LIFE lessons. They're things from which useful knowledge or principles can be gleaned, according to definition, and they're often the source of those deep quotes we post on our social media, after we've gone through, and learned from them. For many of us the lessons just need to be taught once and we learn; for others, it's a work in progress as life slaps us with the schooling over and over until we get it.
What is the relationship life lesson that you learnt the hard way, maybe after repeating the wrong thing over and over again? We asked these readers, and here's what they said.
Claire S, 32:
That you can't change a man, and if you want to be with one, you'll have to compromise. I have been in several relationships where I tried to mould the men into what I expected them to be, and some will try and pretend for a while, but in the long run, your true personality will shine through. I have learnt in my marriage now that the expectations and perceptions I had before were flawed, as people are people who enter relationships with their own 'isms', and if you don't want to be by yourself, might as well you compromise.
Kelly-Ann S, 28:
I have learnt that karma is a witch, and even if she doesn't come back to bite you, generational curse is a real thing. My mother got pregnant with me for her sister's fiancé, and my aunt was so devastated that she told my mom that her day would come. My mom and dad were good for a while, and they had more children, and were married 20 years before my dad just up and went to England and never returned. You'd think that my mom deserved her karma and it would end there, but I've found that every relationship I've been in has failed no matter what good intentions I enter them with, and the men always leave, enter new relationships then get married or settled down soon after leaving me.
Destiny B, 35:
I've learnt that just because you invest years into a relationship, that doesn't mean that you have to stay. In my last relationship I didn't want to see five years, an investment in a house and cars, and a child, just go south, and even after he cheated and had a child outside I held on, under the mistaken belief that we had history and we could surmount any challenge. It was a word of advice from a preacher that snapped me to my senses, and I was able to leave, dissolve our mutual assets, and start life over before I got too old to have a chance at a more fulfilling partnership.
Kayla A, 23:
You have to learn to swallow your pride, admit when you're wrong, and apologise. I cheated, he had evidence, but I refused to admit what I did, even when he presented his receipts. I lost a great man because I was too stubborn and prideful to admit that in a moment of weakness, I had erred. He left me, and the worst thing is that afterwards when I called him to confess, he said I wouldn't have lost him if only I hadn't stuck to my lying story.
Claudeen W, 40:
Don't waste your time and money on someone who won't do the same for you! It took two men using me for me to learn this lesson, by the way. I'm a giver, so naturally I always want my partner to feel good. But in the first relationship I gave him everything — gifts, paid his rent, paid for his car, and he didn't even remember or acknowledge important events in my life, like my birthday, even when I reminded him. He sucked me dry, and if that wasn't sad enough, I eventually left him, only to end up with a man just like him. The second man sweet talked me into marrying him and getting him his green card, and as soon as it came through, he went off to another state with his babymother. I'd like to think that I'm wiser now.
Hanna D, 36:
Love is not enough, not nearly enough, to sustain any form of relationship. Make sure there are other things binding you. I got married young and we really loved each other, but we were so immature on other things. The love stayed strong, but we tried hard to have trust, respect, to budget and to compromise, that it was impossible to sustain the union. Nowadays I look for other things, other than passion, when entering relationships.