How to deal with emotional blackmail (anime version)

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So here’s my best DramaBeans interpretation (my wife’s favorite blog — she doesn’t read the CF blog as often, but she LOVES DramaBeans!).  

So here’s YooJin,

YooJinshe’s the main character who’s engaged to her childhood friend.  Their families know each other, and they went to high school together, and she’s never dated anyone else…other than her first love who died when they were in high school.  Now, ten years later she’s engaged to be married…but she realizes she’s not in love with her fiance.

This is MinHyung, LeeMinHyung…the work client she recently met…who happens to be the exact same age and look exactly like her first-love/bf.  He looks so much like the dead guy he shocks everyone who sees him.  Keen students of soap operas will already know where that story line is going.


Minhyung, who was originally dating a friend of YooJin’s falls in love with YooJin and confesses his feelings.  And YooJin who’s confused about whether she likes Minhyung (or whether she just like him because he looks and acts exactly like her dead high school boyfriend)… but he makes her realize she’s not in love with her fiance.

This is SangHyuk,

KimSangHyuk…YooJin’s fiance.  He’s liked YooJin since they were kids, and after her high school bf died, he stayed close to console her and claim his place as next in line.  When YooJin wanted to call off the wedding and break up with him (so she could be with MinHyung), he decided to go on a hunger strike and wound up in the hospital.

All YooJin’s friends told her she was a monster to do this to SangHyuk and begged her to come save him.  SangHyuk’s mother (who never approved of YooJin) came and begged her to come marry him so that he would have the will to continue living…

When YooJin visits him at the hospital, he tells her that seeing her just makes him feel worse…unless she were to return to him and be by his side.  She says she can’t – and a few hours later he tries to kill himself.  YooJin returns to his bedside crying and everyone assumes that they’re going to get back together again.


SO here’s the dilemma: On the one hand, YooJin doesn’t want SangHyuk to die.  Of course all her friends and family want her to marry this guy, but she can stand with being hated…what she can’t stand is for her friend SangHyuk to give up on life because of her.    On the other hand, she doesn’t love him and realizes that she’s in love with MinHyung.  Is it selfish of her to want to live her life with the person she loves?  Or should she just sacrifice herself for her friend?

Here’s my professional opinion as a Korean drama watcher/theologian: Ultimately SangHyuk will never know what it is to love or be loved if he were to get his way…  In a way, his behavior is “evil,” even though everyone thinks he’s such a nice guy.  The world is filled with seemingly “good” people doing what they think is right, yet accomplishing evil.  And what YooJin would need to realize is: if she were to love him (as a human and as a friend), it would be WRONG to allow him to do this…

In Mark 3, Jesus’ mother and brothers don’t understand who He is and what He’s doing, so they go to bring him home before he does something crazy…  By the way, in Ancient Semitic culture your mother was the most important person in the world.  But when they showed up to come get him, Jesus’ response was, “Mother and brothers? Who are my mother and brothers?” And he looked around and said, “those who do God’s will are my mother, brothers, and sisters.”  In other words, Jesus wasn’t going to let them stop Him from doing the right thing…  In doing so, they probably felt incredibly dishonored by Him.

But it didn’t end there.  Even though there was this conflict, Jesus didn’t break off interaction with them.  Mary, eventually became one of His disciples, and she stayed with Him when all the other disciples ran away.  Later, James, Jesus’ brother also became a disciple.  Because…Jesus never abandoned them.  He loved them too much to let them stop him (because that would be evil of them…)  And He certainly loved them too much to abandon them.  Instead, He took the narrow road of loving them fully: not letting himself be manipulated by them, but at the same time not breaking off ties with them.  And that’s what YooJin should do too – if she weren’t a character in a Korean drama…


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  4. The Christian version of Hell
  5. Loving the church…
  6. Emotional fusion…
  7. More on emotional fusion…
  8. Emotional blackmail

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