Recently, I was at a shopping mall when a woman approached me with relationship questions. She had recognised my face from my weekly column and wanted an instant answer.
I may not have satisfied her curiosity then, but I hope that she is reading this column today and that I have articulated everything I meant to tell her on the day we met.
These are the questions she asked me: “Pastor Kitoto, why are relationships so deceptive and complicated? Why has it become so hard to keep a relationship going? Is a steady, mutually benefiting and satisfying relationship attainable?”
Work in progress
My answer was that relationships and marriage are works in progress. Relationships do not just happen; they require dedication and hard work. So, these are real-life questions that face many in relationships across the world. These questions reveal how relationships have lost value and are not worth getting into, to some people.
It is amazing to note that, while some people live happily in their relationships, others loath their decision to enter one. An unknown author says: Good relationships don’t just happen. They take time and patience. They take two people who genuinely want to be together and are willing to make sacrifices to make the relationship a reality. Of significance is the need to realise that the amount of effort we place into making a relationship stand the good and bad times of life is dependent on the deep friendship and connection a spouse has with their partner.
Power of friendship
The connection a couple has will deepen as the friendship between them deepens. Investing in friendship is more rewarding than making demands from a spouse because you are married or in a relationship. If you want to have an adventure in your relationship, you have to take risks. Did you know that a relationship can leap forward out of a risk taken by one spouse? Risk-taking also means growth in a relationship; otherwise, it becomes boring and unattractive.
Friendship must tap from the diversity each spouse brings to a relationship. Diversity can add tremendous value to a relationship. Therefore, it is important for a couple who are dating or intending to get married to discover each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential. Why is it that this scares us the most? We should pride ourselves in turning our diversity into opportunities for enhancing the potential and delivery of the marriage. It is interesting that some of us are initially attracted to what we fight later in marriage, thereby missing out on the need turn difference to the cause of growth.
Knowledge of what one is getting into gives them the necessary understanding of the strategy to employ. We need to put certain skills in place because every relationship is different. Success demands that we build endurance and focus as we move towards the promised goal of a healthy, thriving marriage. We have to know what we need to start doing or stop doing to enable the relationship to function at an optimum level. Baggage from the past will disrupt our momentum and push us into a corner where we wallow in self-pity, driving the relationship towards indifference.
Patience and endurance
We need to understand that hurdle will be overcome with a little more effort. The fun of sports is our ability to move from one challenge to another with patience and endurance. What we are willing to sacrifice must be of greater value in comparison to what would instead hold us back. Love must be about taking a stand for the one you love to the extent that you are willing to risk your life for them. This is what marriage and friendships are all about.
Although knowing your future partner is key, there comes a time in the relationship when the faith we had in the relationship wanes. A certain habit they have may cause you to be irritated. Instead of disappointment or living with a judgmental attitude, investigate why his inaction causes you irritation. Could it just be that you, too, have areas in your life that irritate him? What matters now is whether we can turn such disappointing moments into learning times. I have discovered that loving someone because they love you is not true love. True love happens when we are able to love someone even when we do not feel like it.
Since we are not married to angels, we must understand that people tend to be set in their own ways and habits—some of which have been ingrained for years. What matters is whether we are willing to give each other the same measure of love we would expect them to give to us.
You could turn your relationship around in this new year by choosing a different path.
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