I have not been able to have a stable relationship. It always ends badly and I end up discouraged. I give it all I’ve got, and then I have a hard time getting back up and starting over again. If it weren’t for God, I would not still be alive, because I know that He is against taking your own life…. I only want to be happy, to have a wife who is my friend and companion, and the mother of my children. But it’s just so difficult for me! I have begged God to give me that, and to help me love myself more first.

Dear Friend,

We are very sorry to hear about the rough time that you are going through. You have a vision of what you think will bring you happiness in life, but all your efforts have gotten you nothing but loneliness. We don’t know if you have realistic expectations about how a romantic relationship should begin and progress. But we do know that whatever you have been doing in forming and keeping relationships isn’t getting you what you want, so it’s time for a change.

Are you willing to change? Are you ready to learn and practice skills that will help you relate better to other people? You pray that God will help you love yourself, and God will help you if you put Him first in your life. But you must do the difficult work of figuring out what must change, and then of changing a little bit more every day.

So what do you need to change? A professional counselor can help you develop better relational skills, and can guide you in discovering those emotions and behaviors that may be holding you back. It is possible that you acquired negative relational habits as you were growing up. Or maybe you are a natural introvert who has a difficult time meeting new people or having a conversation with someone you already know. Do you have a quick temper? Do you tend to be a pessimist? We don’t know if any of these tendencies are true in your case, but a professional counselor could help you identify some possible reasons why you haven’t been able to have a successful relationship. However, this is a process that takes time. Do not expect an instant answer or a magic solution.

You may believe that you can’t afford a counselor. If that is true, then you can’t afford to take on a wife and children either. A family is very expensive, while a counselor will cost only a fraction of that amount.

God does want to help you through the process, but a relationship with Him is not one-sided. You can’t expect Him to help you if you aren’t developing a personal relationship with Him through prayer, reading the Bible, and faithfully attending a church where the Bible is taught and where your relationship with Him can grow. There are many things about yourself that God may reveal to you in prayer, but He’s not likely to do that if you don’t pray. The Scriptures can teach you a lot about relationships, but you can’t learn those things if you don’t read the Bible regularly. God speaks to us through prayer and the Bible, so if you never do those things you will likely never receive the help that He wants to give you.

Finally, in addition to developing a relationship with God and seeing a professional counselor, we recommend that you read Case 426 at message2conscience.com for more suggestions.

We wish you the best,