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giving up my happiness for the sake of another watch

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    (Original post by hobbit_)
    I think you should stay with him. I also think you should get married. I'll give you and idea of what a Christian (mine anyway) response to this might be.

    It seems to me like you've already gone through a lot with your boyfriend, and I think he deserves your committment. This may seem radical to you, but I also think you should get married as soon as possible. The Bible says that love is the committment to the will of the true good of another person. Not some warm fuzzy feeling inside expressed through films and the media as a husband and wife walking arm in arm on a sunset beach in Goa.

    No, love, how I believe God sees love anyway, is completely sacrificial. Jesus loved us so much that he died for us- he gave up his life for the good of us. Therefore, if we are to immitate him, like we should, then of course you must sacrifice yourself for your boyfriend. It might sound odd this, and it is, because you aren't married. Currently you don't have that incentive to keep going.

    You might think you haven't given up much of your time to yourself. Thing is, you don't 'discover' yourself by going to play the guitar with some natives of Papa New Guinea. You discover what you're made of and who you are by service to others, whether you feel good about it or not. You have always, it seems, given your all to your boyfriend, and I think it's about time you made the committment publically and got married.

    Then, everyday you will wake up and know that your duty as a wife is to give yourself for your husband. It doesn't matter that right now he won't be able to give himself for you. If you are successful and he comes out of his depression, then of course he'll be able to be the kind of husband you, but more importantly God wants him to be.

    I honestly think it would be selfish to get up and leave right now. Realistically, 20 years down the line, say you went travelling, what will you say that you've done with your life that's been useful? Is spending that time trying to do something self centred- 'finding' yourself, really a productive use of time? Productive being measured by what you can do for others?

    However, if, 20 years down the line you've been faithful and constant in your love- remembering what love really is, you will think, thank God I stayed and didn't give up. It doesn't matter if your husband might not appreciate in the way that you want him to. Humans are fickle beings and praise isn't the first thing that comes into many people's mind, but you know that you've done your best and you've loved him- given yourself in body and soul to the continual good for him.

    Isn't that worth it? More worth it than travelling round the world which will achieve nothing- if one considers that fleeting pleasures like seeing the pyramids of giza or whatever will pass and fade. No, happiness is a cumulative process, and I honestly think that you and your boyfriend should talk about getting married as soon as possible, and that when you take those vows you know that you have a job to do, and that is to love him untill one of you dies, and that loving him means doing your utmost to help him in every way you can.

    Worth it, I'd say.
    to the first paragraph- first of all, dont just say 'the bible says'- what do you believe- if youre going to make such a significant claim at least defend it with your own belief. I completely agree with you that true love should be about trying to make another person happy- but I think yours is a misinterpretation- just because people should love generously and always try to be selfless, that doesnt mean the first person in need you find you should marry. My strongest objection to that suggestion in this situation is, as I have already stated, I sincerely doubt that is the best thing for the OPs boyfriend- he is an adult, not a charity case- it is vital for his happiness and their marriage that he doesnt rely on the OPs giving up her life for him.

    In response to the second- there is the consideration that when one really commits oneself to sacrificing ones life, it should outweigh what one is giving up in the process. God gave us a life to live. When God gives you something, you should be grateful and true gratitude is making use of life. It would be incredibly ungracious to throw away your life at such a young age because another is dependent on you when its not at all necessary. The OPs boyfriend is presumably still very young, and could be going through a difficult period in his life which he will get through and could just need time. I would say since you dont know him or his situation personally, its very careless of you to try to convince a complete stranger on a student forum to sacrifice their life when all you have to go on is their account of it here.

    The next three paragraphs- what an unbelievably misoginistic and closed-minded thing to say! You seem to suggest that because the OP is a woman, that as a wife she must sacrifice herself for her husband- why should she? How exactly did God put men above women in a way that justifies that?

    You seem to have an incredibly extreme all or nothing view of young peoples lives- there are a hundred and one ways one call life a fulfilling life that stands morally between 'playing the guitar with some natives' and launching into some deluded projective-identification with Jesus. I think you completely misunderstood what Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was meant to represent- he died so that we can live. We arent meant to copy him, we are meant to live are lives conscious of that sacrifice. The entire Christian faith is based around the fact that Jesus (symbolically or literally) was the son of God and gave his life for the sake of humanity- that sacrifice would have been entirely pointless if it were to follow that each subsequent person should rush to sacrifice themselves to replicate this. The fact that you brush off 'traveling the world' in that way suggests to me you cant really be grateful for the world- its there to be experienced by everone on it. Traveling the world because you want to enjoy this gift God gave you would be a perfectly justifiable Christian reason for doing so, not to mention that people travel the world for all sorts of selfless reasons which clearly do make a difference- that includes thousands of Gap Year students would genuinely want to see the world in order to help them appreciate their own lives or help others.

    As to the last- people can have their whole lives changed by traveling. You just cant possibly make such generalizing, wildly inaccurate statements without betraying a galling ignorance for someone who claims to be such a pious Christian.

    I really hope for both the sake of the OP and her boyfriend that she sees the ridiculousness of your suggestions. Im really shocked that someone in the 21st century would have such fundamentalist convictions that would have been seen as backward for the last 200 years! Its incredibly irresponsible of you to try and talk a complete stranger over the internet in such a vulnerable position into sacrificing their life in such a careless way when you yourself are presumably hardly in any authoritative position (I make this assumption based on the fact you comment on a student forum). You put the Christian faith to shame
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    i was in a similar situation once too. i lived together with my fiancé, we had been together for 5 years (both students). unfortunately he had been severely depressed (but not suicidal) for the last 3 years of our relationship. we never went on holiday, we never went anywhere actually because all he did all day was sit in front of the tv or computer. he did not see the need for counselling, so after a lot of heartache i broke up with him (painful!) and moved out very quickly.

    you could tell your boyfriend that either he gets counselling and you'll stay around and see how it develops (for a while) or you'll just have to call it quits. i loved my boyfriend very much, he was my first boyfriend and we were engaged and living together. but sometimes you just give up too much of yourself for the other person. IMO a relationship should consist of giving by both people involved, not just one (you).

    i don't regret being together with him, but i do regret not breaking up earlier.
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    Break up with him. Easier said than done you say? Do it.

    You're his girlfriend. Not his mother.

    A very clever man gave me this advice once:

    'There are four things a woman must have in a relationship:

    1. She needs to feel special
    2. She needs to feel that deep emotional connection
    3. She needs to feel beautiful, feminine and sexy
    4 She needs hot, passionate sex'

    Life is too short to be nursing this kid back to health. He has to do it on his own. No way, no how would I stick around if I were you. Look- no one is meant to be together. If he's not making you happy, then you leave him. Boyfriends are supposed to make you happy. Game over.
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    the way I see things is that life is a journey and you're going somewhere... you hope it's your self actualisation... often you have an itinerary, thinking you know the way, often you don't.

    on the journey you meet people, and you may befriend them on the way, and stay with them for a time. however, there comes a point when you must move on and ask if they'll come along with you... sometimes people are moving in different directions- time to part... other times you're lucky to find someone with the same direction as yourself...

    the destination is all important... by remaining idle in one place, clinging into some fleeting morals, then you cease to search for the destination and you will end up nowhere... frustration will build and wanderlust will set in...

    there comes a point with anyone, where you must ask yourself whether the time has come for you to part unceremoniously, as with many of our fleeting aquaintances and friendships, and take your own route... or languish
    • #2
    #2

    I have been here, and I've done it. I was with my ex for a loooong time and I resent it now. Much the same sort of situation except I did it for a lot longer, and now a lot of life has passed me by.

    Really, if I could go back I would change it and drop out earlier.

    He is making you responsible for his depression. Although you don't mean to, you are helping him stay ill by coddling him.
    As well as probably therapy or pharmacological intervention, he also needs to start pushing from his end. If he gets to sit back and watch you run his life for him, which is where it will get if it's not there now, he will just get worse.

    Sometimes, people need a kick up the arse to get moving.

    He WILL get over you, and maybe it will be the push he needs to actually start changing his life as you appear to acknowledge he needs to.

    Don't end up bitter and resentful about him like I have
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    In response to Butterflygirl's post

    to the first paragraph- first of all, dont just say 'the bible says'- what do you believe- if youre going to make such a significant claim at least defend it with your own belief. I completely agree with you that true love should be about trying to make another person happy- but I think yours is a misinterpretation- just because people should love generously and always try to be selfless, that doesnt mean the first person in need you find you should marry.

    I wasn't aware that I was suggesting the first person in need you should marry. But this couple have already made a committment to each other by being boyfriend and girlfriend. They, I assume, are practising an intimacy that should only be practised within a marriage. And Jesus says a lot of things about intimacy of any form before marriage.

    My strongest objection to that suggestion in this situation is, as I have already stated, I sincerely doubt that is the best thing for the OPs boyfriend- he is an adult, not a charity case- it is vital for his happiness and their marriage that he doesnt rely on the OPs giving up her life for him.

    I think you misunderstand the whole point about Christian marriage. I repeat, marriage is completely about sacrifice. The vows themselves state that both the man and the woman should give themselves up completely for the other. I quote here what Paul said to the Ephesians:

    "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by washing with water through the word, and to present herself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any othr blemish, but holy and blameless...
    Each one of you should love his wife as he loves himself."

    Extremely equal I'd say. Moreover, I'd say that you, as a Christian, are bending the faith if you disobey the word of God.


    In response to the second- there is the consideration that when one really commits oneself to sacrificing ones life, it should outweigh what one is giving up in the process. God gave us a life to live. When God gives you something, you should be grateful and true gratitude is making use of life.

    Yes, and making use of life is by doing things for others, because by doing that you are becoming Christ like. We, as Christians, must do everything in our power to become more like Jesus, and Jesus gave himself up for others. No two ways about it. He made use of his life, which God gave him, by serving others.

    It would be incredibly ungracious to throw away your life at such a young age because another is dependent on you when its not at all necessary. The OPs boyfriend is presumably still very young, and could be going through a difficult period in his life which he will get through and could just need time. I would say since you dont know him or his situation personally, its very careless of you to try to convince a complete stranger on a student forum to sacrifice their life when all you have to go on is their account of it here.

    Yes, it would be ungrateful to throw away your life at that age. But getting married and committing yourself to the true good of that person is not what God calls giving up your life. Paul says to the Hebrews, "Marriage should be honored by all". Marriage being, in this case, something to strive towards. There has been a lot of literature on this subject, and the trend amongst young people to drift in into their 30s still acting as teenagers and not committing to responsibility by getting married. I think Paul makes it quite clear, that unless you are called to be celibate for Gospel service, then you must look for marriage- not rashly mind, but I don't think, in this case, it would be a rash marriage.

    The next three paragraphs- what an unbelievably misoginistic and closed-minded thing to say! You seem to suggest that because the OP is a woman, that as a wife she must sacrifice herself for her husband- why should she? How exactly did God put men above women in a way that justifies that?

    See what I said above about the Ephesians. It is not misoginistic at all. God gave women the gift of carrying children, and, as such, her first duty as a wife is to raise Godly childre, but, as Proverbs 31 says, once the wife has fulfilled her duty as a wife and mother, she has a free reign to do what she likes in service to others, at work or in the voluntary sector. The wife in Proverbs 31 is everywhere!

    You seem to have an incredibly extreme all or nothing view of young peoples lives- there are a hundred and one ways one call life a fulfilling life that stands morally between 'playing the guitar with some natives' and launching into some deluded projective-identification with Jesus.

    I certainly do not have a deluded projective identification with Jesus. My faith is firmly grounded in the Bible, and, after that, in sources I trust.

    I think you completely misunderstood what Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was meant to represent- he died so that we can live. We arent meant to copy him, we are meant to live are lives conscious of that sacrifice. The entire Christian faith is based around the fact that Jesus (symbolically or literally) was the son of God and gave his life for the sake of humanity- that sacrifice would have been entirely pointless if it were to follow that each subsequent person should rush to sacrifice themselves to replicate this.

    I quote what Jesus says in Matthew 16, 24-27,

    "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up the cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? For the son of man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done."

    I don't think Jesus could be clearer could he? You seem to compromise your faith with a bit of DIY faith. Jesus also makes it explicitly clear that he was the son of God, and as this passage makes clear, we absolutely must sacrifice ourselves for other people in order to find life. And the prime example of this is through marriage. I tell you, what I say is not some fabrication of imagination, no, the Bible says it, and countless other Christians also say this.

    The fact that you brush off 'traveling the world' in that way suggests to me you cant really be grateful for the world- its there to be experienced by everone on it. Traveling the world because you want to enjoy this gift God gave you would be a perfectly justifiable Christian reason for doing so, not to mention that people travel the world for all sorts of selfless reasons which clearly do make a difference- that includes thousands of Gap Year students would genuinely want to see the world in order to help them appreciate their own lives or help others.

    Oh yes, of course the world can be enjoyed, but you also must remember that this world is not all there is, and there are countless stories in the Bible about investing all you have in this world, and forfeiting the world to come.
    In the first letter of John, he says this:

    "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever"

    So yes you can enjoy the world- I love taking long walks in the Wiltshire countryside where I live. But in everything you do, it must be an attempt to strengthen your love and desire to know Jesus. And that's not stupid is, considering what John has just said?


    As to the last- people can have their whole lives changed by traveling. You just cant possibly make such generalizing, wildly inaccurate statements without betraying a galling ignorance for someone who claims to be such a pious Christian.

    I am not a pious Christian. I am an extremely faltering one actually. No one should pretend they are God, or Jesus, because that is a sin, and Jesus says a lot about that. No, I only try and clarify what he says for people who try and twist or compromise the faith- which seems like your attempting this. They are not generalising, or wildly inaccurate statements, as I hope I have proved by grounding my suggestions in what the Bible actually says.

    I really hope for both the sake of the OP and her boyfriend that she sees the ridiculousness of your suggestions. Im really shocked that someone in the 21st century would have such fundamentalist convictions that would have been seen as backward for the last 200 years! Its incredibly irresponsible of you to try and talk a complete stranger over the internet in such a vulnerable position into sacrificing their life in such a careless way when you yourself are presumably hardly in any authoritative position (I make this assumption based on the fact you comment on a student forum). You put the Christian faith to shame.

    But the Bible hasn't changed, has it? Nor should people's interpretation of the faith. It seems to me that it's worrying to use the fact that the world might have changed, i.e. the rise of secularisation, and therefore it seems fine to twist what the Bible says. And isn't everyone else trying to advise this person? Isn't that what you're trying to do as well? As far as I know, she even asked for advice!

    I think you have problems with the authoritative nature of Christianity generally. Many people do. It's hard to take up the cross and follow Jesus because it involves you, yourself, dying, as it were. Your desires and passions no longer mean anything if they're not grounded in what Jesus would like. This is the basic message of the Christian faith, and I think unless you grasp this, you are in no position to criticise.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Is this wrong? Im in a relashionship with someone who is genuinely a nice guy, kind caring and loves me for who i am; been with him 2 years. But ive always felt trapped, I finished college june 07, have been working in a shop since then; my lifes dull. I wanted to go to uni last year; but my boyfriend needs me-he is suffering from depression and is very unhappy; while part of me wants to stay here to look after him, the other part of me wants to travel the world with a backpack and my guitar, meeting people from all walks of life discovering myself, and maybe study abroad. I feel like I have to be here living this mundane life in order to keep him sane, cause im worried what'll happen to him if I left - but should I really carry on sacrifying my life in order for him to be secure? I can imagine getting married to him one day, weve always spoken about it, being married and having kids - I know it'll happen, but is it really what I want? I can see myself in 10 years time, married, couple of kids, a dog; but I think i will be unhappy deep down longing to be free, regretting that I wasted my life while I was younger.
    Problem is, he needs me to be there to support him and love him and care for him, hes very much on his own and has been suicidal in the past. Im worried for his sake that something awful will happen if i ever went off. Im giving up my happiness in order for him to be happy, but I long to be free.
    What are your view on this?

    please keep anon
    first off - travelling the world will not make you find yourself. End of.
    It's something that is fun to do no doubt about that though!

    Are there no universities near to where you live? Can't you ask him to move to a town where you get acepted to go to university.

    You need to discuss it with him. Say that you fell bored just doing the same thing day in day out with no hope of escape and would like to go to uni or travelling. he might be more open to go travelling with you than you think. You can save up together for this and go when you are still young.
    It's important you let him know that you feel the need to do something else, or you might end up resenting him and feeling that he is holding you back.

    on another note: encourage him to make more friends, so that they can look after him when you are away, at uni for example. A relationship where he relies on you totally and has no other friends to go out with, is a bit doomed in my opinion.
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    Oh God. Look after yourself because no one else is going to. You only get one life. Don't waste it on someone you don't want to be with. He's going to be depressed with or without you so its not like you're even helping him by staying with him.
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    I am not a pious Christian. I am an extremely faltering one actually. No one should pretend they are God, or Jesus, because that is a sin, and Jesus says a lot about that. No, I only try and clarify what he says for people who try and twist or compromise the faith- which seems like your attempting this. They are not generalising, or wildly inaccurate statements, as I hope I have proved by grounding my suggestions in what the Bible actually says.


    I may seem to be doing this- but how are you to decide you arent?
    You only have your own judgment.
    I happen to believe that ones faith should be based on how one responds to religious teachings of multiple faith and that you can only be certain of what you feel and experience.


    But the Bible hasn't changed, has it? Nor should people's interpretation of the faith. It seems to me that it's worrying to use the fact that the world might have changed, i.e. the rise of secularisation, and therefore it seems fine to twist what the Bible says. And isn't everyone else trying to advise this person? Isn't that what you're trying to do as well? As far as I know, she even asked for advice!


    Firstly, who is it who decides the Bible is the source of all unevquivocal truth? You only believe so because people in your life, in history or in the bible itself claim so- but how do you know thats true?
    secondly- How can you know that the original word of God is faithfully represented by the bible you read- since the original scripts have their sources over 1500 years ago, and were written in, I think-Aramaic and Ancient Greek, and have only been translated into Old English from Latin.
    Even before you start arguing that the entire Christian faith should consist of obeying the rules of the Bible literally, without interpretation (if thats even possible), first solve the problem of how you know the Bible you read in presumably english is in fact a faithful enough representation of the original bible to allow for such an exact and literal interpretation.

    I think you have problems with the authoritative nature of Christianity generally. Many people do. It's hard to take up the cross and follow Jesus because it involves you, yourself, dying, as it were. Your desires and passions no longer mean anything if they're not grounded in what Jesus would like. This is the basic message of the Christian faith, and I think unless you grasp this, you are in no position to criticise.

    What exactly puts you in a position to criticize? Since you are, I presume, human, it is possible that you could be wrong. You are completely at liberty to believe what you believe and argue that Im wrong- but you cant possibly prove moral or religious superiority- religion is not a science.

    I cant spend any more time on this argument- your reasoning is just too stupid for words. You may of course contest that claim, since Im not claiming it is 'right'
 
 
 
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