Beware Relationship Traffic Pattern Changing Ahead…
As a whole I and my spouse come from the belief that relationships are everything. We belief that the emotional support along with the give and take that we offer each other, works together to form a healthy relationship. What qualifies as being a healthy relationship? Does calling you my friend qualify us as part of a healthy relationship?
The friendship question is one that I often struggle with because my 18 year old son quantifies his every request for permission to do something or go somewhere with, “ me and my friends.” As soon as I hear the words me and my friend leave his lips, my response is “these may be associates of yours but they are not your friends.” I then start to go down my list of character traits that should be found in a friendship. Traits that would, in my mind, be generated within a healthy relationship. What I have come to find, in most cases, my son’s friendships/relationships are what I would classify as ‘One Way Relationships.’ Here’s an example, he receives a call to hang with his friends and when they come by the car is full and there is a gas fee of $5.00. This qualifies as a one way relationship because the motivation for the call was to obtain money for gas not to hang-out. One way relationships come down to being all about what one person wants from the other with no regard for what the other person may want or need . This Is Not Cool! What’s crazier is that as adults we can find ourselves within these same unhealthy relationships.
I have come to learn that my spouse is my best friend not only because she knows everything and I mean everything there is to know about me, but because she still loves me in spite of my short comings. She knows all my short comings or hidden things that you would never share with anyone else, the things that you would take to your grave. Some men may not feel the ability to be this transparent with their partner but I can because my queen’s motivations towards me are pure and never self serving. Friends with self serving motivations towards you may not really be your friends. A healthy relationship has to be one of give and take on both sides. A healthy relationship must offer an environment where both parties can share freely, cry freely and be transparent. A healthy relationship allows me free expression along with the understanding that I am accountable within the relationship for my actions. Here’s something to think about, freedom and accountability side by side within the same relationship IS AWESOME.
Question: Have you been in or are you currently in a ‘One Way Relationship?’ I can say that I have been in one or two in my lifetime. My queen’s nurturing nature seems to draw One Way Relationship to her more than she likes. Don’t get it twisted, my wife is always aware when the relationship takes on this slant and she lets me know that she has it under control. She informs me that in most cases something is needed or lacking in the ‘friends’ character and that she will try to be an example to help the offender grow from this type of relationship. My job is to protect my queen, so if and when I feel the need to intervene, I will. This type of relationship, if left unaddressed, can become an outside influence within your healthy relationship. Outside influences in a healthy relationship are like little scores that never heal and over time they can cause infections to enter into the healthy relationship cells turning them unhealthy.
Think you’re in a One Way Relationship? The number one question to ask yourself: What value do I gain from being in a relationship with this person? Don’t look at it in terms of money or things, look at it from the emotional support and the value side as well.
If you find that you are in a One Way Relationship and you want to change it, follow what your Grandma always told you……Honesty is the best policy.
Have a heart to heart, open honest conversation with the understanding that part of the solution may be to agree to disagree. Disagreeing is fine just let the ‘Onewayer (Yes, onewayer is a word I just made it up) know what your perception of the relationship is. Let them know how you feel, what you want to gain from the relationship and what you are willing to do to assist in making the relationship work as a healthy one.
Remember relationships are everything, but a one way relationship leads to a dead end while a healthy relationship is a two lane communicational highway freely flowing without impede in either direction.
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Copyright © 2010, Marcus & Gloria Whyte 23. All rights reserved. Originally published at forhealthymarriages.ning.com