In America, it is Tax Day! Not the happiest day of the year, right? If you received a handsome refund, you may be happy you have a bit more extra in your pocket. If you owe more in taxes, you may be twitching and grumbling.
At any rate, this day comes every year whether we like it or not. So, If you are an American and have not yet filed your taxes for the year, get them done today or file an extension quickly! ~smile~
Many of us cringe at the thought of paying taxes. Taxes on our food, taxes on our fun, taxes on our income, and (in some places) taxes on possessions we already own. We want to keep the money we earn; but, little by little, we see it sucked away. A less popular perspective, however, is what we gain from paying taxes. For those tax dollars which are spent wisely, taxes actually pay for road construction, public education, our national defense, and various conveniences we do enjoy.
Paying taxes hurts because it takes something from us we’ve worked for, but without them, there is so much we could not enjoy as a nation. Paying taxes is not pleasant, but we can find something good about even this if we allow ourselves to look. The same is true in relationships. We all encounter taxing moments. You know, those experiences that drain your relationship and leave you wondering how to move forward.
Some examples of taxing situations include:
- Crazy Cycle Fights – In Dr. Emerson Eggerich’s book, Love and Respect, he talks about a crazy cycle couples jump into when they’re fighting. When he is unloving, she reacts to her man disrespectfully. When she is disrespectful, he reacts unlovingly. And around and around and around we go. After a while, these exhausting and unproductive fights leave couples feeling defeated.
- Too Many Commitments – How many of you out there are over-extended? You have something to do every night of the week – work, school, church responsibilities, and social engagements? You may love your lifestyle; yet, after a while, your body and your relationship suffer from running so hard. Relationships require time and attention. Those commitments you enjoy may be taxing your emotional connection.
- Plenty of Fun, Not Enough Communication – Maybe you and your honey are always on the go, ready for something new and exciting. Each day you have a party, an outdoor activity, or a dinner to attend. There’s never a dull moment, but there’s also never a free moment for connection. You’re having a blast, but all the fun is keeping you from communicating about life’s important details and the deeper parts of your hearts.
- Plenty of Communication, Not Enough Fun – Or, maybe the opposite is true. Maybe you and your sweetheart spend hours talking through problems, testing new communication techniques, and searching for better ways to connect; but, you never let your hair down. Eric and I have had arguments that would have been cured in an instant by just going out and having some fun together. We obviously applaud couples for taking steps to improve their relationships, but sometimes a good laugh and relaxing merriment is the answer!
- Pushing Forward Too Quickly –When relationships are new and exciting, it is tempting to hit the gas and try to move from “I like you a lot” to “Let’s please get married and never be apart” in record time. But, rushing a good relationship can easily destroy Striking a watched pot is not going to make the water boil any faster, but it may cause scalding water to splash you in the face. A watched flower only opens when it is ready. If we pluck it from the stem too early, it will die before realizing its beautiful potential. Your desire to see your relationship grow may actually be taxing it too heavily. Friendships progressing towards courtship should not lag indefinitely, but rushing them can cause them to crumble. Enjoy each phase. Balance how much time you spend having fun and communicating. Let it blossom naturally.
Do any of these scenarios hit home for you? What draining factors are present in your relationship? How can they be tweaked, and how can you find something positive in them?
What experiences are taxing your relationship?