I’ll never forget when a close friend asked me, “Do you realize you always make excuses for her behavior?” Suddenly my mental fog lifted. He was absolutely right and I’d never looked at it that way. It was a moment that changed my life and led to me ending the relationship.
Years later I told my friend how helpful his “mirror” perspective had been and his reaction was, “I said that to you? I’m so sorry!” I laughed and told him to never, ever apologize and never hold back. We can sometimes get caught in very dark places without knowing it. I’m forever grateful he risked our friendship to show me the way out.On holding the parental tongue:
If you raised them, they know how you feel about their choices before you even say it. It won’t change the outcome and definitely won’t enhance the relationship. Share your feelings with a close friend and leave it alone. If things work out for them, hooray!
If not, they’ll figure it out. So zip it.On breaking free from a parent who wants grown children to stay in the nest:
My mother warned my sister that she might have immoral roommates who drank and used drugs and slept with men if she moved out. My sister needed a push from the nest and my mother instead encouraged her fear of everything.
My sister did not date, she never married and she now has no close female friends, as my mother disapproved of everyone. My sister’s 61 and is still living at home with my 86-year-old, semi-invalid mother. Young people under this kind of pressure need to grab their own lives while they still can.On the burden of being the “bad guy”:
I finally emailed my (perfectly sweet but quite young) ex and apologized. His response spoke volumes about grace. He said, “You taught me that I was worth loving and I’d never known that before.”
We are important in each other’s lives in ways we don’t comprehend.