Can I Really Reevaluate a Relationship?

Taking a (short, short) break from #PhilipBo posts to blog about something my wife and I wrote in the Coffee Bean Giving Journal.

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For those who don’t have it, my wife and I have agreed to be monthly contributors of the Coffee Bean Giving Journal, which is the journal from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – my second favorite coffee shop in the world. (My favorite is still in my imagination: it’s called Decafé. It’s a coffee and tea shop where EVERYTHING is decaf because I can’t handle caffeine very well. It makes me very hyper.) 

It's not exactly a vicious cycle. Maybe a mildly unpleasant one. Sadly, I haven't been able to get much enthusiasm behind Decafé.
It’s not exactly a vicious cycle. Maybe a mildly unpleasant one.
Sadly, I haven’t been able to get much enthusiasm behind Decafé. If someone would make me a Decafé logo, I’ll be so grateful, I’ll post in in my next blog.

We’re writing under the category of Relationships. So every week that our entries come out, I’ll blog about it here as well. For January we wrote:

“Surrounding yourself with positive people will do wonders for your spirit, while keeping negative people will pull you down.”

One area of personal house and life cleaning that we always overlook is the area of relationships. This is funny because relationships have so much influence over our lives. They can affect our health, our joy, and even our relationships with others. So it’s time to take stock of our relationships.

I was recently talking with someone who is very generous, giving, talented, godly, and loving. But because of a relationship that was a black hole – full of deception, lies, manipulation, and false motives – she was finding herself plunged into a downward spiral of confusion, hurt, and self-doubt.

By the grace of God, she found the truth of the matter and is taking steps to distance herself as well as protect the people that she loves. Her sense of freedom and joy was evident when she described her experience.

Relationships are worth fighting for, yes. But it takes two people to fight for it. It can be one-sided in the beginning or for a season, but for it to mature, it must be mutual. And if it isn’t mutual, it may be time to reevaluate.

  • The girl you like doesn’t like you. But she sure calls you when she needs favors. Time to reevaluate how much you’re pouring here. Don’t kid yourself that you’re only doing it as a friend. Also works if you switch the genders.
  • A relative constantly asks for help but refuses to take steps to help themselves. You may be acting the part of a loving family member, but they might simply be asking for another handout. The relationship is not going to mature with the two parties seeing it differently.
  • You have a friend who you share plenty of history with. But your life decisions and hers aren’t on the same track. You find yourself compromising your stance and regretting your decisions when you’re together. But she’s calling you again, and you feel like saying yes.
  • You’re in an exclusive relationship. The dating has been fun and interesting, but lately one of you feels dissatisfied with the progress, while the other is perfectly happy where things are. If this continues, one party is going to be increasingly disappointed while the other is increasingly perplexed why they can’t enjoy things as they are.

I’m not saying that for all or any of those cases the answer is to cut off. But it is important to reevaluate.

  • Is this worth investing as much time and energy in as I am right now?
  • Is this relationship mutually beneficial?
  • If it isn’t helping me, am I okay with the cost it’s taking?
  • Is this non-beneficial relationship already affecting other important priorities in my life?

The book that really helped me understand and practice this concept is Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud. Super helpful! If you liked this concept, or feel like you need it, or know someone who does. Get this book.

If you're an employee, employer, in a family, in a relationship, or a human being, get this book
If you’re an employee, employer, in a family, in a relationship, or a human being, get this book

This could be a significant step toward a breakthrough in your life. You’ll be surprised at the amount of freedom, energy, and joy you’ll free up for the things that matter most to you.

As the Success Tweet in the journal states:

Closing a door or chapter in your life doesn’t signal the end, but your life beginning again in a new way. #brew2014

Here’s a blog I wrote with a similar concept.

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