Your relationships with your spouse, children, and family are supposed to be a rewarding loving sanctuary from the negativity and instability of everyday life. We grow up believing that those who love us will understand our feelings and support our beliefs and values. We expect them to listen to us, to understand us, and to accept us!
Unfortunately, in many relationships and families there is very little listening, frequent misunderstanding, and minimal acceptance of expectations. Simply caring about personal goals and values is viewed as criticism, negativity and rejection. There are frequent battles over lack of respect, lack of responsibility or lack of caring. Anger, hostility and frustration are frequent emotions in unhealthy relationships!
Unhealthy relationships are painful
Bad relationships are REALLY Painful! It feels rotten to feel unloved, misunderstood, or unaccepted. Nevertheless, we frequently avoid taking action and hope for a change of heart and a change in behavior. We commonly do a lot of yelling, a lot of threatening or a lot of hoping for the miraculous change. (Hope is critical in life but it rarely changes behavior!)
Most people want to avoid conflict … conflict is painful! We really want the problems to go away … magically! It’s generally easy and common to avoid major problems like substance abuse, emotional abuse and lack of commitment to oneself or others. But over time we become painfully aware that this is a pattern, a habit, that is NOT GOING TO GO AWAY!
Doing something about a painful relationship takes courage…Courage to take the first step! Doing something about a painful relationship also takes commitment to change…commitment to address emotions and alter behaviors! And doing something about a painful relationship takes a willingness to accept one’s part in the problem…to take action and stop yelling at and threatening one other!
Doing something always requires someone in the relationship to take the lead…taking a stand to say that there has been enough pain…that it is time to grow, to mature and to accept responsibility for living in a stable, loving relationship or a stable, loving family!!!
Relationship counseling is about healing the pain and solving the conflict. Relationship counseling is about listening, acceptance and loving the people that love you.
Have the courage…make the commitment…take the action.