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A person who has escaped from a place or is in hiding, esp. to avoid arrest or persecution.

Imagine with me, if you will, that you’re in your home and suddenly you hear a firm knock at the door. When you open the door, standing before you is a handsome man who appears very polite but in a slight hurry. He asks you if he can come in.

What would you do?

Would you let him in or would you tell him, “I’m sorry. I don’t know you” and close the door? Some would say, “I wouldn’t even answer the door!”

Both of these are good answers but the truth is that we do answer the door and we do “let him in” on a regular basis. Who is he?

He’s the relationship fugitive on the run from his past relationship failures that we often call boyfriend, fiancee, and sometimes, husband.

Last month as I was cleaning out my closet I came across a document that was a few years old. It was a copy of an arrest warrant that belonged to my ex boyfriend. I had known of the warrant but this time, it was as if my eyes were opened. The warrant was regarding a fight that occurred between him and his ex girlfriend. He told me that he pushed and slapped her, knocking her glasses off of her face.  But the warrant said, he “punched the victim in her face”.

I was stunned. The words “he punched her in her face” rang in my heart like a siren. This was a man I was so deeply in love with and did everything within my power to have him in my life. But as I read the copy of the warrant issued for his arrest, I couldn’t help but realize what my willingness to “take him in” actually spelled to the woman he assaulted.

There are countless examples that I can name of where women have completely ignored a man’s past, believing that his future was bright merely because he was with her. But it is not only foolish, it is also dangerous not dig deeper into a man’s past and require that he be accountable for the good, bad and the ugly that it contains.
Here are some signs that will indicate to you whether or not you’re dealing with someone who is a fugitive from his or her past relationships and using their involvement with you as their hide out:

  • He/she refuses to entertain any detailed discussion about their past. This is probably the most obvious red flag. While it is unfair to judge someone merely on their past (we all have one) it is not unfair to expect for someone to be accountable for their mistakes and be able to explain to you how they’ve made amends, if necessary, and worked through those mistakes. If they shut down at the mere mention of their past, you just may be dealing with someone who’s running from their past and seeking shelter with you.
  • It’s his/her ex’s fault. Beware of the man or woman who cannot take personal responsibility for a relationship’s demise. This person’s head is full of blaming thoughts which leaves absolutely no room for them to take personal responsibility for their own actions. While it takes two to tango, it only takes one to be accountable.
  • What’s the hurry? Does he or she seem to be moving a little too fast? While you may be tempted to find this flattering, instead take it as a warning. Remember the handsome man we imagined at the beginning of the post, knocking earnestly at our door asking if he can come in? What if he just robbed the nearby QuickMart? Solid relationships take time to build. Be leery of people who are in a hurry to cohabitate, have a sexual relationship with you and progress towards marriage, all while systematically avoiding direct accountability and questioning of their pasts. That’s a man or woman on the run.

One of the greatest life lessons to learn is that you can’t control other people. But that’s a good thing because the person in need of the most control is SELF. It takes discipline to slow down and consider the bigger picture rather than letting emotions drive every decision you make. There are too many women who content themselves with being in relationships with men who treat them well but refuse to be accountable for children that they’ve created outside of their relationship. There are too many women who like me, knew he put his hands on another woman but said, “He’s never hit me”, so that was “them”. It’s time out for being fugitives in relationships and giving fugitives safe haven in our lives. We must be willing to both ask and answer the tough questions. Accountability is not optional.

It’s not “judging” to expect for a man to explain to you what he’s done about having six children with four different women, particularly if he’s interested in being with YOU. There’s nothing wrong with asking a woman why she’s had so many boyfriends in such a short span of time.

It’s time we required accountability to be front and center in all of our relationships. While it’s tempting to think only of ourselves when it comes to love and happiness, we must make sure that the person we’re enamoured with hasn’t left a trail of victims, for which they refuse to be accountable for.

Otherwise, the person you’re in bed with just might be a fugitive, literally and figuratively.

Have you experienced relationship fugitives in your life?