Relationship Stress

Image By Megan Guthmiller General, Relationships, Work Life Balance No Comments on Relationship Stress

What’s the most meaningful relationship in your life?

There is you and you. This is a relationship. The most important relationship. – Nayyirah Waheed, Salt

I think I have made some amazing connections and relationships in my 32 years. I’ll share some personal experiences with family, social, and romantic relationships since they play such a massive role in our stress, health and wellness. This is why I’ve devoted an entire chapter to it in my Wellness Uncovered program. I took 5 minutes to free write my answers to the following questions from my Who Are You? Discovery Book. Give it a try and let me know what you discover!

What is my role in my family?
I’m the favorite 😜 No one has ever confirmed that, but I’m sure I’m sure I’m right! I am also the doctor, coach, cheerleader, and tough lover. My family knows I’ll be honest with them but they can also expect it comes with support. I’m the planner to my family. “Meg’s got the ideas, activities, games, and conversations ready to rock” (so much pressure). I’m the traveler in my family. Sometimes I think the expectation is that I should enjoy traveling to see everyone in the family within in a week or two. I do love to travel AND I do love to see my family BUTfeeling expected to please and accommodate all the people in my family can be exhausting(In just my immediate family I have 2 sets of parents, five siblings, three sibling in-laws, and handfuls of amazing nieces and nephews).

Learning the balance of compromise, honesty, and sacrifice when it comes to family is an area I get lost and found in many times. If you don’t speak honestly and communicate what you enjoy and want then you can’t blame others for holding an expectation you’ve always given into. Telling your family no can be one of the hardest and most stressful things.

You know when Grandma or Grandpa get old, brutally honest, and stubborn? They’ve hit their limit on people pleasing. You have to appreciate and respect that there’s no question on how they’re feeling or doubt that they’re giving a forced interaction. That’s a practice that needs to be adopted earlier in life I think. If you constantly feel your boundaries being pushed by family – what’s a conversation you probably need to have? How is the stress of it manifesting in your health?

What’s your love language?
Have you done The Five Languages of Love quiz? I’ll link it below for you. I remember my brother explaining it to me when he was newly engaged. I was so impressed that he was taking his relationship to this level of communication and effort.  I’m so proud of the father and husband he’s grown into and glad he opened the conversation for all of us to learn more about our love languages.

I’ve found myself in a long distance relationship more often than not. Part of that was a story that I held, “Being in a relationship means you have to sacrifice so much of your life”. A long distance relationship felt safe for me. It provided all the flexibility in daily life and intimate conversations and getaways when I wanted it. Getting in touch with my love languages helped me realize the dating story I had was not my own. Physical touch, words of affirmation, and quality time are my top three languages. Long-distance relationships have been big language barriers when I look back.

What kind of friend are you?
I am blessed with some incredible friends all over this world. I’ve been told I’m a great listener and that makes me feel like a good friend. Sometimes I think I fall short as a friend though – especially to my USA friends. I have found myself overpromising my time on return trips home and struggling with the balance to please them, my family, and myself. Reconnecting with a friend on a return trip two years ago taught me a lot about the kind of friend I am, and the kind of friend I want to be. We had lost touch for a few years in the midst of a bad relationship with significant others. Everything cleared in the presence of truth. It always does. I appreciate the blunt and honest friend that I am, and the ones that give the honesty back to me. I still have close relationships with friends from elementary and middle school. I love that. I have to give a big shout out to my friend Shannon. We’ve been inseparable (even countries apart) since a 7th grade bus ride where a lady on a scooter gave us uncontrollable giggles. She has been my rock through every phase of life. I love you Shay Shay! 

How do you handle breakups? 
My first experience with a breakup started at a middle school dance. I danced with the new kid in school. Afterwards he called my house and asked me if I wanted to go out with him. I didn’t really understand how this was suppose to work but my sister had a boyfriend and my friends were so excited about it, I didn’t want to disappoint them. The relationship lasted about 2 weeks until I called it quits over instant messenger. I ended up dating him about 2 years later in High School. This was the only time my mother enforced a curfew on me as she wasn’t a fan of this boy. Eventually I got tired of the curfew and new rules so I went with a short and sweet ending over the phone. I remember how hard it was to get those words out but I also remember feeling relief.

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” – Seneca

I’ve been dumped via text message, cheated on, and ghosted. In my adult life I’ve always opted for the hard conversation when ending it with someone, except for one – a story I could tell another time. This last year I was dumped via text message for the second time in my adult life. Believe me, I wanted to go bat sh*t crazy but instead I thanked him for the time and role he played in my life. Giving any other reaction would have validated him leaving in such a cowardly way. This was the best way for me to create what I wanted out of the situation – I wanted to stay open to the idea of love and a relationship. Going the gratitude route gave me some solid perspective on communication and romantic relationship areas to improve.

Live and learn,

Meg

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