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I Can’t Watch

My boyfriend is ruining his life with his bad choices.

July 30, 2009
Eve Eschner Hogan, M.A.

Thank you.

The bottom line is that your boyfriend has to help himself, you can’t make him and he doesn’t sound ready, able or willing to change his life. We can offer the people we love support and encouragement, but not at the cost of our own quality of life. Hopefully, he will realize that his choices have consequences that are no fun—like being in court and losing your girlfriend. At some point, hopefully, he will realize that when he makes new choices, he will get different results.

While you can’t stand to watch your boyfriend ruin his life with his choices, I bet your family can’t stand to watch you ruin your life with your choices. You are seeing clearly how hanging out with the wrong people is having a negative impact on your boyfriend, but are you seeing what it is doing to you? Ironically, you are sending a mixed message to your boyfriend when you are telling him he shouldn’t hang out with people who are doing drugs and breaking the law, while you, yourself, are hanging out with someone who is doing drugs and breaking the law. I would hope for you that you develop the same concern over your own life that you have for his.

Ask yourself what you want for your life and what you are willing to do about it. I am sure you see your boyfriend’s great qualities, but how is being in a relationship like this effecting you? Is this relationship dragging you down, or lifting you up? Is this relationship supporting your life or hindering it?

Remember, what you see is what you get. If what you are getting is what you want in your life—drama, fear, confusion—hang in there. If instead, you want is a healthy relationship that is supportive of a healthy future, consider telling your boyfriend that you care about him too much to simply watch him ruin his life and you care about your own life too much to allow his choices to impact you this way. Focus on strengthening your self-esteem so that you know what you are worth and what you want. Then, only involve yourself in situations that support your goals.

I wish you the very best.

With aloha,

Intellectual Foreplay Question of the Week:
Are your actions an example of your words?

Love Tip of the Week:
You can never clean up someone else’s act, only your own. People don’t learn from what we say, they learn from what we do.

Eve Hogan, author of How to Love Your Marriage, Intellectual Foreplay, Virtual Foreplay, and Way of the Winding Path, is also the proprietor of The Sacred Garden, a nursery and healing sanctuary in Makawao. It is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For coaching or speaking events, call (808) 573-7700. Website: Blog: Send questions to



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