Healthy Love

Read this module OUT LOUD together as a couple:

You may have heard the phrase “There is thin line between love and hate.”

That is NOT a true statement.

What it should say is “There is a thin line between addiction and hate.”

Let’s do a comparison between “Love” and “Addiction”

 

 

Love                                                                       _____     Addiction

Peaceful                                                       Contentious-frequent intense arguments

Consistent                                                              Intense off and on feelings

Joyful/lots of laughter                                Very aware of whether partner is mad

Trust and feels safe                                        Lots of apologizing necessary

Discussions are respectful                           Disagreements are heated and                                                                                                                                                            intense

Stable                                                                     Frequent breakups

Each partner has friends                        Isolated/obsessed, intense jealousy

Has partner’s best interest                          Focus is on “what do I get from this

at heart                                                           relationship?”

 

When you truly love someone, you want their best interest—even if that means you don’t always directly benefit from it. Addiction is very different. If someone is addicted to another person, once they no longer personally benefit from the other person—they wish them harm.

That was never love to begin with. It was addiction.

You can be addicted to a person just like you can be addicted to drugs or alcohol or a casino or cigarettes.

Let’s look at some of the similarities.

If you know a drug addict, why do they do drugs? The drugs are most likely destroying their body, taking all of their money, and robbing them of their future. If all of that is true, why would they continue to return to the drug dealer?

Do they “love” the drug? Do they “love” the drug dealer?

No. They return to the drug because of the pursuit of the “high” that comes with participating in the drug.

But the intense drawbacks of using the drug cause them to “hate” the drug. They have a thin line between their addiction of what they get out of the drug and their hate toward their dependence on the drug.

Have you ever been around a couple who breaks up and gets back together so often they might as well be riding a roller coaster?

Love is very different!

True love causes us to care about someone so deeply that we want what is best for them—even if that would mean we did not benefit from their happiness.

If you are merely addicted to that person, the minute you no longer benefit from them (or they break-up with you), you would despise them.

Love however would cause you to eventually say, “I care deeply about you and want what is best for you even if that means you choose not to be with me.”

So today I want you to each ask yourself, are you only in “love” with your partner for what you can get from them? Do you genuinely care about them as a person? What if they got in a car wreck and got disfigured? (You don’t have to answer out loud!)

The crazy paradox about marriage is that the harder you pursue getting your needs, wants, and desires met the further you will likely get from your partner and the LESS likely it becomes that your needs, wants and desires will get met.

In the dating phase pleasing the other person is on the forefront of our mind and it comes naturally.

If you truly want a Magical Marriage you have to keep that desire fresh on your mind and water it daily!

When our heart’s desire is to make our partner’s life easier and we want their best, and not just what we get from the other person, we will likely get closer to our partner and ironically it will probably INCREASE the likelihood of your needs, wants and desire getting met!

If each person pursues their selfish needs, wants, and desires both people’s walls go up to protect their heart.

 

We need our walls down to continue to connect on a heart level!

 

 

 

 

Red flags you are NOT in a Healthy Relationship:

–You stop doing things you love so you can obsessively spend every minute with your partner.

–You pressure your partner to stop doing activities they love.

–You have to spend every moment together or you worry what your partner is “doing” when you are not around.

–You start showing up at your partner’s job.

–You repeatedly speed dial your partner if they don’t answer the phone when you call them.

–You send multiple text messages if your partner doesn’t reply quickly.

–You demand that your partner stay away from their extended family.

–If you don’t get your way, you threaten your partner until you get your way.

–You have heated arguments just as often as you have peace in the relationship.

–Threats and intimidation become a regular part of your arguments.

 

Signs you are in a Healthy Relationship:

–You realize it’s not healthy to be your partner’s “everything” and encourage them to have friends/family to talk to.

–You have trust in the relationship and know if your partner doesn’t answer that they are just busy. You wait patiently for a return phone call or text.

–You do activities you loved to do before you met your partner.

–You have friends/family outside of the relationship who help meet some of your social needs.

–Discussions are not heated and a break is taken if they move in that direction.

–It never even crosses your mind that your partner would ever physically hurt you…they are there to protect you from people who could. Your partner feels the same way.

–You are your partner’s biggest fan and cheerlead them on in their endeavors (even when it doesn’t benefit you).

Let’s look at an example. Work together to try to identify the red flags.

 

Tiny Tina

Tiny Tina is 5’0 tall and weighs 95 lbs. She is in a relationship with Tim who is 6’5 and 265 lbs. They have been dating for 6 months. They are intensely in “love” and are talking about moving in together. However, their arguments seem to be getting more and more intense. Last time they disagreed, Tim backed Tiny Tina into a corner poked her in her shoulder as he was yelling at her and called her a “whore” for a past relationship she had been in. They routinely break up about every 2-3 weeks after each of these intense arguments. However, it usually only lasts about 24 hours because they miss each other so severely they have intense re-unions and recommit their “love” to one another.

Tina recently quit competing in gymnastics because Tim doesn’t like her to be gone and worries what she might be doing while she is away from him. Tim hates Tiny’s mom who was very upset to find out her daughter quit competing in gymnastics after 8 years of training.

Do you think they should keep dating?

What red flags did you see?

Discuss any red flags you see in your own relationship.

 

Quotes on True Love:

1.“True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly..”    Jason Jordan

2.“True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

In a healthy relationship, it would never even cross your mind that your partner would ever physically hurt you or make you worry they may do so. It’s just a given that they are the one who PROTECTS you from anyone who would physically hurt you or intimidate you.

We all have basic human needs we want to get met. There are many ways to get those needs met. Using fear and intimidation often times does get your needs met, but it jack hammers the foundation of your relationship and the trust in the relationship.

 

Real Talk:

Practice the Healthy Communication Formula with the topics below:

When ____________ (insert factual event)

I feel _____________ (insert secondary emotions)

It would help me if_____________ (work together to brainstorm long-term solutions using compromise and negotiation. Remember to bounce the ball back and forth taking turns acknowledging your partner’s ideas/message before you give your own ideas. Visualize stepping in their shoes, try to think what they are thinking and feel what they are feeling.)

Talk through the following issues using the Healthy Communication Formula.

1.You walk in the house and your partner is screaming at the top of their lungs at your 9 year old.

2.The grass is growing out of control and your partner usually is the one to mow it. Your neighbor just mentioned it while you were getting the mail.

 

Family Vision: Create your own specific practical vows and POST them in your home.

(Here are some ideas)

I vow to be quick to apologize

I vow to be quick to forgive

I vow to give my spouse at least one compliment each day and that it will be different than the day before.

I vow to hug and kiss my partner every day.

I vow to use my words to build up and not to tear down.

I vow to do one random act of kindness every week for my partner.

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