By Jenny Hamilton
Maintaining a lifestyle of eating healthy food and exercising regularly we all know is good for us. However, it probably ranks #1 as the most common daily battle we regularly wage with the “easy to say, hard to do” things in life. We make excuses constantly for why we didn’t stick with our workout plans or diets. We do the same when tending to our relationships. Healthy relationships are like gold! They are what keep us going--mentally, emotionally and even physically. Yet often, to our own detriment, we believe things that are not true -- and we make excuses. Have you ever told yourself this?
Excuse #1: I don’t have time to get together with ____. Truth: If you have time for binge-watching TV, you have time for relationships. You simply need to make them a priority.
Excuse #2: I’m an introvert. It takes too much energy to be with people. Truth: Introverts need relationships. They just interact with people differently from extroverts. It’s ok to get away from people and recharge but try to maintain at least 1 or 2 close friendships.
Excuse #3: _____ doesn’t like me. Truth: Maybe you don’t like yourself. Low self-esteem causes a person to be very self critical and even look for signs that others don’t like them. Believe that you are a person of value and worth!! And get counseling if you need it!
Excuse #4: They should be the initiator. Truth: It’s scary and humbling to make the first move in a strained relationship but it’s better to at least try than become alienated.
Excuse #5: I don’t want to burden ____ with my issues. Truth: Everyone has issues. Being open about your problems allows others to let down their guard and truly be themselves, in turn allowing you to get closer to each other.
Excuse #6: I don’t want to get into an argument with ____. Truth: Don’t be afraid of conflict. It’s good to share different perspectives on issues as long as each speaks their opinion with respect and love. Make sure to listen respectfully too. Conflicts can be resolved or at least brought to a point of agreeing to disagree.
Encompass Connection Center helps couples learn how to resolve issues and create fulfilling, productive relationships. For many couples, those issues can stem from not getting enough alone time. Just like any problem, though, issues with alone time in a relationship can be fixed. We offer a free relationship assessment to determine your relationship’s strengths and potential threats. For more help, look into our RINGS Experience, which includes marriage strengthening exercises and a coaching model to help build real intimacy and growth skills.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.