In my day, you could get a girl to shack up with you, to have sex with you, and even to fall in love with you and worship you - all without any talk of marriage or commitment.
But you had to at least be her "boyfriend".
That was pretty much the bare minimum. A decade before that, you had to at least be "engaged", which meant you were never going to get married, but you let the gal keep a shred of dignity in the form of hope that you would some day do what you had no intention of doing. So you let her tell everybody you were her "fiancee" while you kept your mouth shut and got some from her any time you wanted it.
Today apparently guys get all of this without even the barest nod in the direction of actual love. In the TV program I was describing, the guy in question actually announced - rather proudly to a world-wide television audience - that he wasn't about to love this girl, that he was only going to continue using her, as they both found it comfortable and beneficial, and it would end whenever he felt bored enough to kick her out - and she simply sat there beaming at him and smiling the way girls only do when they're in love.
Why would a gal allow a guy to work her in such a way that not only will she put up with the domestic arrangement, the sex and the co-dependence, but she will also allow him to say, in effect, "I'm just using you until I'm tired of you, and we're not even dating. Just living together, having sex when I feel like it and growing to depend upon one another's company and emotional support. Still, if a hot chick comes along and I want a one-night stand, or longer - well, I'm totally free. So take your clothes off and come over here, but I ain't your boyfriend and don't you forget it."
This question seems ridiculous. Why would anyone allow this?
One possible answer is this girl in question admitted to coming from a "disturbed" family background.
At the age of 15 she was in a residential treatment center for self-abusive behavior (which is typically cutting, burning, self-mutilation).
She is probably a victim of sexual abuse (apart from what she's willingly enduring now, which is itself "abusive" but not technically "abuse"), and she certainly has such a low image of herself that a few years back she did herself bodily harm, and now she tells the other man in her life - a man who actually does love her - that she's not good enough for him. She's staying with the live-in (the jerk) because she doesn't feel worthy of the good guy.
|Melissa (right) and her online boyfriend. "If you were a jerk, I could see us having a future together. But as it is ..."|
It is hard to imagine what abuse and neglect can do to a child. I have known some very intelligent and capable and spiritually sensitive people in my day who were unable to enter into any kind of mature loving relationships because their fathers abandoned their families, their mothers tormented them, or a darker secret like molestation or suicide lurked in the shadows.
This makes the role the bishops have played in enabling childhood sexual abuse all the more infuriating.