Reader wonders if people can change
BY Ask Amy
Saturday, April 14, 2012
4/14/12 at 5:22 AM
Dear Amy: I recently left a two-year relationship with a man who has anger issues as well as family issues from the past that he never properly dealt with.
We fought for months before I finally ended it.
I left him because our fights started escalating to the point that he would grab or shove me to try to get his point across; alcohol was involved every time this happened. I realized that this was wrong and that I was unhappy, and my friends have commended me for leaving him.
He has since gone to see a counselor to deal with his issues, including his drinking.
I have not spoken to him since I ended the relationship. He has written me several letters telling me his counselor has helped him do some soul-searching.
He says he knows that the way he was reacting to me was wrong, he has gotten his drinking under control, and he wants another chance to show me that things can be better.
I do love this man.
Everything else about the relationship and his personality were a perfect match, but I am afraid that if I give him a chance we will fall back into the bad pattern we had before.
He is a smart person with a great job. For months I encouraged him to talk to someone to deal with his personal issues so we could have a healthy relationship that could possibly lead to marriage. He has finally done so, and that gives me hope.
Even so, I find myself wondering if people ever really change. Do they?
Should I give this person one more chance, or should I move on? - On the Fence
Dear On: If I didn't believe in change, I'd give up on my diet and continuous spiritual quest, retire this column and finally sleep in.
The most prudent way to gauge someone else's change is to trust, but verify. I don't think it is enough for this man to get his drinking under control - he should stop drinking. It will take more than some soul-searching sessions with a counselor to effect permanent change.
At the very least, you can acknowledge his efforts. If you do this, reviewing your troubling relationship history with him and his counselor would be wise.
Dear Amy: When you attend a wedding, should you bring the present with you or send the present in advance? I was told you should only send the present if you are not going to attend the wedding. - Wondering
Dear Wondering: I think it's easiest on the couple if the gift is sent to a home address either in advance of or just after the wedding. Transporting gifts from a reception hall can cause problems.
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