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Self help

Oct 17, 2000

Dr. Shernoff, I ended a relationship several months ago with a man who has AIDs (but doing well after recovering) because it was co-dependent, isolative and one-directional in servicing his needs. Now he's called and says he'd like to see me and sounds a little different about his outlook. I went to a therapist to identify why I put up with such a relationship and have done just fine (and feel I can spot the signs). He hasn't and doesn't see his behavior as even odd, Can someone like this mellow without help? Or is he going to squeeze back in and be the same selfish, demanding and controlling person I left? I cared a great deal but I have to think of me. Thanks bunches

Response from Mr. Shernoff

Sometimes people can change without professional help, but not often. If all he sounds is just "a bit different" and still does not have any understanding of why you feel the way you do about how the relationship was, I would suspect that not much has changed for him, other than he misses you and wants you back. I would suggest that one meeting for coffee would give you all the information you need if you insist that the topic of conversation be why you were so unhappy. If he is puzzled by what you say or not terribly interested in your feelings, then why would you think that he has changed enough for this to be a nurturing man and relationship for you?

Michael Shernoff, MSW

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