Love is patient. Love is kind. Love means never having to say you’re sorry unless you don’t heed the advice you are about to read. My friend David runs this site and I asked him if I could pen (who pens anymore in the age of computers?) an article for his readers.
In my professional life in the court system, I have observed these 10 truisms many times over the years. This advice seems like things everyone should know, but sometimes you need to hear it again. All of the following apply to men as well as women:
- If your relationship began as the result of an affair, you need to ask yourself why would my significant other not then cheat on ME sometime in the future? You should not expect to make a life with someone who did not take their marriage vows or commitment to a relationship seriously. A tiger doesn’t change its stripes people!
- If your significant other has a child from another relationship that they do not see, investigate the situation thoroughly before committing to a relationship with them. If the other parent is withholding the child, it is probably for a good reason that you have not yet experienced.
- Having children will never save a marriage or improve a relationship. You should bring children into the world because you want them, have a happy home, and are willing to put their needs ahead of your own. To bring them into a dysfunctional situation so you won’t be lonely is cruel. If you don’t want to be lonely, get a puppy!
- Not everyone is meant to be a parent or has the ability to be a parent. There is no shame in not having children. You may be scarred from a bad childhood yourself, have addiction issues, or may be getting pressured into it. Society should not dictate perhaps the most important decision in your life.
- If you know you are in a bad relationship and already have one child with your significant other, you might want to take steps so that you will not have any more. I have had many women tell me over the years that they knew their marriage was bad right from the beginning, yet continued to make a bad situation worse by having more children.
- If you marry someone with children from another relationship, the best thing to do to make it successful is adopt the attitude that this is your biological child and treat them as such. If you are marrying their parent, you are marrying them! Always be mindful that they have a mother or father and respect their role as much as possible. If the non-custodial parent does not mind you being hands on, embrace that role. If they prefer to take the lead, you support the child from the sidelines; define your role early on.
- The first time that someone strikes you in a dating relationship, walk away. There is NO excuse for it or apology that can be offered to make the pain of that experience go away. If the person does not follow your wishes and leave you alone, seek information about whether you are eligible to obtain a restraining order.
- If your current beau has a restraining order against them from someone else, that should raise a red flag for you and make you seriously consider whether you want to stay involved with them.
- If you find yourselves constantly fighting and you are only dating, what do you suppose will happen after you get married? As hard as it is to be by yourself, it is better to be alone than to continue in a dysfunctional relationship. Every day that goes by that you are miserable in a bad relationship is a day you are never going to get back. Additionally, it keeps you unavailable to find that special someone. Love and relationships shouldn’t have to be constantly difficult and if it is, maybe you are in it for the wrong reasons.
- When you fight with your significant other, fight fairly. Do not curse or degrade them. Make your point and explain how your feel. Do not bring up past mistakes or incidents that the other person might have done wrong that have nothing to do with you or why you are arguing. A thousand compliments after the fact almost never makes up for a cheap shot. You can never lose yourself in taking the high road!
Mike Johnson, the author of this article, is a mediator in family court.