I see and read so much about bad relationships. People rarely stick together through richer and poorer, ’til death do us part any more. And it is a real shame.
Let’s backtrack and ask the most pertinent of questions: why do people seek a partner? Sex? Romance? Procreation? Yes, some of that to an extent, but the biggest reason should be companionship. And this is the big problem.
Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Their heart-beats race whenever they see eachother and the sex in unbelievable. After a couple of years dating, they figure they should probably get married. Yes, that seems like a good idea. Things have gone a bit stale lately, so this will revitalise things. A year of planning and excitement goes by, the big day happens, they stare into eachother’s gooey eyes and go off on honeymoon for a shagathon. Then they come back to the mundanity of a day-to-day existence and get a bit antsy.
What’s happened? Where has that spark gone? Hmmm, maybe kids would fix it. She comes off the pill, he throws away the rubbers and they bone away until conception. Nine months of planning and excitement goes by, the big day happens, they stare into the newborn’s gooey eyes and go home to the mundanity of life with sleep deprivation and stress thrown into the mix. One adopts the alpha-parent role, the other feels left out and spends more and more time away from home, seething with resentment.
Eventually, the relationship breaks down. Maybe they stay together “for the kids”, only to split once they leave, or maybe they just call it quits there and then, entering into a bitter and protracted legal battle.
It doesn’t have to be that hard. I scratch my head wondering why people cannot see what, to me, is bleedin’ obvious. Your partner should be your best friend. If you don’t integrate his and her friends and remain together yet independent, it will rarely work out. Single friends can get jealous and poison the well, planting seeds of doubt that can fester and grow creating a chasm. They may not be doing it deliberately or maliciously but relationship envy is very real. And if you aren’t prepared to walk away from any of your friends in favour of your partner to save or protect your relationship, it won’t work out. This is a pattern I see time and time again.
Here’s the thing, when you enter your dotage, would you rather grow old with someone who knows you inside out, loves you unconditionally and will do everything to help and protect you? Or would you rather dither along, without friends (because, let’s face it, most of them will have ditched you years ago), lonely, craving company, desperately lonely afraid that you might keel over and get eaten by your cats?
OK, both scenarios are extreme and I am not suggesting for one seconds that such a thing as the perfect relationship exists. It doesn’t. And, yes, sometimes you may have to re-focus your attention to eachother if things go a bit awry. People are people and we each go through many changes throughout life but, provided you are both essentially decent human beings with a deep respect for eachother, there is no reason why any problem cannot be resolved.
The romance and racing heartbeats don’t last forever. That doesn’t mean that you no longer love eachother. In fact, it means that your love has deepened. You no longer look at the other person as a potential mate for your offspring (which is what causes attraction in the first place) and your relationship moves to a different level. That one where you finish eachothers’ sentences and make sacrifices to make sure the other is happy and content.
Don’t run and throw it all away the second the passion fades. Be respectful to them and about them. Learn when to speak up and when to keep schtum. Be willing to drop anything at any time if necessary and open yourself up to love and humility. Likewise, if you get together with someone who is not right for you or is a dick, you will know that from the get-go. So, stop wasting time and energy trying to fix the other, or mould them into something you can tolerate, just admit your mistake, don’t point the finger or lay blame and walk away.
Life is too short to fight so make sure you pick your partner for all the right reasons. Use your brain, not your loins!