We all enter relationships with our own set of expectations for the relationship, and it doesn’t take long to have those expectations challenged. We act and react to one another based upon a predetermined set of beliefs that are built upon relationship assumptions we have made due to life experience. And some, perhaps many, of our assumptions are false, which leads to confusion and disappointment. No matter the assumption, the possibility of the relationship flourishing or diminishing rests in the person’s willingness to identify the underlying false assumptions and then make room for the assumptions to be redefined. When we refuse to examine the possible false assumptions we bring to our relationships, it is as though we tighten a noose around the relationship and begin to choke it off. Our Creator has designed each of us with a set of unique gifts and abilities. Since this is the case, not all of our assumptions, expectations, and dreams of how things will be come to pass. Recognizing and dealing with our assumptions and differences may be painful, but it is the only means to us growing in our ability to relate in a healthy manner. To free our relationships to be all God wants them to be, we must loosen the noose with the truth of God’s Word, allowing the life of the relationship to become enhanced, interesting, and enjoyable!
Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC is Director of the Center for Family Healing in Menasha, Wisconsin. She is a Clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God.