I spent a few years working as a counselor while I was finishing my graduate studies in theology. Part of this time was spent at a treatment center for female drug addicts. I heard some really sad stories during that time. I still remember one young lady’s story of heartache and abuse (some addicts use drugs to “medicate” their personal pain). She told me of her past relationships with men, all of which were abusive.
I asked myself this question—how in the world did all of her boyfriends end up as abusers? How did she manage to find that many abusive men? Is there some kind of evil place where abusers all congregate?
Let me clarify something—I have no tolerance for men who hit women. I have never once hit (or slapped) a woman and I never will. I did not blame this poor young woman. I was simply wondering how she ended up in that situation so many times.
There is an explanation. There is a mysterious, universal law of attraction which operates in human relationships. Here it is: we tend to attract people who are at the same emotional/spiritual level as ourselves. It could be stated even more simply: like attracts like. Healthy people attract healthy people; sick people attract sick people (I am talking about spiritual and emotional health here). Mature people attract mature people, etc. This young woman was emotionally sick, so she attracted and tolerated emotionally sick men (emotionally healthy men do not abuse women).
I am not talking about that initial, physical attraction. All different kinds of people may approach you or express interest in you. What I am saying is that a mature person will usually recognize (and reject) someone who is not mature/healthy.
When I teach students about relationships, I tell them that they should be the kind of person they want to be with. If you want someone who is spiritually/emotionally mature, you have to first posses these qualities yourself. If your boyfriends/girlfriends have all been major losers, you need to do some honest self-evaluation. Maybe you need to spend some time on your own spiritual growth before entering another relationship.
Can two people walk together
without agreeing on the direction?–Amos 3:3
Note: There are a number of books, websites, videos and even religious movements based on the “universal law of attraction” concept. I am a follower of Christ and I’m in no way affiliated/associated with these other materials or groups. This post is simply my observation of something I’ve repeatedly seen in relationships.
This is one of the many articles that you’ll find in my book: Basta Lovelife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions.
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