Have you ever heard people say something like this when breaking up with someone; “I am not good enough for you. You deserve someone better”? Most people hear that and they suddenly get annoyed and say the person is using it as an excuse, that they are lying and that they just want a way to get out of the relationship or marriage and not feel guilty or be blamed.

That’s a possibility…for some.

The truth is not everyone is lying when they say this. Take it from someone who has been so broken before he did not think he could love anyone even just a little bit. I’ve been in that deep dark place where I thought I was less than a man, less than good enough and a total disgrace; a wash up unfit for anyone or anything. The fact that my own relationship ended when I was busy advising and praying for so many others and it was working for them, did not help either.

If in that state I was with someone and then so depressed and ashamed I said; “I think we should break up. You deserve better. It’s not you, it’s me.” Would you say I was faking it? Obviously not. If you did, then you are just one of those who assumes too much without getting the facts straight, either because you or someone you know has experienced it before or you just felt like saying that at that point in time.

depressed-man1-686x350 (self-handicap)
A lot of people are dealing with insecurities, fears and depression. They are not the easiest people to be with and they may end up ending their relationship because of these things.

Many people in life are dealing with a lot of issues.

Guilt and shame.




Deep emotional scarring.

Such persons have a tendency to look down on themselves and see only blackness and dirt. For them, it is impossible to think that anything good can come from them or to them and by the time someone thinks this way in a relationship or marriage, you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that they will bail.

In fact, some are so used to messing up, and ruining things that matter to them, that they sometimes do what is called self – handicap. What this means is that they say since they are always making things go up in smoke, they might as well end something now or not bother trying at all so as to spare themselves and other people involved the pain of such a blow-out.

Social issues, domestic violence with young husband trying to reconcile with abused wife (self-handicap)
When you self – handicap, you have given up the fight and there is no way that relationship or marriage can survive. One person cannot do all the work and keep it afloat forever

Let me give an example. I used to hate Math in my Senior Secondary School years. Our Math teachers at that level were not the best, and so by and by I lost interest in it. I was not failing per se but I was no longer doing as well as I used to in Junior class and I was not inclined to try to get better at it. I took this attitude into the examination hall for my SSCE and not surprising I did not do well. I got what was a D7 then. I have no idea if such grading still exists in the system.

Anyway, I did the same for my UME Exams and also did not get something good as a result. As a result I had to retake both exams. I remember that the week of the exam, one of my brothers came up to me and started a talk about how I could do so much better in them if I wanted to. He said I can believe in God all I want but if I did not believe in the fact that I could understand this subject better and do well in it, I would not.

A week to the exam.

Fancy that.

Anyway I did it and I actually scored a C in Math for the SSCE. I honestly do not recall my UME Math score but I do know I did well on it too. So imagine if I had more time and even put more effort into it? Would it not have been so much better? The thing is that I had been handicapping myself. I said; “Hey! I do not like Math and I have not been doing so well in it anyway so why bother?” So I did not read and I did not pay attention during Math lessons, either. Why then could it be a surprise that I was failing at it?

That is what handicapping yourself does and that is what some people are doing right now. They are either just ending things or giving up without trying since they figure it will end anyway or they do not give their best and do not put their heart and their all into it, since they expect failure in the end. This is a sad way to live but people do it anyway. So, when next someone pulls the; I – am – not – good –enough – stunt, don’t assume it is something sinister they are up to. Some of these folks are really broken inside and struggling with their inner demons and some just give up and accept things as they are. It is not wise but that is what they do.

If you find someone like this, you are going to have to do a lot of talking and encouraging and understand that it might not still work. This thing is internal and unless they seek out help by talking to someone and getting some serious encouragement, they will continue with it. This reminds me of a song title Hurt by the late Johnny Cash. It has a sad undertone of a man who is losing everything and everyone around him that matters, because of his addiction to drugs and self – affliction.

The irony in the song is that at some point, the listener has to consider whether it is the drugs that lose him people (because they are fed up with it) and/or he pushes them away or if he is using the drugs to help him cope with and forget the loss of the people and things he loves so much. In the end, one sees it is both. It is like an endless loop of cause and effect, where one leads to the other and vice versa until one cannot tell the end from the beginning anymore.

cash (self-handicap)
Cash’s song Hurt, is a powerful reminder of the passage of time and how life affects us all, but it also shows the way we can lose or destroy things that matter to us, and even ourselves.

I am not going to suggest you put your life on hold for someone who is in this kind of place but I do know of people who stuck with them and helped them through. So, yeah healing is possible and the cycle of pain, confusion and brokenness can end. The issue is whether or not you are willing to wait it out and watch it unfold and die off. It is a decision not to be taken lightly because the truth is if one decide mid – way to take a walk, it is very possible that the person gets worse than ever and concludes that indeed this is what their life is destined to be since the person who said they loved them and wanted to stay till the end eventually left as well.

Life is not an easy journey and for some folks, it is infinitely harder when they have to consider the things that they are facing. This is why choosing wisely and making wise choices in love matters a lot. The actions we take affect others and not just ourselves. Patience and wisdom cannot be overemphasized in this thing.

If you are reading this and feel this way about your relationship or marriage or even life in general, I encourage you to speak to someone. No one in life is destined to fail or be useless. We all have the choice to make something of our lives and do things right. We all have the right of place to stand and apply ourselves to do things that matter to us and move forward in all aspects of our lives.

That you have failed or are failing now does not mean your life is over or that your love story has to end for good. They can be given new life, but you must work at it and work on yourself. My faith in God, a supportive network of friends and a great family helped me through. I know the same can happen for you and if you do not have friends, well that can come in time. Seek help, first. That is the first step. All things will fall into place in time.

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