What if a friend, daughter, sister or someone else you cared for was in trouble, but in denial? If you can see symptoms that there is a problem, like wrong behavior, like bruises occuring often, like absenses from work...would you risk your relationship to try to help.? If the person is hiding the truth, even from you, how do you find out you are right or wrong? Would you rather be wrong and not have that relationship anymore, or be right and just let the pain continue in silence? Another part to the question...how would you deal with their anger when you bring up a sensitive subject?
Thank you all for your input, I have her living here with me right now, as he is out of town, she is deffinately in denial, talks with him on the phone sometimes, refuses to at other times, so back and forth, refuses to see a professional doctor or counselor, so it's day by day. He is quite older than she is, she's 19 yrs. very sheltered in her life, ran away to be with him, he is a famous Trainer, muscles everywhere and exceptionally handsome. He is very influencial over her, as absolutely beautiful as she is, she is afraid he will cheat on her...while she was in Hawaii for two weeks he had his old fiancee move in with him, then just ended it when she got back...he's so...arrrggh! But she has changed from a confident High School girl to a clingy mess...it's so hard when she changes her story about the bruises...first she said the dog jumped up and hit her in the chin bone with his head, then she told her sister it happened while she has been learning kickboxing, from...you guessed it...her boyfriend... trainer to the Stars, I doubt they leave their sessions with bruises!
Sometimes the test of a relationship, which I trust is based on a fairly deep-seated friendship, is to speak 'your' truth about what you have observed. It seems that we are talking about some form of family violence. Not something that can be overlooked if we truly care and want to uphold what's morally right and, incidentally, the law on spousal abuse. For I think that speaking the truth in kindness proves you care enough to say what you feel pressed to say.
And so it's important to examine our own motives for telling this person what they likely don't want to hear, and if we are clear about our intentions, then go for it...
As for any anger they may reveal after we have risked, how to deal with it? The intensity of their reaction/response will reveal how well they are in terms of personal maturity, that is, for instance,in being able to cleanly listen and reply, etc. And therefore gives you clues on how to proceed.
The tricky part for you, however, is to stay focussed, and unshaken by their anger, or, for that matter, their tears or appeals about the "love" in that relationship. It's my conviction that you will have a lame puppy on your hands if what appears to be physical abuse has been going on for a long time. So you will possibly get a wild ride from revealing your care. It's your challenge to keep it together for yourself, and for her...
when I saw it happening to a friend, I asked another mutual friend to observe and get closer to it with me. Once the mutual friend was satisfied it was indeed that, we Both took her out and cornerd her. Did it that way and opend it up. she got mad at first but could not direct it at any one of us directly, because two people saw it, and she finally agreed. She was scared and hurt, so then we just keep assuring we were both there for her, and we interveine'd to help her. it was hard, but we did it.
it did not work perfect, but we are all still best of friends. You just never know I guess.
You only have to ask yourself how would you deal with her being hurt or worse yet killed and you did nothing. Not judging you but that is what I would ask myself.
For me, if you really care for that person, tell him/her the truth. Truth hurts, yes, but it will help them in the end. Maybe you can tell them in a nice way, the most moderate way......If you tried your best to help and it didnt work, at least you have tried your best....if you didnt help and tried at all, you might have a guilty feeling later on, you never know, they might just listen to what you say if they feel that you are totally concern and you really do care...
We have made a bit of progress as you have read above, but in three weeks my daughter has been back and forth and still in denial. It was a blessing to have her checked out by a doctor however....
if you do nothing, the person would think you don't care. if you do something, they might get mad at you but at least they know you care and you create an open window to them so that you can help them when they finally wake up.
to deal with their anger, which is understandable, i would just back down a bit and try to get them to open up a little...show them that i am listening without judging. their emotions would be high and they feel alone, so even if they say they don't want you involved, they probably do on some level.
I saw your question and want to lend a thought.
With understanding of their problem, you could possibly help them.
And, I say that, first off because it is true- secondly, the question becomes- do they want your help?
You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
You can pick a person, how ever, many times they fall. After a while, it becomes a support weight for that person, because they know you'll be there to pick them up.
So, I guess what I am saying, is to leave it alone. Not mention, it at all. You cannot stop someone from destroying their own life(even if they don't see it coming).
They need to fall down and get up on their own two feet. By doing that, they grow as an individual.
The scariest part of all it, is how do you deal with the heartache of doing nothing.
On that note....I'll finish.
I hope I helped.
I think people, particularly relatives are duty bound to help. I have been on the other side of the coin and luckily I was strong enough to walk away from the new marriage. It is simple...What happens if the abuse ends her life? It very really could happen. There is no right or wrong for consideration. Life goes on, but at least you will not have to deal with your own guilt over your inaction. If your relationship suffers, then it was going to suffer over this or some other incident anyway.
I have had friends in such situations and would tell stories in the 3rd person and ask what they would do makes them think and maybe realize their own situation but also got to build up their own self-esteem tough task and got to tread carefully but worked with my friend. Also had a sister in that situation, took a few times leaving n going back but the counsellor said she was practicing but eventually she got herself out too.
I think sharing is the best solution here and nothing else.
I think if you're so sure your friend's in trouble, you better do the right thing and do something bout it...it's better to risk your relationship than to risk his life. And if he's really your friend he'll understand in the end why you did that...
The situation you are describing here appears to be that of a woman in an abusive relationship. I work to reeducate men who have entered the justice system as a result of domestic violence and authored a book “How To Avoid Bad Relationships”. My advice would be to risk losing the relationship to prevent her from losing her life.
Abusive relationships only get worse NEVER better. Eventually the man will declare that he is going to kill her. Once he says this, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. The longer she remains in the relationship, the more likely this will be the result.
That said, trying to help a woman escape abuse is akin to trying to help a person escape drug addiction. Until the person really wants to get out there is nothing anyone can really do to help them. The best you can do at this point is plant the seeds in her mind of what she needs to do. Let her know that she is not hiding anything. Show her where she can go for help. Then pray that others will come along to water the seeds you have sown and that GOD will provide the increase as well as the protection in the interim.
With most things in life I'm a big fan of not making guesses about what's going on, and waiting until someone says something first. Since you mentioned bruises, though, I'm guessing you're thinking someone is being physically abused. I don't think anyone can or should stand by and say nothing if that's the case. It's too dangerous much of the time. There's no doubt about it it's a sensitive, tricky, situation; but I think keeping a couple of things in mind may possibly offer some idea, at least, about how not to approach the topic.
People often say nothing because they believe the abuse won't happen again, or believe the relationship will improve "once the partner is no longer under such stress". Often, women don't want family members/friends to think less of the partner if it turns out to be temporary (which many think it may be). Especially if the partner is well liked by family and friends, girlfriends/wives often don't want that "otherwise nice" partner to be hated. Based on this, I think I may go into the discussion with the message, "I know he's under a lot of stress.." (or "I know he is suffering with his mental health problems) (and then approach the "meat" of the discussion).
Another reason some women don't tell is they are humiliated at not being able to stop what's going on themselves. Not all girls/women have low self-esteem. It is now understood that abusers are often attracted to strong women with high self-esteem (presumably because such women are not needy, and emotionally well adjusted women are actually often likely to think, "I can't expect him to be perfect. I understand that he has 'issues'"). As a result, they may try to be "understanding" longer than someone else may be. For a strong woman who has built a lot of her self-esteem on how effective and capable a person she is, being helpless when being victimized; and not being able to stop it; can feel humiliating. Being humiliated during the actual abuse (besides being hurt) is bad enough, but sharing that less obvious humiliation of not being able to stop it, or imagining someone else conjuring up images of the abuse, itself; can make some women feel as if they can't "take on" yet more humiliation. When someone is "acting like the enemy", and when he gets the upper hand and manages to cause harm/hurt; it can be difficult to admit that this person who "aimed to win" did, in fact, "win". Not wanting to admit that this person has managed to "win" and hurt her, victims of abuse may want to retain "at least this much" of their dignity. Abused women can sometimes have the thinking, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but ugly names and you will not hurt the me that is inside." Admitting abuse can not only just be admitting being hurt (beyond physical) and having the abuser "win"; but there can also be concerns that people won't understand how "generally ok" she still is or won't understand other aspects of the situation. Even if a woman is willing to be perceived as "a little damaged", she may not want to have to deal with what she sees as others "over-estimating" how damaged she "must be".
Other than understanding that this kind of thinking can go on, I don't think you can worry about any anger the individual may have. It's better to be a relative/friend who says, "You can't be living with this," than one who says, "Oh, no - I don't think he's all that bad," or "You need to figure a way to work out this problem and save your relationship." Maybe approaching the discussion with some story or reference to the way "we all" can feel humiliated/embarrassed if we can't "just put a stop" something "when we're usually so capable" may be a way to break the ice.
Most important, looking online to find reputable sites that advise friends/family members how to deal with it when they suspect abuse is a good idea. Most of them offer similar ideas on how to approach things, but checking several is probably a good idea. It may be true that there's only so much you can, but that doesn't mean not doing everything you can do.
I can only speak for me
I have seen this all too often, as well as been there myself. So I can tell you from my own experience and I speak for nobody else out there, that they are not lying to you per say, they are lying to themselves.
It is never easy to admit to yourself-or anybody else that you are a battered wife/girl friend/ fiancee or what have you because that makes women reluctant to say anything, ask for help, because that means leaving the abuser, calling the cops, having him arrested, filing charges, going to a battered womens shelter, filing a restraining order or your best bet, a PFA (if it has not yet been done).
Then there is the prospect of tomorrow,, and the next day. Living one day at a time, constantly afraid 'what if?', what's next?
I don't think I could sit idly by and do or say nothing and risk going to her funeral, I don't think I could live with myself.
Then again,,, if I was to lose that friendship and I was right, didn't I fail her just the same??? I mean the less people who are in her support group, the more compelled she is going to stay.
But yes, to answer your question, I would rather not have her friendship and be wrong and everything to turn out for her, for the better, than I would be right about it friendship or no friendship.
NO WOMAN DESERVES TO BE BEATEN UP BY HER HUSBAND OR ANY MAN AND NO WOMAN SHOULD EVER BE HIT AND THEN MADE TO FEEL IT IS HER FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I Will write more in a personal message.
I risk it all in the name of right and wrong ....been there..........done that ..........sacrificed everything to help someone, and then someone else and someone else and started over myself a few times because of it .........don't regret it .........and will do it again if the situation arises but, thats just me
If you feel it's the right thing to do, then go for it!
Thank you for your sincerity on this issue, I don't knowif you read further but the person I am dying to help is my 19 year old daughter, she may take off on me and not let me know where she is, this is why I am so uncertain, she is going through changes right now that I don't understand, I don't want to leave her with nowhere to turn if she is being abused by her boyfriend.
Deborah, I have been that daughter as well as that mother...please do anything you can to prevent that child from living a life filled with pain. My mother didn't know how to handle me as a teenager, not that any of my problems were her fault, but I wound up following a very rocky road for 30+ years. I've managed to pull my life together, now that I'm in my 40's, but now I'm trying to save my daughter from following a similar path. And I plan on fighting it every step of the way.
You would be doing me a great service to let me know what works for you and what has not? I am just showing her acceptance and love, rational conversation brings no response.
let's keep a dialog going on this Wendy, I feel we could really help each other, a sad journey it is, but maybe we will have victory over it...
Wendi, Thank you for your honesty, I will do all I can, I just found out his full name this week when she slept here for a night, we took her to the emergency room to be checked out, she has a terrible infection in her throat and swollen glands the size of golf balls. We contacted her physician first and explained all of our concerns and used the illness to get her in to the doctor. (Talk about doing anything to get her help)
I actually went through her wallet, she left it out on my kitchen table, and there it was, a card with his full name and past address before he move here. She'd hate me if she knew I searched her wallet, but maybe subconciously she left it out for me to see...I am doing things out of my own character...
if you have chosen to deal with an individual who prefers to be lied to because they themselves have a tendancy of telling tales, no! but if you are dealing with a mature understanding considerate individual i don't see the harm that it would bring!
vonda G. nelson
Decide what you are willing to do to help, then offer it once and let it go. If you are a close friend she may take you up on it. If not, at least you've planted the seed.
I was in an abusive situation once and I left when one of my kids pointed out that if they were in the same position I'd advise them to leave. Once I saw that, it woke me up and I left. But she might not be ready. All you can do is offer what you can and then wait.
From all of the above advice I am assuming you will have a notion of how you are going deal with your distressing situation. One final thing I would do when she leaves you and returns to him, as she may very well do, is, tell her you love her...Beneath all anger lies fear and inside she is probably very frightened...remind her of your love. I would say to my girl....
I love you, no matter what ever happens in your life know that I love you, there is nothing you could ever tell me, that would stop me from loving you, and If you need me, I am here, I'm your Mum and that will never change.
I agree ultimately it is her choice.The fact that she does not speak to him at times shows that she realizes he is detrimental to her well being, but for whatever the reason-she loves him, poor self-esteem, thinking he will change she cannot make the necessary break from this relationship. She is the only one who can utlimately make this decision. You should talk to her and let her know that you are aware of the abuse and that you are there for her to help her should she ever need help. And you should not say if or when she decides to leave him. You have to be careful of not rejecting the person (her boyfriend) but the behavior, the words you use can push her further into her boyfriends arms and away from your supportive ones.
We took her to the doctor last week, he gave her antibiotics for her infection and swollen glands, we talked in advance so I didn't have tp tell him anything in front of her...he did examine her, her bruising, she told him she and her boyfriend are kick-boxing and the doctor told her men have no business mixing kickboxing with women, they are too strong to kick box with women, he doesn't know this boyfriend is a muscular professional trainer for movie actors in the Sci-fi business, I'd say alot stronger than the average male. Also the big bruise on her jawbone had healed before we got her in to see the doctor, he only observed some minor bruising...
Thank you Wendy and BloodnLatex, Just to update you, she has moved out of our home again and is staying with him, she calls and stops but will not talk about it, we just talk about other things...
it's quite obvious this male is a bad influence on your daughter. She is making decisions that she feels is in his favor, of course to please him, and does not realize her decisions are not in her favor. I wish you the best with your daughter. You have to believe as well as stay in her corner for that is your child and you have to stand with her to the end, regardless of who she accepts in her life for whatever reason
Thank you reeltaulk, I know you understand what is happening here, I am with you on the being in her corner and I truly pray this isn't happening to her because she believes she deserves it, no one deserves to be hurt by another person. I believe she is my sweet daughter and she'll come through this with support. I appreciate your encouragement.
I have a daughter, very strong willed. I always remind her how beautiful and smart she is and to absolutely take no guff from anybody, never grovel or snivel. Life is hers to make it as she wishes. She also has brothers hovering about though to scare any guy, they are all 6' + and they send the same message between each other.
It is difficult to get a child to believe in themselves but jus show her you believe in her and share your inner dream of what you picture in your mind, how her life is going to be. Compliment on her strengths and add we all have weaknesses n guys that are sexually promiscuous are infamous for having every STD known to man (no offence gents)
If you cannot tell a 'friend' the truth, the friendship is simply an illusion.
Jonathan, friendships are complex, add to that she is my nineteen yr old daughter, part woman/part child...in trouble, possibly being beaten by her handsome, influential boyfriend...
try again...what part of this is an illusion to you my friend?
Wow...if I knew then what I know now. A single mother who raised two children and worked hard to teach morals and values. I didn't want my daughter to walk down the same roads as I.
She did. She didn't notice my struggles and didn't head my advice and her dreams were put on the back burner, she married a man she does not love and lives a life of total unhappiness. Her words by the way and my observations confirm it.
I guess my point is that a parent can talk and show and live the situation and still not be able to get a teen or young adult to understand the RT. turn at the fork is not the right way. They just do not listen to their mother.
Your situation is a much more serious situation than my story and I understand the fears of your daughter just picking up and leaving...
You have given her a safe place and letting her know that your door is always open to her is allowing her to take the risks. I know that is a "tough love" statement, however it is a true statement.
My daughter came to me after and told me that she felt trapped and that she had no choices...why? She didn't want to hurt "HIS" feelings, he wanted the baby and he wanted to marry her, she couldn't say NO!
How is he making her feel? What is he telling her to convince her that he can give her a better life? Is he threatening to hurt you or her other family members? Is she feeling as if she has no choices?
Getting her to open up about how he makes her feel may be a way for you to get in there and convince her that love does not hurt. Maybe you can take her to a support group that supports women of Abusive Relationships and they can talk to her about the life of an abused wife. Rent the movie the Burning Bed, it only gets worse and at 19, she is much to young to have the experience of what she is going to go through.
I wish you the best and have added you and your daughter to our prayer circle to give you strength and keep your daughter safe.
My daughter read your post and believes if you can get your daughter to open up about how he makes her feel and she probably wont be honest at first, just keep asking, you will have a better chance of getting her away from him...this from my 26 year old!
Thank you sincerely, Caraval, your concern and input is so valuable to me, your prayer circle restoring the flame into my heart, thanks for your daughters' wisdom as well, please help me to "tie a knot in the rope" and grip strongly so I can be there to hold my daughter up when her time comes...she must be the one who is ready to be brave...help me endur the pain as we wait for her?
Never heard from you after I replied to your question and missed you around the forums. How are you?
First things first Laura, beautiful photo! I really love it!
Sorry I missed you too, I have had my daughter here often and focused on her needs, to the doctors' etc, if you may have read my updates...I didn't want her to catch me on the forums and see what I have been seeking help for, she is not ready for such a blunt realization...I know this is a problem many women share, but my daughter is still in denial...I hope you understand. My husband is at a point of anger toward the young man, I am still hoping to find a way to lure her into a different living situation...even if it's not home...something she could deal with...anything but this!
Unfortunately home is probably where she will be safest. When my daughter went through a similar situation we got an interdict against the guy and it still stands today.
This man is the father of my granddaughter and he still has contact with his daughter ( she is 5 years old now). I have never and hopefully will never see him again.
I know of an occasion where my daughter took her baby, then only two or three months old and locked the bathroom door. She then climbed into the empty bath and lay there out of fear that the man would shoot her. He was ranting and raving outside the door and he was armed.
Terrible things happen when one of the people in the relationship is unstable. I hope and pray that you get her away from this man in time.
I went to my daughters flat one day, with a removal vehicle on the way and just told her that if she does not come with me I will call the authorities in and have her child taken away from her. This hurt her terribly and I think she still feels hurt that I could say something like that but I did. and I got her to come home - with her baby. It is now five years later and she can not thank me enough for getting her out of there.
I really hope you can help your daughter.
I can understand why having the child to care for would help your daughter make the right choices when she had your support,
I am greatful she is doing well with you now.
I pray my girl will make right decisions before she ends up with a child from him...she is sooo beautiful inside and out...it would be a loss for her to settle for someone who does not adore her...sorry a mothers' heart...why won't children benefit from the mistakes of others? I can't get her to understand my mistakes caused me unneccesary pain, it's as if they must experience it for themselves, I hope I can help her too, thankyou, Laura.
Thank you everyone for your sugestions and concern, this is a journey I wish no one had to make, but having you all as support is making such a difference. Mostly I try to keep upbeat and focussed on other things, saving energy for when she is around so I can give her my best attention as a mother.
Can I point out something?
As I read through some of posts, and no I'm not attacking anyone.
I've notice a trend.
I've come to understand that there is a young lady, possibly being abused, by her boyfriend and she is living with him?
If that is the case, it presents a bigger problem and uncovers a question not asked?
How violent is he? I understand bruising, but and I am not making any excuses for his actions, but how physical is he really?
What is level is ego at? Because, this can determine whether or not, you can break the connection.
If she is not living him, but also not at home, then it could much easier to get her to open up? Because he is hovering as much, as he would be, if she what living with him.
I would think in either case....Will he become physical with you? Would only be the next logical question.
Now, depending how high his ego actually is? You could have a problem, if you mess, with what he might consider property?
That could be a real sticky situation. If he feels you're threatening his control over her? He might strike at you? And, it could be harder than you might think?
People are unpredictable. Men especially, because most are power-hungry control freaks, who want women for what they want them for and when they are done casts them aside, as if they didn't matter.
Yes, I am male. However, I don't hit women.
Women are remarkable, compared to men. Men are so easily fooled, like a fool and his money are soon parted.
Women don't get swayed as easily. Because they pay attention and most men don't bother....they can barely keep eyes off the body.
Well, I guess I don't have anything else, except keep up reviewing all options.
1) She does live with him but stays with us often
2) We got her to the doctor last week, but would not return for follow up today.
3) He has a very large ego as he is a training for famous movie stars in the Sci-Fi industry
4) He is 25 and he asked her out for her 18th birthday, hasn't let her out of his sight since, been over a year
5) She is beautiful , accomplished, and has a loving family, don't understand her lack of self-esteem, maybe he broke her down some how?
Well, I've been around a lot women who have had abusive(verbally, mostly), and I know they can have self-esteem issues, and in her case....I am not sure it's a self-esteem.
Without seeing the signs myself, it is hard to judge.
Not to put a damper on the topic, but what if?
The bruising was from something other than abuse?
What if she wants to keep it private? Maybe sexual?
It's just an option. You can never tell.
She hasn't had any broken bones or so-called "accidents"?
Or you haven't asked about the bruises yet and that's more to the point why your seeking input?
I know, talk a lot. I've got an active mind. It gets me into trouble sometimes.
I digress, I would, if you see an open bruise, ask? There is not harm asking about something that is in the open.
Like what did you do? If she shies away or don't want to talk about. Then revisit it another time.
If you accidently walk into her room or see marks on her body, which wouldn't normally be noticed. Most men like to hide their handy work. Then, I'd approach it differently.
Again, I would ask? But, this time I would emphasis how much your love her and you support whatever decision she makes, but you have to talk.
If she vehemently denies anything is happening, and I mean quick-jump the gun response....then she is really scared. The only she would jump the gun, so loudly, is because someone else has noticed and approached her about it.
And, her reaction to you wanting to talk, right then and there, she might feel trapped.
Example: You enter her room, she happens to be getting ready for bed. She is wearing a robe and you see a large dark bruise on her thigh. You ask her about it.
If she was sitting, she won't be after you ask. She'll get jittery and not want to talk about. She even might fiddling with something....showing you she is not trying to think about what you had asked.
I know this is a bit much. But, I think you get the point.
And, if I've said too much, then I apologize.
I've spent my entire life, watching people and how they interact with one another. Just to watch the subtle nuances.
When a man in bar walks over to women, and begins a conversation. I pay attention to both, to see her reaction and to assess his intention, which all boils down to hands, face and words.
I've learned to tell who is a player(both sexes).
I've never learned to stay out of it tho. I once told a girl that she was being played, and she was to keep her ears and eyes open.
She later came up to me and said thank you.
I hope I am helping.
Of coarse you are helping Cagsil, I really appreciate your thoughts, I will tell you three weeks ago she was avoiding us, promising to come over then not showing up, when she did finally, she had a large black & blue, purple and green on her jawbone, she is a bit thin, but muscular, even though it was old it showed, also last week she came in crying hysterically but wouldn't talk for two hours or more, the next morning she acted like it never happened and my youngest, 15 yrs old saw bruises like finger prints up and down her arms. I never heard my daughter cry like that and my husband was so upset and confused, so when she got this terrible infection, we took her to the doctor and let him know in advance that we were coming and what we suspected. The doctor talked to her then re-examined her and spoke in private with my husband, he told my husband that he stressed to our daughter (She said she had been kickboxing with this guy - muscular, professional trainer, how would he hurt her like that by accident), the doc told her no man should kick-box with a girl, he out weighs her and too powerful, so she said ok.........then today she was scheduled for a follow up and wouldn't go.
Then, I would leave it as is for now.
I've known some women who like to fight with men.
Some can take a punch with the best of them, not that I would known. But, I've seen cold-cock some guy in a bar.
I laughed, because she dropped in one shot.
If she is into kick-boxing, I'd suggest she be more careful.
Even a slip from horsing around, in that manner, can result in broken bones.
But, I'd keep an eye on it. Monitor it from not too far away, but close enough. If there isn't anything going on....and you nag, per se.
Then, that could turn into the problem you don't want to risk...losing your daughter.
If she says it's nothing for now, but be careful.
I'd know if it was nothing because she'd be givin me a play by play description of how it all happened and when she did well, when he did well, she's very athletic, and loves to talk about it, here she says, "don't worry about it mom," "I am handling it" and one time..."He's the good one, sometimes I..." shut me down on that!
This is not her typical behavior, that's why we took her to the doctor.
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