The last blog post was titled “Weakest Link”. We were to reflect on whether or not we are the person in our relationship that is causing the majority of the trouble. It’s my belief that one individual is usually more responsible for dragging a relationship down. That doesn’t mean that the problems are all one person’s fault entirely, but in most cases, there is one partner who is allowing his/her unresolved “issues” to rob the relationship of what God intended it to be.
What if you have taken an honest assessment and truth be told, you are not the weakest link? Then what? Well, you have options. The first step is to take a serious look at the relationship and assess the damage that the other person is doing. Secondly, get educated on the subject. Depending on what issues your partner is facing, there are a number of great books to help encourage you in self-care and if necessary, decision making. Listed are a few of the resources that I continue to recommend to my clients:
1) “The Emotionally Destructive Relationship” by Leslie Vernick
(great book for all types of relationships, not just romantic)
2) “Enough About You, Let’s Talk about Me” by Dr. Les Carter
3) “Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay ” by Mira Kirshenbaum
4) “Grace for Divorce” by Dr. Les Carter
Ok, so I know the last book recommendation may cause a little stir among some in the religious crowd. Am I an advocate for divorce? Not at all. Am I willing to look at divorce as an option for a spouse who is in an abusive relationship with no hope for improvement? Yes I am. Before that option is considered, I strongly feel that every effort should and must be made to improve the marriage. Also, the stronger partner must try to chart out a high quality life even while remaining married to the weaker link. However, if emotional and/or physical safety is an issue, a spouse has the right and duty to care for himself/herself , and any children that are involved.
Something can only be fixed when both parties are willing. However, if you find yourself in the position of not being the weakest link, don’t despair. There is hope. Not only do many people change, but God came to give you an abundant life and He knows who you are married to. God’s ability to bless you isn’t disqualified by your spouse and his/her weaknesses.