This week we are talking about not treating minor issues like emergencies, and although doing this seems simple enough in theory, I struggle with it in my everyday life. I want to give my attention only to the problems that are truly problems, but I find myself freaking out about issues on a regular basis, only to look back later and recognize that the issue really wasn’t that serious.
I think part of the reason I struggle with this is that my past makes me very insistent on having a healthy relationship, and very fearful that even the smallest of struggles could be the tipping point that sends my relationship into a negative spiral. Having grown up in a family where there was a lot of stress between my parents, I came into my relationship with a determination never to let my relationship get into that state. Now that we have a daughter, my mind is even more vigilant about scanning for signs of problems because I know that if our relationship develops major issues, it will affect her too.
Although I know that my struggles in this area come in part from my childhood, I also believe firmly that I am in charge of my own reactions and choices. Everyone has their own family background, and every parent screws up their child in some way. I know that my daughter will have her own struggles that come from my choices, even as I fight to do my best. However, I want her to see from my example that your childhood may give you the raw materials you have to work with as you go into adulthood, but that you choose where you go from there.
So I will continue to push myself to react in healthier ways, to think carefully before I react with fear and dramatics. Ultimately, that is what is best for me and for my daughter. And, ironically, that is also what is best for my relationship, because bringing stress and fear into my relationship in an attempt to prevent relationship problems makes no sense at all.