What Your Parents, The Media and Our World Should Have Taught You About Romantic Relationships
1. If your significant other talks poorly to you, s/he will likely talk poorly about you. Bad mouthing a loved one behind their back is about that person’s lack of integrity, not your behavior. Choose your significant other wisely.
2. Getting married, having a baby or moving will not fix a relationship. These actions will instead amplify what is already there—the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t look to these things as your savior. Fix the underlying issues before you get more deeply imbedded in them.
3. You are 100% responsible for the life you allow, the life you sabotage and the life you create. Don’t blame your circumstances on your significant other or anyone else. Doing so takes your power away. No one, but you “makes” you do anything. Get real with yourself, your choices and your actions.
4. Anyone who is unaccountable for their own behaviors, mistakes or difficult patterns is difficult to be in relationship with. A person’s lack of accountability is about the person, NOT about someone else’s behavior. If you’re unaccountable—fix it. If the person you’re with is unaccountable—have them fix it. If they won’t, be willing to leave.
5. Addicts often form relationships with people who will enable their addictions. Too many partners ignore the signs of their significant other’s addiction and tip toe around it, hoping the addict will “see the light.” Addiction does not magically go away and most addicts deny they are addicts.
6. If a person shows little remorse about an affair, they are highly likely to have another. Don’t move forward in the absence of remorse.
7. Hitting, threatening, pushing or in any way putting your hands on someone in anger is NOT “normal,” is NOT okay and is NOT acceptable. It IS abuse.
8. You are NEVER responsible for another person’s rage, abuse or threats. If someone is violent toward you, they will be violent with others. Their violence is about them and their demons, not about you and your behavior—no matter what they say.
9. Yelling, screaming or belittling is NOT a “normal” part of relationships, nor is it okay. Healthy arguments stay respectful even when the subject matter is difficult to talk about.
10. If a person has two or more affairs, sex addiction may be present. If you choose to stay, do so with your eyes wide open and not with blinders on. DO NOT be naïve; know this behavior will not change without extensive treatment, sincere remorse, 100% accountability and full transparency about the past and future.
Many people have had poor role models in their lives and grew up with unhealthy messages regarding relationships. I don’t care what you saw, what you heard or what you lived, these ten relationship truths are TRUE. Trust them, live them and lean into them. You cannot have healthy relationships if you don’t know what healthy looks like. If you had a difficult upbringing, dare to evolve away from those old messages and hurtful patterns. You owe it to yourself.
Challenge: Look over the list above and start challenging the unhealthy messages you’ve bought from your upbringing, the media or our culture.