Saturday, August 25, 2012

All Evidence to the Contrary

What makes people think they can change people? Or maybe it’s that they refuse to see what’s actually happening right in front of them. I started to ask why women do this, but to be fair, I’ve seen men do it, too.

Here’s the situation a friend was telling me about yesterday . . . a young woman we know (let’s call her Ethel) is dating a man, the same man she’s been dating for quite a while. This man has bought a car for her, treats her really well and she’s been very happy in this relationship. Until she met Dirk. Dirk is out with a different girl every night – one of those bad boys who won’t settle down . . . and he knows exactly what to say to get into any girl’s bed – and into Ethel’s head. Whenever Dirk sees Ethel, he’s full of compliments, of how beautiful she is, how smart she is and, evidently, this is exactly what she needs to hear. Now, all of the sudden, Ethel is jeopardizing her steady relationship and came dangerously close to losing her job last week, to chase after Dirk. And the sad thing is, Ethel knows what kind of guy Dirk has been up until now, knows how he runs through women and has been crying to all her friends that she doesn’t understand “why he would tell her all those things (all those lovely compliments) if he didn’t mean them.”

Ethel’s friends sat her down, especially after it looked as though her job was on the line, and had a serious talk with her. Ethel said she understood – that she knew the relationship she had was the one for her and she didn’t want to risk losing it for someone who was never going to be what she needed him to be. But, the next thing they knew, Ethel was sneaking around, avoiding her friends and meeting Dirk in places she knew her friends wouldn’t see her.

And that’s where the story ends, as far as I know it. Now, I’m not Ethel’s best friend, but I do know she’s not a stupid person. If she were on the outside of this situation, looking in, she would probably be appalled at the way she is behaving and the risks she has been taking. She would, more than likely, have some very strong words for someone else doing the things that she’s been doing. But what is it about people – men and women – and our ability to make ourselves believe what we KNOW is not true?

Ethel has to know Dirk is jerking her around. She has seen him run through women like water; she could tell you exactly how he tells women what they want to hear. So you have to ask, how has she allowed herself to be taken in by his line? Does she believe she can change him? Does she think she’s the one girl he’s NOT lying to? Or does she not care if she’s one of many – she’s just going to enjoy the ride as long as it lasts? No, I know that last one isn’t the case . . . she’s cried too many tears over the amount of time he ignores her for that to be a possibility.

So then I have to wonder, are there things in my life that I’m being blind about? Are there things going on, right under my nose, that I should take a good hard look at? Or that I’m lying to myself about? Part of me thinks I should really examine this. And part of me doesn’t want to know.

Pepper says I really need to rethink the dog biscuit situation (as in she doesn’t get enough) – but then she would, wouldn’t she?

1 comment:

  1. Good blog. This story happens so often... smart women, foolish choices. I've made some foolish choices myself. Who knows why. Maybe it's the challenge, or the recklessness that make these destructive relationships so addictive. The thrills and chills seem to out weight the reliable, sensible, predictably good choices. Maybe that's the reason... some people just crave excitement, and are bored with security. Sad but true. Your friend is getting a lot of attention because of her bad choices... maybe her friends just need to ignore her drama for a while, the way a enabler needs to stop supporting an alcoholic.


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