Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Somebody's Got to Be The Hero.

  I am now 100% certain that I believe with all my heart that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. When you're a kid (in America, anyway), you grow up associating romance with magic carpet rides, and randomly meeting a handsome stranger in the forest. Now of course, there are perfect, intoxicating moments in romantic relationships. I'm not sure a relationship can be healthy without feeling some sense of "magic" with your partner; and I'm not in any way writing a blog about the evils of Disney. However, I think that our culture puts an expectation on relationships that is unrealistic in light of the stark truth: People are broken, and thus have broken relationships.
  The more I watch and observe people's relationships, the more I think this fact is true. I used to think that some people/couples really had it all together. I've always thought I was falling short in some way when I had problems with my boyfriends, or with my family for that matter. I thought that I wasn't working hard enough or that if I searched harder and longer, I would one day find someone who was perfect in every way and made every day intoxicating and wonderful. I would wonder why my relationships never quite got 'there'. Lately, however, I've been shocked to find that relationships that I've admired have their own weaknesses that only the two involved are aware of. I've seen members of very strong couples cheat on each other, break each other's trust, simply lose interest, or finally just come out and say, "I took this too fast. I don't really love you." That whole perfection thing? It just doesn't happen. This isn't to say that people shouldn't work and strive to make their relationships good and fulfilling; I'm simply saying that putting such high expectations on relationships is sure to leave you disappointed. It doesn't matter who you're with.

  I've even put unrealistic expectations on my family life. I have felt so often that my family fell short of what a perfect family ought to be. I've felt so many times that I should just give up on my family because they are too messy and problematic to deal with. I am finally learning that many of my relationship problems stem from my own unwillingness to accept the people I am close to as imperfect people.

  If my mom were not so quick to jump the gun, if Gary would stay out of my business, if my dad wasn't so immature, if my sister wasn't so stingy, if my brother didn't have a bad attitude, if Jacob didn't hang up on me, if Brenna wasn't such a workaholic, if Hannah wasn't so moody about her sleep, WE WOULD ALL GET ALONG JUST FINE. I find myself with thoughts like these all too often. And too often, after an argument, I have been willing to throw relationships out the door, regardless of how important they are to me; all because they are not "perfect".

  I find also that some of my relationship problems stem from my own unwillingness to accept myself as an imperfect person. When I am in the midst of conflict, I, like most people, tend to view myself as the victim. All wrongdoings are justified because the other parties were "more wrong", and no apologies can be made until they are received. I was talking to a friend today who told me, "Pride is crap. In every conflict someone has to be the hero" (she got this from Dr. Phil =P hehe). These words really ring tue with me. Humility, like love, is something that I have always thought of as a weakness and am just now learning to perceive as a strength. It makes sense that being humble is the "strong" thing to do, since it is so incredibly difficult.

  Something else I would like to point out about relationships goes back to the first point I made about our expectations for relationships. I like to think that my relationships (especially one special relationship) will fulfill me. I look to one or a few people to make me feel "whole". Their opinions mean the world to me. Their acceptance means even more. If I am in any way slighted or rejected by one of those close to me, I feel like an incomplete person. This is something I have to work on. One thing that is detrimental to relationships is putting undue pressure on them. When you look to another person to fulfill you, you are certain to end up disappointed. People are just people. People get tired. People get sick. People get moody/cranky. People often come from backgrounds that are much different from your own. Some people are broken. People WILL disappoint you. When your fulfillment comes from something within (God, creative fulfillment, or even just self-acceptance), good relationships are easier to have, and really just the icing on the cake.
  In short, the point I am getting at is that relationships are so valuable. They are priceless in fact. They are not worth throwing away because of imperfection. I'd like to add that this does not apply to abusive relationships. If a situation is unsafe, you need to get away from it; however, I would advise everyone who reads this blog not to treat relationships as if they were disposable. Don't take the easy way out and throw something precious. It's not worth it.


  1. I learned a lot from this - thank you thank you thank you for writing it.

  2. Very insightful Kenrie! Thank you for sharing this, I needed it. Love ya! ~ Shasta

  3. Interesting, impressive and wonderful

  4. Wow - thanks for writing this! I definitely needed to read this.

  5. I feel like I should comment because this impacted me... but i suck at commenting. Either way, love you,keep chasing after fulfillment in God!