How do you cope as a leader when relationships are hard? How can you respond when you’ve been hurt, or when you disagree with those in leadership? What do you do when you are struggling in your marriage?
We’ve been going through a series about Healthy Relationships, and the goal has been to help support you in your leadership to be able to develop and nurture healthy interactions with those around you.
But we also know this: sometimes, relationships are just plain hard. There isn’t always an easy answer, and sometimes you can be doing all the right things, but nothing seems to change.
In this episode, we address 3 of those situations and offer some encouragement for you if you are dealing with a hard relationship. We’re going to discuss what to do when you’ve been hurt, when marriage is hard, and when you disagree with leadership over you.
When you’ve been hurt:
- Determine whether you need to address the person who hurt you. Refer to Episode 16 with Carrie Sharpe. She gave us 6 tips on how to deal with conflict.
- Give yourself time to process & heal.
- Writing. I’ve found writing to be extremely helpful during times when I’ve been hurt. Check out Episode 21 where Gayla Grace shared about how she’s used writing in her life.
- Self-Awareness. We learned a lot about self-awareness in Episode 17 with Beth McCord. One of the ways self-awareness can be helpful when you are in a situation where you’ve been hurt is to reflect on how you react to that hurt.
- Turn to God through prayer and scripture.
When marriage is hard:
We talked about marriage with our husbands in Episode 18, and we shared some of our stories and experiences as couples who lead together. But we didn’t share a lot about what to do when marriage is hard. Here’s a few brief ideas for you when marriage is hard.
- Take care of yourself.
- Physical wellness - Keep your body healthy, especially when you are under stress. This might include exercising, eating healthy, and morning and nightly routines.
- Spiritual health - Stay connected to God through your spiritual disciplines and stay involved in a church community and small group, if possible.
- Mental & emotional health - Find things that you enjoy and fill you up. Also, seek additional professional support such as therapy if needed.
- Relational wellness - Maintain relationships outside of your marriage such as friendships and extended family. Find other people who will encourage you and support your marriage. It’s important to know who is safe and have appropriate boundaries when it comes to sharing about your marriage challenges. This could be a friend, accountability partner, or mentor.
- Control your attitude and your mindset. This is super hard, but it can be done with God’s help.
- Look for little ways to appreciate your spouse.
- Our thoughts precede our emotions and our actions, so can you reframe your thoughts to find something positive to think about your husband?
- If you can’t find something positive currently, think back to a time when your relationship was healthy and remember something positive from that experience.
When you disagree with the leadership over you:
- Understand that you may not have the whole picture. This means that your leaders may have information that you do not have. Trust them enough to handle the information and make decisions based off of that.
- Speak love over your leaders. Make sure that you don’t tear down your team members or your leaders.
Key Quotes from episode:
- “There is no human relationship that can fully fulfill you.”
- “It’s important that we hold other leaders up and encourage them, even when we disagree with them.”
For the full show notes for this episode, visit estherlittlefield.com/episode22.
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