Just this week I met with a friend for lunch to talk about his concerns. It’s not an out-of-this world problem. In fact, it’s a common problem that a lot of couples today face. You see, my friend is at a crossroads in life. I’ve been there before. There are two main roads to take – the rich, adventurous, single bachelor or grow old with the girl who captivated your heart.
Lost in a Crossroad
There will always be that time in your relationship with a person when you are put in the crossroads and you’re forced to imagine what life would be on either road. I have contemplated before what life would be without Apple. I would have what every single guy boasts about – ‘freedom‘. I would probably never find a better girl so I’d grow old living a bachelor’s life.
Things like that.
This goes without saying that you are in that crossroads because of a problem in your relationship. When things are smooth and happy, the road to being single is too thin. To the point that it’s unnoticeable. But when things get rough and the waves are rocking your love boat, that road suddenly becomes a little wider.
And by the time that the road to singleness becomes wider than the road you’re treading with the person you love, then you’re pushed to dream.
Dream about what life would be without him/her.
That’s exactly where my friend was.
There was a point in my friend’s relationship with this girl that he couldn’t bear it anymore. At this point, the road to singleness looked much better than where he was.
So they broke up.
The reason? He felt untrusted because of things he did before they got together.
He felt that she didn’t really ‘accept him for who he was’.
I’ve heard that phrase before. Apple and I would often have conflicts because of her past. You see, I had a trait that I dearly wanted my wife to have. As unreasonable as it may sound, I wanted my wife to have never had a boyfriend before.
I wanted to be her first.
So I lived life setting the bar high. Each girl I met along the way who already had a relationship before would already be written off before we get to know each other better. And it was a pretty good standard too – until I met Apple.
I struggled with the fact that she already had a past relationship. My high standard became a burden. It created a hurt that was really not supposed to exist.
How did we overcome this? Simple.
One evening, Apple and I were talking. I couldn’t believe what she was saying.
“Honey, because of you, I wish I never had a past relationship.”
By this time, I was already beginning to accept her past – difficult as it is for me.
“Apple, you don’t have to say that. Without those experiences, you may not be the person you are today – and I love you for who you are.”
“It’s because I love you. And I know that you would have wanted that. I’m sorry for hurting you because of my past.”
Those words eradicated any future conflicts we might’ve had because of her past. Today, when Apple brings up some things that she may have shared with a past memory of a relationship, it doesn’t hurt me anymore.
Thank God for my wife’s wisdom, humility and love!
Dealing with the Heart
I left my friend with just one challenge.We finished lunch, paid the bill and was about to leave then I told him:
“Ask her for forgiveness from your past. Don’t think deeply about it – just do it. It’s helped free me from my hurts with Apple’s past. I know that it will do the same for your girl.”
Remember, even if you’re in the best relationship you’ve ever had, there’s a timeless truth that you have to deal with:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9
Your emotions may bring back illegitimate hurts because of a loved one’s past. Your loved one may not understand it but you wrestle with the knowledge of his/her past. This will grow to rot and eat up your relationship with that person. Don’t let it.
There’s only one way out – forgive and trust.
Or you may be the person with the past that your partner just finds hard to accept. Remember: The offense may be illegitimate but the hurt is real – and you have to deal with it. The best way to go is to ask your partner for forgiveness.
It takes a ton of humility and wisdom to do such thing. So pray and ask God for the will and the strength.
I assure you, it will make your relationship a lot better.