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March 12, 2009
Adapted from an online discussion.
Question: My fiance threw a lamp at me. It missed me and hit the wall, leaving a big hole. I don't know if he was aiming for me. He would say he wasn't, and that he was just mad.
He told me to "get the (expletive) out!" And even took the doorknob off the bedroom door so I couldn't come to bed. To be fair, I did call him an expletive before he threw the lamp.
I packed up and left the next morning. I really wanted to marry this man, whom I still love. Should I forgive him, if he should eventually call me to apologize profusely? Is a first-time violent offense forgivable?
Answer: When bad aim (or good, for that matter) is the only reason you escaped serious injury, you need to bypass the informal remedies and go straight to professional counseling. It's not just his violent offense, it's that you're aching for him to come back to validate you.
This puts you in both a physically and emotionally precarious position. Call 800-799-SAFE (National Domestic Violence Hotline) for immediate counsel and for names of therapists you can see more regularly.
July 11, 2008
Question: I am a 50-year-old, single gentleman. I am often told I look like a man in his early 40s. I earn a comfortable income. I rarely date, but when I do, I seem to meet and date younger, attractive women. I have had no success with women near my age, and I have found many to be irritable and malcontents.
This offends my friends' wives, female coworkers, and my sisters and mother. I am the recipient of unsolicited advice and mean-spirited barbs. I expect this is middle-age female angst and jealousy, and I let it roll off me. I have slowly reduced my social circle to a select few, as I don't need this treatment. What is the best way for a gentleman to handle this behavior?
Answer: When you find the occasional middle-aged woman to be a malcontent, it's probably about her attitude.
When you find the occasional attractive younger woman to be a good match, it's probably about her suitability.
When the occasional woman gets offended by your date's youth, it's probably about her issues.
You find many middle-age women to be malcontents. You date only younger, attractive women. Your preferences have offended, apparently, all women in your orbit. (You don't mention any female friends. Have any? Or does your contact with women fall into two categories: romantic, or unavoidable?)
You're entitled to indulge your tastes, to offend those who disapprove and to avoid those you offend.
However, if you're going to conclude that women are either hotties or hags, then please know those hags are entitled to the opinion that this isn't about them - it's about you.
E-mail Carolyn Hax at email@example.com, or chat with her at noon Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.