- Gender and Relationships
Do You Make These 5 Relationship Mistakes?
Doom, Despair and Agony
Remember that painful, excruciating breakup? That one that felt like it was just going to be the end of it all. The breakup that kept you up all night sobbing and weeping. The endless days of depression that seem to just drag on and on.
Then, finally, there's a break in the clouds and it seems like you might just be able to start life again - it feels like this could be a whole new day.
So you decided it's time to move on from that breakup and get on with life. You begin to start thinking about all the other things and people in your life that you pushed away or ignored for the sake of that relationship.
Then, one day, this frightening thought hits you like a ton of bricks - maybe your parents and friends were actually right about that relationship.
Learning the Hard Lessons from a Relationship
It seems that the hard lessons that must be learned in life are always so costly in emotions, feelings, time and energy. There are just things that have to be learned from going through hard and seemingly impossible challenges.
Did you ever wonder how folks stayed together so long back in the old days? Maybe the values were different back then. Maybe they were raised differently. Maybe they can tell us something we don't know.
These are also the lessons that teach us well. These are the lessons nobody really wants to learn.
Hard Lessons Learned: The Top 5 Relationship Mistakes
Mistake #1: Looks Really Matter
If you watch movies, read romance novels or just hear people talking, you would think that the world is full of beautiful people - and they all seem to get with someone other than me. Well, there are a lot of physically beautiful people, that's true. As my Granny used to say, "there has to be something there when the plumbing falls apart."
What she was lovingly reminding us about was another kind of beauty. The beauty of a whole person - their character, personality, compassion, charm, wit and values. This inner beauty is what keeps people together for a lifetime. Look for that kind of beauty in another person. Falling for beauty that is only skin deep may lead to one of the biggest relationship mistakes of all.
Mistake #2: Sacrificing Friends and Family
I know a gentleman who split up with his wife of more than 30 years. Seems they finally figured out they just didn't like one another after all. Turns out this man had not kept up with his friends over the years because his wife just didn't care for even one of them. She also convinced him that he didn't really need his family either.
Those precious relationships -the ones he likely needed the most for support and comfort - had all withered away. The hard lesson here is no single relationship is worth giving up all others in your life. If you're with someone who is controlling and doesn't want you to have friends or be with family, maybe you would be better off without them.
Mistake #3: Breaking Trust in a Relationship
I know too many people who have violated the bonds of trust necessary in a relationship - especially a close, intimate relationship. There are so many ways to make this relationship mistake. Lying is the first step, followed by more lying. Soon, lying becomes the norm, someone finds out and the trust bond is broken.
Trust is so precious in a relationship, I would even say it is the life blood of a relationship. Once trust is broken, even if both parties desire to restore it, there is always doubt after that. If you're in a relationship and someone has placed their trust in you to do the right thing, do whatever it takes to maintain the integrity of that trust bond. Once lost, it can never be restored fully.
Mistake #4: Moving In Together Too Soon
Now, I'm a traditional kind of person and I think people ought to get married before they move in together - but hey, that's just me. You do what you want.
But there is a reason societies throughout history have provided ways for couples to court one another, get to know each other before they got married. These days, people are in such a hurry to move in together. That ought to tell you something right there.
How about taking some time to really get to know the other person? You know, when my wife and I were married 30 years ago, there was about a year where we just really didn't like one another. She grew up in a house where people were gentle and quiet, I grew up in a house with a German father, a Scotch-Irish mother and three brothers. Oh, the fights we had - and the yelling! Needless to say, when my wife and I were married - even though we had dated for over 18 months - there was a time of getting to know one another.
Doesn't matter what everyone else is doing - you take some time to really get to know the other person before you move in together. Who knows, you might even end up liking them so much you'll want to get married.
Mistake #5: Not Listening to Your Parents (They're Usually Right)
Now this one is not always true. There are a few times that parents just don't get it right, but mostly, they know about what they are speaking.
I remember my first girlfriend and the yelling match between myself and my parents. They were convinced that she just wasn't right for me. I was totally convinced we would marry in spite of what my parents said.
You know what, they were right. She was trouble, I just didn't see it at the time. We eventually broke up (shock!). Years later, I caught up with this girl and listened in horror to what she had done in the twenty years since we broke up. I called my mother that night to thank her.
The reason parents are usually right is that they have more experience, they have seen more of life. It only stands to reason that they would know more and, therefore, are usually right.
The Bottom Line on Relationship Mistakes
Look, everybody makes mistakes but not everybody makes lots of big mistakes over and over again. There is a name for people like that. Relationships are precious and you should treat your relationship as a precious jewel. If you're in a relationship, take care to protect it, don't let anyone steal it from you and guard it with all you have. One day, when everything else is gone, that relationship may be all you have - and I guarantee it will be very precious to you then.
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