Lately, I’ve been attracting both men and women who are currently going through a divorce, looking for new love in all the wrong directions and finding empty promises. I decided to share some insights of what I learned about healthy relationships. I noticed online there are very few books on Domestic Violence on Christianity. Most of my friends are “Christians” and yet they find the wrong people all the time. In church we don’t usually talk about dating or get into the deep elements of our emotions or our sexuality, it’s just not right to talk about that, but if we have those feelings of infatuation even as adults who do we talk to? I’ve realized most not all women would dream to find that “Perfect” man that they see in the movies. The one who will open doors for them, pull out chairs and bring flowers and teddy bears. Most men will say it’s only fairytale, but in my experience I found that man in my home.
The day my husband proposed to me I said, “I’ve been beat down, I’ve been manipulated and abused and I refuse to go through that again. You will respect me, you will treat me like a Queen and I will be treated like an equal partner in this relationship. If you ever lay a hand on me I will be that crazy Asian woman that will be chasing you down the street with the cast iron skillet.” and I looked at him straight in the eyes and his response was, “Does that mean, yes?” and smiled. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but I can guarantee that he’s not abusive, he doesn’t belittle me and always make sure that me and my son are very well taken care of. That to me is a man.
Whether it’s a “Christian” man or not, the point is you’re tired of hurting, needing, begging and submitting yourself to emotional abuse and shame, well to find the right guy, you must first re-learn to LOVE yourself. How can you expect someone to love you with all your baggages, shame, low self-esteem and issues if you don’t want to even bother with his? And if you do, then you might need to reevaluate why you want a relationship in the first place? If you’re looking for a man to fix your problems then you’ve found a man to control you as well. Wouldn’t you want to be self-sufficient without needing a daddy or another baby to take care of? Companionship is about being adults and being respectful. But how you look for that man is how you present yourself. I’ve seen women who are not physically attractive that can find a very handsome man and vise versa, it’s how he/she carries themselves. I know it hurts that he left you and leaving you high and dry with the kids, no bills paid and not recognizing his responsibility. Instead of sulking, do something get mad and change the circumstances. 1.) Take down all his pictures around the house and replace it with positive quotes or pictures around the house. 2.) Find positive music to revive that old soul of yours, remind yourself that you are worth the wait and to be catered to. Never take anything less. 3.) Treat yourself; go to the movies without the kids, girls night out, find you a cute outfit you’ve been wanting to wear. 4.) Finding new hobbies; take a course in school, workout, redecorate your home, do something spontaneous, but fun! 5.) Never forget to heal, read a bible or a self-help book, praise yourself for moving forward even if it’s only been one day, but praising yourself is a self-esteem boost.
It took me years to figure out why I was picking all the wrong ones and the hardest part for me was to admit it was me that was the problem. I didn’t realize I had issues and trauma to deal with, I was so use to boozing it down when I was depressed or get high when I was stressed out; but since I’ve been clean and sober for nearly 11 years I’ve learned some new ways to help me cope with my problems. I’m not saying you have to be perfect to find the suitable partner, but it does help if you’re not always in crisis and in the midst of drama all the time. A healthy person knows to set boundaries and will eventually walk away from you if you continue to turmoil yourself. Only an abuser will stay, because that’s all they know and they think they can “fix” it or control you. I’m going to give you some steps and these are from my personal experience that I’ve learned what to do and what NOT to do.
If you are a single mother, when you first meet a guy NEVER invite them to your home! Find a meeting place: restaurant, book stores, coffee shop, mall, museum etc. Some place public, if you don’t want to go alone, invite a friend to go with you. Whatever you do, find a sitter never assume he’s too short he can’t hurt me or he seems really nice and he has kids too. Those type of thinking can get you hurt, it’s better to be safe then sorry. Never talk about your problems, he doesn’t need to know what you’re going through. You don’t know him long enough to even call him your best friend, be a lady and keep your problems with the pastor, priest, shrink or very close friends. A woman who shares too much and too fast gives an abuser ammunition to use against her later. Don’t expect anything out of the meeting, be in the moment enjoy a appetizer together with some nice wine. Talk about hobbies and ambitions on your issues. Healthy people love stimulating conversation that can challenge the mind: talk about weather, science, books you’ve read, what you like to do other than being the housewife you use to be. If you have kids, don’t give too much information about them. Just say I am a single mother of #? and leave it at that. Once you’ve DATED not sex for over a month to 3 months, then you can slowly talk about your kids. Each person’s pace of waiting is different, my personal preference is 3-6 months of dating before I talk about my kids.
I’m going to talk about SEX, because no one else is. Most women who’ve been abused in our lives, we’ve used sex to validate who we are, to keep a man happy and for score keeping. I’m going to go with the same concept of dating, how you find a man in a dating scenario is the type of man you’ll get in bed. I’m not going to preach to you and tell you not to have sex, you’re going to do it anyways, but what I can do is provide some insights. If you’ve just broken up with your boyfriend, husband, lover and you are use to that physical companionship, you’re going to want to find that person to fill the void. You must first ask yourself are you ready to be intimate with a total stranger while you know you are thinking of him/her? Is that aftermath of shame worth it? Even just to get back at them, how do you think it will make you feel if the other person isn’t affected by it? He/She could always say, wow I didn’t know you slept with that stranger and laugh at you? Wise girls don’t kiss and tell. If you’re going to find a man to be intimate with make sure they treat you like a Queen, no backseat of a car, or a roach motel, that shows little respect he has for you. Having sex on a first night is NEVER a good option, remember you must respect yourself first before you can expect anyone else to respect you.
If you’ve been single for awhile now and is still looking, then write out what you are looking for specifically. If you are looking for a Christian partner, then start joining in Christian single groups at your local church. Remember when you create your list, ask yourself if the tables were reversed would you accept it as well? Most of us don’t realize that we can set too high of a standard that makes the other runaway and if those standards were given to us we’d say no, so be reasonable. The only expectation from any partner is: respect, dignity, loyalty and equality. If your partner doesn’t treat you the way he/she wants to be treated it’s time to go. Most importantly, you must deal with your baggages before moving forward to a new relationship, take care of you and love the NEW you!