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Whoever you are, where ever you are, i love you sugar.

From her most recent column, to a woman whose lover refuses to come out to her parents:

Doing so is indeed an ultimatum, but it’s the best sort of ultimatum—one that has everything to do with a positive change in your own life, rather than your wish to control another. It’s an ultimatum that honors a boundary that’s key to your happiness, your psychological well-being, and your integrity. You won’t stop loving your partner if she chooses to stay in the closet. You won’t stop cherishing the wonderful person she is and treasuring the times you’ve shared. You may not even stop being her lover.

But you will profoundly revise the terms of your relationship. You will stop building a long-term romantic partnership with her under conditions that are patently untenable to you. You will stop having a stake in her lie.

This is the hard part, of course. The part where you don’t get to simply float along in the la-la land of your true love while hoping what’s really not good at all will get magically better. This is the part that numerous others have confronted with their own beloved partners who must change in order for their relationships to survive—people who have said you must stop abusing alcohol to be with me, or you must stop snorting cocaine, or you must learn to manage your anger, or you must not belittle my ambitions, or you must be honest or this just isn’t going to work.

These ultimatums require us to ask for something we need from another, yes, but ultimately they demand the most from us. They require us to acknowledge that the worse case scenario—the end of a cherished relationship—is better than the alternative—a lifetime of living with sorrow and humiliation and rage. It demands that we look ourselves squarely and hard in the eye and ask: What do I want? What do I deserve? What will I sacrifice to get it? And then it requires that we do it. In fear and in pain and in faith, we swim there, to wherever that is, in the direction of real life.

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