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This article was written by Tania Bhattacharya on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
Falling in love is easy. But staying in love? That’s tough. In the context of real life, “and they lived happily ever after” isn’t the natural outcome of a marriage. Thanks to the generous serving of fairytales that we are fed throughout our childhood and the misconceptions nurtured by Hollywood films, many of believe that we will meet that ‘perfect’ person. Wake up people, it’s time to get real… because Mr. or Miss Perfect does not exist.
Before you judge me as an anti-love crusader, let me clarify one thing— I believe in love, I believe in its power, and I trust that all of us need it to go through the hardships that life often hurls at us. Plus, I have been in a relationship with my husband for the past 19.5 years. Wow! That does make me an expert, doesn’t it?
And let me tell you, these nearly two decades that we have spent together have not been all rosy. There were times when we were tested, when we almost wanted to give up. But every time that happened, we picked ourselves up, put everything together, and continued. If you ask me, that, my friend, is love. That willingness to go on despite all odds, that determination to make things work when the world falls apart, that desire to accept each other’s imperfections and yet go on. That is how a healthy relationship looks like.
However, does that make disrespecting a partner legit in a relationship? Should you continue being with a person and giving him/ her ‘chances’ repeatedly even if that person continues making the same or similar kinds of ‘mistakes?’
The answer is NO.
Neither of you should tolerate reoccurrence of negative ways. Respecting your partner emotionally, verbally, physically and spiritually is important.
You need to draw the line. Remember, love is not always what you seek only in another person. Self-love is also a form of love. Each one of us is in a very special relationship with our own self. And, no matter what happens, we cannot violate that. Doing so is a sacrilege. This means that although it is incorrect and over-idealistic to look for perfection in your partner, you should certainly look for honesty. Being in a relationship does not make anyone ‘own’ the other person. You cannot and should not try to control your partner, but you should expect clarity and should be able to identify ‘issues’ that may raise a red flag.
I have broken down all issues into four major categories— Cheating, Lying, Stealing, and Abuse. Every negative in a relationship can fall into one of those categories. The decision you make is always between you and your partner based on you as an individual and also you as a team. Your friends, family or myself in this post can feed you with advice all day. Ultimately it is your call on what you decide.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when times are hard:
1. Is this something I want to handle or deal with?
2. Can I forgive this person?
3. Do I still love him/ her?
4. Do I love myself?
5. Is this person remorseful?
Most importantly, live the uniqueness of your relationship without comparing it with others. The pictures, check-ins, and updates you see on Facebook never give you the complete picture. They only give a slice of the whole story. The couple who just checked in to a five-star hotel might have fought a nasty fight last night. That beautiful long-sleeved dress that she is flaunting in her cover photo may be hiding scars of physical abuse. That exotic vacation they have been to, might be a celebration of two years of hard work.
Love is great! When you find that person that you can connect with emotional, verbally, physically, and spiritual, the feeling that you get is beyond words. The journey is not going to be easy, but with the right person, it is certainly going to be worthwhile.
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