The first home we bought was a fixer upper. Not that everything had to be fixed but we wanted to make it our own so there were many changes to make. The walls were ok but they had some dings and dents so we wanted to repair them and paint them with fresh new colors. The kitchen cabinets were old so we sanded them down and re-stained them new and clean. The kitchen linoleum floor was ugly and worn with stains and the old brown carpet definitely had to go. We fixed, repaired and changed what we didn’t like into something that we did.
The same can be said for relationships; they need maintenance and repair work sometimes. And sometimes big changes need to take place. It takes physical work to change the way a house looks to make it into your home. When relationships have deteriorated, work is required to rebuild and repair them – and it can be hard on the heart and get pretty emotional while it’s happening! The truth is, we live in a world of decay or atrophy, a world where things naturally deteriorate over time unless measures are taken to protect them. And this is especially true of relationships. When steps aren’t taken to keep a relationship alive and vibrant, repair may be needed.
A crucial way to prevent deterioration in your relationship is to be honest with your partner.
Being honest doesn’t mean you need to be critical though. Telling your partner everything that is wrong with him or her (or their children for that matter) will create a rift; honesty without empathy or kindness is a weapon, not a form of communication. So be truthful in terms of how issues are affecting you.
When REPAIR is needed, it starts with expressing how issues affect you so they can be worked through rather than ignoring them and hoping they will go away. A successful communication skill is to state what is going on and how it affects you.
“When ______ happens, I feel ________.”
An example: When you discipline my child harshly but discipline your own fairly, I feel angry and hurt.
Repairing things sometimes involves taking them apart before putting them back together with new pieces. Your relationship may need to be put back together with new agreements, skills and strategies. While you may feel vulnerable doing this, it will help you to create intimacy in your relationship. In the above example, the couple needs to come to an agreement about disciplining the kids. This type of complaint can lead to disaster. But they can choose to repair what has been damaged and stand together as a couple. Sometimes that requires help from an unbiased third party so that while even anger or emotions are high, results can be made. I am available and understand these situations as I have studied and been through myself many of the trials blended families face.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4