The results are in and were a bit of a surprise to me. I asked:
Is it possible to have a relationship without Come to Jesus meetings?”
55% said, “Yes”
9% said, “Yes, but when CTJ occurs the relationship is over.”
9% said, “No, CTJ hurt the relationship.”
27% said, “No, CTJ help the relationship.”
If you did not answer because you did not know what a CTJ meeting is, here are the basics. When you have a non-negotiable (belief, opinion, tenet, rule, written-in-stone) and Mate breeches the armored-guarded, razor-wire-wrapped, moated, stone-walled perimeter, it is time for a Come to Jesus meeting.
You simply state this is not something up for negotiation. If the behavior does not change, you will have no choice but seek alternative remedy, be that a new relationship, end of friendship, violence, verbal abuse, general tantrum, property destruction, cataclysm, you get the idea.
Nicknamed after the Southern Baptist tradition of “hell, fire and brimstone” sermons, CTJ is the way out of the damnation and into redemption.
Hallelujah! More than half of those polled have open lines of communication! The number one way to avoid the CTJ meeting is to be talking to your partner about those things which truly concern you, drive you bats and threaten your relationship.
9% are over
This is the saddest of the results. If your relationship ends because you spoke your mind about a non-negotiable, it was a relationship not meant to be. Before you stalk off to find something new, be sure you are headed into something better.
- Is this truly a non-negotiable?
- Can you start the relationship with the non-negotiables?
- Can you be fair in a CTJ meeting?
Did the relationship end because you acted badly in the CTJ meeting? Or was it truly about not being able to come to the mutually beneficial middle ground of compromise? Keep reading before you answer.
9% are hurt
While not as tough as the “over” crowd, this group is split into two camps: (1) Rants (2) Wrongs
Rants: Instead of presiding over the CTJ meeting in a calm and matter-of-fact manner, you were a tyrannical, blame-assigning, unforgiving, unreasonable dictator. Commonly referred to as: “My way or the highway”
Wrongs: Mate simply cannot abide your non-negotiable. Whether as a matter of character, deeply-seated belief or intolerance, Mate simply cannot get there from here. This is a no-blame scenario, as it is merely incompatibility. True compromise is not reached, and the relationship suffers.
Had the meeting been held properly, the hurt would not appear. Let’s look at the 27% for how.
27% were helped
I look at this as building an addition to your relationship. Maybe you did not know when you got together you were bothered by the telephone ringing at 0500 every morning with Mate’s bestie jabbering about the future of gym sock lint…and even more by Mate’s enthusiastic, animated responses during the 45 minute conversation and the 25 minute post-game show during your first cup of coffee.
By all means, Come to Jesus. Let Mate know your level of tolerance for the stock market over scones and espresso.
This group has mastered the art of saying:
You know, dear, I love that you and Pat have had this bonding time, but really prefer it not interrupt the last moments of the wonderful dreams I have about you and extend into the quiet time where I appreciate all the good in our lives over the pot of coffee I long to share with you each morning.”
Oh, stop gagging. The successful CTJ is liberally sweetened with praise for the good things in the relationship. It makes the contrast of the peppery reaction to the behavior crystal clear. Remember, it is not about hurting Mate’s feelings, depriving Mate of anything or demeaning something Mate finds important or beneficial.
Author’s Note: While this post is set between mates, it equally applies to friends and parents/children.
What was your funniest CTJ meeting over?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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