Some people say that reality TV shows have no redeeming qualities. But I maintain that, sometimes (albeit rarely), there are relationship lessons to be learned from those shows. Granted, most of the times they are lessons in what not to do.
As I sat watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta this week, my heart broke as I witnessed a scene between cast member Kandi Burress and her mother. Kandi is engaged to her live-in boyfriend of two years, Todd. And Kandi's mother does not think that Todd is good enough for her successful, talented, millionaire, Grammy award-winning daughter. And, it's gotten to the point that the relationship between Kandi and her mother is strained and Kandi cannot enjoy planning her wedding.
This same scenario played out between me and my mother (minus the part about being a millionaire or winning Grammys). She did not like my live-in boyfriend and she had no problems letting it be known. Looking back, I totally (and I mean totally) understand what she did not like about him and my shacking situation. However, I think that her approach could have been different and a little more respectful. In the end, she probably feels that her approach was successful in that I am not with that person anymore. But at what cost was it successful? It certainly put a strain on our relationship back then.
I get it … it is very hard to watch a loved one or friend suffer or go down a path to heartache. But you have to let people live their lives and make their own mistakes.
You might actually be successful in breaking up a relationship if you continue to press the issue. But unfortunately, the broken relationship may be the one with you.
Based on my experience with this, here are 7 ways you may be crossing the line when it comes to other people's relationships:
1. You Keep Restating Your Concerns
If you have already stated your case, and your loved one decides not to agree, then let it go. At this point you have two options: you can keep your opinions to yourself and be a supportive friend (as needed.) Or, you can choose to pull back from the situation because it is toxic.
2. Your Timing Is Off.
Birthday Parties, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, weekend getaways, or other social events are not the right times to bring up your concerns. If you truly have concerns, set up a separate meeting and discuss them then.
3. You Are No Longer Invited Over.
There's nothing worse than having someone come over to your home, and have that person disrespect your relationship or partner. If you find that you are no longer welcome in your friend's home, then perhaps you have crossed the line.
4. You Are Always Saying Something Negative.
No one wants to hear negative comments about their relationship or partner every time they see you. Your Friend: "Whew… I am dead beat from working so many hours." You: "Speaking of deadbeats, where is your husband." That's not cool.
5. You Involve Their Kids.
It is NEVER OK to put children in the middle of grown folk's business.
6. Your Relationship is Jacked UP!
I'm not saying that people in bad relationships can't give relationship advice. You may have valuable lessons learned to share. But, if you are obsessing about someone else's relationship, while your relationship is falling apart, then you need to check your motives. Are you projecting your own relationship issues onto your friend/loved one? Perhaps, it's time for you to turn your attention to yourself.
7. You Are Running Your Mouth.
If you are going around, telling other folks about your concerns and trying to get them to see your point, then you are crossing the line. I am sure your friend/loved one will not appreciate you discussing their relationship with anyone that will listen to you.
-By Ronnie Tyler