Relationships are what life is all about. Happiness is meant to be shared with someone we love. Unfortunately, happiness is sometimes in very short supply in relationships, and that is why so many people have so many questions about what to do to make things better. Should I stay or should I go? When is enough enough? What is worth keeping and building on, and what is so unhealthy that it is best to move on?
These days, it seems as though everyone has a question about what to do in a relationship, and there seems to be just as many people willing to give relationship advice.
Good healthy relationships bring joy and strength to everyone involved. Stagnant, abusive or inappropriate relationships destroy lives and bring down everyone involved. While we can trace many relationship patterns, there is always an element of unpredictability when two people are involved.
A former friend of mine, 29, who was about to get married was so concerned about getting involved in a committed relationship that she prepared questionnaires for her fiancé of possible situations and subsequent outcomes to find out how he would react. She was a control freak who saw nothing wrong in trying to predict and then enforce a “perfect” matrimonial reality in the future. She could leave nothing to chance or to God, even though she was quite religious. She understood too late that one cannot live in some ideal mental projection of the future; one needs to be able to read the signs in the present.
There is a reason we have an intuition: we are supposed to use it. My friend’s intuition, had she been more open to it, would have served her better than documenting his unsubstantiated answers to ungrounded questions. Her method didn’t work very well; I was on their second date as a chaperon, and the atmosphere was already tense and unnatural, hardly a promising sign for a happy union.
This questionnaire-obsessed girlfriend of mine looked down on my romantic relationship roller-coaster, and, while I admittedly felt really bad at times, I also knew that my marriage was alive. I fell in love, and I got married only to then get divorced... and, then, I fell in love again with my ex.
Today, I call my first love/husband/ex-husband/ boyfriend/best friend my life companion, because that is what he is.
The road is made by walking…
I don’t have the answer to every question, but I do have a few experiences and understandings from my relationships that cover anything from infidelity to a divorce relationship as well as an open relationship. Looking back, I can finally appreciate the highs and lows of my couple, because we both learned to co-exist, co-habit and walk towards the same spiritual destination.
Relationships are big teachers in one’s life. From families to romantic relationships, relationships engage us, reflect to us, react to us, and exchange with us. That is why I believe it is worth looking into the inevitable problems that arise from sharing love, children, a bed, assets, blood etc. with another person. I believe that if we approach our relationship problems openly and with a firm intention to do the right thing, we will be able to make wise decisions which will lead to more happiness, fulfillment and joy for everyone involved.
The road is made by walking, an Amazonian medicine man once told me. In other words, we need to focus a step at a time as we move forward, but we need to keep moving. As we move through life, as we live and love, we are learning and at the same time creating the very path we will need to get to a place of healing and true love. Sometimes we need to think and plan things out, and sometimes we just need to feel and acknowledge the situation for what it is. Mothers often say that one can’t plan a baby’s arrival perfectly, in that one can’t think too much about it, but just needs to let go IF they feel ready...the rest will fall into place.