To escape a dysfunctional relationship and leap into freedom takes courage that only comes from Jesus Christ. Speaker Dr. Tracey Mitchell reminds you the healthiest relationships are not formed out of past pain, but out of future expectation and trust in the Father.
There is a proverb that says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” How true. Nothing brings people together like a mutual enemy. Observe two disgruntled employees, who before have never liked each other, receive termination papers on the same day. Suddenly, they rally together joining forces to fight corporate headquarters.
A common enemy, pain, became the matchmaker for an unforeseen relationship. Consider a time when you faced great tragedy. Who became your confidant? To whose arms did you turn for comfort? It is not uncommon for relationships to form from the ashes of painful experiences. I encourage you to evaluate the premise for every relationship. Keep in mind that the healthiest relationships are not formed out of past pain but out of future expectation.
During a recent counseling session a woman tearfully complained, “I don’t understand how people expect me to live with my alcoholic husband; he is loud, profane, and abusive.” Then surprisingly, when asked about their courtship, she explained, “Well, I met my husband in a bar. We both enjoyed the club scene and for the most part, drinking was our only shared interest.” Yes, this really did happen.
Although it is tempting to shake our head in disbelief, I suspect we have all missed the forest for being blinded by trees. As one who knows the heartache of dysfunctional relationships, I stress for you to remember common strengths, not weaknesses, are the foundation for long-lasting relationships.
Another caution light of potentially damaging relationships is when a connection materializes at an abnormally fast pace, as if overnight. Ask a couple who have only known each other a few weeks why they are getting married so quickly. Very often, you will hear phrases like, “He gets me”; “She understands me”; “It’s as if he can read my mind.” Another commonly verbalized emotion is “I feel like I have known this person my entire life.”
In many ways this is an accurate analogy. It is common for people who share similar backgrounds, experiences, or pain to share mutual attraction. Yet pain is often more attracted to pain than healing. Why? Because pain enjoys the companionship of dysfunction. Healing requires effort and energy. By exposing the darkened places of our insecurities, healing demands we change.
Why does a woman leave her faithful, loving husband for a two-timing, washed-up loser? Could it be her husband’s wholeness challenges her insecurities? Or is it, she feels more comfortable with a man who is equally dysfunctional? Maybe your spouse of twenty years has left you for a new fling, and you feel abandoned.
The bitter sting of rejection is all too real. But I beg you to stop and consider for a moment, “Who should really bear the burden of abandonment?” Should it be you, the one who is feeling betrayed, left behind? Or the one who broke trust and walked away? It is time to stop being emotionally imprisoned for crimes we have not committed. Break the chains, pick the lock, and walk free.
To learn more about the author please visit Tracey Mitchell
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