The easy way, that is. You might wonder what five days of hiking at 8,000 feet of altitude might have to do with our relationship blogs. In this case, they have everything to do with them. Gayle and I just completed our 9th trip to Yellowstone National Park. The beauty of the park is always enhanced by getting up close and personal so we always plan to hike a lot to get out into nature and away from crowds.
For past trips I have been in much better physical shape. As you may know, I'm am carrying some extra weight and have knee and ankle problems. We have been busier that ever and somehow I let my pre-Yellowstone conditioning slide. During one of my surfing trips on the internet I came upon an advertisement for small cans of oxygen. I talked with the people who sold them and was assured they would help when I was gasping for breath as I climbed Mount Washburn.
Well, I bought eight of the cans. When I got them I was surprised to see they were larger than large hairspray cans. I figured they would work, though. They were the easy way out for me to survive the hikes in my poor condition. They did work. I had two of them in my Camelbak and when I got winded I took off my pack, took out the can with the inhaler mask on it, and fiddled with it till it worked. And I felt better. I was still tired, but not out of breath. Then I put the large can back in my Camelbak, put the pack back on, and continued on the hike.
It really wasn't the easy way. It was embarassing to be seen huffing out of a can on the mountain so I had to make sure I did it when no one could see. It was also a lot of trouble removing and putting my pack back on. In short, it wasn't worth it. I still made the hikes but I learned a lesson about not putting off my conditioning.
So, what's the relevance here? It's simple. How many times in your relationships have you taken the easy way out? How many times did that get you the result you wanted? Not many, I'll wager. Relationships are never easy. They are never simple. There isn't a small can of oxygen that will easily breathe life into a troubled relationship. As I tell my couple clients, "you have to do the work!" Still, we look for the easy way so much of the time.
Here are some examples of the "easy ways" we use to try to make our relationships better, or even make them work. How easy do they sound to you? Please comment and add the "easy ways" you have seen or used in relationships.
- "I'll do anything you want." (If you have been to any our our workshops you might remember how that one looked when we acted it out.)
- "I'll just wait until things are a lot calmer. Then I can tell him/her how I feel."
- "Oh, it wasn't that bad (what he/she said or did.) "I'll just let it pass for now. I'm sure he/she didn't mean it."
- "Well I went to a therapist with him/her. As soon as he/she finishes the work we'll be ok."
- "That really pissed me off but I'll wait until I find a more appropriate time to bring it up again."
- "That hurt so badly but I just can't say anything about how I feel or it will cause more problems."
- "As soon as the kids are grown I'm outta here!"