Dear ReadersI want to apologize for advice I offered in Wednesday’s column to a woman facing domestic violence.
The letter writer had stated that her partner “threatened to kill her,” with a gun pointed toward her head, after she’d admitted she’d been “cheating throughout the entire course of their relationship.”
I advised her to immediately seek police protection, as I sincerely feared the danger she faced. That should have been the entire focus of my response.
However, as a relationship columnist, I also addressed the letter writer’s infidelities and their impact on her relationship. In the context of domestic abuse, this sent entirely the wrong message.
There is no excuse for domestic violence and victims must never be blamed for the actions of their abusers. I did not intend to suggest any support for this man’s inexcusable violence and I regret any harm that has come from my column.
At 25, I’d recently started working in a large, open-style business office where everyone could see each other just by looking up. Years later, I still miss many of those colleagues!
But I especially remember the two women around my age who stood out from all the rest! It was partly about their looks and behaviour (attractive and self-confident) but also because I was aware of the several men who seemed totally besotted by them.
These women weren’t just pretty. They were alluring, and in similar ways. Something I didn’t fully understand made them fascinating, I thought.
Both new employees had arrived from other cities, with personal stories of exotic-sounding travel, and dramatic relationships that they’d left behind.
I soon also noticed that more male colleagues were drawn like magnets. One man, who seemed the most determined to get closer, was married, the other divorced. Many of the other women working there, and me included, started guessing who would win whom.
But I privately wondered, what do those two women have that I don’t?
Over the next few years, by 28, I’d had two semi-serious relationships: One in University had lasted two semesters then fizzled out. Then, me and my new “partner” lived together, which we both found oppressive within a year.
I felt that I obviously didn’t have that seductive quality which makes the “other” throw caution aside. I was a nice enough looking woman but constrained by a decent, undramatic upbringing while dreaming of exciting adventures.
But “allure” can change everything.
I learned that fact some three years later while looking for “Mr. Right.” Then, he spotted me across a crowded room (honest). I loved his open manner and positive energy at first sight. He immediately found “allure” in me!
We’re still together, happily raising two children, ages four and six. Incidentally, the married man is still married, the divorced man was a repeat player, so struck out.
Thoughts on Personal Allure?
Call it “a powerful attraction,” and you’ll stop examining others outwardly for its signs. That’s because allure happens within people, if they let themselves thrive openly in the eyes of a beholder.
Or, even better, it strikes both people at the same time, creating greater self-confidence, feelings of longing, and love.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman saddened because the man she desired had refused intimacy because of his erectile dysfunction (ED) (July 30):
Reader No.1- “To me, finding a loving partner is what you want. Having a conversation with him about the possibility of a relationship that includes sex in all the wonderful ways it can be explored, is part of a loving relationship.
“Don't let go of this man if he also doesn’t want to let go of you. His sharing of his ED information with you suggests that he wants a relationship too!
“Creativity, understanding, respect, love and caring will be paramount to you both. There are also surgical interventions that may help if her partner explores them with his doctor.”
Reader No.2- “He may have ED but I wonder if he’s actually gay and has no romantic feelings for her. Clearly, they’re somewhat older and he may feel unable to tell her the real truth. Also, having ED is (in his mind) likely considered more acceptable than being gay.”
Ellie - He may also be uninterested in her beyond a close friendship. Or he hasn’t found a safe solution for his ED. Hopefully, he’ll seek potential direction about it through a doctor’s help.
Tip of the day:
If you’re wondering why some people easily draw attention, start to explore/share your own background stories, experiences, yearnings. And wear them proudly!