All broken relationships carry with them an overflowing cup of pain. When the curtains close in a relationship, depending on how invested one was, pain that can only be likened to hot molten lava trapped in one’s bones may arrive. This pure distilled unadulterated pain will camp in a heart that never imagined a breakup.

It took me a while to realize how a breakup had been such a capsule of favour. Suddenly the clouds lifted.

After spending countless times asking questions in prayer, reflecting, writing and therapy, I’m now convinced that God allowed the madness to go on so that He could put me in a path of transformation.

My failures exposed the depth of my depravity. I used to regard myself highly. It taught me the need to constantly seek growth and to focus on changing oneself than changing other people.

Looking back in my life, some of the best gifts from the universe have taken the form of pain. When my relationship ended, I didn’t know the extent to which my heart had committed. Looking back, it hurt that deep because I had made a decision to commit just weeks before. My pain was subtle but lethal. It joined me at night and terrorized my sleep. I masked it with bravado and a macho man persona. But this pain taught me lessons I couldn’t have learnt at an Ivy League University. The pain forged my character and purified my soul. Like fire purifies precious stones, this pain introduced myself to me in such a profound way that I had never imagined. Pain took me through a crash course of life. It poured nuggets of wisdom, perspectives and ideas I doubt I would have had if I didn’t hurt.

This pain taught me the value of being decisive. That one would rather walk away from a relationship than cause pain through indifference. I now understand that there is no pain far greater than one caused by indifference. It taught me that if I can’t give 100 percent, there is no need to be there in the first place. As long as you are not committed, you can never give 100 percent. You either go all in or go home. That’s the price one needs to pay to enjoy the fruits of a relationship. I learnt that filling the bank of love in one’s relationship is a necessary requirement to be happy. Never tire of giving even when reciprocity takes long. It’s in giving that one receives. Give not because the other person deserves. Give because it shows who you are, a selfless human being who knows that it’s in giving that one receives.

I learnt that decisiveness carries with it abundant blessings. It’s the foundation of a relationship. Everything rises and falls on this trait.

All relationships can be traced back to broken agreements. It’s easy to commit when you are in love. You can promise the world while you have no clue how to supply it. As the old adage goes, newfound love fills you up like a brand new toy. It doesn’t matter how excited you are, only promise what you know you will deliver. Remember that when the chapters of our books will be written, we will only be judged by what he did not what we said.

When you make a mistake, which is guaranteed, by the way, Own up despite how grave they may seem. You are caught flirting? own up. You have cheated? Own up. Your words have caused pain? apologize. You are late for a date and she is mad at you? don’t justify yourself by dragging the traffic or other challenges you may have encountered. Never justify your actions. Owning up is the hallmark of maturity because it shows your level of responsibility. It may cost you dearly but you’d rather be embraced by the freedom of truth than be caged by lies. When you have apologized, find ways to become a better person. Sorry is a sorry word if it’s not accompanied by intentional steps of change.

Just as doctors cannot treat themselves, it’s difficult to resolve deeper challenges without external help. If you see patterns that may show a deeper underlying issue, look for professional help. Unhealthy emotions are normal but when they constantly and persistently rear their ugly heads and they hamper peace, find ways to deal with them. Mood swings could have deeper underlying issues like. Outbursts could as well be the tip of the iceberg of deep-seated psychological problems. That controlling trait may be a symptom of a dark personality trait. Consistent lies, inability to control one’s words and emotions, erratic behaviours among others could be a disorder. Find a counselling psychologist and a psychiatrist. Let them give professional advice.

You need friends to shield you against the tides of life. Doing life with someone else in a relationship makes a challenging task even more difficult. You need people who will encourage you when you can’t go on. You need brothers and sisters who will give up their couch when push comes to shove. You need people who will stand with you and cheer you on when you are about to give up. You need people who will listen to your rants without giving unsolicited advice. You need friends who will not meddle in your relationship but will always be there for you. With friends, the boundary is king. If you are having a problem in your relationship, find help from a neutral person possibly a professional. They mean well but remember they have their biases, worldviews, backgrounds that affect their advice.

Forgive quickly and resolve a conflict. Today’s anthill may be tomorrow’s mountain if you don’t take decisive action to resolve the conflict as soon as possible. Stretch the membrane of your heart to have supernatural abilities to forgive without allowing abuse. Unforgiveness is the weed that drains the life out of relationships. It becomes a cesspool of toxicity that soon drains the life out of the relationship. A small mistake will snowball into an argument. If you don’t resolve conflict faster, you may soon find yourself resenting the person you once loved.

Ultimately, you must choose to love daily. As long as you have chosen the person, love them fiercely. Love them as if your life depended on it. Find ways to spice up your relationship. Love fiercely even when you are hurt. Love through the pain. Love even when it hurts like hell. Love even if you feel like your shoulder is breakings from the weight of mistakes. Fight for the relationship. Do all it takes to find solutions to problems. A failed relationship will probably teach you more about yourself than thousands of personal development books.

When you have done all in your powers but it is not working, leave and never look back.  If you are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that you are done, leave. Do not console yourself that the situation will be better. Situations are changed by the choices we make. We can either string people along in hopes that brighter days will come and hurt them in the process. Negative relationships have the power to damage completely. It can rob your esteem and take away self-belief. Toxic relationships can mess up other areas of your life. Debt can creep in. Careers can be stalled. One can tolerate abuse in other areas of their life without even knowing. In severe cases, physical harm or even loss of lives has been a result of unhealthy habits in a relationship.

Pack your bags and leave.

Relationship
Author: Dannish Odongo

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