Friday, December 28, 2012

Herbal Tea and 'Dear Mommy'...

   It was that kind of day...and herbal tea kind of day. My angry sinuses kept me moving at the pace of slow. As the farm boy settled the late afternoon with a fever, Jen and I put some poultry on to roast and did a little light housework. Then, in the midst of slicing onions and rubbing spices, she popped her little 17-self on the table top and posed a 'Dear Mommy' question.
   Over the years, as my kids have grown and changed..their challenges have changed along with them. Funny enough, their friends' challenges have followed suit. In this time the 'Dear Mommy' moments have seeped into our lives causing me to reflect, ponder, and even attempt to answer some of the quirky, hard, and sometimes strange questions plaguing our youth. Today brought to my kitchen one of those questions.
   "How do you handle a relationship with a hard-headed, stubborn man?" I turned to face my teen..onion tears and all..and laughingly asked why on earth she thought I would have an answer to that, after all her daddy is so docile and easy going. Laughter ensued...wet your pants and cry a bit laughter. Not only is my husband a strong-willed, determined man..he is stubborn.
   Once the frivolity settled, I answered her friend's question with the advice given me years ago. 1. You can not change him..it isn't within your power or under your range of authority. The only person in any relationship you can change is you. 2. You have to face his flaws and quirks and determine if you can live with them; then determine how you will live with them. 3. Remember, this works both ways.
   Relationships are tough..all relationships..and they require a give and take that many people in this world just don't put the effort into. My heart's conviction in my relationships is whether or not working through the difficulties makes us both better and if I have it in me to get through it. One truly humbling realization is..the other person most likely feels the same way. I have stubborn strengths and quirks my husband has to figure out how to live with (who knew, right?).
   Dear ladies (and young men) let me be honest...it takes work..life long hard work to make any relationship last, but in that time there is growth and love and respect. Over the years, I realize it has made us both better and stronger and, well, funnier. And changing? Well, I can change me..my reactions, my approach, my attitude toward things..but I will never change him. Reality is, our weirdness may aggravate each other, but it also works for us.
   Now, I pose the question to you...how would you have answered this young lady's question? I look forward to your perspective..let's share our hearts.

4 comments:

Michelle said...

First I would probably tell her the same thing you did. Then I would send her to her dad. Since I am the stubborn one in this family. So he is the one with the first hand knowledge.

Dicky Bird said...

first off, good advice about the only person in the relationship that can change is you. Love that! Ladies, what does it say about us...I would have had to send one of mine to their dad too...as I am a hard head at times. only with the important stuff...little stuff rolls off my back.

Karin H said...

I think your advice was perfect, Michele. I've told my children many times, the only one you can control or change in a relationship is you. You can pray for the other person, but ultimately must leave any true/lasting changes in their lives between them & God. Another thing I remind my children is that the only One who will never disappoint or fail you is God (because we even fail & disappoint ourselves!)! Jenny is blessed to have such a wise & godly mother. <3 :)

Simply Scaife Family said...

Thank you, each one, for your input here. I think I failed to mention, the question was posed by my daughter's friend..asked through my daughter...and she is grateful for each one of us encouraging her along the way. You are each a blessing to her and to us.
By the way, ladies..my husband saw this and asked why he wasn't consulted because if anyone knows stubborn it's him. Cracked me up! Guess I am pretty stubborn as well:)