Relationship Problems: Yours, Mine, Ours? Part II
Greetings. Welcome to my post. My hope and desire is that you will find these posts to be informative and helpful for you. Life is a journey filled with mountains and valleys in our relational life and in our personal life. Sometimes we can predict and make something happen. But sometimes we can never predict an event or relationship difficulty and we need to adjust and cope with these curve balls. At times life can be great but as you know, life can also be difficult and challenging.
One of the biggest difficulties and challenges is when you find you are in a relationship with someone who has a problem. Now we all have spiritual, emotional and relational problems. That is a given. The challenge is when you are with someone who has problems and you falsely conclude it is your role or job to try to fix that problem. But do you address the problem or do you address the person? Far too often, we choose the person by trying to fix or correct that person with that problem.
As you know, your strategy to get rid of problems only leads to trying to control. You have a set of rule or ideas of control that you like and you attempt to create an atmosphere in which life goes your way. If stress or problems or someone is out of control with a problem, that needs to be fixed even if that means fixing the person. So you may say to someone who drinks they cannot drink anymore and you enforce new rules to do this. Your rules maybe a good idea but for the person who hears them, they may view it as control, get rebellious, and now want to follow your ways.
Maybe part of the reason we do this is due to our childhood being so chaotic and our environments were so out of control that we learned ways to escape to try to find serenity. Keeping peace by trying to follow some rules to make it all right is our attempt to find harmony and find ways to manage and make life make sense. The problem with this strategy is trying to make sense by reducing stress or control can only lead to trying harder to take care of someone else.
So now we work very hard to try to control our external environment thinking this strategy is the key to our happiness and inner peace. Given our family of origin was frequently dysfunctional, we now want our current family to not be dysfunctional and so we try and we try to make our current system not be dysfunctional or chaotic. So if you drink, then your drinking can lead to chaos and I need to control this so I will try to fix the problem by not only thinking of ways to get rid of alcohol but also think of ways to fix the person so that our environment is not controlling.
So now we are left with a conflict: How to I fix or try to change someone else. I don’t want a repeat of my childhood filled with unhappiness and chaos and since as a child I could not control my parents or family members, now I will do my best to fix people now. I could not fix my parents, but maybe I can fix you my spouse. Or my teenage son, or my 12 year old daughter. All of these attempts are a way to micromanage someone else, control them, and fix them so that they will not have any problems. By doing this, then I can find a way to make sure all is well and people and problems are gone.
But as we all know, trying fixing someone or trying to fix problems all the time will never work. But we will try due to this false belief that we can be superwomen or superman influencing you, helping you, or persuading you to try to fix some area in your life that is causing you pain. If I fix the person, I fix the pain and we will be at peace and we will be okay. Often times you will follow this idea: my life would be better if it was not for you or for this problem. As a result, your peace and serenity is only based upon if and when. If that person would stop drinking and when I can solve it, then I will be happy. Your happiness only get defined by fixing others, controlling others, and trying to create an environment in which you are in control due to you trying to fix all things around you. Good luck with that!