Hey there, honey. It’s me, Cheryl. I just got the “save the date” announcement for your impending nuptials. Looks like you’re planning on a November wedding. That will certainly be a beautiful time of year to get married, and I am glad to see you so excited and full of hope. You deserve some happiness.
Here’s the thing, though. I’ve been watching you with this guy Donald for a while now, and I’m concerned. I know how loudly he professes his love for you. He’s taken you to some amazing parties and promised you an incredible future. After the way you were treated by the last guy, it must be exciting to have found someone who seems to put you on a pedestal. I can understand why you think he’s the one you’ve been waiting for.
But I have to be honest—I am worried about you. When I look at you with him, I see red flags everywhere. I just don’t trust the guy. So I’m going to take a deep breath and tell you what I think you need to hear, whether you want to or not. It’s what your parents would say if they were still around (may they rest in peace).
Don’t Expect Him to Change
First, you need to remember what your mama always taught you: you cannot fix someone. What you see is what you get, and a wedding isn’t going to change that. So if he gambles too much now, he’ll gamble too much then. If he insults and calls people names and uses foul language now, he’ll do it then. If he lies now, he’ll lie later.
He may say he will clean up his act after the wedding, but he won’t. You only need to look at the way he treats others now to know how he will treat you later. If you think he will be better with you, you are wrong.
Second, marriage is not supposed to be a dictatorship, but a two-way street. I have watched you around this guy and it seems you are always in the shadows and he is in the forefront. He never asks you what you think, but tells you what you ought to think. He makes all the decisions, and if you disagree with him on something, you are stupid.
You know, you are your own person, with your own history and identity and worth. You had a life before him. But he doesn’t seem interested in that. Instead, he wants to start from scratch and remake you in his own image. That is not love but narcissism. I am afraid if you marry this guy you are going to lose yourself forever.
You’re Better Than a Trophy Wife
Third, I know that our politically correct culture has been oversold on the value of sensitivity. But that doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bathwater. Gentleness and sensitivity are good things. So are thoughtfulness and caring.
Yes, you want someone who is strong and who will stand up for you, protect and defend you. But a man can be strong as well as sensitive. The best men are both. In fact, sometimes strength is exhibited best in the exercise of restraint. But restraint isn’t anywhere in this guy’s vocabulary that I can see.
Look, I know you were bullied and abused by the last guy. But the answer is not to yoke yourself to another bully. Please don’t make the same mistake again. It’s not too late to reconsider. You are beautiful and smart and have so much to offer. You’ve just had a rough run of it lately and have lost your confidence. But you deserve so much better.
This guy—he doesn’t really care about you. He doesn’t want to serve you; he wants to lord over you, put you on his arm and parade you around to all his friends, a new trophy added to his collection. Don’t let him do that to you. Don’t be his trophy. Be the independent-minded, thoughtful, intelligent, and self-respecting woman you were brought up to be.
And, hey, when you’re ready, there’s someone I’d like to introduce you to. His name is Ted.