The chapter of So You’re Not Wonder Woman? entitled “With Justice for All” deals in large part with difficult relationships–specifically relationships with people the Bible calls Fools. These are not unintelligent people. On the contrary, they are often very intelligent. But the way they relate to others can drive you crazy! If you have a relationship that just seems impossible–if you’ve tried it all and it doesn’t work–I highly recommend Fool-Proofing Your Life by Jan Silvious. The book can change your life. It did mine.
The hardest part of recognizing that you’ve surrounded yourself with Fools is knowing that there is no painless way out of those relationships. Most of the time you feel like you’re going to lose your mind if you continue with the status quo, but you fear what will happen if you draw a line in the sand. I have slowly been withdrawing myself from Foolish relationships, whether that be literally or just emotionally. The benefits have been a lot less stress and more self-confidence. They have come at a price, however. When a Fool goes, he rarely goes alone. He will try to take someone you really value with him.
Years ago I read a fascinating book on stalking called I Know You Really Love Me.
The advice of the psychiatrist/author/stalking victim was to always tell everyone that you have a stalker. Making everyone you live and work with aware of the problem can save your life! Until today, I never thought to apply this good advice to Fools. I always thought Wonder Women didn’t gossip by telling anyone about their problem person. I was wrong. On more than one occasion my protection of my Fool has cost me very dear friendships. If I had warned my friends about what my Fool might do, I may still have those friendships today. Jealousy is a very powerful emotion and is often at the heart of this kind of behavior. It’s what motivated Cain to kill Abel (Read Genesis 4).