When I watch my children struggle,? I witness pushing, tickling,? planning to surprise another, and occasionally harming the other sibling.? Most times the harm is unavoidable, and without an intention of hurting the brother or sister.? Sometimes there is an intention to be “top dog”.
In relational struggle, all of what I observe in my children is expected.? It is only when I see a theme of regularly harming the other that I start thinking of intervening.? That place is where regular struggle elevates to consistent intentional harm that initiates hurt, and pain.
In marriage, or other intimate relationships, there are two choices.? First is the decision to be in a committed relationship and to accept the inevitable struggle that intimate life brings.? The second choice is who the partner is.? At that point, you can ask, “Can I be most myself in this relationship and still be true to my partner.”? Do you intend to be “top dog?”? Are the impact of your words or actions regularly harming the other?
What have you contributed to the state of your relationships?