Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails… 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
What constitutes a healthy relationship? It is vital that the individuals in the relationship have a similar definition of unconditional love. Healthy relationships are formed from a mutual agreement to bond with another individual that is based on love, respect, and forgiveness. Relationships also benefit from the input from one another, which allows for personal growth; it is necessary to have another perspective to promote the expansion of one’s knowledge and life experience.
When these elements are present, both individuals are validated; and, the relationship evolves into a nurturing union.
Unhealthy relationships can only offer brokenness. One or both individuals endure pain and suffering. We compromise our emotional integrity when we hold on to relationships that produce only adverse outcomes. For many individuals, the unanswered question is, “why do we stay?” The simple fact is that once our fragile hearts are broken, we no longer possess the strength to identify and pursue our options. Our weakened state of mind creates reasons to accept dysfunction as an acceptable fate for our lives.
How do we move forward when we are emotionally wounded? There are a couple of viable options.
1. Avoid analyzing the reasons for the unhealthy status of the relationship. Trying to determine what led to the harmful behaviors will either end in blaming yourself or a compromise for staying in a destructive relationship.
2. If possible, develop a plan to improve the conditions of the relationship-which requires a mutual agreement with the other individual-and may involve therapeutic intervention. However, your values must align to produce change.
3. If it is not possible to achieve harmony; then let go of guilt and fear, and exit the relationship.
You owe it to yourself to be in a loving and caring relationship.