My apologies to the hopeless romantics
If you’re a hopeless romantic, this might not be for you.
In fact, stop reading right now and enjoy your Valentine’s Day!
For the rest of you, I’ve got a few thoughts on the realities of relationships. (sounds ominous!)
Ever since getting married at 23, and 9 months later finding out Eric had a brain tumor, my view of relationships has been shifting and changing.
My first marriage was difficult. It was not the “happily-ever-after,” “you-had-me-from-hello” type of romance. It was disrupted by tumors, pornography, patriarchy, and naiveté. And I’ve been pondering relationships ever since.
There are a few relationships in the world that are easy. Maybe you’re one of those couples who never fights. Or if you do have a fight, it’s about how to rearrange the furniture, not money or sex or major misunderstandings. If this is you, congratulations, it’s a wonderful gift you have in your partner.
Relationships – marriage, in particular—aren’t easy for me. I have a thing for strong, opinionated guys. And it turns out I’m a strong, opinionated woman. So, we clash from time to time. It happened with Eric. It happens with John.
It’s not easy being in a close intimate relationship with someone for a long time (for me). We hurt each other, we dismiss important feelings, we miss subtle cues… and not from a place of vengeance or cruelty, but unintentionally, and from a place of not knowing.
I must not be the only one facing this challenge though, because a significant number of marriages end in divorce, affairs are commonplace, and those who stay together often aren’t happy or content. But we keep doing the same thing… and expecting better results.
So I’ve developed a theory that the way we’ve been doing marriage isn’t working anymore. We need to change our approach.
Perhaps my unconventional relationship theories are simply a coping strategy for my challenging relationships. But I’ve talked with enough people to know there’rec at least a few others in the world who can relate. So I’ve started a new hobby:
It’s called Marriage Myth: forever is fantasy.
Marriage has traditionally been “forever.” “Til death do us part.” But marriage isn’t forever. No relationship lasts forever. They end, whether by death or divorce or emotional withdrawal. And here’s what I’ve realized: I take better care of my relationship when I realize it’s not guaranteed forever. I realize it’s fragile. It can break. This person I love isn’t always going to be here. I take better care of my marriage when I remember it’s temporary.
I love talking about this and would love to hear your thoughts on the topic, too. I don’t claim to be right, I’m just sharing what I’ve noticed and experienced and observed.
Check out my new blog: www.marriagemyth.com.
And for the hopeless romantics, if you have managed to read this far: thank you! The world needs your perspective and your optimism! And truth be told, I’m part hopeless romantic, too. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t care about all this, but let’s just keep that between you and me!
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and for a different twist on the day, write 5 emails/messages to people who inspire you to give love a chance… or a second or third chance. Tell them how they’ve influenced you to keep that hopeless romantic side of yourself hopeful!
I look forward to seeing you over at the blog.