The other day I wrote a poem about disposable relationships.
Today I write a sequel based on a lifetime of relationshipping experiences. A mini how ‘to have and to hold from this day forth, in sickness and in health, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…’
When things go pear shaped between couples somehow it feels so wrong that the world keeps on spinning seemingly oblivious to the hurt, that the sun keeps shining, that people laugh, play and are happy. It’s hard to see the good because the pain can be so big in your heart that it makes every cell in your body hurt.
But there is always a way through the hurt. A path from which learning and growth can be discovered.
When people are hurt or angry, there is a tendency to rant, instead of clearly stating feelings and needs. Of skirting all around the subject, accusing, picking on irrelevant or trivial details, instead of simply saying “This is hurting me. I want us to sort it out.”
Saying that takes courage. It can make you feel vulnerable when the urge is to protect and shield yourself from even more pain. But sometimes it’s that acknowledgement that provides an opening to begin meaningful communication and a road to healing.
It’s funny that the person we most love often ends up being the one that we hurt the most with silence, a turned back, a sharp tongue, or thoughtless comments that rub salt into a wound that is already bleeding and painful.
When you’re hurting there’s a primal urge to hurt back. To attack like a caged and scared wild animal. If that keeps happening it erodes the love. It can turn to hate, vengefulness and spite. Life can become bitter and twisted.
Relationships are hard work. The good times are wonderful. But all relationships go through tough times too. It takes two to make them tough. Just as it takes two to make them better. The depth and lastingness of a relationship comes from working through the problems together. It probably means making compromises. Negotiating a deal that both are happy with. It creates and cements a relationship that lasts and endures the tough stuff.
It takes a willingness to tackle the problem and issues together. And it will feel weird in the beginning because it IS weird, different and strange. It means talking it out. It means saying how you really feel. It means crying. It means listening to each other – really listening from the heart. It means being respectful of yourself and the other. It means being honest. It means being open and vulnerable. It means saying sorry. It means forgiving yourself and the other. It means that you respect yourself enough, above all else, not to let it sour your life.
Sometimes it can even mean seeking assistance from a neutral other person – a professional – to help start the ball rolling.
If at the end of all that, the conclusion is that the best way forward is to lead separate lives, it will be with a knowing that all the right things have been done for yourself, for the other person, for the relationship.
And there will be an ability to walk into the future a better person, who is not afraid to love again. And that is a good thing.
© Raili Tanska