How do you cope as a leader when relationships are hard? How can you respond when you’ve been hurt, or when you disagree with those in leadership? What do you do when you are struggling in your marriage?

leadership, relationships, hard relationships

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We’ve been going through a series about Healthy Relationships, and the goal has been to help support you in your leadership to be able to develop and nurture healthy interactions with those around you.

But we also know this: sometimes, relationships are just plain hard. There isn’t always an easy answer, and sometimes you can be doing all the right things, but nothing seems to change.

In this episode, we address three of those situations and offer some encouragement for you if you are dealing with a hard relationship. We discuss what to do when you’ve been been hurt, when marriage is hard, and when you disagree with leadership over you.

When you’ve been hurt:

  • Determine whether you need to address the person who hurt you. Refer to Episode 16 with Carrie Sharpe. She gave us 6 tips on how to deal with conflict.
  • Give yourself time to process & heal.
  • Writing. I’ve found writing to be extremely helpful during times when I’ve been hurt. Check out Episode 21 where Gayla Grace shared about how she’s used writing in her life.
  • Self-Awareness. We learned a lot about self-awareness in Episode 17 with Beth McCord. One of the ways self-awareness can be helpful when you are in a situation where you’ve been hurt is to reflect on how you react to that hurt.
  • Turn to God through prayer and scripture.
“There is no human relationship that can fully fulfill you.” - Esther LittlefieldClick To Tweet

Psalm 62:3-8:

“How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood, They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

When marriage is hard:

We talked about marriage with our husbands in Episode 18, and we shared some of our stories and experiences as couples who lead together. But we didn’t share a lot about what to do when marriage is hard. Here’s a few brief ideas for you when marriage is hard.

  • Take care of yourself.
    • Physical wellness – Keep your body healthy, especially when you are under stress. This might include exercising, eating healthy, and morning and nightly routines.
    • Spiritual health – Stay connected to God through your spiritual disciplines and stay involved in a church community and small group, if possible.
    • Mental & emotional health – Find things that you enjoy and fill you up. Also, seek additional professional support such as therapy if needed.
    • Relational wellness – Maintain relationships outside of your marriage such as friendships and extended family. Find other people who will encourage you and support your marriage. It’s important to know who is safe and have appropriate boundaries when it comes to sharing about your marriage challenges. This could be a friend, accountability partner, or mentor.
  • Control your attitude and your mindset. This is super hard, but it can be done with God’s help.
    • Look for little ways to appreciate your spouse.
    • Our thoughts precede our emotions and our actions, so can you reframe your thoughts to find something positive to think about your husband?
    • If you can’t find something positive currently, think back to a time when your relationship was healthy and remember something positive from that experience.

Other blog posts about marriage that might be helpful for you:

When you disagree with the leadership over you:

  • Understand that you may not have the whole picture. This means that your leaders may have information that you do not have. Trust them enough to handle the information and make decisions based off of that.   
  • Speak love over your leaders. Make sure that you don’t tear down your team members or your leaders.
“It’s important that we hold other leaders up and encourage them, even when we disagree with them.” - Esther LittlefieldClick To Tweet

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Inevitably as leaders, we will all face situations when our relationships are especially challenging. As we wrap up the series, we hope that this conversation has given you some insight on how to deal with things when you’ve been hurt, when marriage is difficult, and when you disagree with the leadership over you.

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leadership, relationships, hard relationships