How To Approach & Overcome Relationship Challenges
Our relationships are among life’s greatest gifts, but sometimes they feel strained, sometimes they break, and sometimes we end up wondering if it’s time to walk away for good. We are talking about friend relationships, family relationships, and romantic relationships. While all different, these relationships have things in common as well. They all take effort. They all require good communication. You can not take any relationships for granted. And trust and respect are key ingredients to any relationship.
If relationship challenges have left you feeling isolated and frustrated, you’ve found a community of support and answers for some of life’s toughest questions.
Is a Relationship Toxic?
Sometimes we hold onto a relationship long after we should. If you have relationships in your life that are pulling you down emotionally, it might be time to examine that relationship and if it is healthy.
If someone close to you is constantly critical, rarely supportive, and always demanding of your time, energy, and attention (without giving anything in return), that toxicity could be harming you emotionally, not to mention having negative effects on your mental and physical health.
Sure, tough circumstances may put a strain on an otherwise great relationship, but this discomfort will typically pass with time and effort. But if the negativity seems to go deeper – and last longer – than a tough week, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships most often occur when there are poor boundaries or when expectations are unclear.
Because toxic relationships run the risk of becoming abusive, it’s important to be aware of your relationship dynamics and how healthy (or how poorly) your relationships make you feel.
Does a Relationship Have to Stay Broken?
When going through a tough season in a relationship, it often feels like things are broken beyond repair. Betrayal, unforgiveness, miscommunication & misunderstanding, outside opinions, all of these things can break a relationship. But can the relationship be repaired?
It depends. Relationships are a two-way street. There are certain things you can do to make a relationship healthier:
- Communicate boundaries and expectations
- Be kind and supportive
- Forgive and be patient
If both you and your friend or loved one are making an effort, there’s plenty of room to grow toward a stronger, healthier relationship. But if all the effort is one-sided, the relationship is going to leave you feeling exhausted. It’s important to determine if this relationship is worth fighting for or better to let go. While some friendships and dating relationships, you can move away from easily. Family relationships and marriage relationships should not be given up on too quickly. Fight hard and do what you can on your end.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
What if I’ve Tried Everything?
Maybe you’ve tried everything you can think of to heal a relationship, but nothing seems to be working. This can be painful, but there’s still hope. Why?
You have other people in your corner. Take ten minutes to think of the people who bring the most joy and peace in your life. Even when you’ve dealt with difficult people, there will always be someone rooting for you. If you’re not sure where to turn first, TheHopeLine offers relationship help through podcasts, mentorship, and prayer. You are surrounded by people who could benefit from your kindness, your strengths, and your gifts. Pour into them.
You are worthy of loving relationships. One of the biggest motivations to distance yourself from a toxic relationship comes when you fully realize and believe that you are worthy of healthy, loving relationships with people who know how to balance give and take.
God knows what you’re going through. God cares for you and can take on the anxiety in your life and relationships. He has put people in your life to pray for the bad relationships that have you discouraged. He is leading you toward peace and healing – and He will not abandon you.