Barbara Rothberg, DSW, LCSW

Therapy, Coaching, Mediation and Parent Coordination

 
 
 
       

What's Good Enough ?

19 February, 2014 Barbara Rothberg Relationships

T he concept of "good enough" is an interesting one. As a positive person I have always been a believer that life isn't perfect, and that's ok.

But what is "good enough?" To be good enough, the situation has to be good. It needs to be better that ok most of the time. Acknowledging that recognizes the reality that some of the time the situation will inevitably not be so good. Is that ok?  My thinking is that it is  ok, because life isn't perfect and realtionships certainly aren't perfect.  Relationships always have their ups and downs. 

It is a matter of expectations.  Our society is focused on us having what we want and getting what we want. While that's a good basic concept, I do believe that we can't always get what we want....And sometimes that's ok. Life involves give and take and compromises. When couples first get together, it is usually blissful, exciting and easy to be together.  People in new realtionships, are usually on their best behavior, and eager to please one another, being gentle and accomodating. These behaviors tend to change as time goes on and as people become more secure in their realtionships. With comfort, people can usually put out their needs more clearly, which can be scary in a new situation, and frequently this rocks the boat. About this time, one partner in the relationship may say, "I don't know what happened. We used to get along so well and now there is conflict." This is typical and a crucial point to see if the couple can negotiate differences and accept that the relationship isn't perfect, but that it may be really good....good enough. I've heard many people say that they have a great realtionship, and when you ask them if it's perfect, they will inevitably say, "of course not!"  They have some conflict, but they can handle it.

It is a myth that couples who do not fight have the best relationships. These couples generally do not deal with issues. Disagreement is part of human nature and all couples have differing feelings at different times. Research tells us that  couples who know how to have a productive fight, or understand how to engage in conflict and resolve it, have the best relationships, because in any long term relationship, conflict is inevitable! The trick is to be able to hear and respect one another and practice good communicaton so the partners can be empathic to each others' needs.

But this is not always possible, and sometimes couples, even after seeking help to deal with their issues may decide it is best to end their realtionships and move on. That can give them the opportunity to have a good enough separation or divorce.

 

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