Abusive Vs. Strong Man – Part 1

While watching Real Housewives of Atlanta I was baffled by the relationship between the beautiful model Cynthia Bailey, 43, and her live-in boyfriend Peter Thomas. The two were planning a wedding and in one episode, Peter told Cynthia he had closed his restaurant Uptown and he wasn’t sure how they were going to come up with the $20,000 for the wedding. She started to cry, and he went on a rant about how he wasn’t going to tell her anything anymore.

Cynthia had a 10-year-old daughter, and her husband Peter is perceived to be one of the “strong” men compared to other women’s partners. He is very vocal about how we feels about the other women and he believes very strongly in traditional gender roles with the man as the provider and the woman as the nurturer. As he said in an interview “If I need her to do something for me again, she better step up. That’s part of her duty as a wife. Because she’s never gonna call on me and I say no – never.” Anytime a man refers to “wifely duties” he subscribes to traditional gender views.

He does help in domestic responsibilities, and is often the one cooking and washing dishes on most episodes, so his gender views may only be related to the financial realm.

Cynthia’s sister and another housewife, Nene Leakes whose own marriage fell apart this season discouraged Cynthia from getting married and it all lead me to think about two things. (1) What is the fine line between a strong man and an abusive man? and (2) When is it time to get married or to break off an engagement?

So this blog is going to cover the strong man vs. the abusive man. Next week, we’ll discuss when is it time to get married.

Strong Man vs. Abusive Man

A strong man is confident in his decision making process. An abusive man is stubborn in his decision-making process.
A strong man is willing to be vulnerable. An abusive man exploits the vulnerabilities of his partner.
A strong man is open to suggestions or criticism. An abusive man uses suggestions or criticism to fuel his abusive behavior.
A strong man supports his partner’s friendships. An abusive man tries to isolate his partner from other relationships (both male and female).
A strong man values his partner’s opinions and desires. An abusive man is very selfish and is only concerned with his own needs.
A strong man makes his partner proud and she glows with happiness. An abusive man makes his partner apologetic and she overcompensates for his behavior.
A strong man is motivated by his convictions and is not afraid to communicate his truth. An abusive man is motivated by his aggression and is afraid to face the truth of his problematic behavior.

While we only saw a “slice” of Cynthia & Peter’s relationship, the fact that her family members and those around her were concerned is a major red flag. While I’m not willing to label Peter as abusive, his behavior certainly made me uncomfortable for her. While there is a fine line between a strong and abusive man – there is a clear distinction between how someone makes you feel and if they make you feel sad, worthless, unattractive or uninspired there is no question what type of man you’re dealing with.

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