All Relationships Can Be Saved

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Let me begin by explaining, I am not a relationship expert, I am not a counselor, social worker, nor a psychologist. I am simply a man who has been through every too much in a short life, made too many mistakes to count, and in turn have learned from these mistakes to create the best version of myself, hopefully some of what I write is read and understood in a way that helps at least one reader.

What are the ingredients to the best relationships? According to the most revered scholars, through research conducted, the best relationships have; Mutual respect, Trust, Honesty, with a few ancillary characteristics here and there depending on who you ask. However, today’s society glorifies and empowers those seeking divorce even offers legal, and financial incentives for it but does not do so for reconciling and fixing a marriage. In short, it has become too easily accessible and humans choose the easy button option instead of enduring. 

Let’s say your spouse is unfaithful at one or multiple points in a marriage, maybe he or she develops a drug addiction, or maybe they repeatedly show characteristics that you didn’t see at the beginning but that do not adhere to your specific morals now. Most commonly however a marriage or long-term relationship ends due to one or both parties getting tired of the same routine day in and day out. Now, should any of these reasons warrant a divorce or breakup? If you can say “yes” to any of the following scenarios ask yourself “did I ever truly love him/her”?

A relationship is a sacred thing that is often taken for granted, the things we loved about someone become the things we hate later on. Our personalities change and alter with individual circumstances that take place, stressors from work, life, family, friends, loved ones lost, even something as simple as arguments that take place between you and your partner. People often forget that words have power, power to “empower” or power to “destroy”. In anger words are spoke to cause harm to the other, however words of affirmation uplift our partners and make them feel whole, and worthy. Relationships are too often thought of as a game where if we do not receive what we need then we withhold what our partner needs in a endless game of tug of war, but this creates further and further conflict until one finally lets go of the metaphorical rope giving up their right to exist and feel whole. Eventually the relationship ends.

Respect:

Men and women are created equal. Two sides to the same coin, one balancing the other. When one is lacking the other is strong. God created us to find those who make us whole. As alike as we are we are also completely different. Our minds, thought processes, problem solving skills, empathy, love, emotional development etc. Although I have always known this simple fact it never really stood out until about 2 years ago while I was seeking counseling to become a better husband. I had been attending a “Divorce support group” as I wasn’t going through a divorce but I knew it was inevitable if we didn’t get help. I decided that I was the problem and I would do the Godly thing and change who I am so I could lead my wife and family. The support group leader explained to me this simple fact. Men NEED respect, Women NEED love, Neither can live in a relationship without it. 

Here is where the tug of war game comes in. When we become stagnant in a relationship. Neither one is growing, or worse yet neither is growing in the same direction as their spouse. We justify withholding what the other needs in hopes that they will change. Men begin to stop showing love and affection, the roses stop coming, the simple forehead kisses cease, we stop telling her goodnight or making her feel she is on our mind. Then our wives stop respecting us, they stop making us food, maybe she stops folding your laundry, maybe she nags you more and more progressively about smaller and smaller things. This game will continue until one or both give up but generally ends with harsh words being spoke from one or both parties.

All of this is avoidable. Know the signs, when you feel less loved, or less respected give each other the mutual respect of space and allow the time to create a cooling sensation over the issue. Then come together and express what the underlying issue is. Talk about your feelings in a way the other can understand. Sometimes just venting and actively listening is the best therapy but you have to be open to hearing and open to that communication.

Trust:

When trust is broken it is one of the hardest things to get over and get through however it too is repairable. Back to the cheating spouse, cheating is an evil and cruel act but if you love him/her truly unconditionally love them it too is possible to forgive and begin anew.

Look at the circumstances. Do not be swayed but kind words, do not be manipulated but instead do your own investigation. Look at the circumstances of his/her life when the event took place. Were they more stressed, was the relationship between you broken, were they feeling loved, were they depressed from other circumstances, maybe the loss of a loved one. Most importantly how has this changed them and are they willing to do whatever it takes to never allow it happen again? No excuse is sufficient, understand that, but when negative things happen in life there is almost always a precursor as to why. Trust can always be built new with the proper ingredients most important of which being time.

Honesty:

Without a doubt being lied to is incredibly harmful to bounce back from. It harms the self esteem and causes countless questions in someones mind. Were they lying about other things? How far does this really go? How do I trust anything they have said? Just some of the questions that we are asking as a result of being lied to.

How do we bounce back and regain trust in our partner being truthful? Time, and faith. It isn’t easy to give anyone the benefit of the doubt least of all when we are harmed by that person. However, unconditional love dictates that we give our partner time to prove their trust worthiness again.

Relationships are built on Love. It is unfortunate that as the years have gone on we have become lazy with this understanding and we now think love is a feeling and not what it truly is, a “Choice”. We choose to give our heart to one person, choose to be faithful and monogamous, we choose to give that person a home, a family, a life to share together. One person not complete without the other, not because one needs another to become two, but because you without your partner are not complete. Love is unconditional. It does not matter what has happened in a relationship it should never justify leaving someone who you unconditionally love. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule but I would argue that in those extremes that there was not unconditional love and simply confusion or lust.

Love is patient, love is kind, love is unconditional, true love will endure!

A Father’s Equality

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A father is someone who lifts you when you’re hurt but still encourages you to try again. A father encourages you from a distance, he gives you guidance when you’re lost. He shows you the direction you need to throw your life on the correct path when he sees you straying. He sees your struggle and silently slides a hundred dollar bill into your pocket to help in your time of need. He hugs you and makes you feel so at ease that you forget the hurt in those moments of embrace. The moments of anger and frustration are quickly met with the sternness his voice. A father disciplines intently but explains the importance of discipline after the tears. So why is it that when there is a broken home, split families, and shared children Fathers are tossed aside as if we never mattered in the first place?

Why is it that Fathers are seen as second rate in comparison to their gender counterparts? This concept is so foreign and yet so normal in today’s culture. In 1964 we enacted the “Civil Rights Act” giving women the equal rights of men. This should not have taken a hundred years to make right but we cannot undo the evil of the past by reenacting it in reverse. We cannot undo the anger from one sex by inferring false beliefs and subjective circumstances on the opposing gender. In other words, stating that “women make better parents” is wrong. Stating that “Men don’t need their kids as often as the mother” is wrong. All too often we hear about “I carried that child for 9 months, I made him/her”, but why should that matter when we both love unconditionally? If both parents are looked at as equals in work holding down fulltime jobs then why can’t both parents equally support and raise a child?

Here are just some of the bare facts that actually matter!

1. Men are equal to women, and women are equal to men. We are people first, identified by gender second.
– The civil rights act, like other good things were made with wonderful intent but have done nothing but cause strain in other aspects. Equality is defined as “the state of being equal, in status, rights, and opportunities”. However, the moment this “right” was enacted equality died and now was replaced by a belief that one gender was superior to another and as such they had to enact a law to offset the imbalances. This is the equivalent to a child being naughty and hitting another child but the parent of the naughty child instead makes the excuse that he was not being naughty, instead the other child deserved to get hit. Reinforcement that actions don’t have consequences if you have someone to protect you always regardless of right or wrong.

2. Plenty of men just want their children, some of us are not interested in child support and only interested in supporting our children.
– From my personal experience I can tell those of you who are still present that from the very moment my family became broken, to the very moment my second family broken that I never cared about money. I never cared about how much I have left in my account after the courts take from my paycheck. I’ve always looked at the time with my children to be far more important than monetary compensation. I feel this is one of the most evil things in the court systems. Now we treat time with children especially the fathers as a monetary exchange of currency for time. Men are paying for the right to “rent” our children for the chance of making a memory during the time we have with them.

3. People are not what their ex’s state they are, there will always be 3 sides to every story; His, Hers, and the truth.
– I cannot tell you how many rumors and whole lies I have heard about myself from other people over the many years of my children’s lives. Blatant lies that anyone who knew me would know that is not true, or would be extremely taken back to hear that I could do or say such a thing. Lies about me threatening people, about me “jumping” people. Lies about anger, abuse, infidelity, it was shocking to say the least. One thing I have learned in these moments is that when angry, and narcissistic people can no longer control you they will always try to control how others see you, this is a universal truth.

Now, here is the catch 22. I am well aware as I am sure most of you readers are. There is always going to be the exceptions of the rules. I know there are women who get the short end of the stick. Circumstantial and subjective matters that equate to them getting left behind with less custody and made to feel inferior. The differences are astronomical in terms of equality however. Look at the history behind discrimination when it comes to gender inequality. Equality is something that has been forgotten and replaced with terms of cultural appropriation.

Recently, I became aware of several cases apart from my own wherein the fathers are being severely mistreated and borderline abused by their children’s’ mother as well as the court systems. Cases where a veteran who has abstained from alcohol and drugs his entire life and loves his children unconditionally is forced to behave in uncharacteristic ways in order to appease his child’s mother so she does not leave state with their children. What is worse is that if she chose to do so there is nothing “illegal” about it, and ultimately the father and the kids are the ones who suffer. Cases where a father was seeking time with his children pending a divorce and simply because his wife was being spiteful she was able to keep them from him because there was no court order in place premarital. Obscure unfair cases where the father of a child was forced to pay child support until the mother relinquished her rights to the child but after relinquishing her rights she was not required to support anything financially through the court systems.

The point of these circumstantial cases are to inform of the gross injustice that is taking place in our court systems, there is no equality. Personally, I am sick of hearing that Michigan is a “mom state”, and much less living the experience. We are currently living in 2018 where we are forced to work in excess of 40+ hours per week in order to get by with the bare necessities, most homes are dual income. The sad truth is that in the last 50 years the children living in 2 parent households have decreased significantly from 88% to 69%. In the United States Divorce rates have increased to more than 50% in the last several years and that is for 1st marriages. The statistics get drastically higher with 2nd and 3rd marriages. During these marital breakdown there is nothing preventing the mother from removing the child from the home or moreover the mother keeping the father from seeing the child. Often, when the father files for custody and fights until he is broken and penniless it will end with him getting the bare minimum set by the court system because the parties cannot agree on a schedule. Most often the mothers know this or are advised to drag the divorce proceedings out because this is a universal truth.

It is becoming a rare occurrence to see a fair judicial system that objectively looks at the situation and makes an informed decision regarding the parties and the children on a case by case basis. Instead we fathers are put into a formula, an algorithm that doesn’t take into consideration taxes let alone fairness, equality, ability to nurture and show affection, or the father’s ability to love unconditionally.

Fathers are not second rate, we are not second best, we are not the silver medal or the babysitter. We are people, we have hearts that hold all the memories from the time our children are born, and every single moment that made us shed a tear of joy, pride, or sorrow. We have two eyes that we used to count every toe and every finger, two ears that helped us hear our children’s first coo, their first words, their frustrations, and their goals. Two arms to hold our children in and make them feel secure, safe, protected and loved. We were given facial hair to give our children the memory of being tickled with kisses, stern voices to bring a break down to attention. We are fathers’, we will not always be as nurturing as a woman, maybe we won’t be able to do our daughters hair as perfectly as we should, or be able to provide the best advice with boys, but we are here and we will always be here to try to do the perfect pony tail, or hold your hand when during your first heart break. Fathers are just as important to the equation of life as mothers. We deserve to see our children with equality.

By Zachary Adamski