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The instruction manual
The instruction manual
Why don't relationships come with instruction manuals, like computers do?
If you do something wrong with a computer, or if it does something wrong, and it doesn't do what it's supposed to, you can always look in the book, or ask someone who knows, and you can sort it out.
If you do something wrong in a relationship, there's no book around to refer to. And, very often, you don't know that you've done anything wrong until it crashes on you.
With a computer, if you don't have the proper virus protection in place, you pick up viruses. Usually it's sufficient to update your virus package. Sometimes, if you've left things too long, you're left with a mess of corrupted files. Even then, you can back up your documents, reformat the drive, reinstall everything, and then everything's fine again.
Not so with relationships. Once you've picked up a few undetected viruses, that normally spells the end of the computer. Some people are lucky enough to be able to reformat the drive, but most don't have a clue - so they end up destroying the little bit that's left. As well as all the other computers on the network.
Some people, when their computer slows down and starts malfunctioning, they suspect they have a virus and go offline until they sort it out.
Others carry on going, battling with an unresponsive machine and getting more infected, and spreading the infections to the rest of the network, until everything seizes up.
Yet others carry on online, picking up more and more viruses while they're trying to sort out the ones they have already. Sometimes, these viruses come from the very websites they visit for help.
Still others will simply chuck their computer in the bin and buy a new one - not realising that they might well be in the very same pickle a few months down the line because they haven't learned how to deal with the original problem - and their network is still just as infected.
And you will always find no shortage of well-intentioned, but clueless, friends who purport to have all the answers.
Relationships are infinitely more complicated than computers.
And they cause infinitely more distress, pain and expense when they do crash.
But, ironically, you will find no instruction manuals. You will find plenty of 'how to' books around, but you almost inevitably find that they're for the wrong model.