Relationship defines everything

Relationship defines everything.

Image courtesy of JD Hancock
I come as a package deal, whether I am your friend, your lover or your relative. I come with my children, my lifestyle and also my personal baggage. You cant excise parts of our relationship and expect to enjoy the benefits of those parts you've cut out in a different context. you don't ask your GP to pop over and watch a movie on a cold day with a cup of hot chocolate do you? Relationship defines everything. When you have a business relationship with someone do you share your personal problems? I thought not.

People benefit from the support of close friendships through thick and thin - even when things in the relationship are difficult. As long as the definition of the relationship remains. But as soon as the relationship rules are changed and redefined as a different relationship then the benefits that were associated with the original relationship go with it too. No?

When you''re married and it goes through a rocky patch, you're still a couple and the fundamental foundations remain despite the difficulties. When you're friends with someone its much the same. But when one party decides the friendship is no longer personal, but only "business as usual" then the personal fringe benefits are signed off too. No?

When the rules that define any relationship are deliberately changed, then so are the fringe benefits that come with it. When one person redefines the relationship it becomes redefined from both sides, even when only one person decides to redefine the dynamic. While there should always be scope for flexibility, one person may break the rules and then seek to address this, this isn't changing the rules, its being human and most seek to return to the original boundaries. The second party may decide that that the broken rules require boundary changes and thus redefinition of the relationship. But once the rules have changed one way, they have changed in both directions. And even the person that has redefined the relationship cant expect to enjoy the benefits that came with the original context of the relationship No?

A couple get divorced but remain friends. The relationship is no longer defined in terms of sexual exclusivity - that fringe benefit is lost with the redefinition of the relationship. The same happens when there is a chasm that forms in any kind of relationship that is subsequently redefined. Two people may seek to build a bridge and work hard to rebuild or repair a relationship on the same terms or they may choose to leave the chasm there and simply acknowledge each other from each side of the great big gaping hole.

The problem of course is when one person wants to rebuild and the other doesn't. It simply isn't possible.

In theory all of this seems realistic. However our emotions get in the way. All the time. So a relationship suffers a knock. One party decides to redefine it. The other party see this person suffering greatly and wants to reach out and bring healing. Unfortunately the redefinition makes this difficult and first party may blame the second person for their loss despite them being the initiator of redefinition. It gets complicated.

However its in building bridges and seeking healing that we are able to make it through relationship changes. And relationship change doesn't have to mean redefinition, it can mean discovery, and even rule changes within a relationship don't have to mean the definition has to change. But redefinition always means rule changes. Ironic that it doesn't work both ways.

So I hear the bells ringing behind me..What about trust? Well there are two types of trust breach. Intentional and unintentional, and even then there will be grey areas of interpretation. If one person breaks a rule and then regrets what they've done, their honesty may well cost them the relationship, whether its with their partner, their best friend or their bank manager. Do you tell your friend? Lover? Associate? or remain silent and hope its never discovered.

The first stepping stone to rebuilding trust is honesty. Both parties have to be receptive to honesty. And this can be difficult because in a case when someone has been wronged, it is difficult for them to accept that they too have made mistakes. Often it is their injury solely that forms the foundation for relationship reconstruction and this is unhealthy too.

Imagine that a construction worker makes a mistake and the house he is building collapses on both him and his client. Both he and the owner suffer injury. But if he in his injured state has to make reparations without any help to recover his own injuries, then the quality of the reparations will be poor.Relationships are the same. Both parties become injured when something goes wrong.

If the collapse of the house was done intentionally then it is probable that all involved would be killed and so when a deliberate attempt to hurt a relationship is made often the relationship dies with it, However when the intention was not deliberate even the most devastating of consequences can be rebuilt upon.

Trust can only be built when all injuries are considered and that begins with true forgiveness and a desire to rebuild.

And why should we forgive? Don't we all need forgiveness? Don't we all make mistakes, error of judgement or think with our emotions instead of our logic?

Even Jesus who never wronged any of us - has given us forgiveness, so how can we not use this wonderful gift as a tool to rebuild ourselves, our relationships and the world we live in.

It is the Salvation of Christ that should redefine all our relationships. Its starts with forgiveness and is the formative to tool in building (and rebuilding) trust, hope, love and faith.

Ruthie Richards-Hill

Ruth, a free range human being and a middle aged mum of three adult children and very young grandmother to two little girls, is a glass artist, and a digital strategist, She retains the right to change her mind about anything and believes in a compassionate approach to most things, you can contact her using the contact page on this blog.