Does “For Better For Worse” Apply in Relationships?

By Eunice Aber

I am a hopeless romantic and issues to do with relationship and marriage catch my attention quite easily. I believe in happy endings and “till death do us part” kind of commitments. However, through experience, I know too well the harsh reality of breakups.

A question I would like to ask is: Does “For Better, For Worse” apply in relationships?

Should you stick with the person you said ‘yes’ to (unofficially) even when times get hard? I don’t mean meeting the wrong one and sticking with them “For Better or Worse”. No. That’s a dead end.

I will use the language my generation gets because I bet we make up the biggest population of those still dating or are in relationships.

The story normally goes like this for relationships: you meet this really cool guy or chic. First you are just friends. Then, for the girls, he asks you out. For the boys, you ask her out. Very rarely does it happen the other way round. So you evaluate (this is for the girl: the boy probably already evaluated). You try (read: test) the guy from all angles and with all possible questions and you decide that he fits the budget you made with life.

His finances are okay, you can handle his temper, he is just the right kind of romantic and yes; his family from afar looks liveable with. Meanwhile at this time, the guy has already made his side of the bargain and decided that the girl fits his life budget too. Whatever negatives are negligible and do not count too much to the bigger picture. Neither do they spoil the painting. Maybe just a little bit. But manageable.

Then you start the beautiful journey to what you hope will be forever. The guy looks forward to building houses and making babies. The girl mostly looks forward to the fairy tale proposal and the dream wedding. And the sooner, the better.

However, along the way to your dreamy thoughts, everything goes haywire. Character traits that candle-lit evenings and phone conversations could not show finally come through. You learn that his or her family is not as liveable as you thought.

Along the way, love still exists (or at least the will to love) but prince charming is not so charming. He’s probably lost his job and the brilliant career path seems to be taking a down turn. Princess Perfect isn’t getting all things right either. She’s the moodiest moody you’ve ever met. Let’s not talk about the very serious illness that she just found out she has contracted. Life isn’t just going the way the two of you once dreamed.

You remember the days when everything was flowery and you made commitments to each other to love and to hold. But the tides seem to be washing these away. You look around at your friends having the time of their lives with their Boos and Baes and you remember the new workmate who is available and appealing.

But then, you made a commitment to a one Mr. or Miss. on one starry night in the absence of friends and family; when all skies were cloudless and the lights never dimmed. If you leave, no one gets to know and no one gets to point fingers. Maybe a few close friends will get hurt but soon everyone will move on.

So the big question is: Do you stick to your word and stay? Or since no public vows were made, do you run for your life and seek the next available better person?

In a world where divorce thrives, this is probably a non-issue. But in a world where love thrives, we’ve got to ask the question: Is it okay to walk away when times get hard simply because the commitments made were non-binding?

Have you ever considered the cost of a breakup before doing it?


Flavia / 18 May 2018

Hmm… Eunice what do you think?

Eunice Patricia Aber / 18 May 2018

Haha… I was asking for yours.
My opinion is that people shouldn’t just walk in and out of relationships like they are walking in and out of a restroom. Human beings are involved here. Hearts are involved here. We need to stop looking at relationships as a convenience place where we leave immediately it is not giving us the convenience we need.

Cynthia Kinyera / 1 August 2019

I believe that marriage should be taken seriously, and one should try all means to make it work. However, there ARE many situations in which the relationship is beyond salvation. We should stop ostracising divorcees. It is better to kill a relationship than kill yourself just to sustain it.

Eunice Aber / 6 August 2019

Yeah. I totally agree with you. I have been in an abusive relationship and I walked away. I had never understood divorcees more. Having witnessed many unjustified break ups within my circles and seen the hurt it brings for someone not to understand why another person just walked away, I was forced to asked this question. Isn’t love sometimes worth fighting for?

Flavia / 18 May 2018

Hmm… This is an interesting question/perspective. Sometimes we want to be married as soon as ‘yes’. But the Bible talks about patience having her perfect work.

‘The next available person’ is overly dramatic. Sounds like a traveller… But from a Christian perspective, how cray-cray is haywire? How skewed is the character in the light of day, versus the starry nights and candle lit dinners? Everyone puts up more or less a movie on dates, but what is the standard deviation from your real self? ls it bearable? How bearable is bearable? Does it align with your beliefs?
Some of these warning signs during relationships can not be ignored, though at times we think prince charming is unrealistically spotless. I believe there is a whole three sides to this coin.

Eunice what do you think?

Doreen K / 19 May 2018

Interesting. Mahn I’ve been in this before so I totally relate. I think AL agree with Flavia. U need to real evaluate the situation. Else you’ll walk out and after what to come back when stuff doesn’t work too well where you ran too. You could give the person time. And if u truly loved each other, if your major issue is about them and you try to make them better they’ll surely try to change to make it work. But if all fails, u quit and move on.After all no public/church commitments were ever made. However Eunice, what happens if u took the actual vows and all this drama starts? #Speaking for the married

Eunice Aber / 25 May 2018


That last question.

I will direct you to a lady named Stormie Omartian.
She has some interesting books in that regard.

However, I want to believe you should not throw in the towel till all options are explored.

I always say: As long as someone is a living human, change is a possibility.

Eunice Aber / 19 May 2018

Nice. You’ve asked like 10000 questions :-). I think that the conclusion to this matter is for us to take our time before getting into relationships. I like the way a friend of mine Isaac said it and I quote, “I like to take my time around a person and get to know them from a safe distance…That way when I see something I can’t work with I get to walk away without hurting anyone”.

This is very true. I think maybe sticking it out when things get cray-cray is sometimes too much to ask for.

But then we can avoid this by being a little more intentional about the relationships we get into and taking our time in such matters.

Eunice Patricia Abe / 23 June 2021

3 years later, I have a reply for you.

I think there are non-negotiables -relationship with God, trustworthiness etc. Can depend on what each of us holds of value.

Then I think sometimes we end relationships for the most petty of reasons. Sometimes we need to hang in there.

Eunice Patricia Aber / 23 June 2021

But we should never ignore warning signs.

Naide Obiang / 18 May 2018

Interesting read. If someone were to breakup a relationship because of the examples given in this blog, then they are not ready to love or to commit to anyone. So they simply must leave. Love is work, hard, testing, stretching but beautiful, inspiring, motivating, and makes life worth living. So to expect that we will meet the perfect, spotless person is unrealistic and actually hypocritical because we are far from being perfect.

Eunice Aber / 25 May 2018

That’s true.
But it is very interesting that the things that break up relationships these days are actually not big. They are little tiny things that can be worked on.

We are too lazy to build up each other yet “Finished goods” (“Ready-mades”) are virtually non-existent on the Human Store.

Vivian Martha / 21 May 2018

I have also wondered but I think its about what character traits are in question, they determine if you hold on or late go. For example something like a drunkard, a boyfriend cheating on you, you find out he’s relationship with God is all pretence like the pharisees then run for your life while you still can. But there are those you can choose to endure like loss of a job, he can get another one..

Eunice Aber / 21 May 2018

You’re right. So we really have to examine the situation. How crazy is crazy? How haywire is haywire? Does it threaten your life? Is your ability to perform your “obligations” in the relationship compromised?
Surely, we really need to think much deeper as we break up.

Flavia / 22 May 2018

Reference is made to the ‘Isaac approach’. Safe distance? It’s almost impossible to know a potential ‘datee’ from a safe distance. And interestingly, nowadays however safe the distance is, any lady can tell that they are being ‘watched’. Somehow you know, such that when he finally approaches you, it’s no surprise. Now the flaw in the Isaac approach is that such guys often make the lady believe that they are on their way to asking her out. In the process, she builds castles with this guy, only to find that their ‘Isaac’ has walked away, or rather was never there in the first place. Isaac goes on thinking that he didn’t hurt anyone, but unknowingly left a trail of broken little hearts which thought they were the Rebecca. Not right at all!

Eunice Aber / 25 May 2018

Interestingly illustrated.

But then I think the Rebeccas’ need to stop over-thinking.
And it normally happens when the girl likes the boy too. But if none of us are having an intention towards anything and then something happens and we begin a relationship, then that’s good.
However, if nothing happens, it should also be good.

Maybe the safe distance should be practiced in a safe manner

Flavia / 22 May 2018

I’ve remembered the term that was coined for those Isaac-on-way ‘relationships’. Situationships. Hahaha

Eunice Aber / 25 May 2018


Noooo. I don’t think so. There is a difference between someone who takes you as a friend and then probably realises that no big thing will come out of the relationship.

I think situationships are more of when a guy or lady keeps playing on your mind and you don’t really know what position you have in their lives.


Leave A Comment