How do I help a loved one?

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    I have been in a serious and committed relationship with my boyfriend for over 2 years now. He treats me wonderful and loves me more than life itself. I have posted on here before about how he has a difficult family and how there have been some struggles in the past between his family and I. He has a cousin who he is very close in age with who happened to transfer to the same college as him. Next year the two of them will be living in the same apartment and I was not very happy with that decision. My boyfriends cousin has done certain things to me that have made me extremely upset, to a point where I don’t want to see him anymore because he doesn’t bring anything but negative energy. I thought that if my boyfriend knew how upset I am with the things his cousin does to me and to us that he would be more understanding when I don’t want to be around him and such, but he isn’t. He recently told me that he thinks his cousin would never purposely do anything mean to him and that everything he has done to me and our relationship was just a joke and he never meant it in a mean way (even though he did, because I found out he did). He told me that he isn’t ready to give up hope on his cousin and I know his cousin is family to him and I am not in any way shape or form expecting him to never talk to him again or whatever but all I want is for my boyfriend to see how is cousin really is but I have a fear that he will never view him the way I do and I feel this could get in the way of our relationship. How do I deal with this in the best positive way? How do allow my boyfriend to continue a relationship with his cousin even though I know one day he will get hurt by him? I would really appreciate feedback, thanks!

    Caitlyn 🙂



    I respect the desire to help protect your boyfriend from the corrosive qualities of his cousin, and can see that it is coming from a mixed place of love and fear. The love pushes you to embrace the boyfriend, and hold him close. The fear pushes you into being judge, jury and executioner for the cousin. That is based on a fundamental ignorance Buddha taught about.

    People have the capacity to change and grow. All three of you are young, and have plenty of growth ahead of you. Since you are not omniscient, you do not know the cousin’s fate or destiny. For Caitlyn, it is not necessary to decide who is worthy of love. It is only your task to give love.

    But but but but. Those really do not help you grow. Consider that Jesus taught to turn the other cheek. Buddha taught that there is a Buddha inside each of us. When you say “the cousin is a bad person” what is really being said is “my heart does not accept that piece of creation.” It is the pride, not the cousin, that brings you pain.

    Your question seems like asking for a manipulation technique that will convince your boyfriend to close his heart to his cousin, to join you in your view. That is not a good idea. Consider that perhaps the cousin will have a great opportunity to become nourished by the good qualities of your boyfriend while they are living together. If the cousin has some baggage left over from his childhood, it is not his fault. He deserves the chance to learn and be free, and for that he needs love. Not a jealous and bitter cousin-in-law.

    That being said, it will be important for you to protect your tender heart. Consider setting boundaries with the cousin, being firm and polite on what you like and dislike. If you remain stable and loving, expressing “I don’t like it when you do that thing to me” then he will have the opportunity to make more loving choices. If he does it anyway, and you lovingly mention it to your boyfriend, he will also have the ability to help him make better choices.

    These words come from a place of deep respect for you and your capability. I know that your love is larger than fear, and your heart can do better than trying to sever bonds of love. It is only pain and fear that cause you to demonize the cousin, let them go! Trust love, it is only when we turn our back on it that we lose it. I’m sure you don’t want that for you, your boyfriend doesn’t want that for you, and neither does the divine. The cousin is teaching you many things, and it is in your heart and hands that the lesson is bitter or beautiful.

    With warmth,

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