Rihanna Tells Truth About Abusive Relationships


“I was that girl, that girl who felt that as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others. Maybe I’m one of those people built to handle shit like this. Maybe I’m the person who’s almost the guardian angel to this person, to be there when they’re not strong enough, when they’re not understanding the world, when they just need someone to encourage them in a positive way and say the right thing.”

These are moving words, and an eloquent summation of what being in the kind of abusive relationship the pair had was like for her. It is also not recognizably therapy-speak, or practiced PR polish.

“A hundred percent,” Rihanna replies when asked if she thought she could change Brown. “I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn’t understand him… But you know, you realize after a while that in that situation you’re the enemy.”

Rihanna even goes on to explain the warped terrain of an abusive relationship–or her abusive relationship, at least.

“You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say I’m willing to put up with something, they think less of you—because they know you don’t deserve what they’re going to give. And if you put up with it, maybe you are agreeing that you [deserve] this, and that’s when I finally had to say, ‘Uh-oh, I was stupid thinking I was built for this.’ Sometimes you just have to walk away.”

Robinson notes that she seems to have a freewheeling, party-centered life away from the stage, but Rihanna makes it clear that what we see is what photographers photograph when she goes out. We don’t know her.

“when you care enough about somebody and you know that they care about you, then you know they don’t disrespect you. And it’s about my own respect for myself. A hundred percent.”

“You have to be screwed over enough times to know, but now I’m hoping for more than these guys can actually give. That’s why I haven’t been having sex or even really seeing anybody, because I don’t want to wake up the next day feeling guilty.”

“I’m human, I’m a woman, I want to have sex. But what am I going to do—just find the first random cute dude that I think is going to be a great ride for the night and then tomorrow I wake up feeling empty and hollow?…I can’t do it to myself. I cannot. It has a little bit to do with fame and a lot to do with the woman that I am. And that saves me.”

Work helps to distract her from loneliness, she says, and is “fearful of relationships,” because while she wants someone to be “completely faithful and loyal,” she can’t give them “the attention they need” from her.


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