You Can’t Take What Isn’t Yours

When I was a little girl we lived in a house near a small grocery store.  One afternoon we walked to the grocery store with my Mother to pick up a few things she needed for dinner.  When we were standing at the cash register, paying for our items, I noticed a little container of matches on the counter. I noticed that someone had dropped a few quarters in the container on top of the matches. What luck! I thought. Afterall, the rule was “finders keepers” right?  I picked up the quarters and clutched them in my little fist.  As we were walking home I excitedly showed my newly discovered treasure to my Mom.  “Look what I found!” I exclaimed as I proudly held out my fist full of shiny quarters. My Mom stopped walking “Where did you get those?” She questioned.  I explained to her that I had found them dropped in the container of matches.  My Mother’s eyes widened.  She explained to me that the quarters had not been “dropped” there and that people had left the quarters there to PAY for the matches they were taking from the container. I hadn’t “found” anything- I had actually STOLEN the quarters.  I felt instant regret.  What had I done? My Mother explained that we needed to walk back to the store, speak to the cashier to explain what I had done, and return the quarters.  I knew it was the right thing to do, but I was so embarrassed.  

After I had fessed up to my crime and returned the stolen goods we began to walk home again.  On the walk home my Mother took my hand and said to me

 “Well Pammy, we learned a valuable lesson today.  

You can’t take what isn’t yours”.

That memory got me thinking about women and the bond and care we have for each other.  It got me thinking about the importance of protecting each other and looking out for each other. This world can be a tricky place to navigate with confusion and manipulation lurking in the most unlikely places.

 It got me thinking about the story I heard of a woman being lied to, trapped and taken advantage of. It got me thinking about her and how she confessed with guilt, the hurtful and inappropriate relationship she had with a married man. She cried as she told me about how in the end,it left her feeling shame and brokenness. I have to admit, her confession to me caught me off guard. She is the last woman I would have thought would settle for a dysfunctional relationship like that. She is absolutely stunning- like turn your head when she walks down the street stunning. She has a successful career that she has worked hard at for years. She is smart and funny and so much fun to be around. She’s confident and caring, always thinking of others before herself. Basically, she’s the type of woman you would think could have any man she wanted. 

But as she sat on my couch that day sobbing from shame and regret, it  got me thinking about all of the relationships that start out as a fairytale and quickly turn into a nightmare. And it got me thinking about how so much of it comes back to that simple truth my Mom shared with me when I was a little girl:

You can’t take what isn’t yours.

 

When a married man “slides into your DM’s” on social media with compliments and praise,

Delete and Block 

Because you can’t take what isn’t yours

 

When a married man asks to take you to dinner at the local hot spot

Decline and Walk Away

Because you can’t take what isn’t yours.  

 

When your married co-worker gets a little too close during your late night meeting

It’s time to Go Home

Because you can’t take what isn’t yours

 

When a married man tries to romance you with expensive gifts

Send them Back

Because you can’t take what isn’t yours

 

When a married man offers to take you on a romantic getaway

Remind him to take his Wife

Because you can’t take what isn’t yours

 

When a married man asks you to send him sexy gym pics

Delete and Block

Because you can’t take what isn’t yours

 

When a married man tells you stories about how “hard life with his wife is”

Shut Him Down

Because you can’t take what isn’t yours

 

Women, you are better than this. 

You deserve to be more than a distraction from his responsibilities at home.

You deserve to be more than his dirty little secret  

You deserve to be more than the weapon he uses to hurt his wife.

You deserve to be more than the thief of a child’s Daddy

You deserve to be more than “the other woman”

 

It’s so easy to think:

“It’s not like that with us”

“He’s just misunderstood”

“He’s so different with me”

 

The hard truth is that a married man who pursues a woman who is not his wife, is not different.

Do not let your own pride in thinking “he would never do that to me” allow you to enter into the exact relationship that he is running to you from.  

The reason his promises and assurances sound so real and convincing is because he’s practiced them well. Consider the likeliness that he has told those exact same assurances to every woman before you, including his wife. 

We know that relationships can be hard work.  

Even the most committed, healthy relationships can be difficult at times.  But what happens when the day comes when you disappoint him, or frustrate him or annoy him? It’s inevitable. 

 Imagine how difficult it will be then, when you see him sneaking into the basement with his phone, or texting you to say that he’s “working late”, or standing a little too close and laughing a little too hard with his co-worker at the Christmas party. 

In that moment, you will know all too well what is really going on, and suddenly you will find yourself on the other side of the relationship. 

And the most devastating realization of it all 

will be what you already know: 

You actually CAN take what isn’t yours.  

At least with this man.   

 

Don’t let it come to this.  

Recognize now that you deserve so much better than this. You are valuable and worthy of respect and the right man will treat you that way. Do not allow a man to demean you by keeping you in the shadows. The best way to predict how a man will treat a woman in his future relationship, is to look at how he treated the woman in his last relationship. A relationship built on secrets and lies never has the chance to blossom into something beautiful- and you are worthy of something beautiful. A man who gets bored with his family and searches for an “upgrade”,  will inevitably get bored with you one day too. Attention from a man who is already committed to another, is shallow and fleeting.  You cannot “out love” flawed character. Do not exchange a fractured half commitment, for a life of your love and devotion. That is not a good trade. If a man wants to destroy his family, make him do it on his own.  You are too valuable to partner with that kind of destruction.  

You will never regret protecting another woman’s family, 

even if she doesn’t know you are doing it.

XO, Pam

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5 thoughts on “You Can’t Take What Isn’t Yours

  1. Awesome advice Pam. It can be so easy to slide down that slippery slope and then wonder how the mess happened.

  2. So good, and so much truth. And as woman we truly need to remember that God doesn’t call you to another woman’s husband. Why’d I we try to make this ‘romanticized’ story, and like you said, think that it will be different with me etc. You have a gift of speaking truth and a way with your words! Love you!

  3. so good Pam….this is absolute truth…we need to protect and stand up for each other as women! There would certainly be a lot less heartbreak out there if we did…. 🙂

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