Friday, December 16, 2011

"On Fire": Is He Selfish? Do You *Really* Feel Safe and Secure?

Later this weekend...

I will be penning a devotional on selfishness. As I was doing some research on the topic, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) a quote that really stayed with me:

"The one who loves the least, controls the relationship.”---Dr. Robert Anthony

I've seen the commercials for "Braxton Family Values" quite a bit and it always tickles me when Toni's little sister, Tamar (initially I was like, "Wow! Her mom named her 'Tamar' (?!?) and then I saw that in Hebrew that it means, 'Palm tree; upright') says, "Ohhhhhhhhh!" (LOL) That's how I felt when I read the quote by that self-help author because I have seen that manifest in my own life *and* in the lives of a lot of the women that I know. They *claim* what they want in a relationship and yet, they remain with a man who is not giving them that. And usually, not what they need, either. And still...they remain. Day in, day out. Month in, month out. Until it turns into years. *And then*, they stay because it's been years. Hmph. I think I have quoted before one of my favorite lines from the urban classic film "Love Jones" several times before: "All we have are all these years." It's a vicious (and on many levels, counterproductive) cycle. You keep trying to show that you are worthy of a commitment and he keeps on letting you do whatever it is you think you should do to prove that.

Gee. How generous of him (wink).

And so, in the hopes (Romans 5:5) and prayers that a lot of women won't go into the new calendar year in a relationship that is controlled by someone who doesn't love them in a healthy and *productive* way, I am also enclosing an excerpt from an article I read entitled, "How to Identify Selfish Men Before It's Too Late":

"Whatever happened to a 50/50 relationship? One where he does the same or more for you, does that exist anymore? I say they do, and if you are not in a relationship that is 50/50 right now, then you are doing yourself a great injustice and wasting away your youth and beauty on someone who possibly will never change. At least not for you. He may learn a valuable lesson when your gone, if he does that’s a good thing but the next woman he is with will be the one who benefits from your suffering.


Most men learn their lesson when the woman they’re currently with is gone and he finally realizes exactly how much he actually loved her. We’ve all heard the expression, 'You don’t know what you have, until it’s gone', right? In order to ensure that we don’t meet that same fate and suffer heartbreak again (yes, men suffer heartbreak too) we learn as much as possible from our last relationship and attempt to change. Now it may take three or four break-ups for us to get it right, but eventually we get it.


Now as for the guys whom haven’t learned this important lesson, currently they are in relationships with women (or girls) who as I stated above overlook the obvious, for now. For those of you who have been through relationship blues with selfish men and seek desperately to avoid this situation in the future I’ve created a list (Thanks to JuJu) to help you identify and hopefully avoid men who are selfish and not ready to change. For those men that haven’t changed yet, you may want to bypass him for now because he’s still a work in progress.


When first going out with a man in an attempt 'to determine if it may become something more, here are somethings you should look for and their absence should be noted and carefully scrutinized later:

 4) Does he go out of his way to make sure you are safe and secure?

Would he drive to your work place late at night just to walk you to your car to make sure you are safe? Does he ask you before hanging up after a late night talk? Are the doors and windows secure? If he does these things it’s because he cares and you are important to him. He puts your well being ahead of his own which shows total unselfishness."

There are quite a few on the list (and the making love one, I'm sure you know I don't endorse pre-marriage), but it was "4" that really hooked me. I know women who are driving up and down roads to see their men. I know women who are on the phone all night long during the work week with their men (when it's convenient *for him* to be on the phone all night...if *he* has a meeting the next day, he's off). I know women who are investing more than they are ever receiving a return on from their men. And I'm really and truly at a place now of asking myself (and them as led), "Does that really make you feel like he can take good care of you? THAT HE CARES TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU?"

There's a couple that I know that, upon their first Christmas together while courting (they're married now), the guy and I were discussing what he should get his then girlfriend. Do you know what he decided upon? A house alarm. Do you know what that made me think? "Now that's *a man* right there!" She wasn't too long into her property and he wasn't comfortable with it being unprotected. He was showing signs, in their courtship, that he would be *proactive* in making her feel safe and secure. He didn't leave her house and be like, "Lock up, OK?" He *made a concerted effort* to care for who he cared about. *Love that!*

Now, that doesn't mean that we don't have moments when we need to look at ourselves as well (there's a good read on that here). A matter of fact, if there is a *blaring lesson* that 2011 has taught me, it's that I need to ACCEPT things (and people) for what (and who) they are. Meaning, not be so selfish as to try and make it (or them) be something it (or they) are not. Or to even assume that they should be. However, the *beauty* in singleness is that when it comes to pondering (Proverbs 4:26) a potential mate, when there are things going on that are *clearly unacceptable*, I don't have to go through the processing that a wife does. I can get out of the relationship. Amazing how often we as single women tend to commit as if we are married before we actually (and that would mean *officially*) are. And then we act shocked and betrayed when the guy we are "committing to" knows better than to do the same: he knows not to act like a husband *until he is a husband*.

And you know what? GOOD FOR HIM. That's a pretty smart thing to do.

Anyway, it's the Sabbath and so I'm gonna chill out for the rest of the evening. Oh, but I do hope that the quote will give you something to think about. The objective of a spiritually prosperous relationship should be, among many other things, *progressive mutuality*. Therefore, no one should be feeling *controlled*. Oh, but again, that quote is a winner! What kind of selfish acts, at the hand of your significant other, have *you* working overtime to make your relationship work? And when you think about it...is the relationship *working*?

You know, there is another quote that I dig by Oscar Wilde that says, "There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.” Keeping trash in your house will only stink up the place. Keeping things that you don't really need only clutters it. Fear is also a form of selfishness and also a *really poor motive* (Philippians 2:3) for remaining in a relationship that you know you need to get out of: fear that you won't get someone better (suited for you) or fear that he will. Are you staying out of fear? Even if it's just fear of the unknown?

A wise man once said that true wisdom is not in having the right answers but in asking the right questions.

Here's to finding the ones that you are needing in order to get the love that you desire.

Rather than the kind of relationship that controls (or has been controlling) you.

tmm,

SRW

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