Are you Caught in a Relationship Tug of War?

  • What do you value?
  • What do you believe?
  • What is important to you?

The root to most relationship tension comes from differences in these areas.

We view life, jump to conclusions, and make decisions based on what we value and believe. If you and your spouse have different beliefs and values you will be headed in different directions, caught in a tug of war. This will not bring about relationship fulfillment, obviously.

  • One wants to save the other wants to spend, this causes tension = different values.
  • A women’s job is THIS, the other feels it’s a shared task, this will cause disagreements = different beliefs.
  • One is needy, the other wants space and freedom, this will bring trouble = different values and beliefs.
  • One swings angry words around like it’s normal, the other wants to rid this from the home = different values.
  • One isn’t comfortable watching certain things, the other isn’t bothered = different values.

I could go on but you get the picture. If you don’t value the same things you will think differently about everyday situations and this will cause tension, stress and disagreements.

Relationship Rule #16: Work towards holding the same values and beliefs

May I Beat You Now?

Most would agree that physical violence isn’t acceptable. Many would quickly put their foot down and make their opinion known that it’s not okay, even taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen.  This is because your inner belief system tells you it’s inappropriate, that a line has been crossed. But….

  • What are your thoughts around verbal abuse?
  • Will you tolerate manipulation?
  • How about a control freak?
  • Where do you draw the line?
  • Where do your values begin and end?
  • What will you tolerate?
  • When will you stand up for change and for what you believe is right?

If you value something you will work to have it present in your relationship. You will also rid your life from things that harm and hurt this value.  

Get on the Same Page

In an ideal world values and beliefs should be discussed before a relationships begins.  But since very few do this many of you are finding yourselves living alongside someone thinking wildly different than you. 

It is in your best interest to focus your relationship effort towards holding the same values and beliefs. In fact it is imperative for the healthy of the relationship that you do so. Dig deep and be willing to have the difficult conversations. Then you can work towards the same goals and enjoy life along side one another, instead of growing apart.

Understandably it’s not comfortable to go here. We would rather keep the peace and not bring up points of tension. However, it is necessary to address the underlying if you want your relationship to thrive.

Back to School

If you had to grade your relationship like a school paper and give it an A, B, C, D or F based on how you feel its going, how well would you do? Do you feel good about your relationship? Would you give it a B+? Perhaps you feel it’s just OK and it only deserves a C.

What would it take to bring that C or B up to an A? What would you have to work through to get there?

Your relationship will be unable to reach it’s full potential and you will be stuck with a “lower grade” if you cannot work through things that trouble your heart. However, working on things brings a B marriage down to a D, or an A marriage down to a C…. but take heart, it’s only for a while. Every strong marriage will go though seasons of working through difficulties. If you ignore troublesome situations and avoid them, you will  inevitably stunt your growth.

It’s like a doctor that sets a broken arm. The pain of setting a limb is temporary but necessary to heal straight. Your relationship cannot heal or grow properly until some things have been made straight. So do the work, put in the time, go where you’d rather not so you can someday grade your relationship an A+.

Are you Focused on the Fruit or Root?

Behaviour and attitude can be compared to fruit on a tree. You may not want certain attitudes in your relationship so you reason, argue and plead for them to stop. You may even succeed…. but it will only be temporarily.

This would be like pulling fruit off a a tree because you don’t that kind of fruit. How successful would you be? You may find temporary satisfaction but unless you are constantly on top of it, the fruit will come back, just like annoying behaviours that keep popping up.

The problem is you are focusing on removing the fruit instead of dealing with why the fruit is there in the first place. Until the root is changed the fruit will remain.

The root to every issue boils down to a belief system. Your belief system is responsible for how you think and act. Coincidentally, what you value and cherish will determine what you do and say.

What are Your Personal Values and Beliefs?

It is important that my children grow up learning healthy communication patters and witness positive ways to handle conflict.  Even though no one sees what goes on inside our home I am mindful of the lifestyle my children are observing and learning. What they see is what they will view as normal, therefore they will accept nothing less than this.

Children learn more by being immersed in a lifestyle than by being merely told something.  This causes me to be very aware of how we conduct ourselves and how we handle conflict.  My family values dictate my actions.

The Death of a Friendship

Sadly, I went though a situation where a long standing friend of mind became irrational and belligerent which resulted in her treating me horribly and ending our friendship.  Despite our conversations remaining private I was aware of what I said, how I said it and how I came across. I was mindful of my personal integrity and how I carried myself. As much as I was bothered by the whole situation I can say I’m proud of how I conducted myself during this time. I was able to keep my cool in the heat of an argument because I value stability, tact and self control.

Your Life on a Billboard

What if your life was streamed live online?  Would you be proud of who you are? What if your weakest moments were displayed on a billboard? Would you be ashamed?

Work towards becoming the kind of person you can be proud of, not only in your greatest victories but also in your deepest darkest moments.

Do you desire to be someone who has great inner-strength or are you satisfied to be jerked around by your emotions?  Do you desire to manage conflict wisely and with discretion?  Do you want to carry yourself with integrity?

If you’ve never thought much about who you are becoming then now is a good time to start because without being intentional you will fail to the lowest level. If you don’t stand for something you could fall for anything. 

What is Healthy?  Are there Guidelines?

My Relationship Rules reveal what healthy conflict looks and sounds like. I make it clear:

  • HOW you should act during confrontation
  • HOW to approach someone who breaks a rule
  • WHEN you must speak up and
  • WHEN you should keep the peace

But how do you know WHAT requests are acceptable and which are not? Where is the standard? How does one know what is reasonable?

You can Cheat off my Notes

Don’t fret…. I did the homework already and I will let you cheat my reading my notes.

I will release a guide for you to follow. It’s a framework for you to reference when determining if a request is reasonable, fair or appropriate.

This guide alongside the rules will help you build a healthy relationship but if you still find yourself without an answer then heed the advice in Rule # 11 and seek wise council. Additionally, you can always take advantage of my Marriage S.O.S course, after all it’s free… and only 5 days long.

Till then…. Get on the same page with your values and beliefs while you work to become someone you are proud of.