“Infatuation moves quickly; love grows. Infatuation carries a sense of uncertainty; love begins with security. Infatuation could lead you to do things you might regret; love won’t.”
“Some people seem to thrive on volatile relationships. But the crucial question is, where is the relationship going? Are the two people growing together with each new disagreement? Or are they just replaying the same old issues? How do the partners handle conflict? Are they resolving it through healthy give and take? Or are they at an impasse, with neither one giving in? When they do get back together, is it because they’ve decided to make the necessary compromises to work out their problem? Or do they just ‘need’ each other so much that they decide to ignore the problem until it flares up again? Every relationship has its disagreements. But in a healthy relationship, the partners talk through the problems, work through them, learn through them, learn more about each other, learn about themselves, and move on. That’s growth. That may mean the relationship reaches a higher level of understanding and commitment. Or that may mean the partners decide the romantic relationship isn’t worth pursuing. Either way, the individuals grow as they deal with their conflicts.”
These ideas were pretty groundbreaking for me when I first read them. I hadn’t ever really experienced a relationship that wasn’t volatile or codependent. I began to realize that since it was all I ever knew, I perpetuated the drama in most of my relationships and didn’t know how to handle it when drama wasn’t present. It took some time for me to re-train my way of thinking and relating. Even after Aaron and I were married, we would have “marital growth moments” (we don’t call them fights) and I would have the opportunity to further learn healthy ways of dealing with conflict.
One thing that still strikes me about the first quote is that I had never really felt secure until I met Aaron. I didn’t realize just how much of my behavior stemmed from a sense of insecurity that I had felt all my life. With Aaron, I feel safe. (Please don’t hear me say that I didn’t or don’t have security in God. That continues to grow every day and a husband simply cannot and should not be the source of a woman’s ultimate fulfillment.) I really think all women have a fear of abandonment on some level, and with my background this fear ran deep. Aaron is aware of this and proves himself time and again in his faithfulness. Ladies, you want faithful men and don’t settle for less! Guys, we need you to be men; you have what it takes!