Relationships can be difficult, rewarding, exhausting, joyful, challenging, trying, fulfilling, loving and in my mind, better than two individuals living separate lives.
A friend of mine is struggling in her relationship. This is where Sarah the MFCC (Marriage Family Child Counselor) comes in. It was my almost career but I quit one year shy of my Masters Degree. I decided I didn’t want to listen to people’s problems all day. Now if someone comes to me for advice and sometimes when they don’t, I’m all over it, around it and through it.
I pulled everything out of the proverbial hat that I could think of. I even took notes before the phone call that I knew was coming. I was deeply invested in changing her mind. Did I? I don’t know. Time will tell. I’ve done my part, maybe more than my part and now all I can do is pray and wait. That’s so hard for me. I want to be in her face very day, spouting brilliant bits of wisdom. That sounds annoying, doesn’t it? Because it would be. I know that. But it doesn’t stop me from trying to control the situation. There’s that word again – control.
No matter how badly I want her relationship to work, in the end it will be her decision, not mine. I can only stand by as a friend and hope that she has weighed all of the options carefully and thought everything through, considering the consequences above all.
It frustrates me that my carefully chosen, well intentioned words may end up on the floor, only to be swept up and tossed into the waste basket. Nothing more to do here but be a friend.
I tried to explain that relationships (especially marriage) have an element of ebb and flow – changing, growing, ups and downs, challenges and even crises occur but that only means it’s time to go to work, as a team. That’s when you bring out the big guns. You use everything in your arsenal to fight for what matters most. It’s not the time to quit, not because things get difficult. Life is difficult.
Unpleasant? Painful? Out of your comfort zone? Not what you thought your relationship would be? No one ever told you things could get ugly, scary, messy and too embarrassing to share with anyone on the outside? Yes, to all of the above. But when you get through it, you come out on the other side stronger and wiser, both as individuals and as a couple.
Can most relationship problems be fixed with help, patience, love, forgiveness, courage and faith? Yes, again. There are exceptions but only a few.
It may be sad but it has taken me most of my life to figure this out and actually put it into practice. But then some people never do.
Here’s to solving problems, being patient with one another, forgiving and loving. There was only one perfect man and that was Jesus. The rest of us are flawed. We do our best. God bless.