The Work in Relationships


“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime” goes one of my favorite quotes. Here’s another: “Friendship is optional; people are allowed to opt in or out of a friendship, and so are you.” Actually, that second one is my personal (and original) mantra.

 What about the lifetime friend who somehow turns into a seasonal friend? What about the lifetime marriage that turns into a less-than-a-lifetime marriage? What do you do when your best friend inexplicably turns cold or your boss from hell also happens to be the guy who signs the very paycheck that puts food on your table? When your children disappoint you or your parents drive you up the freaking wall for the umpteenth time? What do you do? What are you willing to do?

In my opinion, few things can hurt as the realization that a relationship with someone you love and/or respect has reached an end. It’s harder to deal with it when it happens for no reason at all; not one that you can see anyway. The first response is to take a step back and depending on the relationship, your next instinct may be to walk away, or in some cases, RUN away! Pride may also kick into high gear at this point.

We’re often told that marriage is hard work and not for the faint of heart. What we’re not told is that in actual fact, ALL relationships that matter to us are our business. It’s our job to nurture them, protect them, fix them if broken, and improve them. Here’s a thought: if a relationship is not working, the first place we should evaluate is our role in its failure before looking at the other party. Depending on the kind of relationship it is – friendship, marriage, work related etc – we may also need to put in extra work because it’s not possible for it to be a 50/50 split in its maintenance at all times. A pregnant friend may not be able to put in as much work or effort in your relationship for a season. That means you’d have to pick up the slack. A grieving friend may not have the effort to meet you half way. You’d need to meet them more than half way. Your over-protective parents may need to be loved exactly as they are, since you’ll never have other parents. In that case, you would need to do the work necessary to both keep your sanity and respect/honor them.

My challenge this week is to assess my failing or failed relationships, make the decisions that need to be made, see what, if any, work I need to do to rejuvenate them and then move forward, with or without them. This means that I’ll have to be willing to see some uncomfortable truths about myself e.g the energy and work invested in them or the lack thereof. I’d like to think I’m a good friend/partner/employee but alas, maybe not always and maybe not to everyone.

Join me in assessing your own relationships. If your marriage is on the rocks or you can’t stand your boss then make an honest assessment of the situation. What kind of work are you willing to put into your particular relationships? Remember that sometimes, it’s better to be happy than to be right so you may need to compromise. You may need to forgive or ask for forgiveness, even when you feel they should apologize first. You may end up having an uncomfortable conversation or two – or God forbid, more – with certain people and some of those relationships may be beyond salvaging and you may need to let them go.

Be advised that sometimes, talking to other friends about your current situation may not be helpful, so take every piece of advice with a grain of salt. Of course, sometimes it’s easier to tell a stranger who cares so feel free to share with me and ask questions; you know I’ll definitely reply.

I challenge all of us to roll up our sleeves and do the work necessary to maintain our relationships. In case you haven’t heard, relationships make life worth living; they make the world go round…or maybe that was love? Either way, here’s to stronger, better, healthier relationships!

Three cheers!


About miamor2111

I decided to stop watching life pass by and join in instead. This year is all about saying "yes" to life, opportunity and ideas thus this blog. Like many people, I've wanted to start a blog, and like many people I chickened out. In fact, this is my second serious attempt. Welcome aboard. I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me. Feel free to leave all sorts of comments, any time and I promise to do my best to reply. Feel free to compliment, complain, criticize, communicate...whatever floats your boat. See you soon :-)

14 responses »

  1. wow, i’v been doing that this year, or trying to, and its not easy. but i need to make choices on which people to keep around, which to desert, who to date and who to disappoint, it just have to be done. as for coming here more, iv gone through most of your posts last week.

    • Yeah, it’s certainly more challenging than it sounds right? It’s worth it though; part of growing up is gaining some friends while losing others and others still will be more/less meaningful in your life. Keep plugging along and doing your part. Remember that people in your life are also doing the same with you. Good luck! PS: Thanks for reading through. I hope you found other stuff you liked.

  2. You have clearly captured the essence of the genesis of any type/kind of a relationship.I simply couldn’t agree with you more or less.That’s a good one.

    • Thankyou Jonathan 🙂 I’m glad you stopped by. Now go work on your relationships and keep us posted on the progress 🙂 2011 is about saying YES to life in word and deed so check out the Yes Trail above and be inspired!

  3. yeah i did, n you said you waqnted to read my first political blog post so heere it is, note the blog address coz its the last time i’ll make an intrusion of this magnitude to your blog and i seek forgiveness

    The Nyong’o sickness
    By pitzevans

    Last night as I sat on my bed watching the evening news, I was puzzled to hear a presidential report appointing Dalmas Otieno acting Minister for medical services. I wondered, though silently for lack of an interested audience, where the man with countless degree was hiding. Perhaps, and this was an idea creeping softly into my mind, that Ocampo had decided to add him to the list and the learned fellow had decided wisely to go underground. Or if the immense knowledge stored in that brain had exceeded its capacity and had driven the able minister to madness. And since I’m still not privy to adequate information regarding his where about, I’m still not dismissing this possibility. Moreover, the news that he is tucked somewhere in a Swiss hospital does nothing to stop my over zealous and paranoid mind. Yes, it is my believe that he is indeed in a nut house, clad in white, locked away with other mad people in shutter island.

    But this article is not about Nyong’o and his insane exploits in the neutral nation, nor the possibility that he is hiding there from the Argentinian man based at The Hague. This is a story about why the man at the helm of the medical system chose to seek medical help so far away from home, yet still have the audacity to claim that he has brought any improvement to health care in Kenya. How can us ordinary folks have confidence in our system if the man who is head of the same leaves dust in his wake as he runs abroad to seek medical attention. My verdict, its all poppycock. Mediocrity reigns supreme in the land of the wise, where his wisdom have failed to trickle down and transform the care givers to act diligently, humanly and ethically in assisting sick and suffering Kenyans. The result is death, pain and tears that stain the souls of the affected, and those who come to comfort them. Pain so deep and real, its menacing, a product of despair and death. And the government watches on, untouched, unconcerned, in genuine, ready to be whisked off to far away lands if the same stalks them. And nyong’o sat on his wizardly broom, and like Dambodore in the harry porter myths, out flew death to the land of secret banking, where death considered too political is banned and outlawed.

    I came face to face with the sad state of affairs in our public hospital when accompanying my sick mother to Kiambu district hospital. My mother who couldn’t take a single step without tears running down her face. My frail mother whose every breath felt like inhaling a ball of fire, and the prospect of walking loomed like a walk in Siberia without any piece of clothing. My mom who looked so thin and sick, a gust of strong wind could have knocked her down. And the pain in her face, I could feel my heart break into a million face, but I had to find the strength to get her help in this institution of hope. And just there on the entrance was comfortable wheel chair to carry my mother to the doctor’s room. And at the triage desk was the warmest caring nurse I’ve ever seen, who fussed around my mother and trying her best to get her to the doctor as soon as possible. And did I tell you that we saw the doctor in less than five minutes? Yes, he was such a caring gentleman who examined my mother and decreed that she need to be given further tests immediately then admitted to the nearest ward for further analysis and treatment. And at night when my mother fell critically ill, the doctors rushed to her aid and stabilized her, and she’s now in the kitchen preparing us dinner. Now go back to the entrance and take it all back, for none of this was there, nor was there any real attempt to assist us.

    And no, my mom is not in the kitchen, she lies lonely on a solitary grave, while our hearts mourns silently for her. My dear mother, a casualty of a system filled with uncaring professionals, their indifference paled only by their monumental incompetence. So ladies and gentleman, what higher right does Nyong’o have over my mother, that he should be spared the eventual consequence of seeking care in one of his hospitals here in Kenya. Somebody should drag this minister to Kiambu hospital, let him walk from the entrance without a wheel chair, find an uncaring nurse at the triage desk, be served by an incompetent and jack ass physician, be denied admittance to the wards because he doesn’t know anyone there and finally go home to die, in utter and unbelievable pain. And maybe, if the God’s deem him fir for reincarnation, he can do a genuine job of reforming Kenya’s medical system; and avert the senseless anguish Kenyans endure all the time.

    Pain is real, the cause, Nyong’os medical system

  4. Wow, I was smiling and making a mental calculation about how far Kiambu District Hospital is from my house, just in case. That is until I realized that none of it happened. NONE! The fact that none of that happened is heartbreaking and a very accurate description of our health care syste. KNH required that my mum leave her national ID with the station nurse in order to have a wheelchair (after begging for it) so we could wheel my grandmother out, post knee-replacement surgery! I’m so very sorry for your mum’s loss. I resent Anyang’ Nyong’o because for all his education, he’s one of the daftest unintelligent people I know, but God can reach them all anywhere in the world so take heart.

  5. I did some assessing last year, as you know. It was hard and, as far as ending the relationship, it was my decision, but I felt as if I had no other option. I came to this conclusion after months of thought and seeking advice. The only thing I would have done differently is come to the person up front with it all before sending a letter, but when that person is prone to too much emotion and hasn’t gotten any messages or hints you’ve sent before, you can feel at a loss as to how to confront that person. I think we sometimes, especially women, refrain from ending relationships because we are afraid others will see us as a bitch–kind of like an assertive woman in the corporate world. People will stop talking to you if they only get the other side so you end up alienating others even though you’ve really done nothing wrong but cut something out of your life that was negative. If it were easier for women to just be honest with each other without fear of drama and labels, these types of situations would be much easier and more likely to not even occur at all.

    • It’s a really awkward position to be in Frau Jones; you know you need to say something but don’t know how or worse, you just feel done with the whole thing and are ready to move on. I think you did what you felt you had to do after a lot of thought, because I’m betting it wasn’t easy. There really aren’t any blanket right/wrong answers since so much depends on the people involved. I’m glad that’s behind you now 🙂 I forgot to ask you: did they ever respond to the letter? How are things now?

  6. Sounds like a good strategy let me see how it works and if it does i will surely let you know about it.friends are here for a season and so if its time for them to go then let them go rather holding on.ok to the nyongo story i have no idea why we should be sympathetic to this guy not that am mean but him having prostrate cancer should be a big deal.mill ions of kenyans cant access good medical facil ities and that doesnt make news.i wish he could cue for hours at KNH and see if he could run to the media

    • gi87, shame on me for taking so long to reply to this. Sorry about that. I agree with you whole heartedly regarding the friends stuff. Letting go may be necessary if the relationship turns toxic and doesn’t seem to be improving. As for Nyong’o…I must admit that I did think “that karma surely can be a bitch coz she doesn’t forget.” I mean, minister for health gets an illness that his own ministry can’t handle so sends him abroad to seek treatment. It’s hard to have empathy for his situation when the ministry is/was doing poorly under his mis-direction and his “2,500 for lunch” comment really smirked of arrogance and foolishness. He’s a perfect example that knowledge does not equal intelligence and money does not equal class.

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