DEAR SUSAN: My shrink told me I'm in a sick relationship and that I won't be healthy unless I leave it. But my girl and I have been a couple forever. She'd wither and die if I ever left, she said. But she's so possessive she won't let anyone else near us, so we have no friends. And frankly, it's a bit boring — just her and me, two against the world, no one allowed to enter our love nest. We own each other. Why is it sick?
DEAR BLOGGER: When so-called love turns into ownership, it morphs into something else: addiction. Possessive, shutting-out-the-world stuff — love addiction — is an unhealthy intake of another's very being. Partners lose their identity. Anyone who tries to enter the twosome is turned away. Love addiction is never fully satisfied, never completely sure. But now that you're exposing the relationship to the sunlight of therapy, use this time for all it's worth. Imagine how nice it would be to partner with a self-confident, healthy woman who welcomes the outside world to share the love you two have nurtured, who is wise enough to befriend good people and welcome them into the healthy relationship she is building with you. Think two years into the future and imagine how stultified your present relationship will be if this addiction is allowed to fester and deepen. The fact that you are working with a therapist is a clear sign of health. Please continue your journey, with my blessing.
DEAR SUSAN: I'm interested in your thoughts about having a married lover.
DEAR BLOGGER: If ever there were a will to fail, it's falling for someone else's spouse. Yes, a married person seems to be a safety zone in the treacherous hills and valleys of single life; after all, they're 100% rejection-proof. Or so it seems. But even if they profess mad love for you, undying devotion till the last day, give a moment's thought to the long, lonely weekends that go with that supposed "love." Think of the furtive phone calls behind their spouse's back, which might be thrilling for them but bring you only guilt and shame. After all, you know the score: you're playing with someone else's father or mother, someone's trusted partner. You're the stealth love, the one in the shadows, invisible yet with emotional needs of your own. So much guilt, so little satisfaction. Such a high price to pay, so many emotions invested. All the while building ... what? It feels exciting at first because it's forbidden, but over time, it doesn't wear well. Give yourself love that comes with a future, with at least some sense of possibility. Stay away from married love unless it's your own.
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