RELATIONSHIP STRUGGLES… HOW MUCH STRUGGLE IS TOO MUCH?
There are so many conflicting messages in the world about relationships that people don’t know what to expect or even hope for in their relationships. On the one side we hear that relationships are hard work and at the other end we hear that if you marry your soul mate, everything should be smooth sailing.
So what’s the truth?
My belief is that relationships take time to form, attention to grow, and nourishment to stay strong. This can be hard work, however, most of the work is time and attention--not constant struggles filled with harsh comments, intense fighting, or cold silences.
There’s a difference between putting time into something, versus working like a dog constantly to be heard, respected, and cherished. I believe that relationships take time and effort. I do not believe they should be an endless dance of pain and sorrow followed by occasional moments of joy.
If you’ve been wondering if you’re working too hard and getting too little then slow down and take a look at that. Nourishing, healthy relationships will feel…nourishing. They will fuel you, support you, bring you joy more times than not, and they will feel good. Yes, there will be difficult times however these times should be the exception rather than the rule.
There will be times when you and your partner may hit a rough patch that will last quite a while such as the birth of a child, or an affair, or a death of a loved one, yet even these times should be handled with respect and love. Having moments of difficult conversations, boredom, distance, struggles etc., are normal. Having years of steady pain, struggles and distance is not.
For those of you who are in relationships that are painful more often than not, it’s time to decide what you want for your life. If you want a relationship that fuels you, you have to fight to get it. Seek help, look at your part in the struggle and fix it your end, be clear about what you want, and respectfully stand up to get it.
If you get the relationship you deserve as a result, then the fight was well worth it.
CHALLENGE: If your relationship is frequently painful and difficult, know this is not how relationships are meant to be. Take some time to look at what’s not working. Figure out what your role is in this dance. Fix your piece. Stand up and ask your partner to fix his/hers. If necessary seek help.