As I sit with yet another couple drowning from the fallout of another affair, I’m struck by what seems to be an epidemic of people looking for the quick fix to life’s problems.
• People unhappy in their marriages are turning to affairs.
• People feeling sad or down want a drug to make the sadness go away.
• People who don’t want a prescription are turning to alcohol or drugs to numb out.
• People who are lonely, not happy in the romance department or generally feeling stressed out are turning to porn to “take the edge off.”
• People who don’t like to be held accountable are raging to stop hard conversations, while others are silencing to avoid a conflict.
I could go on and on about all the ways far too many people are turning to a quick fix to relieve the pain of hard issue. Many people want to avoid conflict at all costs and hope the issues will solve themselves. If the issues don’t solve themselves, people are doing what they can to distract from the issue, numbing out to avoid thinking about it, or trying to escape it via running, drugs, cheating or leaving. Regardless of whether we’re talking about an unhappy marriage, a frustrating job, stress, upset or an unfulfilling life, people are struggling to work through issues rather than run from them.
Far too many individuals are so stuck in their own wants, that they leave their loved ones in the painful wake they leave behind in their sprint for “happiness.”
The next time you’re feeling unsatisfied in your marriage, unhappy in your job, upset with a loved one or general malaise about your life—SLOW DOWN. Do not run to the quick fix. Quick fixes have a tendency to turn into long-term problems and pains over time.
• The “harmless” affair leads to the devastating divorce, the broken family and struggling, angry children.
• The “every body does it porn” turns into the sexless marriage, the sexually addicted spouse and the objectification of females of all ages.
• The unaccountable rage turns into a family walking on eggshells, a distant marriage, a legacy of rage, and an unhappy life.
• The silence turns into resentment, anger, loss of self and shut down relationships.
• The nightly drink to “help with stress” turns into several drinks, numbing out, tuning out and checking out. Left unaddressed it turns into depression, greater stress, marital problems, addiction and another toxic legacy passed from one generation to the next.
The quick fix is seldom, if ever, quick or a fix. These kinds of “fixes” lead to devastation and destruction far beyond the initial problem you were running from in the first place. Stop running away from the hard issues. Step up and deal head on with the struggles life throws at you. When you have a tough issue, take a step back and THINK. Take a moment to think through the problem, get clarity regarding what you want and then decide what you need to do to work through this issue directly and courageously. Have the hard conversation—calmly. Ask for your needs—directly and respectfully. Take accountability with a calm grace, not a defensive justification.
In life, hard issues are not the problem. The problem is how we handle them, avoid them or shut them down. Handle them.
Challenge: Refuse to handle difficult times by turning to quick fixes. The quick fix will end up hurting you almost every time. Have faith in your strength and refuse to sell yourself or your circumstance short. You are capable of stepping up and managing the obstacles life throws at you with strength and health.