March 24, 2011 – I have come to appreciate that there is no perfect relationship, mine included.
We all encounter challenges, conflicts, differences and shortcomings daily. Even in the happiest of all couples therein lies inadequacies. Although we all have the idea of how our ideal relationships should be, so often we admire that from afar.
Although I have many times shared tips on how to work our relationships I also miss a point or two once in a while in my relationship. But the beauty is that I also wake up, dust myself and move on.
We all have unique challenges. For some it is a drinking spouse, others it is an ever moody partner while others the teenagers in the house are headed the wrong direction.
Disagreements on how to deal with money in marriages have brought down many families while interference and financial burden from in-laws is always a nearby threat to our relationships.
I have talked to a number of dating friends and they too have tough challenges in their relationships. It is sad that young love birds keep cheating on each other. Others perpetuate dishonesty in dealing with finances even before they start living together.
More interesting is those who cannot agree on if, when and how to get married.
Overall our relationships are facing challenges from all sides and it is so easy to give up and say like one friend told me that, “love relationships are pathetic.”
This is not however to say that we cannot have fulfilled relationships. Like Jesus said “everything is possible if we believe.” It is the resilience to see what we treasure most work that motivates us. It is when we choose to shed our pride and choose to work on this precious thing.
When things become tough, like they often do, I remind myself that if my marriage has to work then it has to be me. It is never going to be my best couple, pastor, friend or family. At that point I drop my justifications and pride and address the issue at hand whether I feel aggrieved or I am the offender.
It is learning to stop shouting at each other and talking issues soberly that makes the difference. It is when we are willing to make concessions at each other and move our positions towards each other that make the difference.
I have come to learn that it is when we stop thinking of how much we felt offended and considered the facts and focused on the way out that we are able to sort things out faster.
It’s when we stoop from our moral/perfectionist grounds and apologize to each other and seek to understand how she/he felt that our partners feel understood and valued.
What keeps us going is the hope that whatever it is we are facing is not so big that it cannot be solved. It is appreciating that there are other couples who have dealt with bigger challenges than what we are in.
It is when we place utmost value on our relationships that we will go to all extents to address what we are facing. That we can keep off the friends, our hobbies and make sacrifices for our relationships.
Above all it is reaching that point of acknowledging that we are after all human, with loads of weaknesses and faults and we need a power higher than us to live fulfilling relationships.
I love what my pastor’s said on Sunday.
“When my husband and I disagree, I have learnt to appreciate where we meet: at the altar.”
It is before God that our imperfections are made perfect!
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