How Other People Can Ruin Your Relationship

Sunday, Sep. 9th 2012 10:00 PM

We have some big things underway. Frank’s first book, How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship, will be released very soon. We are currently implementing the book’s promotional strategy; and we are excited about getting the book to shelves soon. We are also preparing to go live with our first episode of Frank Relationships, our radio talk show. As we implement these new initiatives, the blogs may taper from the regular Monday at 1pm release schedule. And we will not be producing any more video-blogs in the near future. But not to worry. We are still working to bring our supporters new perspectives on understanding and acceptance in relationships. Look for big things from Frank Love, and tell us what you think as they unfold.

Other people can be the death of your relationship. And I don’t mean your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend or that cute waitress who always flirts with your man. I mean the people closest to you – the well-meaning, opinionated friends and family members who can systematically tear your relationship apart … if you let them.

Often, the reasons that people choose to leave or stay in relationships are someone else’s – either because we are trying to mimic their relationships, take their advice or live up to their standards. These “other people” are not insignificant, but they are insignificant when deciding what kind of relationship you want to have.

This is not to say that you should tell your parents or other loved ones to mind their own business and never give you advice. It’s important to know your history, which includes where you come from and the perspectives of the people you come from. Discuss what they think and how they developed those perspectives and values. There could be useful information there. However, their word is not the gospel. While the person advising you could be 100-percent correct in his/her own case, or even in most cases, the advice may not be 100-percent correct for you at this point in your life.

Many years ago, before I developed some of my current relationships philosophies, a friend asked me for advice about his tumultuous marriage. He and his wife fought all the time, and he was very unhappy. Believe it or not, I regurgitated all of the things that had been regurgitated to me over the years: “Marriage is forever. Stay for the kids. You can make it work.” He looked at me like I was crazy and got his divorce. Today, they are both much happier, and I believe he did the right thing – if only because he did what was right for him.

Often we take other people’s advice because doing so seems easier than thinking for ourselves – and, if it doesn’t work out, we can blame someone else, right? Nope. The final decision about which path to take was, and always is, yours. Lawyers and financial advisors provide guidance, but you sign the documents they prepare knowing that it’s your butt on the line. They move on and advise someone else, and your outcome has little effect on them. Your friends and family may be more emotionally invested in how their advice plays out, but make no mistake, the outcome is yours to navigate and the burden is yours to carry.

If you walk away from this blog with only one bit of truth that you will apply to your life, I want it to be this – you do not need permission to be yourself and to live your life the way you want to live it. Your decisions don’t need to be sanctioned by others. Sure, there are other important players in your show, but you are the director. They may offer good advice, help you work out kinks, and suggest possibilities you haven’t considered, but at the end of the day, the decision is yours, and whether it’s an unpopular one is a secondary concern when you consider what’s at stake – your happiness.

Be who you are and do what you want. If you want two mates, half a mate, a mate you hate, a mate of the same sex, a secret mate or a part-time mate, that’s OK. Do what works best for you and have no shame about enjoying it.

Sure, other people may talk about you. Let them. People need something to talk about. And they may talk to you as well – especially if they take offense to your behavior or that of your mate. Well-meaning friends may be quick to tell you what they would or wouldn’t put up with from a partner. But we’re talking about your relationship, not theirs.

Who cares what your friends wouldn’t “put up with”? If something makes you happy, even though it wouldn’t make someone else happy, or if there’s something that doesn’t bother you even though it would bother other people in the same situation, so what? Choosing your own path in life (and love) is Powerful.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

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How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

9 Comments on “How Other People Can Ruin Your Relationship”

  1. Loren G., LCSW, CHt Says:

    Some valid points, Frank… I’ll look forward to reading the details in your upcoming book… One of the issues that comes from your post is HOW people handle the stress of other people’s opinions… what to say, what to do… etc. That’s a good follow-up discussion…

  2. Mel F. Says:

    What I’ve discovered are people who try to give advice and have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. Makes a bad situation worse

  3. Robert P. Says:

    …so true, but remember more often than otherwise you are the one to make the decision to end a relationship. Looking forward to reading the book.

  4. Dr. Clifford Says:

    My mother pushed her religion so much that it destroyed my bother and sisters’s marriages, and so i never let her set foot in my home again to keep her from possibly doing so to me.

  5. Elva A. Says:

    I think a more appropriate discussion could be “How to Ruin Your Own Good Marriage”. Too often we see our problems as something being done to us which makes us victim when there may be things we can do to correct the situation or get help.

  6. Mel F. Says:

    I tell people that if you get married, keep the in-laws at a respectful distance. There is a couple I know where the mother of the husband was always trying to tell his wife how to cook properly. The woman is a certified, and graduated gourmet chef, and has worked all over the Europe. His mother’s attitude, was that no-one could fix meals for her son, as she did. One Thanks giving she(the wife), and I prepared a very well done dinner together. I also had culinary training, and the mother was nit picky about the food although everyone else, including her husband raved about it. I told Mum, point black that she was afraid of letting her son go, and she’s feeling abandoned.

  7. houston divorce Says:

    Very useful post, thanks!

  8. Hannah Says:

    My ex boyfriend broke up with me almost 3 weeks ago he took drugs and said he stopped my family and friends didn’t like him I was with him for 3. 5 years on and off I knew him since we were 14 its weird without him I need him I want him so bad. my dad took my phone away as I was talking to him his blocked me on facebook. I’m not giving up on our relationship it was true love he was the one I was gonna give my virginity for I loved him he meant everything to me even though I’m a Christian I want him back I cant even revise for my exam I’m depressed and sad and hurt listening to sad songs I want him back

  9. matthew n wright Says:

    Their are alot of things you can only imagine, that brings insecuritys and anxiaty, depressions. As people we are all at fault of some types of inseciritys. People blame others and judge without thinking. It’s a human impulse we use daily. We judge people to the extents that we think people judge us and that’s just a depressing thought. Something very hard to stop doing. It ruins people’s lives and builds insecurity in themselves and possibly there family. When we come to terms that our we as people are most certaintly are at the most risks of our own thoughts of ourselves, and letting that ruin a good relationship. Who cares what people think about you really if you never come to terms with who you are and accept the fact that we all mess up and have flaws and it just generates the most important idea of all the most mejestic one theory can logically explains WE ARE HUMANS. So that being said get over what ever reasons you have about holding yourself back and go out there and live your life..It’s your’s go take it. And stop being at your own faults.

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