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24 Jul 2010

Hi CS,
Hope you are well and having a good weekend.
I''m a bit concerned about my sister, lets call her Pink. She is a few years younger than me (in her very early 30''s).
She isn''t married and really just chooses the most awful boyfriends. People who my other sister (lets call her blue) and I meet and just can''t stand within about ten minutes of meeting them (they generally reveal some hideous aspect of their personality). Now all three of us are generally the kind of people who love talking to others and hearing all about them and are friendly and people seem to respond well to all of us. We all have biggish groups of girl friends and we''re all close to each other too, so its not that we are being overly critical of her boyfriends.
These men then tend to break Pink''s heart by either being seen out with someone else, or breaking up with her or emotionally abusing her.
I don''t live that close by her, but Blue (who lives in the same suburb in the same city) and the Pink''s friends and all their spouses and boyfriends will warn my sister that the guy she is seeing doesn''t adore her in the way she adores him or that they have heard of him by reputation and so on, but she just thinks they are being mean.
Then her heart gets broken again and we must all comfort her and tell her that he didn''t deserve someone as special as her and so on.
Blue has understandably grown a bit tired of this. The latest incident was that Pink got involved with a guy about 6 years younger than her, who told her up front that he wasn''t interested in a relationship. A few months down the line he was seen out and about with another girl (younger than him). Now Pink''s heart is broken again. Blue told her that she knew from the beginning this would happen so not to come crying to her now.
I understand exactly how Blue feels.
Our mother (shall we call her Tangerine?) on the other hand says we are seriously lacking in compassion towards Pink.
We think Pink has some serious issues with men relating back to a traumatic incident in her late teens. Every decent boyfriend she has ever had she gives him the boot after only a few weeks saying she feels nothing for him. She''s never been in a relationship longer than about 8 months.
As Blue (who is in her late twenties) says, at 19 this kind of behaviour is normal but its time to grow up now.

She does see a psychologist on and off (usualy after break ups), but this doesn''t really seem to have made a change to her behaviour.

Blue and I feel that she should see a psychiatrist as we feel that she suffers from depression (if the " poor me"  whining about everything is a clue), we have a strong family history of depression and all suffer bouts of it from time to time. I''m on antidepressants at the moment after a recent bout and I suffer terribly from hormonally induced depression while pregnant and when I have PMS I spend a few days in a depressed stupor too, however, on the whole, like Blue, I''m a fairly positive person and take most things in my stride. Pink however has a melt down if something goes wrong in her house or with her car. She whines about how everything always goes wrong for her and so on.

I know she is quite old enough to live with the consequences of her own decisions, but I wonder if Blue and I shouldn''t have a serious talk to her and tell her that we find her choice in men a little self destructive, that she chooses rotters and then wonders why they treat her badly.
Do you think this would be of any benefit or just make things worse? Should we rather just leave her to it?
I do think we should mention seeing a psychiatrist though. I''ve suggested to her that she see a psychologist who does CBT but she gave a non committal response.
Blue and her husband are at the stage where they roll their eyes when they hear about the latest guy she''s seeing.

Pink doens''t lurch from one relationship to the next, she spends longer licking her wounds afterwards than the length the relationship actually lasted.

Earlier this year she claimed she wanted to committ suicide after the emotional abuse the previous boyfriend gave her. Our mother got her off to the psychologist again and Blue told her she was just trying to get sympathy. I got to hear over the phone so didn''t say anything.

Pink is a very kind hearted person who goes out of her way to be helpful to blue and myself and all her friends. She has a big circle of friends who adore her. She lives in her own home and rents two rooms out to friends of hers (one male, one female). She works with young children and they just respond so well to her and adore her and the parents of the children just love her. She''s well groomed, very attractive, fit and physically healthy, she eats well, excercises regularly and looks like she''s having a fun life and I suppose there are a lot of people who would think she has it all.

I just wish she would go out with men who actually like her.
Answer 443 views

01 Jan 0001

Hm, colourful family indeed, P and P.
So, it's not just that she has awful taste in men ( or no taste ) but that she chooses guys who reveal their awfulness clearly and readily. Is it that she's not looking for any potential problem areas, or that she's imperceptive when they're there under her nose ?
She adores too easily, and seems oddly reluctant to learn from esperience. Or, rather, insists on learning the wrong lesson each time - blaming others for being mean, rather than recognizing what is at fault with the guys themselves.
Such a recurrent pattern of choosing rotters, can be a way of proving one's theory that love is impossible, that men are all basically bad, whatever, and its taking care of avoiding experiences that would contradict that world view by dumping the nice guys before they could prove the contrary.
If one is devoted to a world-view that you are "poor me" who never gets any good chances in life, you may become remarkably skilled at arranging experiences that will apparently prove that to be so.
It sounds as though the psychologist she has occasionally seen has realy not been effective ; maybe someone diferent, CBT-orientented, might be more useful, especially if made aware in advance of her patterns of behaviour.

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