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Love: We Weren’t Talking About the Same Thing

Metaphor of comparing apples to oranges on a balance beam isolated on white and the oranges are not as heavy or light.

When someone you love hurts you so deeply, it makes you question everything you thought was true about men, relationships and marriage, fear and doubt try to root themselves in your mind and heart.

Make Sure You Mean the Same Thing

One thing that is true…you can use the same word and not mean the same thing. You may not realize at first, that you’re comparing “apples to oranges” when you’re getting to know someone.  It sound absolutely contrary, but I’ve seen it over and over again, both personally and professionally.

That’s why it’s so important to take your time in relationships.

Before I was married, there were red flags 🚩 all over the place that I blew past because I thought that my ex and I were talking about the same thing when we said we loved each other.  But, my definition of love was very different than his definition of love.

My definition of love is old fashioned.  It’s grounded in biblical principles. I’m not saying that I’m better than anyone else.  If you disagree with my definition of love, that doesn’t mean that I think any less of who you are.  It just means that we thing differently about what love is.

For me, love is all the things that the Bible (2 Corinthians 13:4-7) says it is –  love:

  • is patient
  • is kind
  • does not envy
  • does not boast
  • is not proud
  • does not dishonor others
  • is not self seeking
  • is not easily angered
  • keeps no record of wrongs
  • does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth
  • protects
  • always trust
  • always hopes
  • always perseveres

Though my ex was patient in may ways, he didn’t value any of the another things God said love should look like, despite the fact that he was a preacher’s kid.  His idea of love included lying, cheating and so many other things that were destructive to our relationship, both before and after we were married.

I’m not saying that I’m so much better than my ex. I am saying that I should have let him go so he could find someone who agreed with his outlook on life.

Ask the Hard Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions early in your dating relationship.  Be upfront and ask him how he feels about women, relationships and what each person’s role should be in a marriage. What does commitment look like to him?

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Dig into how they grew up and what examples he had available to him to show what a healthy relationship looks like.  And if he didn’t have those role models in his childhood, find out what he’s done to learn what love and a healthy marriage should look like.

If the answer to that is “nothing”, then keep it movin’.  Don’t invest your time and emotions on someone who will never make you happy.

Don’t Be Afraid to Cut Him Off

Many women, including myself, fall into the mistaken belief that – he’ll mature, learn what love is and want to walk that out in his own life for me.  I’ll be the person who shows him what love should be and once he sees that example in me, he’ll magically start to take on those attributes.  He’ll reflect back what I am giving to him.

Yeah, it’s possible, but ladies, don’t hold your breath!

It never happened for me. As a matter of fact, the more I reflected what I wanted in my marriage, the more he got angry and turned his back on our marriage and anything that would make our relationship better, stronger, and more healthy.

I’ve rarely seen it happen for anyone else.  Most of the time, the woman is left with the wreckage of a broken heart, guilt because she couldn’t make it work for the sake of the kids and a whole lot of debt.

Over and over again, my ex showed me his character before we got married.  I ignored all the warning signs.  I thought my love was enough to change his heart.  But that’s something that only Holy Spirit can do.

I bought into to the “no one’s perfect” lie. I don’t believe that I am or that anyone else is.  But when people try to implant that idea in you head, it’s always meant for you to ignore your “deal-breakers” and accept a whole lot less than God’s best for you.

That’s the deception. It’s nothing but sinking sand.  And the minute I accepted that as truth, it cost me another 20 years of my life.   Don’t let fear of being alone and waiting for the right one, keep you into a relationship with some one you’re really NOT compatible with.

The moment you realize your definition of love and his definition are very different, then let it go! Let him go.  Don’t get trapped into the lie that you have the power to change him.  You’re not going to change him. You can’t change anyone but yourself.

Yes, you are powerful because you are made in God’s image. But God also gave everyone free will. Don’t get that mixed up.

When I was about to graduate from law school, I actually did break up with my ex. I wished I had the strength back then not to turn around in fear and go back to the relationship. Looking back now, I’d much rather have been alone than suffer the things that God never intended for me to go through.

I was so afraid of hurting him.  I didn’t want to be “the bad guy”.  Another person’s feelings are important.  They just don’t trump my happiness and my destiny.

Getting Unstuck

Yes, could sit back and stew over the time, money and opportunities I lost being with someone who was never willing to love me in the way I wanted and deserved.  Those choices were rooted in my own self-esteem issues.  I take full responsibility for that.

I had emotional wounds from childhood that my ex had nothing to do with.  I didn’t really want to face those things and get healing from them.  Back then, I really didn’t understand the connection of how what was broken in my heart translated, into broken decision.

Grab Your Happiness

When you find yourself in a middle of what looks like a desert, focus on your healing!  It’s not selfish!  It’s one of the best ways you can show your love for the people who rely on you everyday.  You can’t show your kids how to fly with a broken wing.

Spend time discovering and reclaiming who you are.  I know that fearless young girl, who always dreamed she would take the world by storm, is still the same person you look at in the mirror every morning.

No, it’s not fun having to split yourself open and get all of the junk out that’s been holding you back.  It’s painful.  It requires you to sacrifice your time, and often money, to do it.  But, that’s a small cost to have the hope and freedom you were always meant to live in.

Don’t stay in your mistakes because it took along time for you to make them. Grab your happiness.  It’s your inheritance on this side of heaven!



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