Learning the reason you keep making the same mistakes in your relationship is the first – and easiest – step. Once you know why you repeatedly cause the same problems, you’ll find it easier to stop making relationship mistakes.
Not easy…just easier.
In 6 Ways to Avoid Repeating Your Past Relationship Mistakes I offer tips on how to stop making the same mistakes — but I don’t address the specific reason people repeatedly do the same things that cause relationship problems. Figuring out the why is a crucial first step! If you don’t know why you keep making the same mistakes, you can’t solve the problem. So, let’s start in the beginning…literally.
This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project, and it’s inspired by Genesis 20. Abraham is a prophet — a man of God — yet he kept making the same mistake in his relationships with his wife, other people, and God Himself. Learning why Abraham repeatedly caused problems in his relationships will help us solve problems in our own relationships.
You don’t have to believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to benefit from my tips on how to stop making the same relationship mistakes! Just keep an open mind. Listen to the still small voice that brought you here. Remember that new beginnings blossom from tiny seeds of life. This article is one of those seeds.
How to Stop Making Mistakes in Your Relationships
As I said in the beginning, it’s crucial to figure out why you keep causing the same problems in your relationships. Why are you making the same mistakes? Think about it. Take time to work through your past. Untangle your emotions, decipher your thoughts. Learn who you are and what makes you tick! This will help you stop making relationship mistakes.
Here’s what I think: Fear is the reason why you keep making the same relationship mistakes. You’re afraid of rejection, abandonment, failure. You’re scared of being vulnerable, getting hurt, or being cast aside. You’re afraid of not being good enough, worthy, or valuable enough to be loved.
What do you think? If you come with me, I’ll show you how to stop making mistakes that arise from fear.
1. Open your mind and heart to wise counsel
Genesis 20 tells us that Abraham gave his wife Sarah to Abimelech, king of Gerar. God appeared to Abimelech in a dream and told him that Sarah was actually Abraham’s wife, and Abimelech would die because of her. “But it wasn’t my fault!” Abimelech said to God in verses 4 and 5 (my paraphrase). “Abraham told me that Sarah was his sister, not his wife! Lord, you wouldn’t destroy innocent people, would you? I have a clean conscience and clean hands!” Abimelech was a pagan king, yet God appeared to him in a dream, talked to him, and even protected him from causing serious problems.
Who do you trust to tell you the truth? You’re here because you want to stop making the same relationship mistakes. You’re repeated the same patterns, causing the same problems, and hurting the same (and perhaps even different) people. You’re hurting yourself, too. Your relationship mistakes are causing pain and suffering…and they’re blackening your spirit and soul. Who is speaking truth, light, and healing into your life? Whether or not you can trust someone with the truth, turn first to God. Ask Him to show you why you keep making the same mistakes in your relationships. Just start there, and be patient.
2. Identify what you’re trying to avoid (what you fear)
When Abimelech confronted Abraham in Genesis 20:9 (which is the right and honorable thing to do!), Abraham said he was scared. More specifically he said, “There is absolutely no fear of God in this place. They will kill me because of my beautiful wife.” Abraham feared death. On this surface, this seems reasonable…unless you know the whole story. And that’s the problem with reading the Bible piecemeal! You don’t get the whole story. God and Abraham had a covenant; Abraham should have trusted God with his wife and life. Instead, he allowed fear to push him into making the same relationship mistake he made before: lying about who Sarah was.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how honest are you about your fears? You’re a 1 (dishonest) if you say you aren’t afraid of anything. You’re an 8 or even a 9 (completely, authentically honest) if you know the reasons why you keep repeatedly making the same relationship mistakes. I think a 10 is unattainable because it’s impossible to fully know ourselves. Here’s an example from my own marriage: I tend to make the same mistake of pulling away from my husband emotionally because I’m more comfortable being alone. I fear being completely open and vulnerable, because it’s easier and more comfortable for me to keep part of myself hidden. What about you — do you know what you’re scared of? How does this affect the mistakes you make in your relationship?
If you’re burdened by relationships failures and regrets, read 7 Practical Ways to Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes.
3. Learn how — and who — to trust
Genesis 20 tells us that Abraham feared man instead of God. That’s why he kept lying about his true relationship with Sarah. God allowed Abraham to make those mistakes…but He fixed them by speaking to Abimelech in a dream. God used other people to guide and rescue Abraham and Sarah. Abraham eventually prayed to God, and He healed Abimelech and his wives (verses 17 and 18). We see later in Genesis that this experience increased Abraham’s faith and trust in God. In fact, every experience in Abraham’s life helped him grow in faith! That’s how we get closer to God: we make mistakes, realize we’ve wandered, and turn back to God with humility and awe that He is always waiting for us. Not only that, He sent Jesus to actually show us the way home!
How does your faith affect your relationships with people? Even if you don’t have an active relationship with God, your faith (or lack of faith) affects your relationships. The more you trust God, the less fear you feel in your life. The more you trust God, the easier it’ll be to stop making relationship mistakes. Why? Because you’ll learn — by making mistakes — that if you trust God with your life, you have nothing to fear from people. If your faith is strong and alive, you don’t have to be scared of what could happen in your relationships.
Read Genesis 20. Pay attention to how God speaks to people, and what He wants from us. He just wants to bless us and be part of our lives! This doesn’t mean we’ll never feel pain or grief, or that we’ll stop making mistakes in our relationships. It just means that He — through His son Jesus — will walk beside us through everything. And that we have nothing to fear, but our own tendency to wander.
Take good care of your faith. Pay attention to your relationship with Jesus, for He will help you see and stop relationship mistakes before they get too big. Learn who the Holy Spirit is and how He helps you navigate life. And above all, learn what it means to fear God. If you have a holy, healthy fear of God then you won’t fear anything that could happen here on earth…and this will help you grow holy, healthy relationships in your life.
With His love,
P.S. Are you stuck in an unhealthy relationship pattern? Read 10 Warning Signs of a Bad Relationship.