I avoid a family member – are there exceptions?

by Rod Smith

“I found this morning’s column (December 22, 2010) very appropriate to my situation. I have had a strained relationship with a family member by marriage. We hardly have any contact now, and to be honest, I find that this works for me. Life seems less stressful than it used to be. I realise that I am doing exactly the opposite of what you suggest. The woman has been diagnosed a severe emotional and psychological condition and has been physically violent in the past if any of us ever stood up to her, and I do not want that again. Are there occasions where avoidance really is the best option?” (Edited)

Attraction is only enduringly poss

Of course there are exceptions

Of course there are exceptions – there usually are. No one is expected to reconcile (this is different from offering forgiveness) in any relationship where there has been violence of any kind (especially sexual).

I would suggest that what you have termed avoidance may be re-framed as being acts of both self-preservation and wisdom. A quick aside: remember that reconciliation takes at least two persons while forgiveness takes only one.

The Smiths (my sons Thulani and Nathanael and I) in cold and snowbound Indianapolis wish you an extravagant and safe Christmas.

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