessary completion you need to fully move on and finally let him go once and for all. Be wise. Be safe. Stay aware.

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Discuss

Default avatar
  • GinaMaria Opalescent
    GinaMaria Opalescent

    Excellent points Dr. Sherri. It really is too bad that so many women don't realize how their choices foster bad behavior. The more we hear your message, the better. THANK YOU!!!

  • lexy
    lexy

    tell me something i didnt know

  • lexy
    lexy

    so stupid! omg

  • Jacqui Olliver
    Jacqui Olliver

    This is a great article, which left nothing to guesswork. Dr Sheri Myers has provided a complete step by step guideline for Rihanna to follow to ensure she isn't blinded by fleeting 'making up' love - as women often are.

  • Cheri Cyr Ashland
    Cheri Cyr Ashland

    Fantastic article! I truly hope that all women, all ages, read this article! Rihanna is a role model, whether she chooses to be or not, by way of her popularity with the younger crowd. It's scary for me, a Mom of a teen girl, to watch Rihanna's abusive relationship play out in the media, and especially with her going back to her ex-boyfriend. It sends a message out there to younger women that worries me, for obvious reasons. I am going to share this article with as many people possible, but especially sharing it with women (and younger women specifically). ~Cheri

  • David Rogers
    David Rogers

    Great article! It gave me better insight into why my ex would go back to her abusive ex.

  • Kathryn Arnold
    Kathryn Arnold

    Such great advice, and advice that can be taken to heart when making all relationship decisions with a beloved. Especially in an on again-off again relationship, or one in which you just aren't sure your partner is right for you and he/she begs to differ. Asking your partner and yourself these tough questions, is the way to finding your true mate. Thank you Dr. Sheri!

  • Jonathon Aslay
    Jonathon Aslay

    As a Dating & Relationship Coach for Women, just have to say I loved this segment and Dr. Sheri was right on with her advice to Rihanna. ~ " reuniting with Chris is a dangerous chance you are taking with your life and well being. While you may believe you are returning to your forever love, this could be the necessary completion you need to fully move on and finally let him go once and for all. Be wise. Be safe. Stay aware." Dr. Sheri Meyers

  • Lisa Connor
    Lisa Connor

    my classmate's sister-in-law earned $16764 a week ago. she been working on the internet and bought a $453900 home. All she did was get fortunate and put to use the advice explained on this web site Sky40.com.

 
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