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Not the one


I was talking to a relative the other day. She is seeing a young man who’s been through various addictions, and he is now on the road to wellness. “He’s trying to find himself, and he wants to include me in that,” she said, “I’m not interested.”

I tried to be supportive. “You can’t help fix someone,” I said. But I think it’s a deeper issue. She can’t relate to people except on a superficial level. If they’re not drinking together or having sex, then she would rather be alone. I can understand that; she didn’t have a happy home life with all of her siblings. She was always the target of their abuse, so now she’s very mistrustful of close relationships, especially with men.

What worries me is the possibility that instead of choosing a man who loves her and who wants to care for her, she will instead choose a man who abuses her and neglects her, because that’s what she knows and expects from men.

I don’t think I need to worry, though. From what I’ve observed, she won’t become close enough to someone to form any kind of long-term relationship. Maybe she’ll surprise me.

Maybe not.

  1. 2012-11-27T15:18:46-05:00 15:18

    A relative of my husband’s once asked him how to handle a (then) new relationship. She said all her previous relationships had been awful, so she didn’t know how to handle this one since the guy was so different than all the others she had ever dated. My husband’s advice was to marry this new guy — on the grounds that he’s so different from all the rest she had ever dated. They’ve lived happily ever after (so far). Maybe your relative needs someone to give her that same advice.


    • 2012-11-27T15:26:11-05:00 15:26

      HA! I like that. Good idea. But she’s the kind that does the opposite of what you say. So maybe I should say I disapprove of this guy. That will make her like him more. Hmmm.


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