Any time you have more than one person, interacting, you have a relationship…and it takes work! We are all made differently with unique personality styles. Add to that the manner in which we were raised, religious beliefs, values, gender, and emotional baggage, and relationships get even more complex and confusing!
Introduce COVID-19 with quarantines, home-schooling, and work-from-home, and it makes for some interesting times! Divorce is on the rise as stress increases and spaces seem to decrease. The line from Aladdin feels real: Itty-bitty living space! I thought I would share a principle that has helped me through the years: Turtles Don’t Fly!
In a nutshell, we cannot—nor should we—expect from others what they cannot give. Disappointment, in a nutshell, is unmet expectations. How long have you lived with your spouse/mate/partner? In that time, you have learned who they are and who they aren’t. The first step is to stop beating your head against the same wall. If they were slobs when you met, they are probably slobs today. You just might be more frustrated by it now that you are living in it full-time. Yet, you can’t force your ways upon them.
The very traits that brought you together may also be the ones that drive you crazy. Remind yourself daily that you are partners, complementing one another. Ruth Bell Graham, with her keen wit and sense of humor, used to say how grateful she was that she and Billy were different. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t need one of us.”
We are raised by different families and, therefore, grow up with different rituals and traditions. My advice as you maneuver through the tribe wars? Create your own way of doing things. Mix and blend what you each loved about your childhood and toss the rest.
This season is the perfect opportunity to explore new ways of doing things. Just because you have always done something one way doesn’t mean you can’t change it up. Drastic times call for drastic measures! Just remember you are on the same team. You are not the enemy; stand united to face the challenges of the day together.
When we don’t expect turtles to fly, we allow our loved ones to shine in their own light. They bring unique gifts, talents and abilities to the relationship, as does you. Divide, conquer and connect.
Want more relationships tips? Get a copy of my booklet Turtles Don’t Fly…and Other Relationship Insights.