Love May Falter But It Doesn't Have to Fail
We Can't Do This Alone
The Threat of Breaking Up can Bring a New Normal
After visiting with a friend this morning about difficulties in relationships, I found myself pondering our conversation all day. It occurred to me how often I hear about couples breaking up over the most insignificant issues. It seems like today, it has become easier to just count your losses and book it, but reality check here: wherever you go, there you are!
I often wonder, was that just the excuse for being too lazy or self-centered to care enough to really work at it? I think it just might be. We have all been tempted to just walk away in relationships over things that can't be agreed upon, but to what extreme will we go to work it out. For some dismal reason, life often becomes a tug-of-war between two people both trying to get their own needs met without having to give.
It doesn't work. Real love, is mostly unconditional, and we can't really muster beneficial, sacrificial love from our own will for the most part. We want to, but sometimes we just can't manufacture it in our hearts all by ourselves. It takes intervention, divine intervention to sustain long term love that weathers the storms of life. It's worth it if you care.
When I attend weddings, I see it. The glimpse, the passion, the idyllic love between two people that convinces them that they can spend the rest of their lives together in blissful joy.It starts with the perfect photographer, the perfect cake, the perfect setting, the perfect dress, and of course, the perfect bride and groom. We convince ourselves that WE are going to be different from everyone else, because it was done right. Magical moments we hope to never regret pave the way for eternal joy.
Then the first disagreement comes, and the battle is on. Rather than two people looking for solutions, we become the warriors for our own cause. Pride wells up from deep within, and we just plain demand our way. It doesn't go well, and we are wounded by words and actions that we can't seem to shake for days, weeks, months and then years. You know, the ones you have heard before, from a parent, a sibling, your friend, or even worse, the failed attempt at love that preceded the one you are currently experiencing.
You become even more convinced that you are right. You have to win the battle now because you already lost it with someone else before. You are determined to prove that this time, someone will listen and agree with you. You have all the points rehearsed for presentation. Then the silence. You realize that all of the carefully thought out rational thoughts are not going to be heard, considered, valued or given any regard at all. You are crushed. You want to lash out at someone.
They are gone, unavailable, uncaring, and uninvested in resolution on any level. You are devasted, vowing to never allow that type of vulnerability to show again. No one understands, and you cry, you grieve and you mourn and you wail, and then you are silent.
Nothing changes, you think. Nothing is worth this much pain, and they don't deserve my forgiveness or my attention. I am done with them, we write them off and are even willing to pay them to sweep them out of our life.
My how things change! Friendship shattered, well-intentioned dreams fall by the wayside, and we walk away stunned, particularly if we have invested years of our lives in the never-ending melee we once called our love.
We tell our friends how awful, how difficult, how different they were when they are alone with us, and they show disbelief in sympathy with a clearly one-sided view. We seemed so happy, they comment, and we realize that they are most likely hiding unresolved pain of their own, they choose not to face. To address our situation would require exposure, and no, they are not willing to show their hand might be worse.
Our friends avoid us like the plague. They give us blank stares as though we are aliens from another planet, because they don't want their world disrupted. They are doing the same thing, in many cases. Everyone hides, and covering tracks is a way of life. Don't expose that, please, for that will just make me uncomfortable as sin.
At the end of all of this, if it hasn't reached that point, may I make a simple suggestion? Find help, get a counselor (preferably one who shares your spiritual beliefs) and work it out. Then and only then, you just might break the ugly cycle. Your load will be lighter, because regrets will be fewer. If by chance you don't work it out, at least you will have the peace that you tried.
Eventually you will be able to take risks again, which we must, to heal. Friendships can teach us how to love better without the heated pressure of performing to gain acceptance. Humor is a great tool for healing. Laughing with truthful assessment can be a powerful agent for change and growth. Things cease become so "fatal" as if we will never make it. The drama is over, the curtain comes down, and a new production can begin.