Rihanna’s a Daughter and a Human and Loves a Man…And We’re Surprised

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About Zach Rosenberg

Zach Rosenberg is a husband and father living in Southern California. He is co-founder of
fatherhood news site 8BitDad.com, and a contributor to HLNtv.com. You can also find him on Twitter @zjrosenberg.


  1. Thoughtful piece, Zach. When it comes to relationships, I always go back to what my mom told me – you never know what is going on in someone else’s life. All we can do is the best we can for ourselves and our own and hope that, as you said, she can find some peace. Love can be a nasty business.

  2. Awesome article Zach, your words have tugged at my parental instincts…as a woman who has gone back (3times) to a man who constantly abuses my emotions, I wonder, isn’t that me in Rihanna? Everyone thinks I’m a dumbass to still love that man, but when I look at him, really look at him, there’s something that totally softens my heart. Maybe it’s my idea of love. After three years I can say with surety it has nothing to do with lust or infatuation as many people have accused Rihanna. I guess it’s just plain old simple love. Or maybe it’s because, like her, I never grew up with a dad (passed on when I was 11) and I haven’t had much male influence in my life until this man walked into my life in my late twenties and ran with my heart. Unfortunately, he is the same man who still ravages on my emotions, leaving me cheated and broken, then calls me back into his manly arms. I don’t know, I guess Rihanna has a point, after all.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Joy, as long as you’re honest with yourself and making yourself a good life, try to disregard what your friends say. Keep yourself safe and happy, and that’s what matters.

      But if you can, try to find a good couples therapist to help you two through it. I know how you feel, I’ve been there, and I’ve made it out the other side. It takes work, but I didn’t give up and I’m happy now. But trust me, if he wouldn’t have done as much work as I did, I would’ve been out.

      Do what’s best for YOU.

  3. Furious George says:

    The idea that we as outsiders can’t judge because we don’t know everything is just a poor excuse. Humans mainly behave according to set patterns. It is therefore not necessary to know the whole situation before making an accurate judgement.

    Most of my education on this subject comes from the Loveline radio show so I might be lacking insight. However, this situation is a recurring theme on the show. Trauma in youth becomes attraction in adulthood. The trauma of seeing her mom get beaten has now become attractive to Rihanna.

    Alot can be said about Chris Brown as well. His father probably wasn’t around when he was young. The lack of an adult male during a man’s childhood often leads to them being more violent and sexually agressive later in life.

    The only solution for both is years of therapy.

    • “Trauma in youth becomes attraction in adulthood.”

      You just shook my world with the veracity of that statement. When I was young I was molested repeatedly by my uncle, and when I was 18 as well as 20 and 21 I placed myself in situations where men violated me. Part of me hated myself and the other part of myself felt like I could never have as heightened a sexual experience as I did with someone who abused me. Even though I would go through the steps of post-trauma repeatedly, a part of this experience became alluring and attractive.

      I know I’m a stranger, but I wanted you to know how powerful and insightful your words actually were.

      • Furious George says:

        Thank you but all credit for those words should go to Dr. Drew Pinksy and his show Loveline. I believe he wrote a book covering this subject named Cracked.

  4. “For lack of knowledge my people perish…” (from the Bible)

    It is because of lack of knowledge that people trust people who are untrustworthy…..

    All I will say is that a long time ago having someone put their hands around my neck was the final proof that what I was experiencing was not love…now when I really look back, I see everything else he did or said was utter manipulation and power/control games….not love at all….

    How do you define “love” and “respect”? I did not really know back then….

    For my son’s sake, I watch everyone who comes into his life and escort him back and forth to school… we try to point out to him the bad behavior of people around us and about the mistakes that we have made…but I realize that true learning is an ongoing process….that as adults we all still get fooled by some people…

  5. The world likes simple narratives. It reads better and it’s easier to digest for our minds. In this case, bad man beats innocent woman. But who really knows what happened in that relationship? Maybe she gave as good as she got, but came off worse the last time. It doesn’t necessarily take a lot to bruise a face and Rihanna is clearly no shrinking violet .

    Betty Friedan wrote about just such a scenario in her own life with her husband and later commented:

    “I almost wish I hadn’t even written about it, because it’s been sensationalized out of context. My husband was not a wife-beater, and I was no passive victim of a wife-beater. We fought a lot, and he was bigger than me.”

    So maybe this story is a little more complicated than the one the media ran with. I suspect that Brown and Rihanna get on with each other because they have a lot in common and share similar sensibilities. It doesn’t appear that she has been able to find someone she feels as comfortable with anyway. Bottom line is, it’s not her job to set an example to the public and she has the resources to get out of an inequitable domestic arrangement should she need to.

    • Furious George says:

      More complicated or not, you don’t beat up a person and you certainly don’t run back to a person that beat you. She willingly assumes the victim role and therefore she needs psychological help. He has hit a person and therefore needs pyschological help.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Yes, but we don’t know that he hasn’t gotten that help. His public image is horrid, yes, I agree. But she’s a grown woman and has every right to make her own choices.

        Fact is, we simply do not know what their relationship is like now. It’s not our place to decide.

  6. Sorry Zach. You know I love you but this is horse shit.

    There are mistakes and there are MISTAKES. Beating a woman bloody is the latter. Maybe I’m just a misanthropic prick who doesn’t believe someone who can beat a woman in the first place is capable of the kind of change to become a guy who never lets that crap creep anywhere close enough in his mind to actually carry it out. But that’s how I feel and while I certainly don’t know everything, I know that going back to someone who has the proven capacity to beat the shit out of you (and then get a tattoo to commemorate it no less) is stupid. And I don’t need every insight into her life to call that act stupid. It’s stupid.

    And because she has all the evidence she needs to make the right decision, it’s going to be very difficult for me to feel bad for her when this happens again.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Really Aaron? You won’t feel bad for her if she gets beaten again?

      See, I think we can look at this and see the tragedy that she has lived and see the whole picture. Society, addictive love, cycles of abuse, and we can STILL feel bad for her.

      I will never, ever stop feeling sad when a person gets beaten by their partner. I don’t care how many warning signs there were. That’s basic human compassion.

  7. What we think we know about abuse and then using that suspect knowledge to determine what and or how Chris and Rihanna’s relationship will turnout is problematic at best and at worst just plain speculation. They are adults, let them be.Though, I can’t help but suspect there are those who won’t.


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