There is a phrase that I hear people, good people, use and well, we need to STOP doing that. What phrase you ask? She has a “broken picker”. If you aren’t familiar with this phrase briefly it means, that the person she was involved with turned out to be a bad apple and this has happened more than once, therefore, the person who is doing the picking or choosing must have a broken picker.
Now, this is what is bothering me about this phrase that I’ve heard my friends use to describe themselves and sometimes use to describe me. Friends…THIS IS WRONG! When you say this you are blaming the person whom you are talking to or about for the failure of the relationship. STOP DOING THAT!
Let’s look at why this is so wrong. First, we’re going to assume the woman is the one we’re talking about because let’s face it, ladies, most of the time it is us getting into this situation. However, there are some men who have this same problem so men you feel free to change SHE to HE and HE to SHE if necessary. The relationship goes like this….nice loving lady finds a man whom she decides to have a relationship with. She allows herself to be his friend and that friendship grows and it may develop into a romantic relationship.
Then the relationship changes. Something happens. Perhaps he refuses to stop spending time with ex-girlfriends, or he outright cheats on her, or he turns out to be lying or hiding the truth about important issues, or he has an alcohol or drug problem, or he is abusive. The list can go on and on here.
These problems come to the light and the lady usually tries to address them (although some get scared and run as fast as they can away from the problems) and he refuses to address the problems, denies them, makes excuses for them, whatever. They are his issues and he refuses to resolve them so the lady has no choice but to remove herself from the relationship.
Usually, this causes her a great deal of grief as she had invested her time, her energy, even her heart at times to this person.
Now here is where the problem comes in. When this happens her friends all try to console her and often the phrase is used, “well you must have a broken picker” because all the men she dates seem to end up the same way.
LADIES….STOP DOING THIS! Here is why.
- The lady in question opened her heart, she gave of herself, she offered love to another individual. Usually, those broken people that women are attracted to NEED LOVE! We know they need love and we have love to give so we offer it freely. There is nothing wrong with that! This person does not have a broken picker. This person has a HUGE and LOVING HEART! Stop condemning them because of this. If these ladies didn’t love these unloveables then no one would.
- The problem really is with the other person. The liar, the cheater, the alcoholic, the abuser. Why do you let them off scott free and yet blame the poor broken hearted lady? These men need to be held accountable for their actions. They need to be the one to carry all the blame and the shame of their actions. But instead, the poor broken hearted, kind, loving lady not only gives of herself, has her heart trampled but then her friends like Job accuse her of being the problem.
Her picker is not broken. People are broken. Our world is fallen and sadly men are cursed with following after the wrong things too often and sadly woman is cursed with trying to love broken men.
Relationships are not easy and the more of them you have the harder they become. I believe this is one reason why God hates divorce. You see women have two choices after a failed marriage. Stay single or try to find the “right one”. But there is no right one. All men are fallen. But people tend to be stubborn and sometimes they never change and as we grow older and older in the single world we discover that the men are more and more fallen and problematic. So women wind up having those two choices stay single or keep trying and sadly each time they give part of their heart away they lose some of it until they have very little left to give. Many times they become like the wounded dog who has been kicked so many times it flinches anytime someone comes near and they are quick to run and hide behind their defensive walls.
The only way a relationship will work after failed relationships is if both parties are broken before God, open, humble, teachable, willing to learn, patient and able to grow. When I was young my dad had a workshop in the backyard and we didn’t have a dog. Often a stray cat would have kittens under our shop and on occasion, the mama cat would be killed and not return. When that happened the kittens would emerge looking for food and crying but they were afraid of people as they had never known anyone but their mother. Naturally, I would be drawn to these helpless furballs and would want to feed them and take care of them. The problem was, they feared me. Now in this scenario, they had not been mistreated but it is the same as the woman who has had her heart broken repeatedly, you have to approach them with caution. They have claws and teeth albeit not full grown ones but they can still leave a nasty scratch. If you grab them too quickly they become more scared and less likely to come out next time. The only way to “tame” these kittens is with love, patience, persistence and in their timing, not mine. I cannot recall how many hours I sat outside with a plate of food waiting for them to emerge. I didn’t do this only once, I had to feed them several times a day for days, weeks, maybe even months before I could ever pick them up and stroke their soft fur. As the kittens would approach the food dish and begin eating I could move closer and closer to them. If they allowed it I would move in closer each time. Eventually, I could reach my hand towards them. If they didn’t flinch eventually I could pet them. If they reacted and moved away I had to wait patiently for another opportunity. Eventually, I tamed all of those kittens and I could pick them up and they would purr for me every time I went to visit them. Some of them were to the point that anyone could pet them and there were always those few who would only let me get close to them.
It is the same with women who have been hurt. Men must take the time, be patient and allow them to open up to them. If they push too hard then the woman might retreat in fear because of past relationships. But if the man puts in the time and effort then he could have a loving spouse. However, the men have had their own failed relationships and they have their own defense mechanisms and sadly so many just default to protection mode and never get past those problems. No one wants to be hurt.
However, there are those men (and women) who have more serious problems, they are habitual abusers, habitual drug users, habitual alcoholics, habitual liars, habitual cheaters, etc. For these, there is usually very little chance of having a lasting relationship with them unless you are willing and able to suffer all that they dish out and I know women who are capable of this. However, if you choose to be that woman then you must be resolved to the fact that your job is to offer continual love and probably never receive any in return. These women are the Mother Theresa’s of marriage and there are many of them out there. However, not everyone is capable of that level of love. If you find yourself in a relationship requiring more and more of you and never receiving anything back and you choose to remove yourself before your heart is completely destroyed, that is not your broken picker! That is their fault for not being the man God made them to be.
So ladies, please STOP saying that to others and stop saying that about yourself! You offered love to another human being who probably needed it. Just because they are incapable of returning love does not make your picker broken. It means that you have a loving heart and you see someone in need of love and you are willing to give it.
What we women need to learn is how to give love to all who need it without expecting anything in return and letting our feelings and emotions take control. It isn’t how we are wired. God made us the emotional ones. Something has been programmed into us since birth that we need a man, that we are to get married and live happily ever after so anytime we meet a man and exchange kindness we start thinking that this could be the one and our hearts are broken repeatedly when we find that this is not the one. We need to start seeing men more as kittens in need of love but not necessarily ours to keep. If we can learn to love others without giving away our hearts to them then I think we would all be better off. Only when we find the one God has for us that He puts us on their hearts FIRST should we ever consider giving our hearts to them. Until then, we should protect our heart but not close it off from the world. Offer love, support, encouragement, FRIENDSHIP to all who need it, but separate phileo (friendship), storge (family) and agape (unconditional) from eros (passionate) love. There is a reason the Bible has four words for our word love. We are all to offer love to everyone but not love everyone the same. That flawed man needs your love and perhaps by being his friend, standing with him through his addiction, helping him see his flaws, loving him anyway but not being IN love with him could help him to find what he needs to help him become a better man. Perhaps your role in his life should be more as a sister than as a lover. God knows these fallen men need our love and our acceptance and we need to love them or no one else will. But we also need to learn to separate different kinds of love and protect our hearts for the one God might have for us in the future.