Dear Aunty Aurora,
I am actually writing this not for myself but my mum. She had me while she was still in secondary school but I have always respected her because for the past 20 years, she has been diligent in providing my needs and giving me an education. The only thing we have always disagreed on is her bad taste in men. I never knew my own father but according to her, they were class mates and he wasn’t matured enough or capable of taking care of us, so they never had anything to do with each other after she got pregnant with me.
Now she is 35 years old and it really hurts me to see her in one bad relationship or another. Most of the men she has been with only want her money. They eventually cheat on her and leave. One even beat her up so badly that she ended up in the hospital. Each time her relationship ends, she would vow never to date anyone like that only for her to bring another man with exactly the same character profile. It hurts seeing her fail like this every time. I know she really wants to be happy but doesn’t know what to do. Please how do I help her.
Most of us have, at some point or another, been in love with someone who wasn’t good for us, and to us. Some have done it once and learned the lesson, some are still doing it and can’t understand why they keep choosing the same pattern; the same bad guy over and over again. It can be very painful to live like that, but often we persist because we don’t see a way out. We get attracted to a new partner hoping it will be different this time around, but they end up treating us badly just as the one before. So why do people do this? Why do we end up in relationship patterns that don’t do us any good? Why do we stay with partners who make us feel miserable, why can’t your mum just get up and leave? It’s because people in such situations don’t believe they can do any better. They pick partners that treat them like doormats because they don’t believe they are worthy of being treated nicely. It’s usually not a conscious choice – often they don’t know they should ask for more love and respect, because they have always been treated this way (in the family, at school, social environment). When they do break up – or their partner breaks up with them, they again go for the same type of person because they don’t think their relationship choices are deliberate in any way. They are either convinced they just have bad luck or believe it’s OK to keep getting attracted to the same type – because they can’t control who they get attracted to. So can you help your mum? Talk to her like a grown up, make her realise that her relationship problem is actually a problem and she can get the help she needs. Also talking to a professional will help pinpoint where her problem stems from and unburden herself to another person who can help her. The moment she realises that she deserves more and should get more from her relationship. Having a child at such a young age might have a hand in the issue but learning to love and respect herself more will help her a lot more. When she treats herself with love, she’ll see there is no reason or need to let anyone else treat her otherwise.
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Dear Aunty Aurora,