9 Relationship Rationalizations that Keep you Stuck

The most well-known love junkie in the Bible is the woman who met Jesus at the well. I wish I knew her name, but the book of John only refers to her as the “woman at the well.” I always thought it’d be easier to give her a name instead of a label, so I call her Wella.

Wella lived over two-thousand years ago, but the relationship longings and feelings she felt were no different than the emotions women deal with today. But she lived in a very different culture—a society that condemned and refused to forgive the destitute, the desperate, the desolate.

She must’ve felt that in order to survive, she needed to rationalize. Maybe she believed lies like,

I need a man.

I can’t make it without one.

How will I provide for myself?

Who will take care of me when I’m old?

Her culture scorned her. Her character cursed her. A decent man would despise her reputation, so she convinced herself that any man would do. 

We don’t know anything about her background or her age, but once she recognized Jesus and comprehended how much he loved her, she ditched the shame, the guilt, the desperation and need for approval that held her in bondage to unhealthy relationships. When Jesus opened her eyes to freedom, he transformed her from despised to disciple and Wella became the first female evangelist.

Before her conversion, Wella could just as easily have been one of the following girls. Before she recognized Jesus, fear convinced her to rationalize.

If fear has cornered you, I have good news.

Fear is a liar.

Wella left her water jar at the well. She left behind the one thing that she relied on and traded it for the living water Christ offered.

Likewise, in order to embrace your future, you have to renounce your past.

As you read the profiles below of women who have fallen for the 9 unhealthy rationalizations, take note of the lies you need to renounce. Identifying these false beliefs is the first step to eliminating them. You can’t find a remedy for something that you don’t know is fractured. But shine it to the Light and darkness has to flee!

And don’t miss the details of Wednesday’s FREE webinar, Foolproof Ways to Tell if He’s Right for You. All the scoop is at the bottom of this post.

9 Unhealthy Rationalizations (aka…Lifestyles of the Broken Hearted)

The Compromiser

The rationalization—I must settle. What I really want doesn’t exist.

♥  Jennifer wants a strong Christian leader for a husband but lacks the resolve to wait. She settles for much less in relationships, convinced that what she desires is too hard to find.

♥  After her thirty-year marriage to James ended, Denise’s self-worth plummeted. When she met Mark, she felt energized by his constant flattery and attention. A few months into the relationship she discovered several things he lied about. Despite being furious, she decided that being in a relationship with a man who was untrustworthy was better than being alone.

The Fantasizer

The rationalization—A relationship will make me happy.

♥  Diane is single, but Dennis, a successful married man at the office, is all she thinks about. She often writes flirtatious messages on his Facebook wall and even bought him a gift card from a local restaurant for his office birthday party, suggesting that they “do lunch.” Before Dennis, there was a string of other unavailable men with whom she was obsessed.

♥  Amanda has had relationship issues ever since her fixation with romance began in college. Filled with unrealistic expectations, she imagined that falling in love would happen instantly and passionately, like it did in The Titanic.

♥  Courtney met Dillon online two months ago. They immediately started messaging several times a day. The conversations grew passionate and a few weeks into their relationship Dillon asked her to send nude photos to him. Although they’ve never met in person, Courtney is convinced that Dillon is in love with her.

The Fixer

The rationalization—He needs me. I can fix him.

♥  Jasmine fell in love with Cory’s potential. She knew he was a little rough around the edges, but she felt sorry for him. His mother died when he was ten. She told herself that’s why he had anger issues. Cory wasn’t her first project. Like a lost puppy who needs a home, Jasmine tends to pick up stray boys she feels sorry for. She’s not oblivious to their issues, but she needs a project to feel complete.

♥  Camille met Dustin when he got out of rehab. He stayed sober for a few months, but then began drinking again and was on the verge of losing his job. Camille made excuses for him to his employer and lent him money to pay his rent. Even though Dustin was belligerent when he was drinking, she convinced herself that he would change if she just tried a little harder to help. She told her family, “He’s a good person, but he just needs someone to believe in him.”

♥  The first time Alan shoved her, Carri told herself, it will get better after we get married. As a nurse, a twinge of false compassion convinced her that he just needed a little TLC.

The Frequent Flyer

The rationalization—Any relationship is better than none at all.

♥  Michelle got sucked into addictive relationships in junior high. In order to fit in with the popular crowd, she had to have a boyfriend. Later in life, having a relationship became as essential as a drivers license; it was merely the vehicle that took her places.

♥  Amy is addicted to the rush of romance. She gets easily bored after the chemistry in a relationship fades. In the past five years, she’s been engaged three times and has been in over twelve serious relationships.

♥  Samantha made a negative vow after seeing her parents break up that she would never give her heart to a man. Instead she hops from relationship to relationship.

The Minimizer

The rationalization—He’s not really that bad.

♥  Ashley insists David is in love with her, even though he calls her names and frequently flirts with other women in her presence. She’s convinced herself that his behavior isn’t his fault since he grew up with an alcoholic father. She ignores his behavior in order to console herself and minimize his rejection and abusive behavior.

♥  Cynthia’s husband has been distant and rude, frequently canceling dinner plans. Lately he has scheduled business out of town on weekends. She discovered that he purchased two airline tickets to Cozumel. Instead of confronting him, she excuses his behavior as stress.

The Replacer

The rationalization—I can’t do without a relationship. I have to have a backup plan.

♥  Suzanne was devastated after her fiancé, Chad, broke off their engagement. Two weeks later, she moved in with Matthew, a guy she met at Starbucks. She and Chad are still hooking up. Matthew doesn’t know.

♥  Dominique started having an affair after her husband refused to work on their relationship. When she ran into an old boyfriend and found out he was divorced, they caught up over dinner.. Soon she found herself caught up in adultery. She wants to stop but doesn’t know how.

The Re-router

The rationalization—If I stay busy I won’t feel the pain. I won’t notice the pain if my calendar is full.

♥  Carol has been unhappy in her marriage for years but afraid that a divorce will bankrupt her lifestyle. Driven by a lack of attention, she keeps her Day-Timer filled with appointments—personal trainers, tennis lessons and massages…all handsome young men.

♥  For years, Paula ignored the discontentment in her marriage by pouring herself into her children’s activities, her career, Bible studies, volunteering and community pursuits. She didn’t realize how much her identity was tied to being married until after her husband filed for divorce. Now she has to face the truth: instead of being Mrs., she’s Miss-erable.

 The Tolerator

The rationalization—I’m not worthy. This is the best I can do.

♥  Emily rushes into relationships. She frequently settles for less than what she wants. She’d rather be unsettled in a relationship than be alone.

♥  Linda tolerates unacceptable behavior in relationships. Her low self-esteem keeps her trapped in a relationship with a man who cheats on her because she doesn’t think she deserves any better.

♥  After Sandra’s marriage of twenty-nine years ended in divorce, set met Frank playing Bingo. Frank isn’t her type but they spend almost every day together. Sandra’s settled for a casual companion instead of a significant other.

The Truster

The rationalization—It’s not my place to judge.

♥  Debbie’s is fascinated with online dating sites. Even though Jim was never available on the weekends for dates, she assumed he was safe because he said he was a Christian and attended church. They went out several times before she found out he was married.

♥  Tiffany’s father left when she was two. After that her mother exposed her to several live-in relationships so Tiffany has never seen a healthy relationship modeled. Her upbringing and life experiences have branded her vulnerable. She already has three children with three different fathers. Now she’s pregnant again with the child of another man.

♥  Heather is a bad judge of character. When she and Dan first started dating, Heather believed everything Dan told her about his financial success. When she discovered that he owed $60,000 in credit card debt, she was furious and broke up with him. When he accused her of being selfish and materialistic, she felt guilty about breaking it off and went back to him. In the two years that they have been dating, Dan has been fired from three jobs and is now unemployed. Heather sees no future with Dan but feels compelled by her commitment and Dan’s manipulative accusations to stay in the relationship.

We can’t heal what we continue to ignore.

Did you recognize yourself in any of the women above? Did you see any of your tendencies in their actions? Maybe one of these women pegs you perfectly or maybe you’re a combination of two or more. Take note of those with whom you are most like. Identification of your weaknesses is the first step to bringing change. Correction and change is always proceeded by clarity and understanding.

None of these women or their relationship issues are beyond hope. Maybe you’ve done things the same way all your life, but until now, you’ve never realized that some of your romantic responses are responsible for your relationship issues. It’s a good thing when you can see where you’ve veered off course because recognition of your issues is the first step to correcting them. Only after you notice your unhealthy responses can you replace them with effective solutions.

Need more insight and discernment in dating relationships? I’m passionate about helping you date heart smart.
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