I just got home from the hospital. My son had his once dislocated shoulder surgically repaired today. Waiting rooms, I have found, allow for times of reflection. And I’m reflecting once more on relationships.
“Life is short.” I hear it all the time, and it is. But is that a good reason to stay in unhealthy relationships? I am strongly opposed to dysfunctional relationships of any kind. I’ve been close to way too many. In fact, I don’t do dysfunctional anymore. Life’s too short.
The sad thing is people don’t realize that the only way to achieve change in a relationship is to make changes. I know, I get it. Change is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary and threatening. Without it, however, there’s no chance at all for things to be different.
People have way more power than what they think they have. And I don’t mean power in an evil, “wahaha” way. I’m talking about the means to affect change.
To the husband who decides to exercise his parental rights. It’s perfectly acceptable to take your child to visit the grandparents even if the wife has never “allowed” it before. Just because she threatens to call the cops, and take the child and move away doesn’t mean she will. Playing her game only insures you continue to play her game.
To the wife who is always taking responsibility, even when it isn’t yours to take. Don’t. Stop. See what happens. Give him the chance to take it himself. Give God the chance to move on your behalf.
To the mother of an adult addict who turns mean when he’s high. It’s okay to impose your boundaries. It’s okay to set rules in your own home and abide by them. In fact, not doing so is causing more harm to the addict.
To the adult child of an overbearing, interfering mother. Not a problem to run your life how you see fit. Again, simple, freeing and honoring to the parent. Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect along with the freedom to choose.
You know what? They are right, life IS short. Too short to spend another minute of it in a dysfunctional relationship. Just take the first step, and you will find that in time, not only will you be able to make healthy, relational choices but it will begin to feel like the natural thing to do.