Throughout history, humans have done nothing but thrived off of relationships. Relationships to survive, relationships to get ahead and even to fulfill the most basic needs like love and even hate. People in general need other people to survive and that in itself is a relationship. Shopping, getting all dolled up at the beauty salon, and even getting basic repairs to the homes that they live in are all other types of relationships.
With a good idea of all the types of relationships, there are few that are very important to watch the warning signs of when to end even the relationships that seem to be running the smoothest and bringing you the most joy. Of course most people know to get a new hairstylist when they know when your time of the month is or when your daughter’s first kiss was, it’s time to gently break off that relationship. A total stranger should not know everything about you, or your life. Somehow that is just not safe, and truly is a bit disturbing if you think about it.
Another one that we normally over look is from family. Family members, of course, are our most prized relationships. Those relationships give us the strength to go on during hard times, the needed boost for our careers, school and even other relationships. However, family members can be very demanding sometimes, even viral. For example; every family has that one black sheep that does their own thing, usually successful in their own way, and completely against the grain of the normal family function. Then there are those family members that cannot do anything for themselves; the ones that cannot keep a job, or a nice, healthy relationship and they always come to the black sheep or the strongest person in the family for help, a place to crash and a nice source to constantly leech off of.
These leeches kill families, because the family member that they belong to always believe that because they are family they must take care of them. Yes, they are family but they are also human. Grown adults, perfectly capable of taking care of themselves but to lazy to do so. These are the leeches, the family members that need to be removed from the picture, to save the healthy family. The best way is to teach them to take care of themselves. If they want to act like children, treat them like children (although never call them childish, it is counterproductive) and set ground rules. If they live in the family home, make them pay rent, and/or buy food. If they are always bumming rides, buy them a bus pass and give them the hint that the family car is not a taxi service to anyone over 18 years old. Most leeches find this offensive, which is usually a sign that they know they are getting a free ride. Ignore the snide remarks, after all they are family and you usually do not want to hurt them, just get them to be independent and stop hindering the host family.
At this point most host families make excuses for the leech, because they are family and that relationship is one of the most engrained in our minds. If a family has a viral leach, it is imperative that the host over look the ‘family’ card and see the leech for what he or she really is: a problem. Excuses now put aside (it may take some personal work but it can be done) and the ground rules in play, we now teach the leech to be human. This means getting and holding a job, getting over whatever fear they have of living in the real world and moving out. This is handled differently for every family, so advice is given sparingly. However, be firm, sticking to resolve, and do not worry if the leech says he/she hates the host for moving them out into the world. If the whole process was done correctly the leech will now be a good member of society and thank the host later for it.
The next relationship has got to be harder than all the others. It deals with matters of the heart, and of the groin. Love and Lust. Yes, they are two completely different things, however most people cannot see the difference. More people than statics care to realize believe that love is sex or lust, and just because the man (or woman) has sex with them repeatedly or even once, they are in love. To each their own, however. There have been a lot of relationships that are very beautiful, ‘loving’, and almost perfect built almost solely off of lust. Remember that. However, those are not going to be discussed here. The ones that are exactly like the example of the leechy family member, or the control freaks, or insert absolutely negative personality traits here, are the ones that will be discussed. These are the ones that need to be weaned away and usually they are the leechy family member that was removed from the host family but did not adapt properly to being an adult. If that is the type of relationship, the solution is simple: follow the steps to remove a leechy family member and do a lot of soul searching as not to hurt that heart that has become attached to a parasite. The problem arises when there are other negative things that go on and one party refuses to acknowledge them simply because of that nasty four letter word called love. Just as a side note, more wars have been started over winning the love of a woman than most anything else (not including religious wars or crusades). Love makes the host in bad relationships become a bit blind to the most troubling problems of their significant others. To overcome this obstacle this takes A LOT of soul searching and some real resolve and support from healthy relationships in the hosts life. But it can be done and when everything is said and done both parties will be better off.
Identifying the harmful aspects of relationships like this is sometimes very difficult and if the partner is controlling it can be hard to get out. The one being controlled cannot and should not be afraid to get help, whether it is from family and close friends or an official support like a family advocacy program or even the police or other authorities. Remember it is never healthy to be in a situation where basic human rights are removed, especially by threats.