Real Family Talk-Is It Over?

God promised, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11).

Willie and Elaine Oliver
Real Family Talk-Is It Over?

I have been dating a young woman for about five years. Some time ago our relationship ended when she found out I was seeing other women. Although we got back together a couple years ago, my girlfriend admitted that the breach in our relationship left her feeling insecure. I had the impression that these feelings had been resolved, but a few days ago my girlfriend terminated the relationship again. I am distraught and not sure what to do.

We are very sorry to hear about your loss and pain. Human relationships are delicate and fragile, in need of sustained devotion and care to survive and thrive. Because the currency of healthy relationships is trust, once that trust is compromised the relationship may be unfavorably affected, especially in the face of new challenges.

From what you shared, we have the distinct impression that you were hoping this relationship would lead to marriage and a lifelong commitment. Your girlfriend’s decision to terminate the relationship caught you by surprise and shattered your plans for the future.

As a Christian there are at least two ways to approach your present reality. First, pray to God and thank Him for His promise to be with you always (Matt. 28:20), to give you His peace (John 14:27), and to supply all your needs (Phil. 4:19). Second, ask God to lead you in your next steps as far as this relationship is concerned. Of course, you would want to apologize to the young woman for the pain you have caused her—even if you apologized when you got back together several months ago—which may have contributed to the final breakup.

Should your relationship not be restored, you still want to clear the air between you so that there is no residual animosity. This posture on your part may help her reconsider whether terminating your relationship was her best option.

While you trust God to lead you in the days ahead, avoid stalking the young woman on social media or calling her on the telephone—especially if she has asked you not to call her anymore. You need to remember the promise: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). If God is working things out for your good, allow Him to do so, and trust Him to do so.

God knows the end from the beginning, and He promised, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11). So trust God and be at peace.

Genesis 37 tells the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers. Although being sold as a slave was better than being killed, this was not a good thing. Joseph had to endure hardships in Egypt, including being jailed. Yet Joseph remained faithful to God, and God’s big picture unfolded. As famine came to Egypt Joseph was made the overseer of Egypt, ultimately saving his family from starvation and making relevant the message of Romans 8:28.

So trust God in the days ahead. Remain faithful to Him and allow Him to keep His promise to supply all your needs.

Willie Oliver, PhD, CFLE, an ordained minister, pastoral counselor, and family sociologist, is director for the Department of Family Ministries at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Elaine Oliver, MA, LGPC, CFLE,an educator and counseling psychologist is associate director for the Department of Family Ministries. You may communicate with them at or

Willie and Elaine Oliver