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When You’re In A Relationship Of Convenience

Photo courtesy of Chris Pirillo via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Chris Pirillo via Flickr

“He married someone else!” she yelped in between sobs. “And I gave him everything. I gave him everything, and he still married someone else!”

I didn’t know what to say to this young woman who had confided in me, so I just put my arms around her and let her cry for a few moments.

I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to—in your mind—be in a relationship with a man who married someone else either right after you broke up. Have I broken up with someone who moved on? Sure. What this young woman told me, though, was about to toss a curve ball at me, and I wasn’t even in the situation.

They had been a couple for 10 years, but things took a turn for the worse when he met someone she thought was just his friend. I also knew him and had no idea he would have treated a woman the way he treated this young woman. I thought he was a monster until I ran into him one day. We started talking, and this situation came up in conversation. According to him, they had broken up several times up to that point. Some of the breakups were ones that she initiated. And he’d told her in the beginning he didn’t want to marry her.

I still couldn’t make any sense of what I’d been told. I kept asking myself, “Why would anyone spend that much time in a romantic relationship they knew wasn’t headed toward marriage?” Why would someone keep holding on to hope of marrying someone once they’d told them, and indicated in their behavior, that they fully intended to marry someone else? What makes a person stay in a dead-end romantic relationship?

I put myself in this young woman’s shoes. I knew what it was like to want to marry someone I’d loved very much. I don’t know what I would’ve done in her situation. After a few days, it came to me.

We stay in these relationships because we believe there are no options left for us. We believe that it’s impossible for us to start again with someone who wants the same things we do.

When you are in a relationship of convenience instead of one of mutual respect leading to marriage, you need to get out of that relationship. You need to value yourself as God values you.

Despite our circumstances or what our part was in the mess, nothing is impossible with God. Even if you feel you lost all your best years to that relationship. Even if statistics say there are not enough men/women to go around. Jesus fed a multitude with a few fish and loaves of bread. He is fully capable of making something out of nothing and giving you more than you need. Begin to ask God to show you what to take to him so he can feed your soul.

When we find ourselves in these situations, there’s healing that needs to take place. Healing can only occur “at the feet” of the One who created us—a healing that uproots every ungodly and false belief about marriage, dating and love. Let God speak to you about what part you played in this unhealthy relationship. Let Him show you why you allowed yourself to be with someone who didn’t love you the way you deserve to be loved. Take your time. Don’t rush into another relationship.

The good news is that I ran into this young lady a few years ago. She was happily married with a baby on the way. She looked like a new person. When I asked her what brought this change about, she responded, “God gave me another chance. He healed me. And in return I promised Him that this time I was going to do things His way.” She shared how the road to healing was hard and how she wanted to give up along the way. But God had His way of letting her know how much He loved her.

If you’ve been devastated by giving your all to a relationship that didn’t work, only to find out that your significant other married someone else, turn to God. Let Him uncover the wound and heal it. As you sit at His feet, let Him heal you from your embarrassment, shame, anger or resentment.

You will be a new person who believes in starting again—God’s way.

About Afi Pittman

Afi Pittman is an author and radio show host. She is also an active-duty Navy officer who has traveled the world and lived abroad. Her company, Author of Faith Enterprises, helps today’s single Christian woman to “live right, love life and find Mr. Right.”
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