Excerpt from The Struggle Is Real: “My Unhealthy Relationship”

In the book I’m working on, The Struggle Is Real, I have interviewed many high school and college girls from around the WORLD. I will be sharing a few excerpts from the book periodically, as I continue to work on the project.

These are real stories from real girls from Texas, to Colorado, from Florida, all the way to Kenya and beyond. Each girl’s name has been changed to protect her anonymity. Every girl who has shared her story desires for you to find encouragement and comfort through their words. They have found purpose in their pain with you in mind – by sharing their stories they realize that what they have gone through is not in vain – it can help you. That fact brings them great joy. These girls hope that by sharing their struggles they might spare you from some of the mistakes they have made. They hope their stories will encourage you and convince you that God can be trusted, even when life doesn’t make sense. They hope that their advice will help you keep your eyes on Jesus through the difficulty. They hope that the verses they shared will bring you perspective. They love you dearly. These verses have guided much of this process: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” Find comfort, sisters.

From Tiffany, age 17
Struggle: My Unhealthy Relationship

I really thought I knew what I wanted in a relationship. I’ve always been taught to find a godly man. I would write down things I wanted in a godly man. I knew I wanted a relationship that glorified God. I mean, who wants to be in an unhealthy relationship? No one. When I found this guy at church, I thought, “Wow! What a godly guy! He comes from a great family. He’s a leader at church. He’s THE guy.” I thought it was great.

I really thought that God wanted me to be in this relationship. I felt like it all fell into place. I felt really great about it.

We went on dates for several months before we became “official”. I had been really firm in the rule that I would not kiss until I was official with someone. So, we didn’t kiss for many months while just going on dates. As soon as we became official, he kissed me… began as a small, sweet kiss…then we got in his car and started making out. This is when it all went downhill. We just kept doing more and more from there.

I never felt good afterwards. Ever. I always felt shame and guilt.

Every time we were together, that’s all it became. We would just make out.

I always felt like such a hypocrite. I knew the right thing to do, and I just didn’t. When other girls would talk to me about physical temptation, I would tell them, “No. You do not need to do that.” And, then there I was, being a hypocrite, doing almost everything with my boyfriend. I just didn’t take my own advice.

I became someone I never wanted to be. Even though I knew what I was doing was wrong, I kept doing it. I mean, we would leave church and go make out. It was such a physical relationship, and it really destroyed me.

I just felt gross all the time. I just felt like I kept losing a little bit of my innocence every time. I never wanted to be that person. I enjoyed my innocence. I was a good girl. I didn’t do bad things. I was doing things I just never thought I would do.

I would try to convince myself that it “wasn’t that bad.”

I quit getting to know him once all the physical stuff started to happen. It was a terrible relationship. We would fight all the time, and when we weren’t fighting, we would just make out. It was obscene what was happening.

It wasn’t anything I ever wanted to do or get myself into. Part of me is mad at him, but mostly I’m mad at myself. I knew better. I shouldn’t have done any of that. I said yes. I allowed it all to happen.

Now, after being broken up, I dread any day that I have to see his face. I just think, “You should have never seen me like that.” I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed. When I see him, it all just floods back in, and I just can’t run from it.

I am so glad I’m not in that relationship anymore, because I know that I never have to go back there again. I never have to do that stuff again. And, I never will.

I have realized that there is no need to make out in a relationship. A guy can kiss me goodnight, but that’s it. I’m never going back to where I was because it destroyed me so much.

I regret never putting an end to it. Our relationship ended for other reasons – it’s not because I ever put a stop to the physical part. I’m sad that I never stopped it.

I mean, I hated it every time. He would set a timer, so that I wouldn’t be late going home, and we would go park somewhere and make out. It was sickening. It just seemed expected. That’s all we would do. I would wait for the timer to go off because I just didn’t want to be there anymore.

I don’t know why I stayed in a relationship like that. I think it’s because I just liked a boy liking me. I’m not sure why…because I didn’t enjoy that relationship at all.

We looked like the perfect couple on the outside, but truly we were in major sexual sin.

It was a constant lie. I always felt like I was living a double life. I would go to church, then go and make out. I felt a constant disgust. It hasn’t fully gone away.

I don’t want to be known as that person. That’s not who I want to be.

It destroyed my relationship with God for quite a while. There was a barrier between God and me. I didn’t want to go and do my Bible Study after I had made out hardcore with my boyfriend. I couldn’t connect with the Lord anymore.

I’m still in the midst of the healing process. I know it will take time, but I’m beginning to accept God’s forgiveness, and I’m beginning to forgive myself.

Tiffany’s Advice for you:
Take a step back and look at yourself…ask yourself: “If the whole world knew what I was doing, would I be okay with it?”
“Is that what I would want my future husband to be doing?”
“Is that what I would want my future kids to be doing?”

Find someone to keep you accountable…a trustworthy friend who will ask you the tough questions. Also, find someone older who can act as a mentor who can guide you when you’re struggling with something like this.

Run away from any relationship like this. You will only regret what you do. You cannot take it back. There is no undo button in life.

But, remember, the Lord always forgives. He can always bring healing. Flee from sin, and run to Him.

God’s arms are open wide, waiting for you to return.

Verses to help you through the struggle:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”