Relationships are not rainbows. They are not covered in hot fudge and maraschino cherries basking in beautiful sunlight. Relationships are hard. They involve compromise, active listening, understanding and forgiveness. Even though the first few months are simple, you’d be a fool to think it’ll always be that way. There will be speed bumps and misunderstandings that lead to rough patches. There will be times you want to shake your partner and tell them how stupid they’re being. There will be moments you’re fighting to win instead of fighting for the relationship, and there will be times you want to give up. These are the moments you need to reexamine, reflect and resolve.
“Relationships include: fights, jealousy, arguments, faith, tears, disagreements, but a real relationship fights through all that with love.”
Reexamine: Think about all the issues. All the reasons you’ve fought. Now dig deeper. What were you hoping to achieve during these fights? When tempers were raging, did you say something hurtful you didn’t mean to say? What was your motive? What did you want? Were you not being heard or were you not listening to your partner? When reexamining the issues, it’s important to cast your ego aside and look at things from a neutral perspective. Only then can you see the core of the problem.
Reflect: This is the time to bring God into the process. Pray for guidance, pray for him to open your heart to his wisdom, and pray for change. A change to learn how to fight fairly. A change to listen first and respond second. Finally, a change to connect more deeply with your partner through God’s love. By casting aside your ego and praying for God to open your heart, you’re making room for these changes to occur.
Resolve: When you have time to go through the first two stages separately, the conversation you have during the resolve stage will be more fruitful and insightful. One issue at a time, the rough patch will be smoothed over with understanding, forgiveness and love. Selfishness is brought into the light and destroyed with selflessness. You find a new appreciation for each other through God, and plan a new way to communicate and handle future speed bumps. This time the fight will be fair with a new goal: maintaining the relationship’s equilibrium.