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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why the Advisers You Choose Can Hinder Your Relationship Success

We have forgotten why we ask people to be witnesses to our marriages. Their role is so much more important than watching us repeat vows, kiss our mates, buy us gifts, and help us clean up after the wedding. They are also responsible for being the voices of wisdom for us during those times when we want to act like fools during our marriages. Without selecting the right type of witnesses, we are making a terrible error. Witnesses are suppose to help us maintain a solid foundation in our marriage, not help us tear it down.

Everyone has their own set of advisers whether it is the manager who confides in certain supervisors and employees to make tough decisions, the bishop who consults with his or her board members, or you asking for advice from your closest relatives. Someone is influencing you when you are attempting to solve problems in your personal or professional life. So why aren’t people more careful when choosing who they will go to when trying to rectify a broken relationship?

We could reason that some people feel obligated to befriend those who may have financially helped them and don’t want to appear as if they are only having a relationship solely for personal gain. Others may just call anyone who will listen without giving it a second thought, their friends’ relationships maybe just as bad if not worse. Then there are those people who just have too few wise people in their lives or just don’t care who they talk to about their problems. Therefore, they go to these poor advisers hoping they will provide them with a tidbit of wisdom that they may have been better off getting if they only took the time to meditate (those who are spiritual find some time to be alone, and look to God’s word for an answer while praying about their issues. Philippians 4:6-7)

Once the person who seeks counsel realizes the advice they received from their trusted friend doesn’t help matters, they become angry with self and then place blame on his or her counsel. “Why did I ask her what she thought? She can’t keep a man anyway, I would have never got into an argument with him had I not done what she said.”

Meanwhile, their mate is wondering where the questions, accusations, concerns, and ideas came from since his or her mood has now changed 180 degrees in less than five minutes. If he or she had kept their big mouth closed, they may have been able to solve their own problem. He or she could have given his or herself more time to think about why they feel the way they do about the relationship BEFORE they had placed the call or met with his or her adviser. One could have put his or herself in their mate’s shoes, and then found the time to discuss what was on his or her mind FIRST.

It makes you wonder how many divorces could have been prevented if couples had supportive family and friends around them that encouraged them to stay together rather than break up. When one decides to break off his or her relationship with their mate, it may not really be their decision to do it after all. Rather, it could have been the influence of a jealous family member who found fault with the mate because he or she was taking up too much time with them. As much as we love our family and friends, when you first told them about your new love, if you didn’t bother to pay close attention to those who were sincerely happy for you, from those who weren’t, then you may have missed the snake amongst your circle that you didn’t know you had and unfortunately you could be consulting with him or her and not even know it! If you have ever read the Bible, then you know of the story of Jesus who had his own circle of disciples and one was a traitor. Now if that could happen to a prophet, what do you think could be happening to you right now except you aren’t aware of it or maybe never bothered to think about it?

I personally saw my own relationships in the past decline not only because we may not have got along, but also because I allowed what people told me about my friends to influence the way I behaved toward them. If someone in the family didn’t like them, my happy spirit would diminish concerning my friend. I just wasn’t excited about them as much as I had been. Of course, the newness of all relationships begins to fade in time, but when seeking counsel from the wrong people, it fades much faster! You will find yourself second-guessing the relationship, finding fault with your new friend, making unnecessary accusations and assumptions, comparing them to the last person you were with because one of your advisers said, “He reminds me of…or remember your last girlfriend…”

Some advisers may be wise, but are controlling or lack self control. They may be so use to telling you what to do and you confiding in them that they put themselves in the driver seat of your relationship, because you allowed it. Other advisers feel so comfortable with your relationship with them that they feel like they can say anything, never giving a single thought of how it may make you feel. There is just too much analyzing what they say and exercising caution what you say to the point of exhaustion when speaking with these types. I put mothers and grandmothers in this category since they tend to be the most influential advisers of all. When you feel like your energy is being drained when talking to them, this should be a sign not to talk so much to them about your personal feelings about your relationship. Instead, you should be talking to your mate about what ails you. Yes, you will make mistakes when trying to communicate to your mate about your problems, but if you can’t make a mistake with them, then your relationship will never grow. The best, most successful relationships in life became that way because the couple allowed one another to fall, dust themselves off, and try again. With each attempt at addressing a concern or problem, they got better.

The most important lesson to be learned when choosing advisers and communicating with them is to remember to have your own set of boundaries of what you will or will not discuss. They are human just like you and they have made their share of mistakes, but if you allow them to put you on the judgment seat, you are giving them power that they should never have. A great adviser is one who will listen and challenge you to come up with your own solution to a problem. Like the game of basketball, they will put the ball back in your court and make you take it to the hoop. A bad adviser is a ball hog. They don’t pass the ball, they dribble it all over the place and drive it straight to the hoop even when they don’t and can’t make a good shot. This is a player you don’t need on your team.

Problems will occur in anyone’s relationship, but thanks to the Internet you can seek advice by reading and writing about your concern without anyone ever having to know it is you!

By Nicholl McGuire

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