At my previous dating service, I had a client named Sherry. She was in her early 40s and recently divorced. Now divorcees can be tough to match up. But guys went mad for her! She was so sweet and beautiful, I never would have imagined that she could fall prey to an unhealthy relationship. I arranged for her to meet with a guy named Charles. When I met with her to ask how the date went, she said Charles was "a nice guy," but that she had met someone else: Roberto. She decided to date Roberto, and I was very happy for her. However, I soon learned Robert was exploiting Sherry.
About two weeks later, I received the first sign that she was in an unhealthy relationship. Sherry called to tell me that she was moving to Mexico with Roberto. After four DUI’s and larceny charges, he was being deported. Then she told me that Roberto had one wife in Mexico and one in the U.S. However, Sherry assured me that Roberto, "really loved her." He explained away his criminal record as a product of racist law enforcement. Plus, she said, no one had ever made her feel this way.
Divorced Sherry was desperate for compliments. This gave Roberto power over her, letting him capitalize on her shortcomings. He told her he loved her. He told her she was beautiful. But if he truly loved her, he would not have continued his relationships with his other wives. His actions showed that she was just another woman to him. I had a feeling her plans to flee the country would fall through; I later discovered that my hunch was right.
This whole fiasco teaches us a vital lesson: actions speak louder than words. This is the key to avoiding an unhealthy relationship. It is easy to talk, but you can tell someone’s real intentions from his or her actions.
Before you commit to someone, observe what they do. You will be able to quickly assess the signs of an unhealthy relationship and whether or not you are being emotionally bamboozled—before moving to Mexico.
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