Friday, June 03, 2005

Do you want to be right or be connected?

Today I was sitting in my beloved rolling chair in front of the tube watching the man who sends chills up my spine, Dr. Phil, and I came to an incredible truth. I was watching yesterday's episode that was geared toward "Family First." Dr. Phil wrote a book with this title regarding putting your family first and focusing on having a safe and happy home. There was a couple who were fighting quite a bit and their fights got outrageous. The woman would call her husband demeaning names, curse at him, and threaten to file for divorce. The man would yell at his wife telling her to "shut her trap", emotionally shut down, walk out of the room, and also threaten divorce. Today, this seems run of the mill. Isn't that sad?

I am not going to speak about divorce or marriage or even romantic relationships that much today in my blog. I am not currently in a romantic relationship in the fundamental sense. I have a "place" in my heart for someone but I am in NO shape to be a girlfriend, fiance, or wife in any manner right now. That being said, I have to take a little walk down memory lane. A year and 4 months ago I was a very unhappy person. I was getting ready for a marriage that I knew was doomed. I was with someone who didn't suit me and certainly didn't understand me. I was very verbally abusive, much like the above mentioned female. I spent every fight verbally demeaning Adolfo, threatening to leave, and tearing down any and all signs of a partnership.

Today, as I watched this couple on Dr. Phil, he said something that really struck me. He asked the female in this story if she wanted to "be right or be married." Two years ago, I would have answered that I wanted to be right. I longed to win every fight that Adolfo and I had. I wanted to come out on top and prove that he was the worst boyfriend and fiance and future husband that could ever happen. I wanted to be the one who had the upper hand at all times. It worked for the most part as I stood victorious over every fight and got my way under every circumstance. The problem was, I felt very alone in the relationship every day.

My realization today is ...of course I felt alone..I was being right instead of being connected. I made a decision this morning as I watched in horror. I was so angry with this woman because she was so much like me...except she had a marriage. She had vowed before God to honor, love and possibly even obey this man and she was destroying the partnership. What was I thinking? I was almost going to marry a man I didn't respect, honor, or even tolerate at times. I decided that I am going to live by this question in EVERY relationship I have in my life. This goes for my family, friends, co-workers, and future romance because this is a great way of thinking.

I want to provide the people I love with a place that they can come and present their issues and know they are being heard. I don't want to be the girl that interrupts, bullies, proves a point, or drives problems into the ground. I know that the mistakes I made with Adolfo are things I have learned from. I have no excuse for the things I did and I truly hope that someday Adolfo can and will forgive me for himself. It's amazing the things that you think when you look at something differently.

There are days that I realize that Adolfo was a great boyfriend, fiance and otherwise. He was my friend, my companion, and certainly someone that put up with a lot for me. I love him dearly and miss him more every single day but within me, I rest... I rest knowing that Adolfo is free of the guilt trips, yelling matches, and demeaning names that I put him through. I admit that the woman I was 2 years ago was the worst person I have ever been. I know that there was no turning back for Adolfo and I. The damage was too great and the price too steep for us to try to start over. Adolfo and I, however, have a great opportunity. We are both very young, 24 and 26, and have our whole lives ahead of us. We didn't take that fateful walk down the aisle (thank you Adolfo) and we didn't vow before God to make it work. Thank God and Adolfo that we didn't because divorce court can be ugly.

Today my challenge to you is to really try to be connected to the people in your life. Some of you reading this are married with children. Take the time to really be connected to your husband because being right isn't worth a divorce. Realize that any fighting you do in front of your children, IS affecting them. Stop and think about their future and the kind of men and women they will someday become just watching your fights. Love your husband/wife and realize that in order for you to win a fight, that means your husband/wife has to lose. You are a team, if he/she loses, you are a loser too!

Some of you are engaged, even newly. Take a minute to really think about the commitment that you are making to your husband. You are committing to being on his side, FOREVER! This means, there is no way you can be against him. Learn how to communicate now because time does not do anything but move. It doesn't change people or behaviors. People change themselves. Take the time to really find out how to work through issues and love your groom. I always give this advice to women who are planning their weddings because it's something I have learned the hard way. Don't get so caught up in planning a wedding, that you forget you have a groom! Hear me here, HE is the one that matters to you!

Some of you are either just dating or even dating seriously. Learn how to reconcile issues now. That boy that you think is so precious today, does have issues. He has differences in opinion and he will do stupid things. That girl will one day show you an ugly side and you will wonder where it came from. Take the time now to see how issues are only gets worse with more time together. Learn how to communicate.

Some of you are like me, single and loving it! I invite you to hear what I have said today and really take it in. Use it for the people in your life, period! Use it for your family, friends, co-workers and your future mate. Imagine how much deeper our relationships with others would be if we take the time to say "Am I trying to be right, or trying to be connected?"

I want so much to have meaningful relationships that are healthy. It's one of my deepest desires. Some of the people in my life will NEVER be healthy. They will have the same issues until death parts us. They will use the same strategies to win a fight, prove a point, or accomplish something. They will take me on the same guilt trip I have been on numerous times before and won't even pay my airfare. They will neglect me, abandon me, verbally slander me, and perhaps even abuse me until they are stopped. My power is not with those people. My power lies in me. I have the power to stop things where they are. I have the power to break patterns and generational curses. I have the power, with Jesus Christ as my guide, to become a woman who can fight fair.

I invite all of you to fight fair with me and really start to love the people in your life. I love you all dearly and I hope that if you are reading this, you have really tried to take a step back and examine your own heart. Please take this in for certain if you are engaged or married! Marriages are breaking up at an astronomical rate. Let's stop this while we are strong enough to do so. I love marriage and all it represents and I am just sad to see it go! Good luck to you all on your endeavors and much love to you today!


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