Sometimes waiting on things to change is overrated. You are well aware of the times when people tell you to “wait and be patient and stop trying to fix everything right away.” Although that can be true, I have a different view that may challenge you.
I do believe that waiting and being patient are critically important in a relationship. There are times when we need to shut our mouths and not push things. There are times when we have to wait on God to move on our partner’s heart. There are times when we can’t force things to get better or to change. However, there are times when we need to stop waiting and address the situation or issue. We have to be able to discern the difference between needing to wait and needing to take action.
I told someone yesterday that waiting for things to get better without expressing your needs and wants is like putting a bandage on an infected wound. The bandage won’t make the infection go away and in time, it will get worse because you didn’t take care of the “bacteria” in it. The same thing can be true in relationships. If we wait to deal with things and think that time will heal all, it can actually make things worse. It’s like there is an infection in the relationship and no one is “cleaning it out” by talking about the issue or dealing with it.
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a married woman who has struggled with sexual intimacy her whole marriage (25 years). She was telling me that she can’t figure out why she has so much difficulty with this area. She has sex with her husband on a consistent basis but she doesn’t like it. I was surprised when she said to me, “I would never talk to my husband about this issue because I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” With a surprised look on my face, I said, “And you don’t think he is aware of this problem?” You see, she thought time would take care of the issue but 25 years later it is worse not better and I am convinced that her husband is well aware of her difficulties. My encouragement to her was to stop waiting for things to change and address the situation with her husband and begin to work on it.
You see, waiting isn’t always the answer. Deciding to take action can be exactly what is needed. Deal with issues and problems when they begin to surface can make solving them easier. Sometimes waiting for them to get better can actually make the problems bigger. Three questions you can ask yourself when you wonder whether you need to wait or take action are: 1. Can I express my needs and wants regarding this problem/issue in a way that doesn’t put my partner on the defense? 2. Do I feel that my spouse is aware of the problem too? 3. If I don’t deal with this now, what is the potential of it getting worse? If you answer “yes” to the first two questions and “it can get worse” to the last question, then it is time to take action and not to continue to wait to deal with what is happening.
Is there something in your life that you need to “take action” on or is it still appropriate to “wait?” Agree today that you will not continue to put bandages on infected wounds.