Archive for February 17th, 2006

February 17, 2006

Early signs of an unhealthy alliance – avoid intimate relationships with people who —

by Rod Smith

Letters consistently pour in from men and women in unhealthy relationships. I think often of how much pain could be avoided if people were simply willing to see the warning signs before marriage, before children, before hearts harden and before bitterness sets in. Here are some, of course not all, of the early warning signs that a relationship will sour short of a miracle. Although cumbersome, I have used “he/she” on each occasion for neither gender appears to be without guilt when it comes to distorting intimate relationships:

He/she does not respect his or her parents.
He/she lies about “little” things.
He/she is in debt at a young age.
He/she sees people as expendable.
He/she gets angry very quickly with waiters or servers of any kind.
He/she feels entitled to respect he or she has not earned.
He/she is financially, morally, and sexually unfaithful, and appears unconcerned about the importance of personal integrity in his/her life.
He/she opens your mail, snoops in your business, and thinks you should have no secrets between you.
He/she speaks for you and tells you how you “should” feel, think and speak.
He/she tells you that you are stupid and that he or she knows you better than you know yourself.
He/she believes most other people are idiots and often says so.

February 17, 2006

The saddest letter I have received in 5 years….

by Rod Smith

“Sorry to trouble you, I have been hurt so badly I have forgotten how to love. Can you help?” (Letter printed in full from a woman reader).

In several years of writing this column, and consequently receiving thousands of emails with all manner of situations described, your brief letter might be the saddest I have received.

Your growth will begin when you are ready to assess your role in your own hurt condition. Do not think I am blaming you for your own hurt. I am not.

Rather, I am challenging you to see that you did perhaps enter a relationship somewhat blindly. You probably offered too much, too soon, and you probably inappropriately trusted someone without sufficiently searching your own head and heart.

Troubled relationships almost always offer warnings along the way and avoiding these warning signs is often very costly. While you are indeed hurt, I’d suggest you are probably not too damaged to love again.

Before you embark on trying to love again, I’d suggest you take long-leave from intimate relationships for at least a year. In the meantime, send me much more information about what you have endured for it might be that everything I have said thus far, could prove to be totally incorrect.