This question came in from Jason in California:
Hi Kelli. I'm going through some rough times with the wife again. Just wondering if you have any advice for me. I tried everything, I've done everything. I go to mass. I take nice walks. I write thoughts. So I'm wondering if you have any positive advice to help me.
I’m sorry you are experiencing some pain right now. Life gives us all kind of experiences so we can feel the full range of human emotion. It really is a beautiful thing! Sometimes we lose sight of that while we’re in the pain, however.
I’ve heard it said that whenever we are disturbed by something or someone, it is usually some thing within ourselves that is the problem. I can’t give you advice, per se. But I know from my experience, when I have issues with people around me, I look for the answers within me. Is it my expectations that are out of line? Is it my behavior that is causing a negative response in them? Am I being understanding and loving? I usually find that somewhere, I am feeling pride, fear, etc. Maybe I’m not being honest and forthright with my feelings. Maybe I’m being too controlling, expecting those around me to behave in a certain way. I spend some time taking care of myself for a while - eating well, getting enough sleep, having fun in life, making sure my spiritual life is thriving. I try to find balance within myself.
One of my favorite quotes is this: “When I stopped living in the problem and started living in the solution, the problem went away.” Sometimes, I just need to start moving forward and stop dwelling on what’s keeping me down - even if I don’t feel like it. Things sometimes just take care of themselves :)
Unfortunately, sometimes relationships end or change. That’s a part of life too. We don’t always want them to, and we try to hold onto a relationship, expecting it to be as it always was. However, like life and everything in it, relationships change too. If you and your partner have expressed the pain points of these changes to each other and have tried everything in your power to grow the relationship into something new, and it still is not working, it may be time to have an honest conversation about the future of your partnership.
Remember, a relationship is a partnership. There is not one person making all the decisions. If something feels wrong to you, you must express it and give the other partner an opportunity to express themselves as well. Hopefully, you both are in a healthy enough place on your own to be able to honestly and lovingly address the state of the partnership and start working as a team to correct any issues.
That is why it is so important to take an honest look at yourself first - your health, your motives, your level of understanding. You want to make sure you are your best self before you try to tackle relationship problems.
All the best, my friend!