I don’t personally know any couple who get together with the explicit plan to break up. So what causes people to break up?
- Desire, Lust
- Loneliness, Loss
There are more, but these are the top that I have had to minister to people about.
• Fear: Fear of money, Fear of future, Fear of past, Fear of fear. It is simple, fear is a vision of what could happen, not a statement of what is happening. If you are locked in the bondage of fear, you will lose grasp of all that is still important. I cannot expect you to fold up fear like a piece of paper and just put it away. I can expect you to focus on your current situation and assets, so that you can make clear decisions based on what you have, vs what you have not.
• Trust: If you cannot trust your partner, you shouldn’t have gotten into that relationship in the first place. Imagining trust and experiencing trust are two different things. It is generally obvious if you can trust your partner or not. Not saying that there are not people who purposely deceive, but to the open eye, their deception is not that easy to hide. You just cannot let your emotions cloud your vision.
But lets see how you can build trust in your own heart. Physical contact is the top of the list from what I see. Hugging people is an exercise in vulnerability. Couples that hug it out have a tendency to be open with most of their issues.
Another trust tool is to actually tell your partner what is wrong. Not that you are upset with them. Humans make horrible mind readers. Expecting your partner to remember your anniversary, getting upset when they forget, is not a valid reason to get bent out of shape. Be clear that you were expecting them to remember the anniversary, but don’t shut down, there is probably a reason they forgot. Everything from something romantic to stress at work or home. Being partners means that you need to be ready to rejoice with your partner, and sorrow with them too. Being clear on what the problem is, and not just your current conclusion is highly important.
Ask questions, assumptions may kill your relationship fast. Something as simple as ketchup for your fries is enough to frustrate your partner. Open ears, and asking questions is enough to over come those issues. If you asked, but you were wrapped in your own thoughts rather than their answer, stop, and ask again. Be apologetic for not listening the first time.
Yes, ketchup on french fries can be a breaking point for a relationship. If the emotions are already tense, and you ask about a condiment, and don’t actually listen to the reply, then you have just devalued your partner. You have just dismissed their opinion. I suspect if this is the case then this isn’t the first time that you have been dismissive of their opinion without second thought. If you don’t value your partner to consider their words, then you have just devalued them and their participation on your life.
• Desire & Lust: If these are two single people, meaning that they are not married to another person, then go for it. Discover if you can live with one another without ignoring features of one another.
Look at the first two items and see if they apply to you. More so, if you are lusting for someone you are not married to, then you have two issues:
- You are betraying your partner. Meaning, you are effectively are a liar or an untrustworthy person. Which is it?
- You are not addressing the real issue. Maybe you are a liar or untrustworthy person, but why? A cold symptom is not the cold. If you don’t address the cold, then you will have the symptom again and again.
Lets look at the possible real issue:
- “Not my fault” is not an answer. Even if you have been devalued in your relationship with your current partner, and you are not being satisfied, then you are not being honest when addressing your partner.
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4 NASB
Note that the word used for anger is also translated as indignation, wrath, and exasperation.
An unsatisfying relationship that isn’t being addressed with ears that are willing to listen and a heart that is willing to take positive action is a relationship that will fail.
If you are giving up on a relationship, don’t start a new one until you are clear of your old one, and it is not going to interfere with your new one. That is, both people are clear on the break, and all items, or children, are resolved. If joint custody of children, then stay single until they are moved out of the house. (Yes, children do feel like they have to compete with for their parent’s attention when their are new children, or even a new spouse. Don’t even attempt to act like this isn’t true. Lying to yourself is also lying to your children in this case.)
- “I am just not into my partner any more” is not a valid answer. Nor is “It was a moment of weakness”. You are just lying to yourself and everyone around you.
Lets face it, you are in the same boat as the person who is claiming “Not my fault”. So rather that repeating myself, I’m not going to repeat myself.
- There are other reasons, like crappy intentions, and amoral people assuming ownership of their partners that will create a poor relationship. You can over come this by being honest about your partner to yourself before marrying them.
I strongly suggest seeking pre-marital counseling, as a means to understand the grounds what you are going into. This is an experience that you travel with your partner. If you are not actively acting as partners, your path will cut short.
• Loneliness & Loss: I’ll keep this short. This is specific to the loss of someone other than your partner which you or your partner has not recovered from.
This is most common when a child is lost. I have seen the scenario where one or both parents have completely collapsed into depression when they lost a valued child.
I understand mourning. Get it over with. Cry your eyes out. Burn through your grief until you are exhausted from grieving. But you have to move on. That means, if you are obsessing on this then you are obsessing on something that is out of your control. This is why you don’t celebrate the birthday or death day of someone who has passed, except maybe as a passing note.
I know, this sounds cold. But if you think of it this way, you are not helping the person who is dead. You cannot add or deduct from them by dwelling obsessively on them. Obsessing on your loss is not helping yourself. If you have other members of your family, then you are stealing your presence from them when they need your whole heart with the living, and not those who are asleep in Christ.
I hope you get this last one. Focusing on a dead person, or on yourself, and not investing on your living family is acting like a farmer who cries about the lost crop rather than reseeding his field with new seed for a new crop.
If you want to get your joy back, and let go of the pain, then invest into the seeds that will sprout new life or new joy, then you will see the pain of the loss have less of an impact on your life. It takes time and investment. If you don’t invest in your emotional health, it will rot further away.
There is a LOT more to this, but I am only going to counsel on my experiences and my ministry. Consider this my Christian Ministry work, to minister to your heart, to unshackle you from the sins and anchors of this world. Fear, Anger, Deception, and Loss are anchors of this world.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
2 Cor 9:8 NASB
1 The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalms 23 NASB