Roller Coaster Relationships


Just what is a “roller coaster relationship”? Quite simply, it is a relationship defined by constant emotional highs and lows. It is a type of relationship in which you can’t predict what’s going to happen next or even when it will happen. You just know, like the roller coaster, the highs, the lows and the wild crazy twists and turns are all part of the ride.


I have read a lot of other descriptions of the “roller coaster relationship”. Here are just a few:

  • It is hot one minute and cold the next.

  • It is intense - intense love or intense hate.

  • It is one in which you walk on eggshells trying to keep the peace.

  • It is one where you’re never quite sure of your standing.

  • It has a pattern of being “on again and off again”.

  • You always feel slightly unbalanced, insecure, unsafe.


Often, the only thing consistent about the relationship IS - its inconsistency.


Stop for a minute and compare this type of relationship to what we know about the love of God for and towards us? God’s love is consistent, never failing, tender and unconditional. He disciplines us, but even in that discipline He doesn’t threaten us, berate us, or belittle us.


When we are secure in love and in our identity as a person of worth, we will respond in a healthy way should we find ourselves in a relationship with someone who operates in a roller coaster style. A good example of a healthy response to a roller coaster personality-relationship is the relationship between King Saul and David. Their relationship was very much hot or cold. David continued in relationship with Saul until David knew there was a real threat of harm. It was then David moved to create distance between himself and the King. (Read chapters 10-16 and 18-20 in 1 Samuel)


If you are currently in a roller coaster relationship, I urge you to seek healing. God wants to break the cycle of the roller coaster relationship. He wants to stop the endless trips around the track. Your healing may be found through reading books (including mine, download chapter one or go to Amazon.com for a free sample), receiving personal counseling, and of course, in reading scripture and prayer.


Believe it or not one can get addicted to the thrill of the breakup and makeup rush. We can become accustomed to living from crisis to crisis making it difficult to live in a “normal” calm or emotional stable environment with fewer severe ups and downs. In fact, normal can be downright boring at first! (It probably took a good 12 years before I learned how to stop living from crisis to crisis.)

Truth is, we are attracted to what feels familiar. Until God intervenes in our own hearts to bring about healing, we will gravitate to and desire the familiar even if familiar is painful. Healing and hope are available through the Lord Jesus Christ, but it does require something of us. It requires us to get out of familiar and to walk in new unchartered territory in a new manner.


Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert


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