Relationships of all kinds can be tricky. But a relationship is between two people. Any kind of relationship is between just two people. Yes, you can have a group of friends. And yes, you can live in a family with more than two people. But each relationship is one person plus one person, sharing their hearts, giving and taking, when working well, in equal parts.
My job is to take care of my relationships with the people in my life.
It is not my job to help scootch along anyone else’s relationship with someone other than me.
If someone wants a relationship with my children, I will not be the setter-upper. I will not be the driver, if that person can’t drive. I will not be the middle man.
I get questions all the time from readers wanting to know things like, “How can I get my ex-husband and adult son to communicate?”
Umm, you can’t. They’re both grown-ups. You can’t get them to do anything they don’t want to do.
And secondly, you shouldn’t. For the same reason: they’re both grown-ups. And if they want a relationship, they should both be initiating and trying to build or rebuild their relationship. (But in my opinion, one person can only do so much; if the other never responds to the initiating, that is not the fault of the initiator.)
Relationship triangles are a bit like being too attached. When we detach from someone – with love, which is key – we allow them to experience their own victories and live with their own defeats and consequences. Just like when we allow two people to have the relationship they’re going to have – without interfering – they can […]