Episode 91 What you have control over in a relationship
This. Is Bonnie Lyman, and you're listening to the podcast, Loving on Purpose. This is episode 91, What You Have Control Over in a Relationship. Welcome to the podcast, Loving on Purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children, if you are struggling to connect with them, or having Specific challenges, you're in the right place.
How are you? I'm so glad to be joining you again this week for another episode. I'm grateful for any of you that are listening for the first time, and I'm grateful to you that have given me feedback or have shared it with other people that you think it might help, or I'm just grateful that you're back listening.
I really enjoy doing these things. I, um, sent out an email the other day. If you're not on my email list, you, you might want to get. On that, I feel like I send out some fun and inspiring emails, and I asked in one email, I guess it was on, maybe it was Monday, about what they were struggling with. Most and I have replied to many of those.
I will reply to everyone that contacted me. I will either give them a past episode to listen to that I feel that can help them, or I will address that. Either in an email or a podcast episode, depending on how much of the topic, the issue they were struggling with, um, can be discussed, but it's turning to fall and I appreciate just being able to live where I live and I am grateful for it.
The, the beauty of the earth and the miracle of what these leaves do every year. They could just go brown and die off. Some of them do, but usually they'll change some beautiful color and then fall to rest. on the ground. I want to talk to you today about what we do have control over with in a relationship, and of course I'm always thinking of our relationships with our adult children, but really it applies to any relationship, and Uh, the intensity of the pain seems to be relative to how personal the relationship is.
How another person treats me, say the young man that just carries my groceries out to the car, if he was having a bad day and was not especially kind to me. I... I would have compassion for him, but it, it wouldn't affect me as much as if it were a family member being unkind to me. But there are some things that we do have control over in our lives.
Now, just to refresh your memory, if you remember the circumstances in our lives, that is the weather, how Other people treat us, our past, what's going on in the world, just what is happening in our life. We have no control over, and we can control our thoughts about those happenings, and In turn, that means we have control over our feelings and our actions.
Now, when it comes to other people, we don't have control over their thoughts. So, that is why we say we can't make another person happy, or we can't make another person angry. You could have... Everybody or a million people agree with you that you were a kind person to them, and for some reason they were feeling offended, you, you could have a million people agree with you that you were kind and that they were acting offended, but that really doesn't matter, that doesn't solve anything, and so, and so, and so, So, we, we be kind people.
We do that because that's the kind of person we want to be, and being kind always feels so much better than being unkind, so why not be kind? But because we're human, we're not perfect at that, and we don't always show up as our best, and that's okay. And we just move on, and we, we just try to get better at what we do.
When it comes to a relationship, we can't make a relationship better. We can't make people change and act toward us. in a different way. It doesn't matter how much kindness we extend to them. It is their choice according to the thoughts they are thinking as to whether they accept that kindness, as to whether that kindness makes them feel good, or They may come up with some other reason of they're, they're just sabotaging the situation, plaguing the situation, trying to make me like them by being kind to me.
So we just don't have any control over Anybody's thoughts, feelings, or actions. I do believe there is some degree of influence we can have by being kind and loving to others. So, this is what we have control over in a situation where we have a relationship. With, let's say, an adult child, but remember it's in any relationship with anybody.
We have control over, first of all, whether we unconditionally love them, that we love them just the way they are. And the best example I can give of this is About my dog. We got this little Cavapoo Cuddly puppy. She was about four months old and she's like ten months now So we've had her for just about six months and we love that dog I mean I can tell the feeling I just want to squeeze her.
I love her So much. And just right before I got on this recording, I was meeting with a woman from the carpet store. I had left a pen out that kind of had, I don't know what kind of a pen, it wasn't a fountain pen, but it had a barrel of ink in it. And she got that and bit into it, and there was this blue ink all over my carpet that I, I couldn't, Get out.
And so it's going to cost some money that I wasn't planning on spending to get it replaced. But I still, I just love that dog. I can't stop loving her. And so. We have to find a way to unconditionally love our children. We can love our children without loving their action. When we unconditionally love someone, one thing that keeps us from doing that and receiving the benefit of doing that is that we are afraid, we are condoning.
the behavior that we do not like and perhaps needs to be changed. Just like with my little doggy, she needs to not do that.
There wasn't two thoughts given to getting rid of this dog. Now I realize you're not going to get rid of a child, but in the same way, I just love that dog and want to be around that dog. And I want to accept it was part of being a puppy. And in this case, it, it was my fault. How is she supposed to know she's not supposed to get into that pen?
So it's choosing love. And I think a way that we can unconditionally love someone. Is to always be asking ourselves in tough situations, what would love to, and I think it was episode two of my podcast. I have a whole, um, podcast on unconditional love. Another way we have control in a relationship is we can express our feelings.
We can express what's bothering us. We can express what... we feel needs to change in our relationship to improve it. And one way to do this is by giving I messages. I, like with a capital I. And an I message is when you express whatever is happening, how it makes you feel. I I feel attacked when you keep accusing me of doing something I did 20 years ago and I've apologized, I've recognized it was wrong.
I feel attacked. They can't argue with your feelings.
You don't have the sense of control and when I talk about this control, I'm not trying to control the relationship for it to change because that that is kind of a two way street a Two person deal and somebody's got to take the first step. So let's Let's be the bigger person here and take the first step, but you don't have to admit to something you didn't do, but you, you can express your feelings as long as you do it in a kind way.
The next thing where you have control in a relationship is being honest. We deal with the facts when we have a difficult conversation. We don't deal with opinions. We deal with being honest. And so, that... That kind of goes back to, I, I have told you several times that I was sorry that I made that mistake and I don't know what else I can do because I cannot go back in the past and change my actions.
Again, that is a kind, loving, responsible, honest thing to do. and what they do with it, we have no control over it. If they accept it or reject it, it's on them.
The other thing that we do have control over, which is bigger than I think a lot of you may be thinking, is to be willing to feel. negative emotions of being willing to feel hurt by the things your children say. And remember, what they say is a circumstance that triggers you to have thoughts that cause you to feel hurt.
And so we just feel. The hurt for a while, if we try to escape it through eating or drugs or alcohol, or like I mentioned before, even doing something good, calling a friend, reading your scriptures, cleaning the house, if we resist, if we run away from that negative feeling, instead of just kind of feeling hurt for a while, It will intensify.
It de intensifies when we just sit with it and just feel the pain. And maybe that means having a good cry. I, I bet if you reflect on when you've had a good cry over something that you have felt better. So part, part of life. Feelings, none of them are bad. Feelings are for feeling. So we have to be willing to feel some negative emotions in our life.
Another way is, um, learning. to fulfill your own needs, maybe in a different way.
Your children may not want any help. Your children may not want any comfort. Your children You may not want to come to your house for dinner, and you are just longing for this association and these kind of activities. And so there are other people out there that would love to share those things with you.
I know it's easy to say, but I want to do this with my children, with my family. This is not how families are supposed to act, but again, we don't have control over them. We don't have control over their wants, their desires. We don't have control over what thoughts are causing them to feel, um, Offended or whatever we think they are thinking or feeling as to why they don't want to be around you.
We need to learn to fulfill our needs in other ways. I've often talked about Getting a life. We need to have a life of something that is exciting and fulfilling for us to do that is outside of our Children. And then remember, we always want to go back to that unconditionally loving them.
Our children are living at a different time and different age, and they hurt from things we never believed would cause them to feel hurt. And we can't spend our energy of trying to figure out what they are. We just need to be as supportive and loving to them as we can. So the next thing to have a better relationship, to have control, to feel like you have control in a relationship with your adult children, is to find people that need more comfort than you need.
There's not a better remedy of when you're heartbroken. To go and do something for somebody else and lift somebody else up that is willing to accept your help, your presence, your association. We just don't have control over other people and whether They're going to like us or not. This idea of family is supposed to love family.
That's kind of a sentence that may come out in some brochure on selling people, on getting married and raising families. Families are the most wonderful unit on the earth. God organized us. In families, so that we would have certain individuals that were under our watchful care to love no matter what, and the more we can practice focusing on what's going right, what we love about them.
Even if it was something in the past of how they acted when they were younger, it, it is going to bring us some relief from the pain that we experience from not having a relationship like we thought we were going to have with our adult kids. It's not easy, and it's not always the most fun experience you thought you would be having at this time in your life, but it is worth all the work.
Unconditionally loving somebody else. Loving them just the way they are, just because they are your child and you got the experience of being able to raise them is worth every thing that we may go through that is not so desirable. Learn as to what. You can think to have at least compassion toward them, and hopefully that compassion will turn into love.
You have control over hoping things will get better. You have control over having the thought Things never stay the same. You have control over believing that it's possible one day you will have a good relationship. All you have to do is be the one who's willing to love, even when it's difficult. I hope you have a great week.
And I can't look forward to talking to you again next week.
If you liked this, this episode, and you felt it was of benefit to you, I ask you to share it with somebody that perhaps it could also benefit. But if you're still feeling kind of stuck, in that you don't know how to apply what was talked about, or... Where to start on, on changing your thoughts, on changing your perspective, on bettering your relationship, get on a call with me and we can have a discussion and I can tell you how to apply it and where we start and then you get to decide.
What you want to do about this relationship that maybe you're struggling with with your adult children There is no reason to go on the rest of our lives struggling with our relationships with our adult children Let's assume the best Let's assume that we all love each other and we're just trying to figure out How to maintain our own boundaries and respect another one's, but I can help you with everything.
So just go to bonnielyman. com and book a call. I can't wait to hear from you.