A couple of days ago, I received a very interesting question from Mark, in response to a post where I mentioned how destructive it is to be stuck in a dead-end relationship with a man who is unwilling to make a commitment. I won't reprint Mark's entire message here, but the bottom line was this:
"…you learned the RIGHT LESSONS from your experiences; how is it you were able to learn the right lessons, and make the needed changes, while a vast majority of women are not? Why is it you were able to learn your lesson after ONE bad relationship, while most other women take years, if not DECADES, to figure out that chasing abusive, bad boy boyfriends is counterproductive?"
For those of you who are unfamiliar with my background, I'll briefly mention that in my past, I was in a relationship with a man who abused me both emotionally and physically, not to mention the simple fact that it was going absolutely nowhere. It took me a while to get out of it, and even more time to heal.
Yes, I certainly did "learn my lesson". However, I wouldn't say I was such a smashing success in that department; I could have left much sooner. I should have left when he first became violent; when I first heard him curse like a drunken sailor; when he called me, drunk, in the dead of night.
Then again, I do realize how fortunate I am, having terminated this vicious pattern after just one horrible, uncommitted relationship. I suppose a major factor here is that I never really enjoyed being in this type of relationship. I mean, I knew it was socially acceptable; I knew it was expected of me to "have fun" – but somehow, the fun never happened! The few good moments were soon drowned in a sea of guilt and tears.
And you know what? I'm convinced I'm not alone here. I'm sure many, many women secretly know they are unhappy passing from one relationship to the next, even if they aren't abused, strictly speaking (most women are so naturally geared towards steadiness and commitment that I see the modern way of relationships as a subtle form of abuse towards women). But to help people make a change, we need to show a different way. Relationships have been so cheapened that sometimes it's difficult to see anything beside the hit-and-go attitude.
Seeing that there are other options has been literally a life saver for me. Reading the book "A Return to Modesty" by Wendy Shalit revolutionized my way of thinking. And above all, I started seeing myself – and every other woman - as a precious daughter of God, deserving love, respect and decent treatment. Committing to pure, chaste behavior humbled me and boosted my self-esteem in an appropriate, healthy way at the same time, eventually enabling me to seek a relationship with a man who would be willing to do things the way God intended.