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WOMAN

Let men be free to admit vulnerability

I was struck by a possibly generational divide in my response to I Am Nicola, awarded five stars by Lucy Mangan (23 July). I cannot deny the acting was impressive and it was an absorbing 60 minutes, but I cannot agree that Adam is a controlling monster.

He is tormented by jealousy and insecurity – common human failings – but he admits he has a problem and expresses the desire to change.

Perhaps he had been saying that for years and done nothing but I felt Nicola should at least have given him a chance to get help. Her main accusation is that he doesn’t make her happy. First, no one has a right to happiness, which is a rare blessing that comes at you in fleeting, precious moments, if you are lucky. Second, no one is responsible for another’s happiness. How is that neediness any different from Adam’s hints at suicide? Human relationships are tough to negotiate.

This man was redeemable. I worry that men will wonder what is the point in admitting vulnerability and the desire to reform, if they will be rejected anyway for failing to fulfil the impossible obligation to make someone happy?
Susan Seager
London

www.theguardian.com

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