post written by: Marc Chernoff

15 Relationship Truths for Tough Times

15 Tough Relationship Truths

These 15 relationship truths may be a bit difficult to accept at times, but in the end, they will help you weed out the wrong relationships, make room for the right ones, and nurture the people who are most important to you.

  1. Some relationships will be blessings, others will serve as lessons. – Either way, never regret knowing someone.  Everyone you encounter teaches you something important.  Some people will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you; but most importantly some will bring out the best in you.
  2. When times get tough, some people will leave you. – When you are up in life, your friends get to know who you are.  When you are down in life, you get to know who your true friends are.  There will be lots of people around when times are easy, but take note of who remains in your life when times get tough, especially the people who sacrifice the resources they have in their life to help you improve yours when you need it most.  These people are your real friends.
  3. Life is full of fake people. – Sometimes the person you’d take a bullet for ends up being the one behind the gun.  It’s so easy to believe someone when they TELL you exactly what you want to hear.  But when a person SHOWS you who they really are, believe them the first time.  Some people are only nice for their own convenience – the type of people who only call when they need something or come around when it’s beneficial to them.  Not everyone has your best interests at heart.  But sometimes you have to be tricked and mislead by the wrong lovers and friends once or twice in your life in order to find and appreciate your soul mate and real friends when they arrive.
  4. People can easily be insincere with their words.  – When someone truly loves you, they don’t have to say a word.  You will be able to tell simply by the way they treat you over the long-term.  Remember, actions speak much louder than words.  A person can say sorry a thousand times, and say “I love you” as much as they want.  But if they’re not going to prove that the things they say are true, then they’re not worth listening to.  Because if they can’t show it, their words are not sincere.
  5. The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. – Don’t settle to just be someone’s downtime, spare time, part time, or sometime.  If they can’t be there for you all of the time, especially when you need them most, then they’re not worth your time.  Read Codependent No More.
  6. Harsh words can hurt a person more than physical pain. – Taste your own words before you spit them out.  Words hurt and scar more than you think, so THINK before you speak.  And remember, what you say about others also says a whole lot about YOU.
  7. A mistake is an accident.  Cheating and lying are not mistakes. – They are intentional choices.  Stop hiding behind the words “mistake” and “sorry” and stop putting up with those who do.
  8. Excessive jealousy doesn’t tell someone how much you love them. – It tells them how much you dislike yourself.  And no amount of love, or promises, or proof from them will ever be enough to make you feel better.  For those broken pieces you carry, are pieces you must mend for yourself.  Happiness is an inside job.
  9. When people get nasty with you, it’s usually best to walk away. – When someone treats you like dirt, don’t pay attention and don’t take it personally.  They’re saying nothing about you and a lot about themselves.  And no matter what they do or say, never drop down to their level and sling dirt back.  Just know you’re better than that and walk away.
  10. People will treat you the way you let them treat you. – You can’t control them, but you can control what you tolerate.  Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negative people.  Doing so does not mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself.  Read Boundaries.
  11. One of the most difficult tasks in life is removing someone from your heart. – But remember, no relationship is a waste of time.  The wrong ones teach you the lessons that prepare you for the right ones.
  12. Resentment hurts you, not them. – Whisper a small prayer of gratitude for the people who have stuck by your side, and send a prayer of good will for those who didn’t.  For should these people hear your prayers, those who have been there will know how much you appreciate them, and those who left will know that you appreciate your own happiness enough to not let resentment destroy your capacity to live with a compassionate heart.
  13. Silence and a half smile can hide a lot of pain from the world. – Pay close attention to those you care about.  Sometimes when a friend says, “I’m okay,” they need you to look them in the eyes, hug them tight, and reply, “I know you’re not.”
  14. True love comes when manipulation stops. – True love comes when you care more about who the other person really is than about who you think they should become, when you dare to reveal yourself honestly, and when you dare to be open and vulnerable.  It takes two to create a sincere environment where this is possible.  If you haven’t found true love yet, don’t settle.  There is someone out there who will share true love with you, even if it’s not the person you were initially hoping for.  Read The 5 Love Languages.
  15. Even the best relationships don’t last forever. – Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they thought was meant to be.  People don’t live forever.  Appreciate what you have, who loves you and who cares for you.  You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you.  And remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.

Photo by: Ed Yourdon

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  • I have been reading your posts for over 6 months now. I have enjoyed almost all the posts. Thanks for inspiring me with one post after another.

  • You have me hooked on reading all your posts. Such great insights! Thanks for everything you put together.

  • Great post! #10 particularly rings true for me right now. I am doing my best to live this way. Thank you for the regular enlightenment. :)

  • These relationship truths ring so true. Such healthy reminders. You are exceptional…

  • Hah. I had to force myself to cut myself off emotionally from a friend that I loved dearly because I realized that we were in a toxic relationship. Even though I knew we weren’t going to last anymore, it still hurt terribly to distance myself from her. Reading this helps ease the sting. Thank you so much.

  • Fantastic list. Being on the receiving end on most of this, I know these to be true!

  • Especially #9. Reminds me of someone……walking away isn’t difficult when that person means nothing to you :) Very empowering!

    June 13th, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Simply fantastic. Exactly how I have always dealt with all my relationships. Thanks for solidifying my beliefs further. Thanks really.

  • I like number five. It’s a relationship reminder I needed.

  • Thanks to my friend Gino who introduced this website to me, I find it truly interesting every time! These relationship truths are no exception…

  • Some decent relationship advice here. I love reading your posts. Thanks a lot !

  • I have read thru this list and have found that the majority ring true about myself. It is sad to say that i have been living to please others. A rude awakening when you find that through acts of love and kindness, was actually someone’s stepping stone. I look forward to my future now. I love my children dearly and aspire to raise them into the capable, loving adults they should be!

  • What you all write about is always so true in our every day lives. I’ve had a taste of everything you had in your blog today. Marc and Angel you make my life richer and wiser with each of your blogs.Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom.

  • I regularly read these posts and usually love them. Although I know there is a lot of truth in this one, the negative reality of many of these truths has me feeling uneasy this morning.

  • Excellent! You share alot of wisdom. Thank you! :)

  • Each time your emails show up, I take time to read them and let the wisdom soak in. (And it is wisdom!) With each one, I grow a little. Thanks for the great work you do to help the world - one message at a time to one heart at a time. Remember the mustard seed…

  • Great rules, do I have your permission to repost your blog on mine…. of course giving a link back to your site? These truths need to be shared.

  • Wow, this article really hit home today… I needed to remind myself of some of these hard truths. Thank you.

  • I love this. All so very true! I think I will keep these truths close by and remind myself of them now and again.

  • Marc and Angel,

    Thanks for sharing some realistic advice. There is so much fluff in the blogging world. But this advice is grounded and down to earth.

    There are some difficult people and relationships. Not everything is going to be roses. But we have to learn how to live in a complex world like this.

  • Regular reader here. I do enjoy these tips you mentioned on this topic. Well done !

  • More great advice. And some of these things my sister really should take notice of. She is one of those people who always puts herself down much to the annoyance of those of us who love her. Perhaps I will share.

  • Great post - and great reminders. Thanks and keep them coming!


  • True facts!! Loved this one! The same things happened in my life also.

  • Your posts have helped me a lot in the past couple of years! I’ve come across toxic, manipulative people and pathological liars (usually a combination). Not that I am perfect, but people have tried to take advantage of me. I used to think “WHY?” but it is impossible to understand what motivates people to be like that. All you can do is cut them out of your life because they need to know you deserve better and you DO.

  • Loved these truths! Thank you.

  • Some of the small bits of relationship advice in this article hit home in a big way. Much appreciated for keeping me think and keeping my mind straight.

  • I’m glad this article spoke to so many of you. For the most part, our reader response was positive. But for those of you who mentioned, via comments and email, that this post had a bit of a negative undertone, you’re right.

    Truth is, in order for us to grow, we have to understand that not all aspects of life are ideal. Hardships are a natural part of living and growing; and hardships can be especially difficult to deal with when they are intertwined with our relationships. I hope this article inspired you to stand up for yourself, appreciate your loved ones, and spread positivity to others whenever possible.

  • Katina Patterson
    June 17th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    All of these points are valid and truthful. Thank you for further solidifying a decision I made to break it off with someone that I love (still do) so very dearly who basically violated almost every one of the above. Although, for my own self repsect & dignity, I know it was the right thing it still hurts terribly none the less…

  • This is why I bookmarked this site. Helpful posts.

  • Excellent post and I am going to share this with my son who just graduated from high school.

  • Beautifully expressed, thank you.

  • This was a beautiful read. Lots to learn here. Best regards.

  • Such true words.

  • Thanks so much for this publication, it is so impactful.

  • Thank you so much. Your posts help me have strength to go through this dark time of my life. Thank you for your wonderful site. I hope you continue with your great work. Thank you so much.

  • I love this! So inspirational just when I needed it

  • I’m a new reader of this blog. I really like your posts and Thanks for your sharing!

  • I really like this site - every article… Every time I feel like giving-up for everything happening here in my career in this foreign country, when I am sad, alone and upset… this site is my medicine.

  • I like this blog… every time I feel like giving-up for everything here in my work this foreign country, when I am sad, alone and upset..this site is my medicine, nice words. thank you.

  • I appreciate so much of the everything I read on your site. Thank you so much. Your words change lives!

  • I’m dealing with all these issues lately. What advice do you have when the offenders are your in-laws and your spouse won’t stand up to them or admit it’s even happening?

  • Oh, #12. I spent a lot of time resenting my ex-husband and all it did was make me feel paralyzed and angry. Meanwhile, our relationship didn’t get any better!

  • Wow! This post really showed how I have been on the deleterious side of things…. I really needed this.

  • So many truths in this post. Thank you for putting into words so beautifully what I would find hard to express. I have read your blog for over a year and it always puts my day on a good track. Keep it coming! :)

  • I know some what I’m referring to is purely semantics, but there is so much power that comes from simple words that I am compelled to comment.

    #7 - acts of betrayal are intentional, but they can also be mistake, as in something done in error. It is easier to find forgiveness for those that are sorry if you understand that people make mistakes and regret what they have done.

    #11 - I have found that it is hard removing people from your life but impossible to remove them from your heart.

  • This really resonated with me and it’s something I’m going through now:
    “One of the most difficult tasks in life is removing someone from your heart. – But remember, no relationship is a waste of time. The wrong ones teach you the lessons that prepare you for the right ones.”

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m lost for words for how much this has helped me. It made me cry many times. I said goodbye to an incredible experience of a boyfriend and now we wander the earth knowing of each other’s existence, how we touched each other’s lives in profound ways, and how it wasn’t meant to be forever in this plane of existence even though we wanted it to be. It hurts, but I’m surviving and can’t help but smile that something special has happened. That the world needed us in different ways and in different places. It’s so inexplicable, overwhelming, and purely purely human. Your writing helped make it okay somehow. Thank you, again. Blessed be your journey.

  • superb thoughts.. . :)

  • This helps me very much. I sit here pondering daily if I am being a cold hearted person. Knowing I am not. It does feel impossible to remove someone from your heart. I really don’t want to..Because he gave me so much to remember. That does not make it any easier. He was suppose to be my forever..My it! Now having to learn to start over. Very difficult. But when a relationship gets to the point where it hurts you more then it compliments have to do whats best for you and your peace of mind and happiness. Probably the hardest thing Ive ever done was moving out..but I had too. Doesn’t mean I don’t love him, just that I had to start respecting myself at some point. Thinking what I deserve. No relationship is perfect..but it becomes an issue when you feel alone when you shouldn’t. When belittling becomes extremely hurtful where you can’t take it anymore. When jealousy gets so out of hand the accusations are rampant and ridiculous. When you come close to taking your life because your so beaten down…You have to walk away because its killing you staying.

  • All of this rings so true for me. I put my hopes and dreams on something that was all a lie and it has made me step back and re-evaluate what I want from my intimate relationships. This failure cut me to my core but has made me stronger and more discerning about who is welcome in my life.

  • #10 took me about 3 decades too long to learn. Sometime, as a youngster, I heard that the way to teach people how you want to be treated is by example; treat them well and they’ll treat you well. That’s a good 1st step, but I kept trying it harder when I didn’t get treated well in return. Now I think starting off positively is good, but if the results aren’t good, then remembering #10 and establishing the rules and boundaries for how I’m to be treated isn’t being ungenerous, it’s necessary for anything positive to develop.

  • Great tonic for a broken heart!

  • There was a time not so long ago that your daily posts helped me through a very bad time. Thank for being there then and now. It was a blessing and a lesson. Finally, I’m learning. Thank you.

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