There are no garbage bags in healthy relationships. Often people come from such insecure childhoods they can only hope that their adult life will include a relationship that allows them to rest in the arms of someone who really cares. When we shift from trying to use others to satisfy our security needs to trying to meet the security needs of others, we find ourselves in a new dimension. We are filling their doubts and fears with the reassurance of our consistent behavior. We become, in a word, loving: other-focused and totally selfless. It is wonderful to be vulnerable, to do an emotional free fall and have someone there to catch you.Out of love, the partners take the hurt and disappointment of the past and burn it up in the flames of forgiveness. So much of life is lived on the edge of risk, we feel an overwhelming need for at least one relationship to make us feel safe. That is the kind of love that drives out fear and provides genuine security. That delightful taste of vulnerability enables you to open up even more, discover more about who you are, appreciate all the good that God has created in you.Understanding these contrasts can help us understand how healthy relationships work – and how we can grow toward them as part of the recovery process. There is no need to pretend that problems don’t exist or to tiptoe around “unmentionable” areas. In an unhealthy relationship the focus is on completing oneself. The strongest and most successful relationships – even the most passionate and romantic marriages – have this kind of true friendship at the base. It’s one thing to love another when the going is easy. Forgiveness is a miraculous gift between two people.If the partner is weak in some area, he or she accepts it and helps accommodate or strengthen it. The relationship is built on a foundation that isn’t really there. This selfish dynamic is at the heart of codependency. It is only a matter of time until substitutes are sought – either in the form of other relationships or in the form of dysfunctional and addictive behaviors. Where this base of true friendship is absent, the relationship is shallow and susceptible to being marked by victimization. But character and depth are wrought in a relationship when love requires the surrender of preference and privilege. Indeed, it often seems that the greater the sacrifice, the more thorough the death to self, the greater the potential for the relationship. His relationship with us required nothing less than the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. A relationship flourishes when we are willing to forgive past hurts and disappointments.
Divorce does not always mean that people stop loving each other.Unhealthy relationships, by contrast, are based on fantasy. Too many people fling half a person into a relationship, expecting that it will be completed by the other. Building a relationship – or restoring one that has been ravaged by the effects of addiction – depends on the willingness of both parties to sacrifice for each other, without demanding anything in return. Refusing to forgive is like carrying around a garbage bag full of hurts of the past.Every time someone makes a mistake, we toss it into the bag and carry it with us forever. In a secure environment, a person is free to open up and be vulnerable.Without accountability, trust and the restoration of intimacy in relationships is impossible. She even found out about things before I did, so they were talking on the phone. Roll on maybe nearly a year (together about 2 and half years at this stage) and we were both looking at pictures on his laptop, I was just clicking in different folders and he was telling me where certain pictures were taken. So, a few weeks later I needed my pictures off his laptop and I noticed the folder with their pictures in it. He doesn’t want to delete the photos because he still loves her?