Why is she still dating him? Why won’t she leave him? Is that relationship worth dying for?

These were the responses the relationship of a couple that lives in my neighbour trigger. He abuses her physically and she abuses him verbally. They fight till they bleed and on some days they call the cops on each other.

They have been like that for months but, on that fateful afternoon as a lay in bed, all I could hear her say was “God will punish you, it shall never be well with you and your family for using me this way.”

I was astounded because she never speaks that way. But I felt her pain and sensed rage in her voice then she broke down into tears. Her sob echoed in the neighbourhood.

She found out there was another woman beside her. She was convinced he’s been cheating. And it was over.

But honestly, I felt her pain and I said a prayer for her. I didn’t do that just because I have experienced my own share of the practice. My prayer was for the next man she might end up with. I prayed that God consoles her… I mean how else would she have handled the pain she felt at that moment and ensure that the next man doesn’t pay for a wrong he did not make?

Yes, most people are in a relationship they never bargained for. These people are suffering for what a previous partner did. There is a young man somewhere dealing with a now selfish and rude woman who was once sweet and caring but changed after a heartbreak. It sounds like a normal thing until you date someone who has been broken down as a result of a previous relationship. You learn quickly that it is not fun to deal with the aftermath of a mess you did not create.

A victim:

I once found myself sending maps of my locations to my then boyfriend each time I went out. Be it work, church, my family house, salon…It didn’t matter where I went, he just needed a map to believe that I was exactly where I claimed to be. He knew the distance from my work to my home, which meant he expected me to be home at a certain time. I had to pick his call on the third ring and if I missed it, he would ignore my calls throughout the day. Male friends were not allowed, not even the male friend who introduced us to each other. I knew what I was to do in this instance, so I ended it, fast.

I later found out that he had dated a woman he loved dearly until she cheated on him. He saw her with another man getting cosy at a famous 'banku and tilapia' joint. He called her at that very moment and asked about her whereabouts. But she lied. With her mouth full of 'banku' she said she was at home. I laughed at that whole scenario. But as funny as it sounds, it had ruined him. He had become insecure, untrusting, somewhat abusive and very controlling. He probably thought he was protecting himself from getting hurt a second time but in his attempt to do that, he ended up hurting me.

Guilty as charged:

We are all guilty of treating others differently than we normally would, due to our past experiences. You see, it is almost impossible to go through certain experiences in life and survive unscathed. Some experiences take a toll on you and you may not realise it immediately but little by little you make certain changes, adjust certain things and before you know it, your personality has been completely altered due to an experience. We usually tell ourselves we are just being cautious but what if being cautious takes you so far away from who you are to the point where you do not recognise yourself anymore?

They say experience is the best teacher but I have seen experience manifests terrible traits out of people. We are hurting innocent people due to our experiences. We lose good people and great relationships because our past experiences won’t let us treat them right. We break people and in turn, they go out there and break more people. We just take pride in saying “I don’t trust anyone.” If you let anyone change who you are through a terrible experience, that person wins because they didn’t just give you pain but, you also gave them the power to change who are.

My take?

Don’t let your terrible experiences change you. Don’t give less just because you gave more and it wasn’t appreciated. Don’t withhold yourself from innocent people who truly deserve the beautiful soul that you are.

Are there some mean people out there? Yes. Will people still hurt you even if you do right? Yes. So why worry? Just stay true to yourself, keep trusting, keep loving, and keep treating people right believing that nothing can disadvantage you.

The Bible assures us that all things work together for good to them that love God.

Give it all over to God and like the title of Jentezen Franklin’s book, LOVE LIKE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN HURT; there is hope, healing, and power in an open heart.


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