I get a lot of PMs and requests in the group to give relationship advice. As in- adult relationships. I try to resist as much as I can. It's because I frankly haven't figured out how to make a relationship work one-way. Read that carefully... I said I don't know how to MAKE a relationship WORK, one way. This automatically means that much of the burden of the relationship going well depends on myself. This means, as long as I manage the other person's feelings, everything will be ok or seemingly so but when I try to get my needs met, things will go south. So, in other words, the 'success' of the relationship depends on me making myself almost invisible. Now, I have breathtakingly beautiful relationships with a ton of people in my life, alhamdulilah. But they all have one thing in common: these people love me and accept me as I am. They choose to see the best in me, forgive my mistakes and help me be my best self. With my kids and any other kid, I can have successful relationships because I whole-heartedly accept the responsibility of making the relationship work and children are actually way better than most adults at accepting love and multiplying it. Simply put, they're marvelous at giving unconditional love. But even then, the idea of a one-way relationship with kids makes sense to me. This is not true for adults. So many adults are living out of their trauma and bleeding their wounds onto others- hurting others and themselves more in the process. At some point, no matter how much unconditional love we give an adult, they HAVE to accept responsibility for their bleeding wounds. They HAVE to make difficult choices. They HAVE to decide that enough is enough and they're the only real hope they have, and we are only helpers to what THEY want to do. Until they do this, they WILL continue to cause pain to others in their life and alienate them- possibly to the point of complete extinction. And if they still haven't seen the light, they will then blame others for being left alone. So my problem is, I haven't yet figured out how to have WORKING relationships with such people. I mean, I can have A relationship where I do my best, I stay true to myself, I say 'no' when I need to and 'yes' when I can, I give what I can and even more sometimes- but ultimately I can't MAKE a relationship WORK single-handedly. So if someone comes to me for relationship advice, I'd say to them to also bring the other person along. This is a two-person relationship, a two-person problem and it will take a two-person solution to solve it. Which means, if you can't get the other person on board then you have two choices: 1- Leave the relationship (if its a spouse) or create a solid distance (with salam/waslam and whatever else you're easily capable of, in tact). 2- Stay in the relationship if there's something in it for you. Take what you're taking and see if its worth the price you're paying for staying in the relationship. I know this sounds selfish, but remember, you're letting this person bleed on to you without abandoning them so you're not actually being selfish. You're trying to survive. Don't give in to your ego ("main tou aisay banday sai koi taluq nahi rakhna chahta" I don't want to take anything from such a person...)... take what you can because I can assure you, bleeding people can't offer much. If you choose 2, you'll have to work extra hard to take care of yourself... because you're the only person in the relationship who IS taking care of you. You can't choose 2 and then continue to 'sacrifice' yourself- you already made an ultimate sacrifice for one reason or another. So there it is, this is my current relationship advice from a place of vulnerability. Take it or leave it. Perhaps as I grow in my own healing journey, I will have better, more "evolved" advice. Perhaps one day I will become the kind of person who says and practices this>> "No matter how much someone is hurting you... just ignore it and do your thing.. in fact, they're so hurt and broke, you should help THEM too." Yeah. One day. Maybe. in shaa'Allah. Currently I'm not there. All I know is that, so far, following this advice has taken me to better places alhamdulilah and has allowed me to stop bleeding on to others, and get in the role of helping others. So if you are where I am, this advice is for you.
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