Emotional Hurts that Hinder Black Women from Relationship Success

Emotional Hurts that Hinder Black Women from Relationship Success

Several months ago, I wrote an article about the Five Mindsets that Hinders Black Women from Relationship Success. I outlined some of the characteristics that keep women from experiencing the types of relationships they desire in their lives. The objective was to get them to take a good in-depth look at themselves in order to tweak, adjust, and release the issues that they personally have in order to change their circumstances. The aim was to help women, instead of deflecting their issues into another direction or more specifically onto men, be the solution to the issues in their own lives. So again ladies, while you may not necessarily be “the problem,” you are most definitely the solution.


No matter how messed up someone else is, or what they did to hurt you, the power and solution still sits in your hand as a woman. If you change how you think and respond to situations in your life appropriately and responsibly, you will undoubtedly change your condition and circumstances. Yet, your MINDSET is a key factor in the equation and YOU must be willing to CHANGE it! In the initial article discussing and outlining some of the mindsets that hinder Black women from relationship success, we outlined the mindsets of Bitter Barbara, Independent Ilene, Religious Rhonda, Demanding Deena, and Loose Lucy. While it is true that you cannot lump all women into generalizations per say, but what is important as a woman to understand is that these are characterizations of mindsets that hinder women from enjoying what could otherwise be a very beautiful experience in their lives.


In this article, I would like to focus on yet another mindset that is prevalent among women desiring a successful relationships and/or marriage today; and that is the mindset emotional hurt aka Hurting Helen.


Who is this woman characterized as Hurting Helen?


Hurting Helen is a woman in a lot of pain, but masks it like a pro. She is mature and has it together or appears to have it together in all other areas of her life, except the relationship department. She is physically very beautiful, tender-hearted, soft with her words, and can be very inspiring when she speaks to others – women that is. But when it comes to engaging in a meaningful conversation with the opposite gender, she is shallow as hell, and she sits at the table expecting a serious man to engage with what she is projecting – a little girl – a silly, un-coachable little girl who is totally out to lunch in knowing how to interact with a real man.


A real man wants a woman; and being a woman does not mean you do not address things that need addressing. Being a woman means handling the business like an adult and not like a temper-tantrum throwing brat. A woman will address a man’s BS, set him straight in a heartbeat, and if the “negro” don’t get it together, leave his azz no questions asked. A woman will also woman up, tell her man how she feels about him, and make him feel good in every area of his life and not be ashamed to “take care of her man.” And a woman damn sure is not going to be ashamed about cooking for her man in both the kitchen and the bedroom.


As Alicia Keys sings in her song, A Woman’s Worth:

Cause a real man, knows a real woman when he sees her

And a real woman knows a real man ain’t afraid to please her

And a real woman knows a real man always comes first

And a real man just can’t deny a woman’s worth


Hurting Helen continues to hurt, because Hurting Helen is not being honest with herself. She consistently flip-flops between “I want a man, I don’t want a man; I want a husband, I don’t want a husband.” Her indecisiveness is not really indecisiveness at all though. It is hurt she’s projecting into the atmosphere because she feels rejected. What she does not get is that men are not rejecting her; they are rejecting the immature behavior. So, in her pain she belts out things like, “I don’t want to be a stupid wife!”


Well, many of us know that this is only an immature expression of hurt and pain, and the same way that little girls behave when they are throwing a temper-tantrum or upset because they are not getting their way. No matter how many times you sit down and try to gently explain to Hurting Helen that she does not have to continue to hurt and that she can actually change the paradigm in her life that results in a pattern of MEN walking away from her after spending only a few hours with her. All she has to do is grow the f$#! up and save her little girlie girl tools for when she’s playing with her girlfriends. All she has to do is go within that amazing queenly queendom and pull out her princess power like a grown azz woman does, and seize the day and her man. Because the truth is, she has it in her – every woman does.


Hurting Helen is an amazing woman, and any man would be blessed to have her as a wife. All she really needs is to learn how to interact on a mature level with men. But, she must be willing to learn, and that is the biggest challenge for Hurting Helen, because she stands in the corner with her arms crossed and her lips poked out screaming, “I’m beautiful, and men should accept me the way I am!” Hurting Helen is not interested in taking responsibility for her own happiness; and therefore completely misses the messages and gentle signals given to her. She is oblivious to the fact that men are indeed accepting her for the way she is, and this is why they walk away. She is beautiful and has many wonderful things to bring to the table. Unfortunately what she is also bringing is the mind of a 5-year old, and that’s the problem. Serious men looking for a wife are not interested in a 5-year old mind in a 40-year old body. They want a woman who has the interpersonal skills, ability, and willingness to engage with them in meaningful, mature conversations, not in some blasé-blasé fanfare sort of way, meaning lacking any real depth – otherwise referred to as “shallow.”


Hurting Helen doesn’t understand that while she may present in a sexy, appealing, full grown female body, and that is why men will initially draw to her, it is her mind in this area of her life that is still very much a little girl, and her thinking and response to situations are childish. To grow in that area is to be coachable or teachable. Yet, herein is another problem. She refuses to look into the proverbial mirror; instead settles on insisting that there is nothing she needs to change, men need to change so that they can see how beautiful she is inside and out. Mind you, she is that! But … “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)


Hurting Helen simply needs to put away her childish things. Now here’s the catch, and this is why she is a little on the fragile side, deep down, she knows that she needs to work on some things and make some changes. The REAL issue is that she is afraid.


Understanding Hurting Helen


Yes Hurting Helen is immature. Yes, she can be described as a little girl in a woman’s body. She simply has not matured in the intimate relationship area of her life. As a result of feeling rejected and not wanted by men, she responds through her pain. No matter how many times she yells about her not wanting a man, she really does and is sensitive to the fact that it seems like they keep walking away from her. Deep down she wonders what is wrong with her.


Hurting Helen is almost desperate for a healthy relationship, but don’t get it twisted, she will not settle. Unfortunately in her childish way of thinking and her feelings of insecurity, she lets opportunity after opportunity pass her by thinking that something is wrong with the man when in fact; it is her manner of relating that is the issue. She truly desires to be married but is afraid.– afraid of being disappointed, afraid of being hurt, and afraid of losing herself. The biggest whammy of all, she is afraid of falling totally and blissfully in love and letting completely go of all the false, limiting beliefs and stereotypes that she’s held for years about men and women who marry them. Why? Because her whole sense of self about being good or bad, about being dependent or independent is wrapped up in these limiting belief systems. Hurting Helen in all of her pain, simply wants to be a good girl, have some measure of independence, loved, and completely adored by her man. In all her pain, she simply wants to be courted properly, not taken advantage of and appreciated for who she is. She has yet to learn how to communicate that in an age-appropriate manner.

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About Atiya

Atiya is the author of From Ordinary to Extraordinary and founder of The Marriage Tree. Over the past 20 years, she has dedicated her life to honing her craft and, indeed, her calling – to empower, build and maximize human potential by affecting profound transformation in people’s attitudes, perspectives and behaviors.