Relationships Weren’t Meant To Be Easy
We’ve begun to avoid conflict in our culture. A small tiff propels us to leave the room, friction causes us to become bitter and zone out—we don’t want to endure the struggle of fixing a problem so we leave and ignore it, normally because we think we’re always right.
Ignoring isn’t solving. If you continue to overlook conflict and shove it in the back door, it will grow into a wild monster and end up consuming you and those connected. We continue to look for the “easy” route. Although ignoring the struggle seems easy, it actually makes it much harder to overcome in the end.
What must embrace the struggle. The idea of perfect relationships was ruined long ago, so why should we still expect perfection? The threshold of relationships is founded on learning and growing together. In a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship major conflict will rise; it may be an argument over exes, how to treat one another, a poor decision that was made, or a rude comment that stung. What you have to decide is if it’s worth it to overcome, to work through.
Some are, some aren’t, depends on your level of interest and input into the relationship. What I can tell you is that you will never avoid the struggle. It will occur in any relationship you ever have. There is usually one period of time where conflict seems the most intense—this is what I call the “threshold of struggle.” This may occur right at the beginning of a relationship, it may take a couple of months, or perhaps two years into it, but it will make or break the bond.
When the threshold of struggle occurs—embrace it. So often we bail, whine, complain, go on a break, rethink our life plan; conflict isn’t wrong, it’s ordinary. The struggle is when you will learn more about the other person, when you’ll grow together. And it doesn’t end when you get engaged or married (so I’m told). A perfect relationship is unrealistic. What is real, is struggling together.
I’ve made the mistake of bailing when conflict arose in the past. I wanted it to be perfect, I wanted it to be how I’ve dreamed it to be. A truth we must know is that no one will ever fit the mold of the fairytale prince or princess you’ve dreamt of for years. And if you expect someone to fit into it you’ll, 1) never find them, 2) be majorly disappointed when your fairytale doesn’t pan out, or 3) break their arm or leg as you try to force them into something they’re not.
A caution though, is if there is constant conflict or the threshold seems to never end, I would suggest that maybe he or she isn’t the right one for you, perhaps the relationship isn’t healthy. There is a point where we must discern when the struggle has lasted too long.
But in the threshold, the moments when conflicts arise, don’t be afraid of them. And it’s ok if they pop up time to time. No one is perfect and this world is full of wily temptations that catch us off-guard. Embrace the struggle.
Going Deeper: How can you better embrace the struggle of the relationship you’re in now or in the future? What have you learned from the “threshold of struggle” in the past—would you share it in the comments below?