In the second of this two-part article, our anonymous guest writes about her break-up, what she learned, and what she would do differently next time. By taking the time to really reflect on what happened, she has been able to find God in the mess, and learn more about herself and healthy relational dynamics.
Part 1 of this article came out last week. Part 2 is written by our anonymous guest again, all in her own words:
‘I Want Harmony Over Truth’
I spent the next few weeks trying to save the relationship, but I realised it was a dead end. Any attempt to start a discussion to resolve the issue would be immediately labeled as a ‘conflict.’
He would just say, “You didn’t make me feel safe” or “I don’t want to talk because we are different,” or “other girls can read my emotions” to stop the conversation. We never got to the real issue.
He said he didn’t want to hear the truth because he wanted ‘harmony.’
I cried out to God and prayed for guidance and wisdom
I was devastated. I really loved him and it hurt me deeply to see him being hurt. I cried out to God and prayed for guidance and wisdom.
To my surprise, what followed was a great time of peace that I hadn’t expected.
God Help Me To Process Everything
I fired tons of questions at God, and God used all sorts of encounters to answer my questions.
Many friends and my family gave tremendous support to me. I also had a blessed time of reflection and repentance before God as I reflected on how some of my behaviours were unhelpful and highlighted some of my own issues.
Now that the relationship has ended, I can see things much more clearly. I realise nearly all decisions and understanding in our relationship hinged on his feelings.
Recognising Dysfunctional Foundations
He made it explicitly clear he wanted his future spouse to submit to his emotions, and that his emotions were above the truth.
He didn’t want to communicate, he wanted me to read his mind and do whatever his feelings dictated at the time. And the moment you demand that your partner must meet all of your emotional needs all the time, you create a goal that no relationship can reach.
This cannot be a realistic foundation of a meaningful relationship
So no matter how much I loved him, it was always going to be a dysfunctional relationship because this cannot be a realistic foundation of a meaningful relationship.
It also will always guarantee emotional ‘infidelity’, because every day there is always someone else out there who can give you better ‘feelings’.
I used to desperately want to satisfy my ex, now it’s a relief that I didn’t (well, I couldn’t). I realise we need to bring our emotional needs to God first, he’s the source of our peace and our solid foundation. We will never be perfect but when we seek satisfaction in God first, then we’re able to love others freely.
I’m not writing all this to blame him. I’m sharing my experience because these emotional struggles are more common than many people think.
The Right Decision
Though I really missed our good times together, I was also relieved as I returned to the ‘normal’ world where there’s no need to read other people’s emotions to gain acceptance. Ironically, this actually allows me to freely understand and engage with their emotions in a healthy way!
I have read many articles on how couples should deal with emotional differences (some just assume women are the emotional ones!). All of them teach the importance of effective communication and listening, with which I agree completely.
Looking back, I am grateful for the love and guidance from God, friends, and family throughout the healing process. I can only pray for the same for my friend. Only God can fully understand and bring true healing and restoration to the deepest void of our hearts. (Read Warning: A Relationship Should Change Us, But Can’t Cure Us)
We can experience true intimacy with God, which leads to true intimacy with others
Intimacy means to completely know and to be completely known.
It means humbly exposing of all our weaknesses, fears and past emotional baggage.
Just like a luxurious home constantly requires tedious cleaning and maintenance, an intimate relationship always involves great effort, vulnerability, and sacrifice. But because of Jesus’ ultimate vulnerability and sacrifice, we can experience true intimacy with God, which leads to true intimacy with others. (Read Revealed: Why Some Break-Ups Feel Good (After A While))
Imagine if we approached relationships like our guest writer. If we decided to reflect on the events which happened and thought about how to do it better next time. If we ran to God for help and guidance above all else and realised relationships are about healthy communication instead of unrealistic demands. How much better would our relationships be? (Read Quick Guide: Discover What All Good Dating Relationship Have In Common)
Q: What good and bad influences do you think shape expectations in your relationships? Comments welcomed below