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  • Elizabeth Billingsley

Relationships: How Do We Know When to Leave and When to Stay - A Perspective


Hello everyone!

I have received some very good and interesting feedback on social media for my last two blogs. I have also received some very negative feedback. It's amazing to me that when you begin telling the truth and showing evil for what it is how much it does not like that at all. I am moving forward and continuing to shine the His light in dark places!

I will start today by saying I am not a marriage or family therapist, nor am I a licensed counselor. My thoughts today will be based on my own experience. My hope in writing this blog is to provide some practical trigger points for knowing when leaving a relationship is actually safer than staying. Divorce and/or seperation are never my first go to, however, sometimes they are necessary for the health of one partner and any children that are involved - particularly in the case of abuse. I realize every situation and person is different. I encourage everyone to see a licensed counselor, pastor or other trusted mentor if you find yourself in a gray area -related to another issue that does not include abuse.

How do we know when to leave or when to stay in a relationship? Relationships are not easy. They are not designed to be easy. They will never be easy. With that said, what does healthy problem solving in a relationship actually looks like?

1) It looks like partnership: coming together to solve problems and help each other work on our quirks - we all have them.

2) They talk to each other. Yes even the hard stuff gets put on the table.

3) It looks like love. It is patient and kind. It is not easily angered. It does not keep a record of wrong or hold grudges. Sounds like 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 right?

4) It attacks the problem, not the person.

5) It encourages the person (s) as they change and they encourage each other as they problem solve to make the relationship better.

6) It does not enable someone to continue to do something harmful to themselves or others. Appropriate boundaries are established at all times. Each partner takes responsibility for themselves.

This kind of partnership and problem solving fosters relationships, it does not end them. Yes it may be uncomfortable but problem solving with these relationship charateristics in place is not only doable, it will strengthen the relationship! You can't beat that!

Let's look at the flipside of this coin now. What does an unsustainable, abusive relationship look like?

1) Belittling is a constant.

2) Manipulation is a constant and no responsibility is assumed by one party.

3) There is no discussion, there is only one partner using controlling authoritarianism to get their way (e.g. a dictatorship).

4) There is no love in this type of relationship, only fear.

5) One partner is not allowed to have their own identity (e.g. identity theft by the controlling partner).

6) There is some form of consistent verbal, physical, mental, emotional or sexual assault. This is not love! This is evil!

Ladies and gentlemen, this relationship is not only unsustainable it is unsafe for you and your children. Get out! Get out quickly while you still have time! You can't fix this and you can't help the other person. Do not walk the road I walked - only heartache and death will find you. God has a way out for you, take it and do not be afraid! You are not responsible for this person and their behavior is not your fault! Let God do the reckoning for them, I can assure you He will!

I sincerly hope this comparison has shed light on what is healthy and what is not and on what will work and what can't work at all. The only thing I can ask of you is to choose wisely for yourself and your children. Choose love and choose life!

With much love,

Elizabeth


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