Has anyone ever loved you through a time when you couldn’t love yourself?

Someone did that for me. Nanna.

When I came to school smelling like urine and beer, she loved me anyway.

When I said horrible things to her, because that was all I knew, she loved me anyway.

Nanna’s kindness let me experience that I was not my pain.

Which brings me to the question in my mind today:

How do we love someone in a way that shows him how to love himself?

It’s a real question. Because every person has pain.

Black women have permission from society to cry.

Black men don’t. They don’t have permission to say they don’t know. To f%$k up and try again. They don’t have permission to say when they are hurt.

I can’t help but wonder if my father would have stayed, if he had that kind of permission. If he had known grace and mercy.


If you love somebody, love that person for real.

Love him when he is not good. Stay, when he has done something wrong.

If you truly love him … give him the permission to BE who he is.

Love him when he can’t love himself.

Because Black men don’t have a structure in place for self-reflection, so they may not have the capacity to heal, the way we can.

Their healing isn’t going to come through them.

It’s going to come through us.

Please comment below so we can bear witness.

21 Responses to “Loving in the Absence of Love”

Comments List

  1. Nisia Francis

    WOOOOOOOOOOOW Dr. Venus. These words are so true and definately needed this confirmation for my heart. I'm going through a trying time in my marriage and no it does not include infidelity. Like you just said, men do not really undergo self reflectionas much as we women do and for me I look at that as a problem. My worry is, if I never bring it to your attention you will never work/fix that particular thing. But on the other hand I don not want to be that nagging wife, headache, so called "mom". So I reflected back on the time that he loved me when I didn't love myself. He was pure, he cared, he was gentle etc even when he felt like he didn't know how to handle me. I though about leaving many of times but my heart wouldn't let me turn away from the very person that helped in my healing process even when he didn't know I was hurting. AHHHHHH this hit home. Love you sis #RealTalk
    • Dr. Venus

      You are so very welcomed Nisia. Just one word of wisdom: loyalty is not the same as love. You don't need to pay your husband back by bitting you tongue because he was gentle with you when you needed it. I loved that he loved you in that way. It matters. But if you are afraid to speak up when think it would serve the relationship for him to self-reflect, that's going to make you feel suppressed and eventually resentful. Have you considered writing him a love letter? In the love letter, you can inclue how pure his love was in the early days and how deeply you appreciated his care. You can share with him EXACTLY what you shared with us here. And you can ask him if he is open to communicating or growing together, or letting you contribute to him so YOU don't feel like a nag? It's worth a shout. You could have you both take a personal development or couple's communications class to get the ball rolling. It could be fun! I love you, sis. Thank you for your stand for your marriage being magical. :-) Dr. Venus
  2. <a href='http://BlackAmbrosia24k.WordPress.com' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Crystal Bell</a>

    Yes. I agree. But there is a time when there is danger involved for you and your children and there are boundaries that cannot be crossed for the sake of safety. In fortunately there are men so broken they are doing things to women & children that is an abomination, and I won't sacrifice my kids life for that. This is an issue that has very deep scars on many levels, and we as women need to talk about this...for the sake of our children. Thank you
    • Dr. Venus

      I am with you 1000% Crystal. I am speaking about the men in our lives (i.e., brothers, uncles, friends, spouses, etc.,) who have ALREADY demonstrated through their actions they are for us. I am not addressing the ones who are so wounded they wound others. So thank you for your stand. I love you, Dr. Venus
  3. Monica

    What you’ve shared here is touching...so well said and real. Thank you. As you continue on this line of conversation, would you consider (wherever it might be beneficial) to make a disclaimer for the very real cases of when we’re dealing with men showing themselves to be on the narcissistic/sociopathic/psychopathic end of the spectrum? Another concern might be for the codependent whose very mantra might be to love him when he is not good and stay when he has done wrong, but would clearly be unloving to self. What you’re sharing with us deserves being kept in the context I’ve known you to be on - healing for self and with others. Any loving of another that does not promote safe inner/outer environment for ourselves isn’t something I’d want anyone to infer from your work.
    • Dr. Venus

      Dearest Monica, Thank you SO MUCH for this request! Absolutely! I may have to write about this in a full article so my tribe has a point of reference. Give me a minute on this. I will get it written. And thank you for the loving nudge to be responsible for what COULD be inferred from my writings. I love you for this. Thank you for protecting me. Sincerely, Dr. Venus
  4. Cynthia

    We as women are naturally nurturing. I think for many of us as women that's why when we love someone we love hard....with everything that's within us. Hwever I believe if we hvnt dealt with our own issues of hurt and pain stimming from abuse whether it's verbal, physical, etc. we can't until we're healed ourselves. I believe we have the ability to love someone through it all! Christ loves us unconditionally and because we're made and created in HIS image that love abides in us hwever we must be able to discern that when men are acting out or they run, get m.i.a they may not have had a good father role model or a male figure to guide them into their role as a man. As you said we as women must give them permission to express how they really feel without being considered weak, a punk, sensitive, etc. That it's okay to cry, be vulnerable, sensitive....heck to be a human being with he-motions. We must love our men where they are to get them to a better place of healing and restoration.
    • Dr. Venus

      Hello Cynthia, Thank you for your insightful comments. I truly appreciate them. I will be writng more about what I mean when I say our Men will heal through us. It's not that we heal them. By taking ourselves on we create space for something beautiful to arise. More to come. :-) Dr. V
  5. <a href='http://facebook' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Catherine Wright</a>

    It's so hard l love and care for everyone but myself I not use to love my husband and I will be separated in Jan he has not made love to me in 12 years my children are grow it's time to leave but have a fear of being alone I'm not happy 😊
  6. Devine1

    I've known my child's father since 5th grade. We dated off & on for years. He married a woman whom I thought was a friend. I loved him & her & their betrayal deeply wounded me. I mourned as if a part of me had died. She mistreated him & HE loved her & I STILL loved him. Whenever he needed me, I was always there for him. He still treated me & our son so bad. I forgave him & released the pain, & HE turned around & betrayed us again this. I always felt we were friends before we were anything else, but he didn't seem to think so. I loved anyway even though it was hard & painful. Then a good man walked into me & my son's life & changed our world. I suffered long, but I still loved. In the end it all worked for my good (the good bad & ugly) NO MATTER WHAT LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY EVEN WHEN IT HURTS. AFTER ALL ISN'T THAT THE SUFFERING CHRIST ENDURED FOR US. NOW it seems as if a light has shown down on him & HE now understands what it is like to truly LOVE soneone as yourself. He may make someone a good husband one day. If nothing else I'm happy for that.
  7. Twana

    My ex husband still live in the same house haven’t had sec in one year ( do miss it)However, would love to find love again. First I need to love myself first and get my life together I think the only reason we are under the same roof I need a full time job. Money is one of the problems that we have. I pray every night for a better job and a new good husband to love the heck out of me♥️
    • Dr. Venus

      Happy New Year Twana, I agree with you regarding self-love. Without it, we take what we can get. Perhaps a radical act of self-love would be to get a part-time job so you can have your own space. When you have your own space, you make room for love to come walking through the door. :-) You may also need to downsize so you can afford to live off of your income solely. Or you could move in with a family member or friend until you saved enough money to have your own space. My point is this: You DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH YOUR EX. Yes, you will have to generate, cause and maybe even humble yourself, but you are worth it. I love you, Dr. Venus
  8. Chynia King

    Thank you for this perspective and sharing your truth with it. It allowed my boyfriend and I to talk about a black man's plight and the importance of a woman's role in it. It also allowed us to talk about the family structure and how we should structure teachings for future generations that way we can break the cycle.

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