I skirted the issue for months, avoiding any hint of upheaval though I felt it to my bones. The closer I navigated towards the issue the bigger the signs were that there was something wrong. It was as though the, "I'd turn back if I were you," sign greeting Dorothy's friends in the forest as they sought the Emerald City was showing up on every path I set my feet on.
I had a relationship in trouble.
The more stories I hear the more I'm convinced we are all dealing with at least one relationship in our lives which is in conflict and the key to fixing it lies on both sides. One alone cannot fix the damage. There are many reasons for relationships to end, some more heartbreaking than others, and some are best to let die while others should be fought for.
All relationships require polishing in order for them to shine, pruning in order for them to grow. My husband and I didn't get to twenty-five years of marriage without effort. There were dents and scratches along the way, all in need of repair. Some were easier to fix than others but we didn't just put a bandage on it and hope for the best. We spent days, weeks, and even months talking, praying, and getting to the root of our problems. In working through the hard times we found our roots grew stronger and by holding on to each other in the storms we were better able to stand. We fought and won. We know we are still fighting and will continue to do so as life turns and new challenges arise. The growing and pruning is part of our commitment to each other.
On the opposing side I've had friendships die that I didn't want to fight for. The time spent trying to keep them alive was exhausting, both mentally and physically. I realized nothing I said would keep them from falling down. They weren't as deeply rooted as I thought and my words fell into an abyss where they were met with gossip, sarcasm, and jealously labeled as guilt. True friendship will never demand the unreasonable or pit one friend against another.
Some broken things are okay to let go of. The sooner we learn this lesson the better. Marriage is always worth fighting for*. If you are facing a trial in your marriage please know you are not alone and it is quite normal for issues to arise, you are two separate beings who were raised with two different backgrounds. There is help available, all you need to do is ask.
I'd like to say my friendship was fixed but it was not. I simply grew tired of trying to fix it on my end while being met with opposition. I gave up and walked away knowing my hands were clean. Sometimes it's easier to love without being connected. Sometimes the broken can't be avoided and sometimes it's okay to let it go.
*If you are in an abusive relationship please know this is not normal and God does not condone it. Please seek help immediately.