- Gender and Relationships
Love and Relationships: Throwing in the Towel
Throwing in the Towel
Every relationship goes through a period of uncertainty. That period clearly can occur in the start of the relationship/marriage or could end up at the end. If I had a choice of when this should occur, I would prefer the start of a relationship. Many of us know, that a relationship that starts off on cloud nine, is only to change after what we call the “honeymoon” period. That change in the relationship can be quite difficult, maybe something that you can handle and adjust or perhaps it’s something you can’t handle which then forces you to give up and throw in the towel. Whoever said that any relationship with anyone (friends, family, and co-workers) would ever be flawless and perfect? Being under that notion would cause you a great deal of confusion and false expectations. So why would you ever expect your relationship to be perfect?
When growing up and seeking advice from those that were older than you, they gave you various levels of advice on life and love. When it comes to life, they quickly tell you to live it like it’s your last day. When it comes to love, they tell you communication is the key. When you speak to the older couples who have made it beyond 50 years of marriage, they tell you communication. Communication sounds quite simple; you would assume it’s very easy being that 50% of the people you speak to tell you its most important. The same people who told you communication was the key forgot to tell you that it’s not exactly the easiest thing to do for various reasons. If you’re in an honest relationship with someone, well that means that the truth can be hurtful. Being in love with someone makes the art of communication very difficult sometimes, because you spend more energy on trying not to hurt his/her feelings rather than convey your feelings.
While some are lucky to present the information to them without hurting their feelings, some will communicate and lose the meaning they were trying to explain. If you are able to speak freely from the heart without hesitation, well your message will be received by the partner, but he/she clearly will get caught up in his/her “feelings” thus becoming angry at the time of listening to you. Feelings at this time become very confusing; you’re feeling good as a person because you were able to get something off your heart that you had been saving for days, weeks, months, and even years. However, the person you just expressed your feelings to become hurt, and angry. At which point, his/her reaction might be “quiet”, “angry” or “mean”. Right before your eyes, as your partner stands before you can change into someone they are not. Out of anger and pride, they will try to either be very mean towards you or say something to belittle you. It’s clearly a defense mechanism, and so as you stand there before them, although it’s difficult, you can’t hold it against them.
How do you vent what you are feeling to the one you love, who pretty much just said something that you were not expecting? This is why it might be a good idea to express yourself, and then give each other a couple of hours to process this. So what advice did the older couples give me in order to have a successful relationship/marriage? Communication of course, but this time they shared how they were able to communicate. First and foremost, they weigh the problem in their head to determine if what they bring up will have a long-term effect on the relationship, or will it go away in time. So for example, you don’t like how someone folds the towels; well it’s clear that if you don’t say something, this will affect the relationship for the long term. If it’s something someone did, and you have been with them for 8 years, and it’s the first time they did it, then it might not be necessary unless it occurs again.
Not every relationship knows the rules of communication, in order to use them. Nothing wrong with getting help in that area, especially if you feel that “communication” is the only problem in the relationship. Outside of communication, you’re getting along; you’re making memories, your being respectful of this person both outside and inside the home. You’re each other’s best friend, and providing that shoulder for them to cry on. No physical and emotional abuse is going on. You are considerate for each other’s feelings and need for time and attention. If you look at the scale, and it’s tipping more so on the side of success, with a close degree of perfection if the “communication” is fixed—then seek the needed help to solidify this.
Don’t let me be the first person to remind you, that having to “date” is not fun. Sure, you can go out on various dates at the expense of the individual paying. For the man, if it’s assumed you are paying—well dating can be quite an expensive task for you. After you find someone, then you have to go through the “can I be myself around this person” phase. It takes about two years for you to get to a comfort zone in a relationship with the person you are with. So if you’re young, then you clearly have the time. For the women for example, that are 35+ and you’re back on the dating scene and you’re ready to settle down and have kids this could pose a challenge. So I ask you again, do you really want to throw in the towel, rather than seek the assistance you need to make what you have better?
Before you decide to throw in the towel, you owe it to yourself and your partner to weigh the good and the bad in the relationship. Did you exhaust all options to make it work? You can’t expect a relationship to just automatically work without effort and dedication. Like anything else in life, sometimes you need that assistance to “fine tune” a wonderful loving relationship. You can’t expect a relationship to occur without having disagreements here and there. We live to agree to disagree sometimes, but do they respect what you are trying to say. I for one wouldn’t want a man to always agree with me, it would be a relationship without a challenge. It’s amazing to be able to look back on your relationship years later. “I can’t believe that happened or we went through that” Look where you are, you’re sitting together, hand in hand, looking back at the “past”.
Nothing wrong with the past, for it teaches us how to live in the future. There is nothing wrong with change. People do change; they change when they realize they need to change. Its better when they change for his/her own reasons, not because you’re telling your partner. If you think the relationship and the people involved in the relationship are no longer worth the effort—then by all means walk away. If nothing else, you learned something from him/her that you will take to your next relationship. I would like to think that dating is much harder than trying to make a relationship work. Especially, finding someone you can connect too mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually.