Can things ever be the same once a relationship reaches the point of physical violence? Is it ultimately possible to forgive and/or forget a kind of human ugliness that ends in a hospital visit?
Maybe these are questions Rihanna is considering today, just a few days in to her reconciliation with Chris Brown. Brown stands accused (if not formally by police, then by the rest of the free world) of beating Rihanna until she was bloodied and bruised following a Grammy party in February.
And until today, hepped up on TMZ reports and leaked pictures, we knew how to feel about it all (even though neither Brown nor Rihanna have officially addressed the incident and, at this point, Brown has only been charged with making criminal threats). Brown was lower than dirt and watching his once promising career trajectory flatline. Rihanna, the bigger star of the two anyway, was the victim and conventional wisdom plotted her next moves as 1. Get help and recover, 2. Do the big interview with Oprah or Barbara Walters and, ultimately 3. Become a powerful voice for domestic abuse awareness.
Instead, Rihanna defied logic over the weekend by reuniting with Brown. And no matter how confusing that is for me, I cringe to think of the mixed message it could be sending to other young people in similar circumstances.
A source told People mag, "Chris is reflective and saddened about what happened, he is really happy to be with the woman he loves."
And I don't doubt Brown's sincerity. After all, his career hangs in the balance. But neither do I trust these two -- Rihanna is 21, Brown 19 -- to steer themselves back onto a healthy course. Last week Brown was spotted attending anger management classes and has said he will seek counseling. For her part, Rihanna's only statement thus far has been to say that she was appreciative of "the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time."
Last week, one source claiming to be close to the couple told the New York Daily News that, "Rihanna is temperamental, too. They're both too hot-headed for their own good." Two psychologists interviewed by the New York Post say it is classic behavior for a victim of domestic abuse to return to the abuser.
But can Rihanna and Brown turn their relationship around? Vote in today's poll, then share your thoughts below in the comments section.