“My mind is swimming with confusion,” Sandy said, her voice filled with anxiety. “I just don’t know what to do next. I’ve talked to one friend who says to do one thing, my sister who says something else, and then the books I read seem to be saying something different.”
Even her words belied her anxiety, as she jumped from one topic to another. In a troubled relationship, Sandy, a 50-year old woman who called in a panic, wanted to know what she should do about her philandering boyfriend.
“Slow down, Sandy,” I said. “Let’s talk this all out and determine your best course of action.”
“I am unhappy in my relationship and don’t know what to do. I confront him with something and he turns it back on me. Then we have even more problems. Nothing gets resolved.”
Sandy had been dating this man for a year and felt that she loved him. Yet, they had sources of conflict regarding financial matters, issues between their children from failed marriages, and even spiritual differences. Yet, she enjoyed his company and wanted to work things out. The more they talked things over the more muddled they became.
It is common for us to become confused with circumstances in our lives when you mix turmoil and with troubling emotion. You are trying to resolve a relationship issue, but the problems seem to swirl in your brain like molasses. You need clarity which can lead to conviction which can lead to making healthy choices—and this brings calm and healthy connection.
Let’s take these issues one at a time.
First, we need to acknowledge that we feel Confusion.
This is a common malady, often the result of having a torrent of thoughts that collide and create even more unrest. Confusion seems to lead to more confusion. Wild thoughts lead to more wild thoughts. We need to slow down and sort the issues through.
Second, we must seek Clarity.
This is the result of having thought an issue through to a conclusion. You’ve weighed the differing opinions and considerations and finally reach clear thinking. Perhaps you talk to a trusted friend, a wise counselor or possibly your pastor. You bring the issues to a focus, one issue at a time.
Third, your clarity brings Conviction.
With a sense of conviction, you know what you need to do. This may not make your decision easy, nor your path of healing simple. But, with a sense of conviction you know what needs to be done. Now, with courage, you can move forward.
Fourth, with a spirit of Courage, you are able to make healthy Choices.
This brings positive change. We are able to truly embrace the Scripture, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) We are able to have courage, and a sound mind and an ability to make wise decisions that lead to the change we need to have a healthy relationship.
Finally, these steps lead to Calm, and often to healthy Connection.
When we tackle problems directly, we eliminate them leaving room for healthy relating. We set boundaries on the problems that bring chaos. We don’t allow crazymaking or abuse to be part of our relationship. We speak clearly and calmly into our mate’s life and this, in turn, often brings a respectful response.
Do you have confusion in your life? Would you like clarity, leading to conviction stemming from courageous choices? If so, consider taking the steps necessary to truly change your situation.
Share your feedback or send a confidential note to me at [email protected] and read more about The Marriage Recovery Center on my website www.marriagerecoverycenter.com and yourrelationshipdoctor.com. You’ll find videos and podcasts on saving a troubled marriage, codependency and affair-proofing your marriage.