Rose Tinted Love
We've all heard the expression, "Love is blind," but in reality it is not. At times love may be seen through lenses that provide a distorted visual, or worse yet a full-blown hallucination! The word "blind" suggests a permanent state of being. However, love is rarely blind after the "honeymoon" stage ends and reality sets in. Eventually the glasses come off, if only for a moment, and we are able to see the flaws in our sweetheart. We all have them, and it is not fair or realistic to expect your mate to be flawless. When the problems are minor, we-figuratively-replace the glasses and choose to overlook them, maybe even doubt or deny them. It's no big deal when they're relatively inconsequential. But what if they're major? What if they are things that we cannot or should not learn to live with?
But They Shouldn't Be Terrible Either
It's best to know somebody as well as possible before committing to a marriage or long-term relationship. Unfortunately, there are people who are very good at disguising their true selves until they feel secure that we can't, or won't, leave them. We should show such a person how wrong he or she is about that. For no reason should we ever stay in a relationship that is abusive and destructive. The longer we do, the more our self-esteem will erode, and the harder it will be to pick ourselves up.
Sticks and Stones
I'm not only talking about physical violence. I mean any relationship where our partner is too controlling and/or verbally and psychologically abuses us. This may or may not involve physical violence or the threat of it. Frequent angry outbursts, name-calling, and the withholding of love and affection can be equally devastating. God knows, and so do I, that we all deserve better. The truth is that no one deserves to be treated that way.
Some stay in relationships that are abusive because they do not believe they deserve better; they are wrong. Or maybe they feel stuck. Sometimes they're just really scared. Maybe they are dependent on their partner financially, or when kids are involved, they are afraid of hurting the children.
The reality is that the children are already being hurt. They will either identify with the abuser or the victim-normally according to which of the two's gender matches their own-and they are likely to repeat the pattern in their relationships. The victim does them no favors by allowing them to see him/her forsaking his/her own well-being. As far as financial dependence is concerned, the person may have to give up some luxuries, for awhile at least. It's worth it in the end. There are plenty of good people in the churches and in the community who make it their mission to help people in situations like this. They aren't hard to find.
It can be difficult enough to admit to ourselves that we were wrong about someone, let alone admit it to others. This is especially true of those who warned us ahead of time. Chances are they warned us because they love us, and they were able to see what we could not at the time. We need to swallow our pride, admit we were wrong, and thank them for trying. Most importantly we should learn from this experience. People who genuinely love us and have our best interests at heart can be like seeing-eye service dogs, helping when we can't see well by warning us of potential dangers.