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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 11:17 AM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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Firstly, you make some very astute observations and arguments. I greatly enjoyed reading your post.

Go here to read about the aforementioned work by Campbell and Manning

Where microaggressions really come from: A sociological account | The Righteous Mind

This is a link to the full work as well:

Microaggression and Moral Cultures | Jason Manning and Bradley Campbell - Academia.edu


Thank you. I've enjoyed our discourse as well. I particularly relate to your assertion that unforgivable is making a commitment to future or continued emotional trauma. Whether we label our decision not to allow a past hurt any more head space as forgiveness or simply letting go, it is a useful skill to have and to teach.

I found the paper last night and began reading it. It certainly does seem to point the finger at a lack of coping skills combined with a drive to be a victim. But I also found it revealing that the helicoptered young adults, who grew up having Mommy and Daddy fight their battles for them are now dropping off their slights and hurts with another set of authority figures. I have a nephew who has wrapped himself so tightly into his "I'm a victim" flag I have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut. He was absolutely helicoptered and had every second of every day tightly managed and controlled and now at 21 the kid can't deal with anything.

Thank you so much for broadening my horizons.


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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 12:09 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

Couples face the same challenges they always have, even though they take different forms. Do relationships fall apart more easily now? The vulnerable ones do, yes. The anchoring force of societal shame has largely been removed from marriage, so weak marriages do tend to die more easily.

There's a positive flipside to this however. While people have less problems with "airing their laundry", part and parcel to that is a greater exchange of ideas and information. People now have access to tools, books and information they can use to improve their marriage. So for the people that are motivated enough to try to save their marriage, there is more help now than there ever has been. People don't have to be held together by shame anymore--they actually have a chance to be happy.

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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 02:50 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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Thank you. I've enjoyed our discourse as well. I particularly relate to your assertion that unforgivable is making a commitment to future or continued emotional trauma. Whether we label our decision not to allow a past hurt any more head space as forgiveness or simply letting go, it is a useful skill to have and to teach.

I found the paper last night and began reading it. It certainly does seem to point the finger at a lack of coping skills combined with a drive to be a victim. But I also found it revealing that the helicoptered young adults, who grew up having Mommy and Daddy fight their battles for them are now dropping off their slights and hurts with another set of authority figures. I have a nephew who has wrapped himself so tightly into his "I'm a victim" flag I have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut. He was absolutely helicoptered and had every second of every day tightly managed and controlled and now at 21 the kid can't deal with anything.

Thank you so much for broadening my horizons.
I think it is hard to argue with the assertions made, especially considering punishment of bullying is on the rise and bullying is not declining.

Adults are the ones fostering and enabling this mindset. I take it one step further and apply it to relationships. Just consider that emotional violence is the one thing that does not have to hurt. A physical act of aggression will always do damage, but a word does not have to. In relationships, increasing emotional intelligence and personal responsibility increases relational success and engenders heightened levels of intimacy. We often hear that XYZ act should hurt one's feelings or be grounds for divorce. I think that logic is unfortunate, as it is a commitment to unhappiness. We should commit to happiness, whether or not a relationship succeeds.

A lot of my focus is on handling or communicating with "victims". As much of the emotional violence comes from an individual that already feels victimized. It is amazing how easily and quickly a bully (in school, workplace or relatonships) can be disempowered.


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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 03:48 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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While I realize that the challenges couples face today are much different than they were 20 years ago, sometimes it feels like modern day relationships fall apart much easier.

What do you feel is the reason for that? Social media? Life styles that have become far too busy?

Do we simply give up too easily?
As always, it's about choices. The more choices you have, the more giving up or just not putting up with as much, looks better. The choices today are better than they have been in the past. There are support groups for all manner of issues, whether real or invented and distorted. There are many ways to get validation for almost anything we choose to do. Someone is bound to offer a shoulder to cry on and a way out.

So, it comes down to internal forces, intestinal fortitude, character, morals, or whatever you want to call them. It isn't easy, but it is easy to find someone to say, "Aw, I'm so sorry. Give me a hug. That feels great. Tell me what they did? I know how to make them pay. You're so lovely. Etc."

Today, there are more challenges with increasing ways to communicate privately. We will do many things in private that we won't do in public. That's always been true, but there are many more ways we can find privacy or maybe privacy and anonymity.

I think life is more complicated today.

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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 04:19 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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We need to forgive to end the emotional trauma that a past hurt caused us. We aren't letting the perpetrator off the hook; we are doing it for ourselves. That said, relationships can move beyond tough moments of they choose to learn from mistakes and live in the moment.

when we say that something is unforgivable, we are making a future commitment to emotional trauma. The worst thing we can do is keep that pain with us. The perpetrator wins if we do so, but actually loses if we forgive and move on.
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I think we do punish ourselves, but is it only forgiveness, or is it something else? I see forgiveness without understanding, explanation, nor an apology, as acceptance and patronization. I think it borders on arrogance. I'm not sure if I disagree, or just don't understand well enough.

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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 07:31 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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I see it as going from suffering in silence to suffering in exposure. Instead of individuals dealing with relational problems between partners, they are now aired to friends, family and social media. Not only do the individuals that are publicly voicing their problems divorce themselves of responsibility, they also accept the "advice" from others, which is typically slanted towards refusal of forgiveness.



I disagree that people don't walk out over flimsy or temporary problems. This over-exposure of problems actually escalates and blows them out of proportion. Small problems become big problems when the 'victim' has moral support from many others on their side. Campbell and Manning's Microaggression and Moral Cultures explains a lot of this behavior, although it wasn't targeted for romantic relationships.



In fact, we are now in the era of self-expressive marriages, or all-or-nothing marriages. These arrangements are composed of individuals that ask "what am I going to get out of this relationship" instead of (principally) "what can I put into this relationship".



As was hinted at first, we are moving towards a more unforgivable stance to perceived acts of emotional aggression. This means that the 'victim' will or must experience emotional trauma, as refusing to forgive results in a permanent emotional wound. We left behind the "stay together no matter what" arrangements (thank goodness) but seem to have forgotten to take commitment and forgiveness with us into our new arrangements.



Yes, relationships fall apart easier these days. Many relationships that can become totally blissful are discarded as if they were trash. Much of the fault is on society for engendering this mentality. We can unlearn it and replace it with respect, acceptance and forgiveness.

Interesting article thanks for posting it. It gave a name to the differences I see in how I raise my children. I usually say I'm old school but after reading that I'd say my kids are raised with an honor code rather than majority of their peers who are raised in victimhood.

I'd like to hear more about how it is that you think society can unlearn and replace this trend. I honestly don't see it happening.

I understand where you are coming from about forgiveness. The thing is I believe that many people in relationships do forgive, over and over and over again until they give up. Typically the person they are forgiving has a victim mentality and doesn't take responsibility for themselves, it's never their fault and they expect forgiveness.

You said that verbal aggression is forgivable and a person should be able to move past it and live in the moment. I get that but there are times when the verbal aggression is forgivable but not forgettable. In that moment the person revealed their true thoughts and you gained information that made you reevaluate your choices.


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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 08:24 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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Interesting article thanks for posting it. It gave a name to the differences I see in how I raise my children. I usually say I'm old school but after reading that I'd say my kids are raised with an honor code rather than majority of their peers who are raised in victimhood.

I'd like to hear more about how it is that you think society can unlearn and replace this trend. I honestly don't see it happening.
Adults must lead the way. This means that as adults, we must show our children how to accept verbal aggression and how to best manage our emotions. This entails building our own emotional intelligence. If we argue in front of our children, we are showing them how to hit the emotional buttons of others but also (most importantly) we are showing them how to receive the hurtful words. Children learn what is good and bad, but also learn how they should feel.
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I understand where you are coming from about forgiveness. The thing is I believe that many people in relationships do forgive, over and over and over again until they give up. Typically the person they are forgiving has a victim mentality and doesn't take responsibility for themselves, it's never their fault and they expect forgiveness.

You said that verbal aggression is forgivable and a person should be able to move past it and live in the moment. I get that but there are times when the verbal aggression is forgivable but not forgettable. In that moment the person revealed their true thoughts and you gained information that made you reevaluate your choices.
I agree that many instances can't be forgotten. But when that memory does erupt, if it was truly forgiven, it will quickly subside. Sometimes an act that initially was forgiven will cause new pain in the future. The process is the same, it must be forgiven again. Often, individuals will say they forgive out of perceived necessity. Never do this.

To forget, we must sharpen our focus on the present moment. This skill is building mindfulness. It is an incredible skill to master in relationships. Imagine if you were able to react only to the present moment with no concern over the past. It is incredible.

In my relationship, I take forgiveness a step further. I don't even accept my partner's apologies. This is not to hold things against her. It is done to release her from her pain. I am very capable of managing my feelings and do not need her to beg or plead for forgiveness. Being mindful, I can almost instantly move on from any emotional pain that I do feel.


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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 09:25 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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My marriage is almost 50 years old. All of our friends are similarly situated. When I was young a divorced woman was seen as a damaged woman. Women who had premarital sex were ****s and damaged goods not suitable for marriage, just someone you can have casual sex with. We had no internet or cable TV to make divorce into sitcoms and cheating the subject of movies and TV shows. When I married, I married a 20 year old virgin after having sex with all of my previous girlfriends. I feel hypocritical about it now but back then that is what most of us men did. There were women to have sex with and women to marry.

Despit the stigmas, even good girls were having sex with men if they were engaged or thought that they would marry someday. Premarital sex and cheating goes on despite what society and religion think about it. We are governed by our hormones and when emotions come into play, we all make bad decisions. Now we have TV sitcoms about divorced people, cheating and casual sex. We are exposed to those things all the time until they do not feel as bad as they used to. Men and woman see how a husband or wife should behave from TV and movies. There are those who get their idea of what marriage and relationships should be from the media and if it does not work out that way, they are dissatisfied.

We have very large websites for cheating spouses to hook up with others and free porn. The internet is filled with posts from husbands who want their wives to act and behave like what they see in porn. If they do not, they grow dissatisfied and seek it elsewhere. Today people are used to divorce, casual sex and cheating. They see if every week on their TV's or the movies. It is not shocking or carry a stigma like it did in my younger days. Divorce is also much easier to get today. When i lived in Texas it costs you $250 and an even split of the property and you were divorced in 3 months. My neighbors would divorce every time they had a major argument. They were on their 5th divorce when we moved. My best friend was on his 3rd wife in 3 years. Back in the ancient times where I lived, there was also a lot more religious people who just did not go to church on Easter and Christmas. For Catholics there was the problem that if you divorced, you could not get remarried in a church again, unless you knew the right people and made good donations to get your marriage annulled.

Now, after the first wedding, no one cares how they get married the subsequent times. The point is that unhappy couples stuck together and found ways to work things out. Now, it is much easier to just get up and leave. I am seeing younger couples we know, divorce at an alarming rate. Back in my day I did not see that until the 70's. I think we all have seen the studies that show the divorce rate keeps climbing over time, as does the cheating rate. It is so much easier to cheat and divorce now that it was when I was young.

Personally I do not believe monogamy is workable for many marriages and think that someday we will have short term marriage contract that are renewable. It sounds crazy but if you get into a 5 year marriage contract that has all the same protections and laws that we have now for alimony and child support, what is the big deal if you simply extend it for another 5 years every time if you are happily married. On the other hand if you are not happily married you can plan for the end of the marriage when the contract expires and have a smoother transition and prepare for it.
I like it. A very realistic suggestion actually.
Women won't like it though. Less financial security for them.
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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 09:36 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

They don't fall apart easier, people ALLOW them to fall apart because the stigma of cheating and divorce in society is negligible.

I have issue with the fact that a partner can cheat, divorce and be no worse off in society, in fact probably better off financially.

These days we don't say "what a cheating wh*re/pr*ck, don't go near them!", we say "Oh well, it just wasn't meant to be"

I don't think that societies views on cheating and divorce are healthy at the moment.

If we as a society aren't willing to uphold the intent of marriage (monogamy and loyalty), and extricate those who boldly and openly desecrate those morals, then we should just get rid of any financially binding clauses/obligations of marriage and only have partnership relationships.
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 11:54 AM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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They don't fall apart easier, people ALLOW them to fall apart because the stigma of cheating and divorce in society is negligible.

I have issue with the fact that a partner can cheat, divorce and be no worse off in society, in fact probably better off financially.

These days we don't say "what a cheating wh*re/pr*ck, don't go near them!", we say "Oh well, it just wasn't meant to be"

I don't think that societies views on cheating and divorce are healthy at the moment.


If we as a society aren't willing to uphold the intent of marriage (monogamy and loyalty), and extricate those who boldly and openly desecrate those morals, then we should just get rid of any financially binding clauses/obligations of marriage and only have partnership relationships.

Men have always had a free pass to cheat and face ZERO consequences. The reality is that these days women enjoy the same societal censor free aftermath of infidelity. Lamentable as it is that cheaters aren't tossed out of their homes with nothing and no recourse when their children are ripped away...oh wait that was only women who faced that consequence.


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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 12:42 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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Adults must lead the way. This means that as adults, we must show our children how to accept verbal aggression and how to best manage our emotions. This entails building our own emotional intelligence. If we argue in front of our children, we are showing them how to hit the emotional buttons of others but also (most importantly) we are showing them how to receive the hurtful words. Children learn what is good and bad, but also learn how they should feel.



I agree that many instances can't be forgotten. But when that memory does erupt, if it was truly forgiven, it will quickly subside. Sometimes an act that initially was forgiven will cause new pain in the future. The process is the same, it must be forgiven again. Often, individuals will say they forgive out of perceived necessity. Never do this.



To forget, we must sharpen our focus on the present moment. This skill is building mindfulness. It is an incredible skill to master in relationships. Imagine if you were able to react only to the present moment with no concern over the past. It is incredible.



In my relationship, I take forgiveness a step further. I don't even accept my partner's apologies. This is not to hold things against her. It is done to release her from her pain. I am very capable of managing my feelings and do not need her to beg or plead for forgiveness. Being mindful, I can almost instantly move on from any emotional pain that I do feel.

I understand your comments in the above post I don't think they work with most people.

Forgive, forget, live in the moment teaching our kids to hit emotional buttons and receive hurtful words. Can all be setting someone up to be abused. I'd rather teach my kids to shut down someone is out to push their emotional buttons and receive criticism but not personal attacks.

I don't believe that most marriages end over the first forgivable act of verbal aggression or because someone can't forget. Are you suggesting that people must forgive and forget over and over if the person they are married to is unable/unwilling to change? This is what I see happening in most marriages that break down.

Lastly, you said that you don't let your wife apologize to you because you are releasing her from pain, you are capable of handling your emotions. You don't need her to beg and plead. Did you ever think that her apologizing to you is HER way of releasing her own pain? Perhaps she begs and pleads because you aren't allowing her to release her pain, her way.


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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 05:02 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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I understand your comments in the above post I don't think they work with most people.

Forgive, forget, live in the moment teaching our kids to hit emotional buttons and receive hurtful words. Can all be setting someone up to be abused. I'd rather teach my kids to shut down someone is out to push their emotional buttons and receive criticism but not personal attacks.

I don't believe that most marriages end over the first forgivable act of verbal aggression or because someone can't forget. Are you suggesting that people must forgive and forget over and over if the person they are married to is unable/unwilling to change? This is what I see happening in most marriages that break down.

Lastly, you said that you don't let your wife apologize to you because you are releasing her from pain, you are capable of handling your emotions. You don't need her to beg and plead. Did you ever think that her apologizing to you is HER way of releasing her own pain? Perhaps she begs and pleads because you aren't allowing her to release her pain, her way.


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No. My partner is instantly relieved when I deny her apology. I am informing her that it is not needed. It's already in the past. She doesn't need to beg for forgiveness, her emotional mind thinks she does. I refuse to take any power over her, as the typical concept of forgiveness implies. Forgiveness is for ourselves. She is just afraid to drop her guard sometimes and accept this reality. " It's true, I really am not holding something against you."

As far as my advice and perspective as it relates to bullying (in relationships or in school), you can either accept emotional poison or reject it. If you accept it, then you have to manage emotions. If you reject poison, you don't have to do anything. Any person can do this.


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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 05:52 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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No. My partner is instantly relieved when I deny her apology. I am informing her that it is not needed. It's already in the past. She doesn't need to beg for forgiveness, her emotional mind thinks she does. I refuse to take any power over her, as the typical concept of forgiveness implies. Forgiveness is for ourselves. She is just afraid to drop her guard sometimes and accept this reality. " It's true, I really am not holding something against you."

Thanks.

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I find it strange that twice you have said she doesn't need to BEG for your forgiveness. I've never in my life felt that I needed to beg someone's forgiveness.

Your statements above sound manipulative. "Her emotional mind thinks she does". "She is just afraid to drop her guard".

"I deny her apology" and "I refuse to take any power over her". You take away her power by not letting her express remorse openly to you.



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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 06:50 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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I find it strange that twice you have said she doesn't need to BEG for your forgiveness. I've never in my life felt that I needed to beg someone's forgiveness.

Your statements above sound manipulative. "Her emotional mind thinks she does". "She is just afraid to drop her guard".

"I deny her apology" and "I refuse to take any power over her". You take away her power by not letting her express remorse openly to you.



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My friend,

You are making assumptions.

When she is sorry, it is because she thinks she has committed a horrible relationship crime. She doesn't do so because of my actions. She, like i and everyone else, learned what is right and wrong when growing up and in other relationships.

Whether it is "begging" or not, the traditional definition of forgiveness is absurd. We forgive ourselves, not others. So why should I hold that power over someone by accepting their apology? Why should I play into and promote that logic? I help free her from her mental prison if she feels that way. It isn't controlling in any manner to do so. I don't say "I reject your apology". I say that she has no need to apologize. I just want to enjoy every moment. She knows this concept as well, except when she becomes emotional.

If you consider holding nothing against her being "manipulative" then that is your definition. If she is asking for forgiveness, then it is because she fears a grudge on my part. She fears that the moment can't be blissful. Showing that this is not the case is a wonderful start to a wonderful day.

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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 07:10 PM
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Re: Do Relationships Fall Apart Easier These Days?

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My friend,



You are making assumptions.



When she is sorry, it is because she thinks she has committed a horrible relationship crime. She doesn't do so because of my actions. She, like i and everyone else, learned what is right and wrong when growing up and in other relationships.



Whether it is "begging" or not, the traditional definition of forgiveness is absurd. We forgive ourselves, not others. So why should I hold that power over someone by accepting their apology? Why should I play into and promote that logic? I help free her from her mental prison if she feels that way. It isn't controlling in any manner to do so. I don't say "I reject your apology". I say that she has no need to apologize. I just want to enjoy every moment. She knows this concept as well, except when she becomes emotional.



If you consider holding nothing against her being "manipulative" then that is your definition. If she is asking for forgiveness, then it is because she fears a grudge on my part. She fears that the moment can't be blissful. Showing that this is not the case is a wonderful start to a wonderful day.



Thanks

How long have you been a "relationship teacher?"


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