Today’s topic brought me back to an old Steve Green song called “Without Complaining.” If you, like me, were fortunate enough to watch one of Steve Green’s music videos for kids back in the day, you may remember this one:
The song is based on Philippians 2:14, which begins, “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” It’s a great message for children, but I think it applies to spouses as well. Does that idea make you bristle a bit? I’ll admit that it would make me bristle to hear someone tell me that this is something I need to do, so let’s make a deal. Just take a minute to consider the idea, and if you think the message applies to you, go ahead and say it to yourself.
If you need to cut down on complaining (and I know that I do), you may find it easier to find the positives in your difficult relationship issues. Here are some ideas for a few common issues:
The first article, by the gifts that can be found through engaging in conflict. Ironically, the article advises “sweat the small stuff,” which is the opposite of the message of Carlson’s book, and this blog, which focus on letting go of the little stuff. What the article means, I think, is that you should deal with the things that bother you, not just pretend that they don’t exist, which is exactly what this blog recommends as well., discusses
Can anything good come from jealousy? Neil Rosenthal argues that jealousy can have some positive effects, although he cautions that people should not seek out or encourage jealousy. I agree with most of his points, although I disagree that jealousy is always about love. In many cases jealousy is about control and insecurity rather than love. However, when you do love someone, jealousy can remind you of their importance in your life. I personally know a couple who were on the edge of breakup until someone else came along and told the girl, “If you want to date me instead, I would treat you much better than he does.” In their case, that was enough to wake up the guy in the relationship, and they are now very happily married, and have been for some time. So, like any struggle, if you are experiencing jealousy, take advantage of the positives while working of the negatives that are causing the jealousy.
3. Job Loss
Losing a job can be extremely stressful for a family, particularly when the family’s financial security is resting on that job. As explained by this article, however, job loss does have some positive effects. I would add to the effects listed here that a job loss can allow the person to adjust the direction of their career, a scary process that can sometimes be slowed by the comfort of a secure job. This can lead to a happier partner and a happier family in the long run.
Whatever your relationship issue, take a minute to see what the positives of the issue can be for your relationship. Some issues may take longer than others, and finding the positive doesn’t mean the negatives will cease to exist, but it may make you happier as you work through the issues.