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Some relationships just seem to click, while others feel like we’re forcing things to happen. But all relationships require work and true love is not dependent on the absence of conflict and struggle.

To be sure, love requires us to faithfully do the work needed to move our relationships toward their highest good. All the same, we must wisely discern if we’re doing the necessary work of relationships or indeed trying to put a square peg into a round hole.

We often find ourselves at a crossroads once we come down from the new relationship high. We know the honeymoon doesn’t last forever, but it can still take a moment to adjust to the basic realities of the relationship.

And it’s here our interpretations are most challenged and we stand in need of wisdom.

As challenging differences emerge, it would be easy to assume we’re just not meant to be. But more often than not this conflict is best interpreted as an invitation to take the relationship deeper.

Nothing is wrong when we have to work through our differences. In fact, it’s a mark of mature love and evidence that things are going in the right direction.

However, there are times in which fundamental differences are exposed. We realize we’re not equally yoked.

Of course, even here, we must consider if we’re simply at different stages of growth. Or, if in fact, we’re heading in different directions.

We bring a lot of unnecessary suffering into our life when we partner with someone going in a different direction.

Our first step here is doing our own inner work to know who we are and the direction we’re going. We can’t determine if we’re going in the same direction if we don’t know ourselves.

In the end, relational challenges don’t mean a lack of love.

While we shouldn’t force relationships, true love is willing to work through relational difficulties into an ever-maturing and deepening love.

Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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