Christian Counseling: Stuck in Love!

Question for The Doctor Is In:

"Me and my baby's father lives together. I am trying to become closer to God and I know this relationship is not where I am suppose to be. I love this man so much but I am no longer happy in my relationship. I pray for this to just end but everytime the opportunity comes I keep going back. Why is it that I know that I want ot get out but I keep moving backwards?"


I am concerned for you on many levels. 

It is common for us all to experience many conflicts in life--two-sided feelings and thoughts that are in opposition. Sometimes they are two opposing feelings or two thoughts or a feeling and a thought. Both sides are a part of who we are and, as such, we need to secure a deep understanding about them in order to have peace and resolution.

You say you are trying to get closer to God, which to me would mean your trying is an effort that is not being fulfilled in the way you want or need. Therefore, in at least two of your relationships--God and your partner--you are finding difficulty with attachment. Perhaps attachment issues have been a problem for many years. Maybe the problem is with all people or just with adults or just with men. Your family of origin (growing up family) most often has the most to do with these kind of issues. For example, if your father was absent for the most part, you would likely not have felt bonded to him and perhaps not with any other man or not for long. But on the opposing side, you might also experience a great desire and attraction to men. In the end, it most likely would be conflictual--having a desire for a man and yet finding it difficult to make it happen because of past hurt and distrust. This, or something similar, might describe part of the problem that needs to be addressed before you can find peace about changing the relationship with your partner.

Have you considered that your need for attachment or connection for this man is born out of feelings of great loneliness; that without him you might fall into the misery of being all alone in the world? As the saying goes, "It is better to be in a bad relationship than no relationship at all." Some people have a very hard time being alone, and the loneliness could lead to or reveal there is an underlying depression. You would do well to consider seeing some professional help if you have a great fear of loneliness. 

Here is another point to ponder. You say you are "no longer happy."  I encourage you to explore what happiness is and isn't for you. You might find there are other feelings and thoughts connected with happiness, such as feeling something is missing or wrong. It is nearly impossible to get close to God if your conscience says you are not living as you believe He wants you to. To get close to Him means surrendering your life. But doing so would challenge your living arrangement with your partner.  

It appears the man living with you is not your husband. Do you believe God would want you to either marry or live apart, but not live together as you are? Trying to keep your relationship with your partner "as is" will interfere in your commitment to get close to God. Surrendering one's life to Him is all or nothing. That's a hard, tough, but potentially wonderful place to be, for you have the occasion to create a new future with His help. Once you have completely yielded to God, He will guide and give you direction regarding all other issues. 

Generally, I believe couples need to be open and honest with each other and discuss the hard truths about the relationship--thoughts, feelings, needs, doubts, pain, etc. It is often the secrets one keeps that leads to relational dysfunction and feeling trapped or stuck. From time to time, all couples experience very troubled feelings about their partner. Sometimes the beginning of resolve rests in disclosing the realities. If you have any question or doubt about this action, again, seek some help to sort it out. 

Can you trust that God will help you through whatever may befall you? He will never leave nor forsake you!


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