(Notes – not necessarily quotes – taken in my 2017 journal from Dr. Cloud’s “Never Go Back“)
These notes are from my 2017 Journal, after I had taken my husband back multiple times but he continued to be unfaithful. I thought I could love him into changing. I was wrong. But I didn’t know why this was not working and perhaps it could have worked, if he had wanted the change himself. But as I have shared before, it didn’t matter how much I loved him or took him back – in the end – he still chose to leave. These notes helped me make sense of it all. So, while these notes may not be applicable in your marriage, they may be helpful in another difficult relationship you may be in with a parent, sibling, co-worker or friend.
Everyone Has Dysfunctional Patterns
Everyone has brain patterns and because of sin, everyone has dysfunctional brain patterns.
People that are stuck call these patterns – problems. Do you have patterns – or problems that need changed?
The only way to change is through a wake up call. But some people don’t answer the call. People who successfully break patterns have wake up calls. They have awakenings where they get it! Then, they develop new patterns and let go of their old patterns. These new patterns make them forever changed.
What I’ve Learned
While we all want to believe that we are self-sufficient and can change on our own, usually we need a source outside ourselves to experience lasting change and a change of patterns.
This is what repentance does. When we repent we change directions. We do a complete 180 and instead of going backwards – we start going forwards.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Are you in a dysfunctional relationship with a family member or friend?
There is always some good in a dysfunctional relationship. That is why we are in that relationship. It offers something we want or need.
If there is pain in a close relationship, we need to try to resolve that pain point. It’s worth pursuing resolution because there is good that comes along with that pain. So we know with change, it can all be good again.
So we try. BUT if it’s not resolved, your relationship may end. Once that relationship ends, we naturally miss the good that that relationship held.
When we miss the good – we start to forget the pain.
When we miss the good and forget the pain — that leads to letting that person back in our lives again.
Now watch this – this is where the unhealthy cycle begins.
With the good that you regain from getting that relationship back – the pain returns as well. If that person did not change – the pain will be too much and you will separate again.
And so the cycle continues unresolved.
To go back into a close relationship with someone who has not changed – you are destined to repeat the same cycle over and over.
So what should we do?
We cannot go back until the variables have changed. Something must be new about the other person or different or we will repeat what has already NOT worked.
You cannot change other people. You can not change something you have no control over. You can only change yourself and your responses to the person that is hurting you.
If the other person feels no need to change – they won’t change and it will never work. The reality you need to face is that you want this relationship more than they do.
Every single one of us has dysfunctional patterns because we all sin.
We all make mistakes. And so it’s important that we self-reflect and be sure we are not part of the problem.
Dysfunction comes when we exert effort to solve a problem and the problem gets worse. As we try to solve problems – we end up further from each other rather than closer. This hurts. And sometimes we have to stop trying and give it to God in prayer.
But what about love?
As children of God, we are always to love – love our neighbors and love our enemies. But we are not called to trust everyone or be in a close relationship with people who knowingly hurt us time and time again.
1.) Do not try to be close to someone who is hurting you over and over unless something is new or different in that relationship.
2.) You cannot change someone else but you can be a change agent in their lives.
3) An open system brings change – meaning – bring in the Lord and new people, new coaches, new counselors, new paths, new principles and new patterns.
4.) If someone is not open to bringing in the new and has a closed system – meaning – they will not turn to the Lord, a pastor, see a counselor, read a new book, or be open to new paths — they will not change.
Are you in a dysfunctional relationship?
You cannot change someone else so…pray and ask the Lord to help you understand the patterns in your own life that are causing pain. Let this be YOUR wake up call to create new patterns and new paths in your own life. Ask God to help you change and then get to work changing yourself!
If you need help with that…I’ll be posting more here – so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the posts!
Keep walking with the King,