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  • Elizabeth R Billingsley

Better Together? That Depends on the Condition of "Together"


Hello everyone! Today's blog picture highlights two points I want to make today. You see a couple pleasantly eating correct? You can't tell much else because of the shadow can you?

That is the first point I want to make today. Not everything in all relationships is as pleasant as it seems. Those in certain relationships can be excellent actors and put forward their best face for the world. The reality of the situation is what you don't see behind walls or closed doors. I want to impress on you to not believe everything you see in all relationships. You must know about the people and what motivates them to trully see who they are - a picture can be the biggest lie of all. I say this because I was one of those people in one of those fabulous pictures for longer than I should have been. I fooled alot of people and myself but I could not fool God. I am so thankful He does not throw us away when we make a mistake! He also understands when we have been fooled and He will take care of us too.

The second point I want to make is this: just because you are with someone does not mean all is well, hence the reason for today's blog title. I have heard couple's told in church circles they are "better together." **I was told that by an unsuspecting pastor who had no idea what was going on in my marriage. I believe in many cases church leaders may not be aware of any abuse or other serious issues when they provide such advice. To be fair to this pastor, I did not tell her so she would have had no way to know. In fact, no one knew (let me say here that secrecy is never a good idea so save yourself some pain and don't try it). My "together" was not "better" just because we were "together." You always have to consider the condition of "together." If "together" is a loving couple who are trying to work through some rough patches and understand one another with respect and love, the "together" is "better" because they will be able to get to the other side of their problem with some extra help.

On the other hand, if "together" is: 1) two selfish people, 2) one particularly selfish person with a selfless person or, 3) a person with serious mental health issues and a loving person; you have a recipe for disaster if one or both of them do not come to terms with the issues with themselves and the relationship. In any of these situations, "together" is not "better" it is actually quite painful and can be a precursor to abuse of all kinds. In these situations, without the right intervention and different choices, "together" will be miserable and very damaging. I was the partner in the 3rd example, the loving woman with a severely mentally ill husband who was good at being a chameleon or hiding his monster as my counselor put it. My "together" was not "better" because he would not get help nor let God heal him. This biblical concept from Eccelsiastes was not going to work in my marriage and I know plenty of other people who have also experienced this very thing in their marriages.

The condition of "together" must always be considered and the reality of who people are must always be considered when giving couples relationship advice. I would encourage and advise church leaders and councelors not to provide blanket advice such as this if they have not considered who they are dealing with or do not know what is really going on in the relationship.

I will close by saying you are never "better together" if abuse of any kind is taking place in your relationship. You don't have to live like that and God does not expect you to either. If you are the abuser, repent and learn what real love is - you can still change while you still live and breathe.

Consider your "better together" in your relationship. Seek out wise council and act accordingly.

Until next time,

Elizbaeth

**For more of my story, see my book The Road Less Traveled: A Story of Love, Pain, Hope and Everything In Between.


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