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4 Popular Relationship Fixes That Never Work

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Screw his brains out. Pay all of her bills. Give him a baby. Put a ring on it. What do all of these things have in common? They are among the popular ways that people try to fix a relationship—even when it’s obvious that it should end, or should never have begun. Another thing such relationship fixes have in common—they rarely, if ever, work. While such tactics might provide a temporary fix (for a night, a few months, even years) and perhaps a false sense of security, they cannot transform unhealthy relationships into healthy ones. To avoid foolery, and the damage that comes with it, face the facts about these so-called relationship fixes.

1. Better Sex.

While both men and women fall prey to the false belief that more, better or a different variety of sex will fix a broken relationship, women tend to be more vulnerable to this myth, especially when they are desperate to win a man back, or to stop him from straying. Of course, it’s usually men who are most motivated to promote this myth, especially if they are penis-led. To paraphrase Zara’s father, Sam Green Sr., there’s only one winner when you “[try to out-sex] your rivals—him—and no man is worth the price you’ll have to pay to compete.” Men do not go unscathed by this truth. Nothing cuts to the heart of the male ego more than learning that his sexual prowess, attentiveness and even fidelity is not enough to keep a woman from straying.

If a relationship is a healthy one, it will both enhance, and be enhanced by sexual intimacy. However, if the relationship is unhealthy, sex will not fix it—no matter what acts you are willing to perform, or how often. Freaky will never inspire fidelity in someone who is not committed to it and to you. Sex can spark the fires of passion, but it can’t sustain the flame of devotion. Believe otherwise, and all you will get is screwed.

2. Spend Money.

Most financial foolery in romantic relationships is rooted in one person attempting to bribe, obligate or create dependency in another person in order to get or keep him or her. Examples include the successful professional woman who attempts to own a man by providing for all of his material needs, including food, clothing and shelter, as well as luxuries such as a car and credit cards. Then there is the more traditional situation of the man who convinces a woman to stay in a relationship and accept infidelity, physical abuse and other violations by providing expensive gifts and a luxurious lifestyle as compensation.

When a relationship is built on a loving, mutually respectful foundation of honor, esteem and respect, the quality of life of both partners is improved by what money can buy. Not so with an unhealthy or broken relationship—the person trying to hold on to another with material things can never be secure, as they must always worry about being outbid by someone who can afford to spend more. Meanwhile, the object of their “affection” ultimately becomes either property or a gold-digger (whether male or female)—neither designations of esteem. When you attempt to purchase love, the buyer always feels cheated, the bought always feels cheapened and both feel exploited—not a recipe for a sustainable, loving partnership. Nothing you can buy can fix a broken relationship, or transform an unhealthy relationship into a healthy one.

3. Get Married.

When we say you can’t spend money to fix an unhealthy relationship, we include buying an engagement ring—no matter how many karats are involved. How many couples have walked down the aisle expecting their fairytale wedding to provide the cure to an unhealthy or ill-established relationship—with the full endorsement of their parents, family, friends and/or church? The fact that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce is not evidence that the institution itself is flawed, but testament to the fact that a marriage is only as resilient as the foundation it is built on. If a relationship is broken, unhealthy and/or dysfunctional, a wedding—no matter how grand and wonderful—will not fix it.

A wedding can only consummate what exists. If the relationship is built on a healthy foundation of honor, esteem and respect, it can provide a solid and resilient foundation for a loving and enduring marriage. However, if the relationship is not a healthy one for both parties before the wedding, marriage will not make it so. While marriage bonds two people together, it does not transform the nature of the relationship between them. A cracked and unstable relationship does not become stronger, but crumbles under the weighty responsibility of marriage. A person who is promiscuous, abusive, disrespectful, disloyal, emotionally unsafe, financially irresponsible or otherwise unsuitable for a healthy relationship is not transformed by merely saying “I do.”

4. Have A Baby.

One of the most selfish and unfair things a person can do is to use procreation as a means to an end, namely, to establish or maintain a relationship. Like marriage, the birth of a child may permanently bond two people together, but will not heal a broken or unstable relationship—much less establish one where none exists. Yet it’s an ugly truth that many fatherless sons and daddyless daughters are the product of misguided attempts to secure, maintain or fix such relationships. As with marriage, the demands of parenthood are far too heavy for an unhealthy relationship to bear. And too often, when procreation fails to heal or sustain the relationship, it’s the child(ren) who pay(s) the price—including suffering from the resentment of parents who see them as a constant reminder of their relationship foolery.

In healthy relationships of honor, esteem and respect, sexual intimacy, financial provision, marriage and procreation are wonderful gifts. However, when relationships are unhealthy, they become burdens—cause for conflict, strife, violence or worse. Being bonded—sexually, financially, maritally or through parenthood—to someone who is unhealthy for you is a recipe for misery.  This is precisely why Grown folks withhold access to their bodies, money, hearts and homes until a healthy foundation is firmly established. They know that broken, unhealthy relationships cannot be fixed or cured by sex, money, marriage or procreation.

Live in the Grown Zone.

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About GrownZone

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Zara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr., named to Black Love Forum’s “14 Most Inspiring Black Couples” list for 2014, are co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, producer of The Grown Zone. Zara is a speaker/trainer & author. Alfred is an award-winning journalist and expert on business and personal finance. The couple, both “Do-Better Fanatics”, lead sessions on personal growth, self-love and resiliency, healthy relationships and “grown” decision-making at live events across the country.

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