Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Kayla, a Geek Squad employee at Best Buy. She had on a vintage and beautiful wedding band that did not escape my attention. When I complimented her on it, she revealed that her mother had passed it on to her for her wedding. As we conversed further, she told me about her husband.
They met when she was in middle school on a school bus. They rode that bus together for 3 years without speaking to one another as he was a shy and quiet boy. As fate would have it, they ended up working at Little Caesars years later. Though they started to connect, she was in no rush to get in a relationship. She had just gotten out of a 3-year relationship that she described as really tough and horrible as she shook her head. When I asked why she stayed in the relationship for so long, she said: I am the type of person who tries all I can to make a relationship work.
As I walked out of Best Buy, I wondered how many women have had the same mind as Kayla and lived to regret it. I know women who stayed in abusive, manipulative relationships because they were trying to make it work. When the relationship finally broke down, they ended up deeply hurt, broken-hearted, wounded, and jaded about relationships. Some ended up having fears that lead to trust and commitment issues. Others devalued themselves and ended up becoming controlling, became man-haters, or became promiscuous – entering meaningless relationship after relationship – under the guise of taking their power back.
Over years of counselling such women, I have learned that while there is something to admire about a person who shows a deep commitment to a relationship, there is also a danger that must not be overlooked. The danger comes when the commitment is blind; when the commitment does not consider the sort of person you are with.
Before you try to make a relationship work, you need to know if you are with a man you can work with.
If you are going to commit to making your relationship work, then make sure your man has the following five attributes.
- He is open to repentance: To repent means to change one’s mind. Any man who is not open to repentance is unwilling to change. If your man is not willing to change, then your relationship will not change. Before you commit to making your relationship work, make sure your man is open to working on the relationship
- He is where he wants to be: If a man is not sure he wants to be in a committed relationship with you, nothing you can do can make him stay. If you are not the home he is looking for, then he is just passing through. Make sure you are not just a hotel to him and that you are his home. Many men fight for their home; seldom do they fight for a hotel.
- He is pursing his life goals and dreams: A man who does not have goals and dreams is a man you should not work to keep. A man who just talks about his goal and dreams but is not taking action to achieve them is a man whose life is not structured. With such a man, you have no clue where he will lead you or what guides his decision making.
- He has firm boundaries: Anything goes for a man without boundaries, but a man with boundaries is controlled. He understands his strengths and limitations and has a set of principles that rule his life.
- He listens to your heart: You cannot work with a man who will not listen to your wants and needs. A man who won’t listen to you is a man who simply wants to have his own way. This man does not really love you. The relationship may be fine for him, but you will be miserable and frustrated.