Relationships sometimes take the least expected turn. Yet in high hopes of better days, we give up dreams and expectations and keep giving all in a relationship, sometimes without getting back in return. Love and relationships should always be about the two sides involved, not one sided. Loving relationships makes us laugh more, smile wider and have a shoulder to cry on when tears come. When the tears flow more than the sound of loud laughter and the giving is making holes in the heart and pocket, then there is need for a critical evaluation. Sometimes when we should be on our way out of the door, we make a million and one excuses to stay because we are not ready to deal with the hurt and disappointment that comes with letting go of a relationship. It is however important that we realize that our total well being is at stake when we refuse to use the door. But how do you know you’ve arrived at the end of the rope? When is the time to draw a firm line? Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • ABUSE

Abuse isn’t mainly physical; it comes in different forms and manifests itself in verbal, emotional or sexual abuse. Women are most times on the receiving end of abuse. PLEASE RUN when he uses his strength to hurt, his words to control, his actions or, lack of it, to demean you and sees sex as a right he can fully explore without your consent. Nobody is perfect really, but if his actions and apologies have become a never-ending cycle, it is time to leave.

  • CHEATING

Truth is a man or woman who is a habitual cheat will not stop. Women make the mistake of thinking a man would stop cheating when he gets married. A man who cheats on you before the marriage won’t stop after; I wonder what’s going to stop him then, a piece of legal document? You can’t change him if he doesn’t or he’s not ready to change. You do not want to continue a relationship with someone laced with unfaithfulness unless you’re willing to deal with the heavy consequences.

  • SEX

A relationship based on sexual gratification is a time bomb waiting to explode. There are relationships that are about sex, sex and some more sex. The thrill will diminish after you get married, and that is if you get married. You’ll find out that sex doesn’t solve a lot of issues when married: financial responsibilities, in-laws, raising kids and the likes. It might be romantic that after every fight you have, there’s a make-up sex; it doesn’t last long. What happens when there is a sex embargo for health reasons? What if there is a high risk pregnancy and the doc says ‘NO’ to sex? What happens if there is a business trip? Sex covers a multitude of flaws. Sex beclouds right thinking in relationships, shutting down other meaningful communication. Too often people stay in a dead-end relationship because the sex is so hard to give up, if you find yourself in a relationship where the sex is great, make sure to ask yourself if you’re happy overall in the relationship. Good sex alone is never enough to sustain a relationship.

  • IMMATURITY

Women usually don’t take note of this one until the fruit is ripe and that’s always after marriage: irresponsibility and immaturity. I’m not talking of usual tardiness or occasional disorganization. Does he lack goals, direction, and purpose for life? Is he indecisive about many things? Is he often late for important engagements? Does he have difficulty keeping a job for a reasonable length of time? Does he have careless spending habits? Does he often borrow money, sometimes from you? If he’s generally unreliable, unmotivated and unsure of himself, you’re flirting with trouble. Don’t stay wrapped up in a relationship with someone who has no intention of ‘finding himself.’

Why do we often ignore these neon signs? Women accept certain behavior because it is familiar to them. Especially in this part of the world, where tradition is still prevalent, women find excuses for men because they’ve seen it before in their families or friendships. The society has deluded some into thinking that men are a certain way and such behavior is acceptable. Fear of being alone, of hurt, of the unknown has stood against the better judgment of some.

You pull out a decaying tooth if no amount of filling and maintenance can help it. You risk the possibility of sinking into an abusive, unhealthy and destructive relationship. You’re at greater risk of entering an unhappy marriage. Your self-esteem will be damaged in a relationship void of mutual respect and you give away the possibility of finding a fulfilling relationship. You deserve much more than rot.

Run if you need to! Go get something better.

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