Relationship Struggle

If you’ve been reading my blog the past year or so, you are familiar with my recurring cycle with relationships.

  1. Pursue relationships – initiate gatherings and events.
  2. Grow weary of being the initiator for the majority of gatherings.
  3. Feel resentful and frustrated and pull back/stop initiating.
  4. Become restless at the lack of time spent with others.
  5. Pursue relationships again.
I am once again feeling like I’m in a funk. I really enjoy spending time with people and that is usually the reason I continue to initiate. Today I feel like I received a little more insight into my feelings behind part of this cycle, particularly numbers 2 and 3. 
I realized that I pull back because I question whether the relationship are as important to the other person as it is to me. I pursue the relationship with regular meetings and some texting/email because I value the relationship and want it to grow. Eventually something inside of me wonders if I am more invested than the other person because there’s not a lot of “Hey, how are you doing? When can we do something together?” coming back at me. I wonder if the relationship is important to them. Then I wonder if I am important to the person. 
I think that’s the underlying emotion/feeling/question. Am I important? I know I cannot be the only person who wonders this. Has this uncertainty caused you to pull back from relationships? Have you found yourself in this relationship cycle?
I have recently found myself pulling away from one of my closest relationships.Trying to figure out why has led me to this point. I want to continue to meet, encourage and speak truth to one another. But I feel like I’m the one in charge of making it happen and my heart whispers, “Is this relationship more important to me than them?” It seems like an unfair question to ask because I know the person is very busy and overwhelmed and perhaps needs me to be more supportive right now to get back to a place where they can begin to reciprocate again. Perhaps it’s the enemy trying to remove some of our supports during a difficult season. I know feelings are unreliable but this knowledge doesn’t quell them. I really just want us to be more engaged with one another but at the same time I don’t want to feel resentful or bitter. Help! What do I do?
I don’t usually get a lot of engagement here on the blog, but I could really use some wisdom and encouragement. Please, if you have some, share it. Thanks!
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6 thoughts on “Relationship Struggle

  1. Megan, I so get what you are saying here. I guess I would say that I've come to see relationships a little differently than I did years ago. What I think now is that there isn't the perfect reciprocal relationship out there. What there is, is the opportunity, when I meet someone I want to get to know better, to give as much as I feel lead to give of myself and then not expect back anything other than what they feel lead to give. To do that I've had to come to a point of trust with God that when I need to be poured into, He'll send someone my way to do that. My husband has reminded me more than once that God doesn't always pour back into me from the person I've poured into, but He does use someone in my life to pour back into me. So I don't see it as a 50%/50% proposition, moreso a, going with my heart to give where I feel lead and then trusting Him to fill me back up and supply my needs from whomever He chooses.

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  2. I've had a similar change in my approach to relationships as Debbie. By nature I am prone to analyze and over analyze things, including relationships. Like Debbie, I came to the conclusion a few years ago that I was viewing relationships in the wrong way. You might like a book I'm reading by Paul David Tripp called Relationships: A Mess Worth Making.

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  3. I know I already posted, but this topic has really lodged itself in my brain. Another thing I have noticed in my own relationships is that they only go as far as the other person wants and this is not in my control. Even in Jesus' earthly relationships you see that those who pursued him back were the ones he was closest to. There is a freedom in just loving people without worrying about how they will respond. That is not to mean it won't make you sad or that you won't experience loneliness, but these emotions can be a wonderful thing when they prompt you to draw closer to God. I like to read through Psalms when I'm feeling down, discouraged or anxious. Many of the Psalms remind me that I'm not alone in this experience and demonstrate how the writer (usually David) turns to God in those moments and even counsels himself.

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  4. You're right in that there is a real vulnerability in relationships (lack of control). Definitely not easy. I do, however, feel like in our culture there is a lot more isolation (partially due to social media?). People like getting together and hanging out in person but not very many people make the effort to make a gathering happen. They may really enjoy the relationship but not think about being an initiator, which is the part I have trouble understanding and sometimes interpret as a lack of interest in the relationship.

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