Dear Annie: I have an ex-boyfriend, and our relationship has been off and on for more than eight years. He has a drug addiction problem, though he is clean for now. During those eight years, he cheated on me all the time.
He is now telling me that he has changed his life and wants me back, which is a pattern for him every time he breaks up with someone. I have taken him back before, and every time, he wants money from me. He also has me constantly doing things for him.
He makes me feel as if it is my fault if something happens to him if I refuse to take him back — that he will start doing drugs again or something else that is harmful to him. I don’t like feeling this way.
My question is, is eight years too long to start over? Can someone change their ways? I was raised to listen to my gut. And my gut is telling me that nothing has changed. — Torn (c) Annie Lane @ Creators.com
Oh, cripe. Having not yet read Annie Lane’s advice, I almost don’t want to. She always picks these easy questions to field because it’s all she’s capable of. “I think you should give your an ex another chance, and give him some more money, too,” said no one ever. [Facepalm.] A trained monkey could write a better advice column than this.
Well, what the heck, let’s go there…
Dear Torn: Always listen to your gut — and your entire body. A lot of times, our body knows something is not right before our mind figures out why. This guy sounds like a loser who thrives on taking advantage of your feelings of guilt, which he creates.
Say no to him, and explain that if, over a long period of time — at least a year or two — he stays clean and sober and still wants you back, you will reconsider. But if he harms himself in the meanwhile, that’s his problem, not yours.
It’s hard to read.
Always listen to your gut — and your entire body. A lot of times, our body knows something is not right before our mind figures out why.
Right, but no one ever argues the opposite: give him another chance! Even though he’s following his obvious patterns, and you have no evidence that he’s improved, everyone deserves a millionth chance. Override your intuition, which is worthless, and be more supportive here. [Groan.]
Here’s an analogy I made up to show how easy it is to give this sort of advice:
Dear Annie: I feel the prettiest when my hair is chin-length, but I think I might want to grow it out to shoulder-length and see how it looks. What do you think? — Hairy
Dear Hairy: Your problem is quite the conundrum, but we should always be willing to take chances in life. A life without risk is a life with nothing ventured. I urge you to grow your hair out! If you don’t like it, you can always get a trim.
[Facepalm.] See? The (pretend) letter writer isn’t saying she wants to go from shoulder-length to chin-length, which could be risky if she doesn’t like it. Rather, she wants to grow her hair out, which carries no risk whatsoever. Geez Louise.
I really think Annie Lane is writing her own letters.