The Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
It’s a good thing that almost all of us worry. Think of worry as a built-in alarm device. When it is used wisely, it alerts us to danger and prompts us to navigate our way through a maze of solutions to life’s various problems. We need to think through our options when we are faced with problems, weighing the benefits and pitfalls of each alternative, and then come up with the best solution. From there we take action which, we hope, solves the problem. Worry is helpful when it is used at the right time and at the right level for resolving our difficulties. Like many things in life, however, too little worry, or too much of it, can be harmful.
Almost every relationship has been affected by procrastination at one time or another–when one or both partners put responsibilities off to another day or time, only to endlessly delay completing the task at hand. For some people it is a persistent problem, while for others it happens only in certain areas of their lives such as their relationship.
It can cause suffering in a committed relationship, when one partner delays or avoids keeping promises or agreements, putting the relationship at risk. And relationships outside the home also requiring teamwork such as friendships; at work and in the community, can suffer. Being unreliable can jeopardize one’s personal reputation, making a partner, friend or coworker lose trust in the procrastinator. There are better ways of dealing with the demands of our everyday lives with needs of our partner, friends and coworkers, once we accept that we are a procrastinator and make a commitment to change.
When we make a commitment to our partner, our usual expectation is that our relationship will last for life and that our love will see us through the inevitable hard times. Yet, when reality sinks in, we have to acknowledge that while love is one of the components of a relationship’s longevity, it really takes more to make it through the long haul. It takes skills that many of us haven’t learned. We don’t know how to negotiate our way through relationship difficulties to build a lasting connection, but we can learn.
Have you ever heard yourself say, “I’m a nice person. I’m a polite person. I’d never intentionally do anything to hurt anybody. So why don’t other people give me the respect I deserve?” The problem could well be due to a difficulty with assertion. Maybe you aren’t showing your nice, polite, and respectful qualities to other people. Unless they can see who you truly are, underneath it all, other people might not know how you expect to be treated. And this can lead to some unhappy experiences.
When we commit ourselves to a relationship with another person, we rightly expect to experience a sense of fulfillment that we didn’t have before. Humans, as social beings, seem to have a universal desire to find a partner. Sexual attraction often serves as the motivator for making initial contact with the other person, and this is usually replaced over time with a deeper sense of commitment and intimacy.
It comes as a terrible disappointment to some people when the sexual phase of their relationship fails to lead in time to something deeper. The task, then, is to understand the forces which block the development of a deeper sense of intimacy – and to do something about it. Fortunately, with some work – and it’s often hard work – couples can learn to move into the stage of deeper sharing and more fulfillment in their relationships.
Active Communication Requires One Person to Talk and the Other to Listen … and Both to Do Their Parts Well
Listening is the other half of communication. Our first thought, when we think about communication, may be to consider the speaker’s ability to convey ideas effectively. What we often forget is that without a listener the speaker may as well be talking to the wind. Just as effective speaking is an acquired skill, so is good listening. Some do it better than others. But all of us can learn to enrich our own listening skills.
“If I Win, You Lose” is Not Our Only Option!
Control, like most facets of human behavior, is probably best experienced in moderation. At one end of the spectrum, control is a positive, adaptive tool. For example, control over prolonged and constant chaos in our lives is usually a good thing. At the other end, control can be seen as negative. People who are over-controlled to the point of being unable to feel or express emotion can find life’s expected turmoils to be difficult or even impossible to handle.
When you think about compatibility, what comes to mind?
Obviously having similar interests is important, such as what you like to do for fun. Another aspect often is having similar life goals and whether or not you are both on the same journey together.
However, did you ever consider how intellectual incompatibility could affect your relationship?
It’s not simply a stand-alone issue. In fact, intellectual incompatibility can influence other areas of relationship compatibility.
If you are finding yourself struggling with your relationship, it may be that you need to consider whether you and your partner are intellectually compatible.
Ready or not—your mother-in-law has moved in.
Of course, you already had a busy household with kids, activities, and work. Now a whole new dynamic is being added to the mix as you take on the role of caregiver for your relative.
This can either be a time of joy or dread, depending on your outlook.
However, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. You can make this an opportunity to not only aid an aging parent, but also strengthen your family as well.
Consider some ideas for maintaining a peaceful coexistence when your mother-in-law moves in.
Words that describe reconciliation include ‘repair’, ‘heal’, ‘fix’ ‘rebuild’ and ‘restore’.
Sometimes these terms even have a place at the international level, when two or more countries in conflict can find reconciliation after a war.
The same can be said for partners whose relationship has been rocked by an affair. “War” may seem to be a strong word to apply to this situation. But just as in war, infidelity involves people who have very different perspectives.
Despite having ongoing differences and difficulty, it is possible for couples to find forgiveness and reconcile after an affair.
Here’s how this can happen: