Just yesterday I was reminded of this special tip: persevere in your relationship, even through disappointments.
My ten-year-old granddaughter has been ice skating since she was about eight. It didn’t come easy to her, and she often felt discouraged. A cautious child, she was more careful on the ice than some of her skater friends.
As with most sports, there is an element of risk to ice skating, and falling can be painful. She hated to fall! On the flip side, what makes it worthwhile is having the ice all to herself and skating to a program in front of an audience and judges. For the past few years I have had the pleasure of watching her cope with the dilemma: to fall or not. And “not” has been her choice.
Yesterday she competed in the Greenville Open in Greenville, South Carolina. There were only two skaters in her category. She was psyched. When she came off the ice after performing a beautiful program, we thought she would take first place. Unfortunately, she was second. One of the three judges did give her a first, but she needed two to win.
Of course, she was somewhat disappointed. We even talked about what she needed to do to move up: to practice more in the days ahead. But she was able to feel good about how she skated, and she was ready to go on to the next level and keep on going. In her words: “I am finally out of Basic 8.” I noticed there wasn’t even a hint of her giving up.
In your relationship, I am quite sure there are disappointments. There are events, days, and issues that don’t go as you would like. Do you give up, or do you persevere to make it better?
Here are some ways to work through disappointments in your relationship:
- Aim not to fall. But if you do fall, regroup and find sustenance in each other and your faith. Then get back up and try again.
- Did your partner do something boneheaded? Don’t forever blame your partner and suppress your chances as a couple of getting past the disaster. If your partner is doing his or her best, be compassionate about faults. Forgive quickly and easily. When you forgive, you’re not erasing what happened in the past. Rather, the act of forgiveness is meant to give you both a better today, and a better future.
- Talk about things together. When you hit a roadblock, choose the next steps to take by reviewing all your options and getting good advice. All couples have setbacks, even those that you imagine sail through life unscathed.
- Listen to each other’s hopes and dreams. What looks like a barricade ahead could actually be an opportunity to go in a fresh direction that better meets your needs.
- Be kind and honest. Love can sustain a strong level of commitment that can weather the harsh storms of life. In order to move forward, find comfort, courage, and strength from each other.
- Take heart in what you do have, rather than what you don’t have. Ask for help. Accept help from others.
In any relationship, there will be disappointments. There are going to be days that you feel overwhelmed. Put these disappointments into perspective; they are a natural part of the path of life. Approach every day with an open mind. Avoid clinging to how things used to be in the past, so that you can put energy into evolving as a couple. Allow your relationship to incorporate the new. And most of all persevere—continue on your journey as a couple in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.