Suffer Well

sufferwellA while ago I read an article about choosing a spouse who “suffers well.” It struck me as odd, but as I read the article I understood what the author was saying.

When you pick a friend or a spouse, do you want someone who crumbles under the weight of tragedy or misfortune? Or do you want someone who is able to go through it with a sturdiness and assurance they’ll make it out okay?

In my life, I’ve had a mix of both types of people. I’ve had friends who were my strong and steady, the people on whom I knew I could rely. And then I’ve experienced people who crumble under the weight. They may crumble in different ways – some clam up and don’t want to lean on anyone for support, while others are emotional wrecks who don’t know what to do.

But when you find someone who suffers well, they are the gems. They are diamonds in the rough. Those are the people who will lift you up when you feel as though you’re about to crumble and they’re the same people who will allow you to be there for them when they wonder if they’ll make it through.

Friendships (and marriages) must be built on solid foundations. Healthy friendships are based on trust, forgiveness, and a level of certainty in knowing how each person in that relationship will react. Will they crumble or will they stay strong? Will they want to crawl under their bed covers and not wake up until the storm passes or will they resolve to make it through no matter what?

Suffering is an unfortunate part of life. Things happen outside of our control and those are the times we must choose to “suffer well.”

When there’s a storm, I’ve found the sunshine isn’t usually too far behind. Stay the course, choose to dance in the rain, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself growing in a way you never imagined possible.



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