An article about Chris Brown captured my attention recently because of the title, "The Real Reason Everybody Hates Chris... Brown, That Is (It's Not Why You Think)". It was written by Keli Goff, an Author, Commentator, and Contributing Editor at She also appears as a regular guest on MSNBC's Daily Rant, and on March 29, 2011, in her weekly appearance, she urged everyone to stop accepting non-apologies from celebrities and public figures...", why it stopped with them I'm not sure...but you can watch the clip at: if you are curious.

So, what's my beef? Well, it's simple, and it isn't with Ms. Goff, it's more about the widespread misunderstanding of abusive men in general, and what we think we can expect from them. Goff's commentary shows how easily we are all convinced that abusive men understand the depth of the pain and turmoil they create-everyone expects them to behave as we would behave when we do something wrong. We wait for them to get it, to fix their wrongs, and to earn our trust and respect back-and we shouldn't. We expect too much from abusive men and this sets the cycle into play; our expectations perpetuate violence and keep us all stuck from growing forward to a new way of dealing with these destructive guys on the home front and in the media. I would be fine with the misunderstanding about abusers unfolding publicly if it were balanced by a good ol' dose of reality from a person in the know of how these things work, so we could see the whole picture, because victims of abusers also process their take on the bad guys by misunderstanding and underestimating him. I understand what Goff is saying about non-apologies, they are handed out as the norm these days, but "sincere" apologies aren't always what they appear to be either, especially when they come from abusive men.

So, I was compelled to respond to Goff's article on Facebook, which is where it first came to my attention. It had been posted by Women Media Pros who captioned the article with, "Keli Makes Some Great Points", further stirring me up after I read it. Here is my response to their post, and I'd love your comments on Keli's article too:

[The article] by Keli Goff does make points but they are not good ones when it comes to Chris Brown and she is way off base by suggesting that the apology is where the problem is with him. Further, Goff's comment that former fans of Brown "don't hate him because he beat a woman..." is shocking and sad. Seriously? Why not?

I understand and appreciate Goff's disgust with Brown and how he minimizes beating the hell out of Rihanna, and clearly the intention of this article was not to call our attention to how easy it is to get sucked in by such men because or our own hopefulness-but that is exactly what it highlights.

Expectations of Chris Brown and his type simply have to be kept realistic; how they apologize doesn't change who they are. Men like Brown cannot feel what we wish for them to feel. Not everyone deserves nor needs forgiveness-in fact, it is dangerous for some to receive it as it opens the doors for more of the same, as Brown so beautifully wishing for the right apology laced with actual sincerity is dangerous territory with abusive men.

This "one more chance" mentality gets women killed every day; those who encourage and wait for a sincere apology will eventually get exactly what they ask-a "sincere" apology-so sincere you will believe in them all over again, and the cycle will then repeat. These men are masters at delivering what we expect from them so that they can maintain or regain power and control, and how they wish or need to be perceived.

Brown will swap his mask and offer the sincerity Goff is calling for-but nothing in his awareness will have shifted. Victims of domestic violence experience this dilemma all the time, as they wait for the abuser to understand the depth of the pain he has caused, then he finally figures out the right thing to say and the right way to say it, and it seems like he got it, so he gets another chance, but he will never get it. Any apology given is never deeply felt, nor is it felt for long. When we accept an apology in any form from such men, we risk it all for an expectation of normal that can never be realized.

Change for Brown will never be sustained because the change won't actually occur. He feels no remorse for his violent attack on Rihanna, that is clear, but he does feel sorrow for himself, and continues to see himself as a victim, as his new album title, F.A.M.E.=Forgiving All My Enemies, reveals. It's obvious he just doesn't get it. Any change you see in the future will be an illusion. The apology Goff seeks, unfortunately, would only set her up to be sucked backed in.

Author's Bio: 

Teagin Maddox is a Certified Life Coach, Certified Relationship Coach, and the Exclusive Communication Expert on Domestic Violence and Abusive Relationships at She serves as a media consultant and commentator, providing analysis and interpretation of high conflict/destructive relationship cases-from a unique perspective. She delivers powerfully effective communication strategies that help women recognize, avoid, and recover from destructive relationships and teaches dating safety, awareness, and success programs for women of all ages. Learn morea bout her at or follow her on facebook.