Now that we have defined some of the difficulties that might invade a relationship and cause it to go from healthy to unhealthy, we need to take a look behind the scenes. What could cause our relationships to become unhealthy? We need to take a look at our own overall health and that might indicate a look back at some of the conditions we grew up with. We need to assess how we are coping with life and how that affects not only our lives but also those around us.
Some of the causes for unhealthy responses in our relationships could come from trauma experienced as a child that might make us self-protect by putting up walls. We may have learned to cope by rationalizing our behavior or denying the reality of what really happened. Sometimes we repress the memories and just go on as though nothing has happened until someone says or does something that triggers a reaction.
Relationships can produce stress in our lives and that could lead us to cope in unhealthy ways such as overeating, not exercising, turning to destructive, addictive band aids like alcohol, drugs, excessive caffeine, tobacco, etc.
The opposite might also be true of stress as it could bring on difficulties in our relationships. We might become emotionally upset and take it out on those close to us by being impatient, critical or short with them. However, we should not use stress as an excuse for not relating with others in a healthy manner.
Whatever the cause of our difficulties, we can replace the unhealthy or destructive ways of coping with healthy coping skills and this will help us as we not only manage our own overall health but also as we relate to others.
As we deal with our present relationships and look forward to the future we need to follow the Apostle Paul's lead in Philippians 3:13b-14
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Question to think about: What are some values that you place on your relationships with others?