That’s a question I’ve had to ask myself on different occasions. When I found myself in a relationship where I started feeling like I was not getting what I needed, or to be honest, felt like I was playing myself, this one question helped remove any denial I might have had. Any relationships that I could answer no to this question were ultimately ended. It was like an eject button for the blinders I had on.
Here’s the thing, we forget as parents that our children are always looking to us as guides, even if we don’t realize we’re teaching them. So if we’re in a relationship with someone who says they love us, but their actions don’t show it, our kids will learn that love is only lip service. they’ll learn to be ok with not being shown the love they deserve.
I was in a relationship before and the guy was great…or so I thought. He wasn’t perfect, but we seemed to be a great fit. When something would go wrong in his personal life, he would ghost. I mean days or weeks at a time. then he’d pop back up with some line about forgiving him and he just didn’t know how to communicate what was going on. After the first time, we came to an agreement to be open and honest. If he needed space for whatever reason, he could be honest about that too. It worked for a little while.
The second time came during the pandemic. I was worried he’d gotten sick and ended up in the hospital. I was calling hospitals and trying to find him. He popped back up a week later. No excuse, just please forgive me. So when he did it a third time, I let him stay ghosted. I didn’t search for him or anything. The fact is, if he wanted to communicate during those times, I made it very open for communication. He had plenty of opportunity. I believe he was torn on working things out with his ex. When we talked about it, he’d deny it, but he still had her things in his apartment in boxes. For me, it was a no go. I would’ve respected his honesty more than the lies. When I look at the situation, I would’ve hated for one of my kids to be in that situation.
I would tell them they deserve someone who is going to show them by their actions that they love them, not just by words. People learn to say everything they think you want to hear. It’s in the actions that you see what people are made of. So if this is what I would tell them, how the hell could I be okay with tolerating this crap? Nope. Like I said, I let him stay ghosted. I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the face and say I would want my kids to be in a relationship like that. So therefore, how could I be?
It’s important that if possible, we be able to model for our kids what a healthy relationship should look like. And if the relationship is struggling, find help for the issues at hand. This also gives them the message that when there’s a problem bigger than you’re equipped to solve, you can find the resources to help with that problem. Of course, there will be times when we’re raising kids as single parents and not in any romantic relationship. In those cases, we can still use the media or anyone you know as a teaching example of what and what not to accept in relationships.
Our kids deserve to be schooled on the importance of healthy relationships. The patterns from old need to break with us and our kids. Moving forward into this next phase of the human journey, emotional intelligence is so much more important than we realized it to be before. Equipping our kids to be able to be healthy and emotionally intelligent adults, and to engage with the same, will be what creates the best outcomes for all of us moving forward. What are some healthy traits in a relationship you want your kids to have in their relationships?