I wish my mom would have told me this when I was young. My dad wasn't around so he wasn't much help. This lesson I had to learn the hard way.
The good news is I'm willing to share it with you in hopes you won't go through what I went through. Some of you already have, and have had to learn the hard way like me. It makes us stronger and wiser.
What's this significant life lesson you ask?
SOMETIMES LOVE ISN'T ENOUGH!
About 13 years ago, give or take I was a young man in the prime of my life (or so I thought). I fancied myself a ladies man as I did well with the opposite sex. I was greedy and promiscuous. I loved being with multiple women, and my narcissistic personality was in full swing.
I ended up meeting one particular young lady who stood out from the rest. We had an animalistic type attraction to each other and began having sex right away. As many know, sex clouds judgment. We lusted each other. I was obsessed with her body and good looks as she was mine. Oh did I forget to mention the sex?
For the first few weeks I ignored the fact that we argued and fought all the time! When I say all the time I mean ALL the time. In fact our very first conversation on the phone we got into it. Every single day after that we had an argument of some sort every day for 3 yrs off and on.
Our lust turned into love. Well mine did I can't speak for her although I truly believe she loved me.
The one thing I couldn't understand is why we couldn't get along with each other if we loved each other so much. The only time it seems we weren't arguing is when we had sex!
We were both too much alike. We shared the same sign although I don't study astrology. We both were stubborn, hard headed, and cocky! She brought baggage from a previous relationship which left her bitter and angry. I brought baggage from my destructive lifestyle and life experiences with women.
It got to the point where I would drive an hour to see her only to turn back around and go home after getting into an argument the first 5 minutes after walking into her apartment. We argued about any and everything. There was no trust, we both were jealous, but neither wanted to let the other go.
We had numerous conversations about our situation and both agreed numerous times to try to change and do better. It may have lasted a day.
It got to the point that one day of many days of many arguments it just clicked in my head. LOVE ISN'T ENOUGH TO MAKE THIS RELATIONSHIP SUCCESSFUL!
Yes we cared about each other and didn't want to let the other person go but it wasn't working, and for a long time it hasn't been. The moments when we were happy were few and far in between.
Who wants to stay with someone because you love them yet are miserable with them? So I finally got enough courage together to walk away and never look back.
It took me two years to grieve that relationship before I truly got over her, and that was when I met another special someone who mended my broken heart. That however is another story. That was over a decade ago so I've had plenty of time to analyze the situation.
How can two people who say they love each other not be happy together, not be able to make their relationship work? If you love each other you do what it takes right? WRONG!
Here is what I learned about my situation.
1. God was not present in our relationship
Yes God is everywhere and of course he was there but we didn't bring him into our relationship. We both believed in God, but neither were living for God at that time. Neither of us prayed faithfully for our relationship or prayed as a couple which is very important!
I cannot stress enough the power of prayer. If God can create the heavens and the earth by speaking, if he can part the red sea, if he can move mountains, then he can definitely change hearts, break bondage's, and negative patterns of behavior. Mend bruised hearts, and emotional scarring.
2. Poor communication
We communicated all the time. Our communication was yelling and screaming at each other. Both of us telling the other why they are wrong. Neither of us owning up to our faults or listening to what the other had to say. If the other had a valid complaint or argument the other would react defensively instead of listening to what was being said.
Example: If one partner told the other that the other hurt their feelings because of x y z, the other partner would only hear the x y z part and defend themselves as to why the x y z was valid. The true point of the matter however is that the persons feeling were hurt. That part is truth, so no matter if you think the REASON the persons feelings were hurt are valid or not, you still need to recognize the persons feelings were hurt by you and apologize for hurting them, even if it wasn't your intention. Then the other person will be more open to communicate about the x y z part and why you didn't think it was wrong or why you did or said x y z.
This now becomes a working conversation to learn and grow, and not a shout match where nothing gets accomplished.
3. We weren't each others best friend
With communication also comes friendship on the deepest level. A great relationship is when you can call you partner not only your husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend, but you can call them your best friend.
Think about your best friend of the same sex, if you have one. Why are you best friends? If my partner was to have a conversation with my best friend, and my best friend were to tell everything there is to know about me (with my permission of course :) my best friend would describe me with such detail, as if describing themselves.
They would know my favorite color, my goals, my fears, my strengths, my weaknesses. What would make me happy, what would make me sad, what buttons would make me angry. The expressions I make when I'm getting upset, or when I'm embarrassed. How I would react to certain situations. What I would say in certain circumstances before I say it etc.
Why would my best friend know so much about me? Because we are BEST FRIENDS duh! lol but seriously, it's because we tell each other everything. We aren't afraid to share our inner most thoughts or most embarrassing moments with no fear of being judged. (if we have a REAL best friend). Our best friends don't judge us, they don't have ill will towards us. They wish us the best in life and they give the best advice they can or at least what they think is the best advice.
You trust your best friend and communicate everything to them or just about everything. This type of friendship didn't happen over night, it takes time. Your partner should be your best friend. If they are not then that is a goal you should be working towards.
Being each others best friend means you have to open up, let down guards and be vulnerable to each other. This is not an easy task I will be the first to tell you! Being completely vulnerable to someone is essential if you want to have the best friendship with each other which in turn makes the best relationships. To do that you have to have what we didn't have.
4. No trust in our relationship
You have to have trust, and we had none! How can you be vulnerable to someone with your deepest feelings and insecurities. How can you open up that treasure chest of skeletons in your closet if you don't trust someone. Especially if you have been vulnerable to someone in the past and they used it against you?
It's hard and it will take time prayer and effort on both parts. So how do we build trust? I will save that for another post as I see I'm starting to get a little side tracked!
So to get back on task we will revisit the title of this post.
When to give up on a relationship
There are numerous reasons and I can't cover them all so I will give you a few, starting with the most obvious.
1. Physical Abuse
If your getting beaten in your relationship let me start of by saying I'm so sorry for you and I apologize as a man on his behalf. If your a man being abused then I say to you man up! Be a man don't beat her back but don't allow yourself to be beaten. God created us strong as protectors and leaders. This isn't what you were called for. It both cases LEAVE!
If your married separate, and or divorce if he doesn't get help. Regardless of if you have kids by him. Your children need you alive and well. If your not married then it's easier. Get gone real fast. Love doesn't use the apple of it's eye as a punching bag!
If you have kids I'm sorry and good moms still want the abuser to have a relationship with there kids and that is very commendable but your safety and well being comes first. Once the abuser gets help then that can be a consideration.
If you are afraid, and need help getting safe, here is the number for the national hot line for domestic abuse 1-800-799-SAFE
They can help you get safe. All calls are confidential. They are available 24/7!
2. Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse hurts just as bad as physical abuse, and the scars last much longer. Bruises can heal in a week, but it could take years to repair the damage from an emotionally abusive relationship.
Hurt and damaged men/women take their pain out on their partners. Transferring their pain to others. I've seen men take a gorgeous woman and when they are done with her make her feel like the ugliest worthless thing there is. Or feel that they don't deserve better or anything good. All lies from the pit of hell!
If your in an emotionally abusive relationship get out! These kinds of relationships are toxic to your soul and damaging to your spirit. Remember God can restore all things! You are the daughter/son of the father. You are to be the head not the tail!!
If your partner cheats on you LEAVE! Especially if it's early in the relationship. He is showing you the type of person he is and how much he values the sacredness of your relationship.
Yes people make mistakes and they can change but do you want to sit around and wait and see if it happens again while you waste precious time and your feelings grow stronger for someone who has already disrespected your relationship and broken your trust? Especially if it's early on!
If your married with or with out children I know this is harder to do however let's see what God has to say about this situation.
English Standard Version (ESV)
Divorce31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
This means the only excusable reason God gives to leave your wife/husband is for sexual immorality. So if he/she cheats, in God's eyes it's ok to divorce them. That's not saying you have to divorce. There are couples who stuck it through and made it work. This is your choice, but you do have grounds to leave if he/she cheats.
I also must speak out against physical abuse, although not in the bible I don't think the almighty God would want someone who is being beaten to stay in that situation if it can't be worked out and the husband doesn't change. My pastor James McDonald also shares this view point.
4. There is no "you before me"
I've learned through Christian counseling the term "you before me". It means a person puts their partner's needs before theirs and the partner does the same for them. This way they are both looking out for the other person before themselves therefore making sure each others needs are all taken care of.
It's a very selfless way to love someone. It's generally geared toward married couples however this concept can be applied in relationships as well.
If your in a relationship where your always the one giving yourself, trying to make things work, putting in effort to make the other one happy and there is nothing in return, in fact the only work the other person puts in is lip service, working their mouth but no real action, then you need to have a serious discussion about your future. If this doesn't work then ... how does that old song go..."hit the road jack and don't you come back no mo no mo no mo no mo" LBVS
5. You can't agree on important life changing goals
This is also very important. If there are very important plans and goals you have for your future, which are life changing, and your partner does not agree or you both can't come to a healthy compromise then you are probably wasting your time with them. Time is the thing that we never have enough of. It is always ticking away every second every minute, even as we sleep. Why waste precious time with someone who doesn't agree with or share the same very important life goals you have.
Don't fool yourself into thinking you can change their mind, or that in time they will have a change of heart. This may be true but usually not the norm. Do you really want to play craps with your valuable time, and life?
Here are a few of those important life changing goals that might have the need to be agreed upon or compromised well between the two of you.
1. Children (Do you want kids? How many? When? How should we raise them?)
2. Career (Do you have a career or want one? What would it take? Schooling? Do you want more out
of life? Are you content struggling or where you are now?)
3. Location (where do you want to spend the rest of your life? Do you want to relocate? Where?)
4. Religious beliefs ( Do you believe in God? Are you a Christian? Do you want to live and practice
Christianity or some other religion. Do you worship satan?
5. Marriage (Do you want to get married? When? What do you expect from a husband/wife
What type of wedding? Where? Can my mom come?)
There is no black and white rules to follow when it comes to the affairs of the heart. This is simply a guide to help you recognize when your in the trouble zone in a relationship, and where you should take deep thought and consideration as to the current state and the future of your relationship.
I hope this blesses you richly, and helps you in some sort of way. May God bless you always!
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