The Rollercoaster of Relationships: and How to Get Off
During the final months of my last relationship, I noticed that when I was unbelievably happy, she was almost never happy; and when she was in splendorous moods of joy, I was totally down and out. It’s like our cycles were inverted.
And it was hell.
How did it get this way, I wondered. We started off so happy! Her beaming smile evoked my own. But, then, gradually, something else began to happen: we started not getting our needs met. Then, without even knowing it, we started to keep track of the score. She didn’t give me what I wanted on Tuesday, so now on Friday, when she wants something from me–love, openness, relatedness, a hug–I withheld it from her.
Unbelievably petty, huh?
We become cold to our partners. And the worst part of it is, we even begin to realize it at some point, but we still can’t stop ourselves from doing it.
We become veritable automatons; mere shells of the living, breathing clumps of feeling tissue we once were.
And we want to cry so badly and tell our partner, but we can’t. We’ve been hurt too many times by him or her, and now we’re too proud to let them know.
Ultimately, we start not being happy for our partners because deep down in places we don’t want to look… we’re not very happy.
And we can’t give what we don’t have.
This is probably a sign that it’s time to go; to leave the relationship. Not just because the person isn’t right for us, but because we probably need to be alone for a while.
We need to reconfigure our relationship to relationships until we realize that it’s not our partner’s job to make us happy.
It’s our own.
With time on my side, I can see now what could have helped in my relationship. The remedy is not to wait, but to do the difficult, courageous work of sharing when we feel hurt by something our partner did or said–or, didn’t do or say.
Oh, you will have 100,000 reasons not to share:
They’ve got too much going on.
It will blow over.
I’m making a big deal out of nothing.
It won’t make a difference.
I’ll sound like a whining wuss.
She’ll lose respect for me.
He’ll think I’m high maintenance.
S/he won’t want to marry me.
And, yes, you will risk sounding like all those things. But what’s the alternative? Being absolutely miserable for years?
And if your relationship can’t withstand you being honest and sharing what’s really going on, is it the kind of relationship you want to be in, anyway?
So, go ahead. Take the risk! Be willing to do your relationship MESSY.
Because there’s no other way to do it.