Tag Archives: Failure

Why Women Stay in Bad Relationships

Why would any reasonable woman stay in a bad relationship?

Well, reasonable may or may not have anything to do with it.  I’m going to break down some of the reasons people stay in relationships they should really be leaving:

Fear of being alone.  Although it’s extremely nice to have a companion and a love in life, it is not a good experience trying to squeeze square pegs into round holes.  If you’re with a guy out of fear of being alone, then it’s not even the guy you want – it’s the avoidance of not having a guy.  If you just want to avoid not having a guy, you’ll take just about any guy who’ll line up.    It doesn’t bring peace.  (It’s also curious to me why women think a man can stand their company when they can’t, but that’s a whole other issue).

For some women it’s the devil you know vs. the devil you don’tThere’s something comfortable about staying – even in a bad relationship – because at least you know what you’re getting.

Others make the excuse that “it’s not that bad.”  I remember one woman who called in about her second husband being physically violent.  She said she knew how to deal with violent guys, and this one was less violent so it was “not that bad.”

“Not that bad?!”  It blew my mind to hear that.  It doesn’t matter what comes before the word “bad,” it’s still bad.  That’s called denial.

Some people just can’t stand the notion of having failed, especially if they have lost a marriage or a relationship in the past.  They just don’t want to acknowledge that this is a failure.  Well the way I look at it, the failure is not in leaving when the relationship doesn’t work – the failure is not leaving.   The purpose of dating is to discern whether or not the other person’s a good match.  Once you discern that they’re not a good match, hit the eject button.

Sometimes the guy has some kind of leverage over you.  You’ve done something really dumb, like shacked up with him or put down half the money for a house or condo that you’re not going to get back.  Or maybe he’s made you a kept woman and you don’t know how you’re going to survive on your own.

You believe he’ll change.  After all, he said he would.  He says he’s trying, and really it’s you that’s making him so mad.  If you only stopped making him so mad or crazy or annoyed, he’d stop doing whatever it is that bothers you.

He makes you feel special.  Even though you’re not quite good enough (in his mind), he’ll manipulate you to feel grateful that he’s with someone like you.  He says things like, “You’ll never find anybody to care about you as much as I do.”   That’s laughable.  If somebody says that to you when you know you’re in a bad relationship, just say to them, “Well thank God nobody else is going to treat me like you do.”

Some women become so absorbed with the other person and isolated from their friends and family that they don’t get feedback from anybody else.  They deny that anything’s wrong and try to hide what’s going on.

Lastly, women sometimes won’t let go of a relationship because of the time and energy they’ve invested.  However, it’s just the opposite.  The longer you stay in a bad relationship, the more time and energy you’re going to spend.

If you’re in a bad relationship, don’t just think that working harder is the solution.  If you keep having the same problems, arguments, hurt feelings, and resentments, and nothing gets resolved, end it.  If you’ve been to couples counseling and you can’t reach a place of understanding, move on.   Realize you’ve made a mistake and you’re not compatible.  Don’t go from therapist to therapist until you get someone to agree with you.

Remember that life is finite.  I think that’s one of the most important things people forget.  You only have so many days to be alive.  How do you want to spend them?  Do you really not want to face your fears and stay with what you have?

Competitive Kids

Is competition good for kids?  I’m going to give you the short answer and the long answer.  The short answer?  After about 8 years old, it’s absolutely necessary.  Before 8 years old, most kids are not really ready to process competition and what it means, and what the rules are and what’s fair, and what failure means and the rest of that.  So, for the sake of argument, I’m going to be talking about kids over 8 – when competition is absolutely necessary. 

Failing is an essential part of growth and that’s why you have to let your kids struggle and fail.  Remember the 4 minute mile?  It seemed nobody could run a mile in less than  4 minutes.  Then someone did and everybody competed against that time. 

Have you ever seen kids trying to climb something for the first time?  One usually says, “Oh, I can’t climb that high.”  Another starts scooting up and suddenly the first child is climbing too.  Competition makes you dig deeper into what you probably can do.  Endurance, persistence, perseverance, self-control – these are things your kids have to learn in order to be successful in life at anything: a career, hobby, even relationships.  And most of this they get from competing. 

There needs to be a balance between competing and cooperation.  For their first 8 years, you teach them a lot about cooperation, but you can’t avoid competition even then.  It is kind of a natural element.  A lot of people think you have to learn to compete, but I disagree.  I believe you have to learn to compete WELL, but that competition is inherent.  It’s inherent in just about every animal you see on the face of the earth – from their coloring and plumage, to their mating calls – even how they swim or strut.   

Competition is a natural, normal part of life for resources, opportunity, reproduction, everything.  And teaching your children to do it well is a responsibility you have – even though it’s painful to see their sad, little, puckered faces when they didn’t win. 

And when they lose, instead of hearing them say, “I’m a terrible person…I suck…This is too hard…” teach them to analyze what happened because then they grow.  Again, children need to learn failure is part of growth, even if it’s a little annoying.

Competition encourages growth and pushes a kid to excel.  They learn about their own abilities, and they learn about their limitations.  And oftentimes, without competition, you can’t tell what you can do.  I like to play tennis with people a hell of a lot better than me because it pushes my abilities. 
Competition teaches your kids to set goals, develop skills, solve problems, and try out new things.  It also teaches them to learn rules, perform with other people watching and work with other people as on a team.

Competition is a very strong motivator, but parents who put too much emphasis on winning can harm a kid.  Before I took an exam in college, my dad would always say to me, “Give ‘em hell!”  That meant “do your best”.  Whatever that is, that’s all each of us has.  And my best may be better than your best at something, and your best may be better than my best at something else.  We’re all better at some things and not as good at others.  And that has to be the mentality you teach your kids.  No matter how good you are at something, there’s somebody better or there’s somebody better at something else. 

And of course it’s up to you to make sure they can treat triumph and defeat the same…with class. 

Kids who are not ready for competitive activities are usually kids who are more insecure, immature, selfish, spoiled or irresponsible. They may be too pressured from their parents, can’t play in teams, can’t handle frustration, haven’t developed patience or tolerance and they often throw tantrums after being overwhelmed by competition.  They have trouble sleeping, get headaches, have nausea, get depressed, lack energy, and create ailments and excuses to avoid activities… So if you do have one of these kinds of kids use your judgment and understanding when making decisions about competition.

You’ve also got to pay close attention to the ethics of competing:   right and wrong, losing and winning.  The Foundation for a Better Life has a great video on this. Watch:  Basketball    It’s how you want to teach your kids.  Competition is important.  Support your kids’ participation.  But ethics are more important than anything.