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You Were a Woman Before You Became His Woman

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2013

I was in a relationship with a man who referred to me as "his woman." My dad always taught me not to accept that term. He said that a man calls you his woman, when he is not willing to honor you as his wife. Of course, I thought he was being an overprotective dad and didn't listen. Unfortunately, this relationship supported my dad's position. Very early in the relationship, other women and exes seemed to get more of his time than I did. He always dismissed them as meaningless with no life. One ex, in particular, tried to befriend me. Naturally, I was reluctant and questioned her motives. But, I remained cordial and respectful. 

At first the guy was still friendly with her and attended her functions. Of course, this did not sit well with me. After a while, he hated her and had nothing positive to say about her. One day we ran into her at a function. Afterwards, he said to me "she is broke down." Then he repeated "she is just broke down." I'm not quite sure what he meant by that or why he told me that. I do know, that when he said it, he meant it. I'm not even sure if he meant to say it out loud. Those words struck me at my core. It felt like a warning to me. The woman is smart, beautiful and successful. My gut response to his statements about her was alarming. I thought to myself:  If she is broken down, he broke her down. He broke her down, then left her because she is broken down. Given all of my struggles with him, I felt like he was going to do the same thing to me. To this day, I have not said anything about it to him.

That moment shifted the way that I think about womanhood and sisterhood. The way that some men run through women and leave them depleted and broken is sad. The answer is not to bash men, but to honor women. We have to teach men to honor women by honoring ourselves and each other. We can't compromise our standards, compete with each other and tear each other down. It is not acceptable for a man to insult, belittle, humiliate or abuse a woman, just because the woman isn't you. A man who disrespects one woman, will disrespect any woman, including you. When your view of another woman is filtered through the perspective of a man who devalues her, you cannot see her beauty and quality. You will also miss the nonverbal warnings of pain and heartbreak that are staring you in the face.  If you see a woman who is strong, intelligent, pretty and confident; encourage her. She is not your competition. If you see a woman who is weak, struggling and unwise; embrace her. She is not your enemy.

You were a woman before you were "his woman." That's what attracted him to you. The breakdown of sisterhood undermines the beauty of womanhood. A man who "runs through women" is obviously seeking something that he cannot find. If we as women don't focus more on womanhood, sisterhood and motherhood; what he is looking for will no longer exist. When you stop allowing men to divide and conquer women, everyone wins -- both men and women. There can be no winner in a "battle of the sexes." Self-respect, unity and mutual respect within the sexes and between the sexes is the only winning strategy for the human race.

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Valante M. Grant is the founder of The byDesign Network. She has built a network that encompasses broadcast media, audio and video production, copy writing and graphic design. Her primary creative focus is customization. Her philosophy is that every human being is one of God’s designer originals. She uses her creativity to design a life that fulfills her purpose and helps others reach their destiny. Valante will share her message of encouragement on her blog. Valante resides in the Chicago metropolitan area. Her inspiration is her daughter, Vanyce.

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Guest Friday, 26 May 2017