Sorry for the delay on this one. I promised it months ago, and wasn’t able to piece it all together. I’ve been working— a lot— if you hadn’t noticed on Instagram.
Several of you may remember this story from Ask.FM (six months ago) as it received a LOT of responses. I’ve included all the queries, and this update has the most recent query—from last week.
As usual, I’ve only edited the content for grammar and clarity.
Six months ago, a woman wrote in to say that her she didn’t enjoy the same type of sex that her fiancé did. He was too rough for her liking and she implied that as a rape survivor, that type of sex was a trigger for her. When she objected to his approach, her man, more or less, threatened to cheat on her.
This was her message:
Hello Belle. I was raped at 17. I'm now 27 and as a result I'm a little frigid as far as sex goes. My fiance loves it rough and when I refuse, he often tells me "what one woman won't do another one will." How do I go about letting him know, “yes, I love making love with you, but the rough stuff makes me [uncomfortable]?
You can't. Your fiancé's an asshole. And he doesn’t like you very much. Sorry.
At the point where a man is threatening to cheat on his fiancé when she won’t do what he wants, he doesn’t have much respect for her. He’s just trying to control her. And knowing that she doesn’t enjoy the type of sex he wants and trying to force it on her repeatedly says even more about how little he thinks of her—and likely women in general. When it boils down to what works for him or her, he only cares about him. That’s not the type of guy you marry.
I assumed this was a one-off question, as most of them are, as I didn’t get a follow up question asking for further explanation. I actually expected one as my response was so bottomline and didn’t offer the reasoning behind what I said. I hoped that she got the point, had some time to think, and made the best decision for her well-being and future, which in my opinion was to leave her man.
Turns out, she listened. Because a month later, I got a follow-up… from her ex- fiancé. He was worse than I thought.
Yo, ma, I got a bone to pick with you. You shouldn’t talk about people you don’t know. You don’t know me to say I don’t love my girl because I like rough sex. That ain’t right. I give her whatever she wants. What’s wrong with wanting love how I like it when I get home?
1. Your lady wrote in to ask a question because she was unhappy with the way you treat her. I did not seek her out to tell her anything.
2. You spending money does not give you the right to have sex however YOU want with you GF and especially not if it's hurting her and she does not like it. Nor does it give you the "right" to ignore her pain or emotions.
3. Threatening your fiancee that you will cheat on her if she doesn't do what you want is not like or love. It's instilling fear and beating down her self esteem. YOU told your GF "what you won't do another woman will" and that's why she showed up [on Ask.Fm/abelleinbk]
YOU created this problem for yourself. Instead of blowing up my timeline, you may want to actually talk to your GF and treat her better so she doesn't leave you. I am not your problem.
He responded right away:
I'm not insensitive. Just her being raped shouldn’t still affect our sex life after all ‘dem greens I spend for her to seek help. She still f***s like she’s in high school. I'm a man with needs.
You're INCREDIBLY insensitive if you think it's up to YOU to determine when she should be over a personal trauma.
Has it ever occurred to you that the rough sex she doesn't like and you threatening to cheat on her if she doesn't do what you like is delaying her progress in dealing with her assault?
You have needs, she's not meeting them. Leave and go find someone who can. Don’t bully, cajole and threaten her to get your way. Be a better boyfriend.
Readers were incensed at this exchange. Several wrote in to say so:
*BF of assault victim is INCREDIBLY insensitive & has horrible POV of women as well as assault. His comments reek of entitlement & (male) privilege. Sounds like a pretty unhealthy situation; I hope she knows not all of us are like this. Her dude should be making her feel safe, not threatened!
*I hope the woman has left. If she didn't know what her man is like, she definitely should know now. Thank you for the service you provide Belle.
*How LAME of that OP who was raped to share your advice with her BF! She's gonna continue to accept the mistreatment smh.
Actually, she didn’t. She wrote in shortly after to say she’d left him.
The couple had gone on vacation and while she was driving to the resort, he had begun pawing at her in the car. She had enough, told him to stop and he wouldn’t for awhile despite her protests.
At the hotel, he’d begun pressuring her for sex again, and she told him that she wasn’t going to do it his way anymore (because, you know, it was hurting her.) She demanded to be treated better or else. And told him about the advice I’d given her the month prior.
He went off. Demanded to know who said it and that’s how he found my Ask.FM.
He had much more to say to me, as he felt very justified in his demands and didn’t see the problem with his behavior or outlook:
Yo, Ma, I ain't say it was my right to sex her rough. My point is she has a good man and she should want to do it. Our house is laid. I paid for it, her clothes, rings, cell phone, even the damn laptop she’s squawking with you on. I paid for all of it. But I guess it’s true that nice guys finish last.
Sir, you are not a "nice" guy if your think paying for things entitles you to ignore your GFs feelings and that it's okay to threaten that you will cheat on her if she doesn't do what you want.
It's unfortunate that you continue not to see the problem here.
You got all the answers, Ma. Maybe you got some advice on how she could get her ass back to Orlando. You Black women cry about ain't no good Black men, but [when] you find one, you can’t even treat him right. I treat her good. Yeah, I say what I say out of frustration. But you can help her now.
Sir, it's unfortunate that you're frustrated, but that does not make your threats okay. She is frustrated and she left. Is that okay for you since she is frustrated? If she threatened to cheat on you to your face for any reason, would that also be okay because she is frustrated?
She should not be in Orlando with a man who threatens to cheat on her. You seem to define “good man" by a man that spends money. There's a little more too it than that. You actually have to respect her too and not treat her like property you paid for.
I recognize that part of the reason you're writing in is because you know she reads this platform and you want her to see your messages. If you think you're doing yourself any favors by referring to all the money you spend, you are not. Expensive things are hard to enjoy when you're being treated like sh**.
Women have left with less and accomplished more. She was your lady so I'm sure she has a lot to offer. She can find someone who will buy her nice things AND will also be nice to her.
Maybe if you stop threatening her and hurting her with sex she doesn't like, she'd come back. (I wouldn't advise it given your deep-seeded sense of entitlement though).
Like I guessed, she was reading. And she was deeply embarrassed by that her ex had popped up on Ask.FM.
Hi Belle, (it's the survivor). God, I am so embarrassed. To think one question from me has gotten so many daggers thrown at you. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut :( Please know your words haven't fallen on deaf ears .Over the last couple of weeks, I've done a lot of soul searching.
No, it's not easy, but I'm determined to keep pushing. I'm back at work (used up all my sick days. Sigh). I found a nice, affordable apartment and was able to retrieve my Mom's pictures and my car from the home thanks to my uncle. I keep telling myself, "This too shall pass" and I know it will.
Sorry to write you so late. I wanted to wait until things cool down and I gathered my thoughts before I sent this update. Oh by the way, Pop-Pop says, “thank you.” One last thing, Belle, if I never have sex again a day in my life I wouldn't miss it at all.
Hear that? It was my deep sigh of relief.
But oh, no, BF wasn’t done yet.
He wrote in again, and they were actually writing in at the same time, which neither of them knew as I didn’t publish her update:
For your information, I got cash, a good heart, own house and car and sex she enjoy as much as I do. And she know it. I got a hurricane tongue and a foot long. I'm a Real Woman's dream. How many 32 old man can say they got it like me, ma?”
Someone’s ego was clearly bruised.
No real woman dreams of a man who physically hurts her, ignores her feelings and tells her "what you won't do another woman will." You are not any sane woman's dream, sir.
You don't "got it" if your woman just left because you treat her bad. Look at your situation. Is it REALLY working if your lady just left? Come on, son.
A few days later, he was back (again) …
You act like I am a rapist. I didn’t hold a gun to her head. Ok, I get a little carried away. I love her and I want to express my love. I’m sure a man has got carried away with you. I bust my ass everyday. I don’t complain because I do it for us to live good and have nice sh**. It would be different if I was a lazy man.
Ma, I love that damn girl. I'm just trying to make it right. I want to marry her, have some babies. She wants two kids, but she can’t get them if she’s scared of sex. Ma, just help me out. Help me make this right, please. I'm not trying to be fussing with you, I just want my woman back. Now are you going to help me?
I didn’t respond. That wasn’t a message to me. It was to his lady, who I’m guessing wasn’t answering his calls, and he knows she reads my page. My site isn’t a message board.
That and he still didn’t get what the real issue was: spending money does not mean she has to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however she wants. She’s his woman, yes, but she’s not his property. He was still missing the point.
A couple days later he was back for yet again. His responses were classic “Stages of Grief”:
You know what, Ma? Don’t even worry bout it. Winter will be here soon I'm gonna hit the gym even harder and get sexier and all the O-town chicks will be sweating me. She will want me back then and I will tell her go get more advice from you. I'm good. This is how she wants to it? That's fine. I'm not worried. I’m good.
I still didn’t respond.
Oh, one more thing, Ma, I’m blocking your page. I don’t want your bad vibes anywhere by me how about that? Okay, listen you want me to beg? I’m begging. Help me make it right. I love that damn girl, Ma. Please
I actually felt bad for the guy. But if she didn’t want to answer the phone, I wasn’t allowing him to use my page as a way to stay in contact.
I reiterated what the problem was, the one he was blatantly overlooking as I’d explained it five times—he was treating his woman like property and ignoring her feelings. I offered to speak to him via email, which he declined.
Yep, I was right. He just wanted to get the messages to his ex.
When I wouldn’t tell him—for free—how to make it right, he followed up 72 hours later with a threat to hunt me down and beat my ass.
And then a week later, he came back with this:
Ok, Ma, I'm sorry didn’t mean to go off on you like I did. I’m no bad guy. My biggest crime is I like pleasure. What can I say? It’s the Haitian blood in me? I just want to make it right with my woman. All I’m asking is for a few pointers…
He still didn’t get it. And I’d explained what the issue was in detail at multiple times. I hoped he figured it out someday…
Nearly three weeks later, he was back... ah-gain:
You are a mean ass lady, I know you saw me ask you for help and I even said sorry to you. It’s been 19 days and my woman ain't home because of you. You stick your nose in other folks business. What is wrong with you? You swear you give good advice. Why would you advise somebody to stay in a hot ass house that smell like a old man?
Sir... I stuck my nose nowhere. Your lady came her and asked for help. And I responded telling you how to get her back and offered my email so you could sign up for coaching. You elected not to use that help.
Please stop blaming me for the problem you caused by mistreating your woman, harming her with violent sex, ignoring her feelings and threatening to cheat on her. THAT'S ALL ON YOU.
I didn’t hear from him for 5 entire months after that. I figured this story was Black history.
But then last week, I got an unexpected message.
Finally, he had his “a-ha moment”, but it was too little too late.
Hi, Ma. I come in peace. I know you remember me . My girl wrote to you about not liking rough sex. I just want to say I'm real sorry for things I said to you. I treated my lady bad. I hurt her instead of helping her heal. I was thinking if I buy her stuff, give her money, she had to do what I want. Now she is gone.
I tried everything thing to get that lady back. I even go to therapy to help me be a better man, but it’s too late. She don’t want me and I can blame nobody but me. Men, if you got a woman, treat her right. I got to live with knowing I hurt her and pushed her away.