I wanted to share a very interesting call I had with a friend of mine today about a topic I have discussed all too often with many friends over the years. My friend has been in a committed relationship for 10 years where she has created a lovely home with her partner. Now for at least 5 of those 10 years, she’s been in and out of a few affairs and she always comes to the same conclusion, that it’s too difficult to carry on two relationships.
Problem is she keeps trying to make her current, very comfortable, yet just not right for her situation fit. She loves her partner and enjoys their lifestyle of travel, entertaining, and friends, BUT, there is absolutely no passion in the relationship, no passion in their lives. Her two main issues is she gets zero intellectual or sexual stimulation from her partner who would not have sex with her unless she initiates it. As she has said to me many times before “I just want someone who wants me.” Sad thing is their relationship has always been that way. As I listened I asked one simple question, “if you right now stopped initiating sex with your partner, would you ever have sex again?” and her answer was “no.” Ouch!
She expressed her desire to have a partner who had a real passion for life, she continued in an exasperating tone “we keep having these discussions about my unhappiness and I have repeatedly expressed to my partner what I need in this relationship and nothing ever changes!” Well my dear, there is a very simple reason for that, there’s nothing wrong with your partner or with what they like or don’t like, and there’s nothing wrong you or with what you want; the problem is that you aren’t right for each other. Her partner is just happy to be in a relationship and has zero interest in evolving or growing. Now what?
Often times I see people torturing themselves to fit into a relationship because we are raised in a society that thinks if we fall in love with someone that somehow it means they are right for us. And if we get married and have kids, then that means they are really right for us and possibly even ordained by god. That is absolute bollocks and couldn’t be further from the truth. I know many people languishing away in relationships that are just plain wrong for them.
This is the way I see it, chocolate ice cream is good and salmon is good and if you have the right accompaniments they can both be amazingly delicious. However, I don’t know anyone who eats salmon and chocolate ice cream together. Ewww. I mean separately they are good, together they don’t work. Yet we don’t say that those two things are bad, but when we have the same situation in regards to relationships we assume one of the pair must be bad and therefore wrong. Ahhh the ever familiar shame game. And trust me that’s a game that has no winners.
After listening to her talk I simply said, “you will never find happiness in your relationship because your partner isn’t who you want. If you continue to deny your passion and your need to share those passions with someone you love, you will continue to be tempted by affairs, be frustrated and you will find other ways to numb the pain of this basic truth.” That was a very painful thought for her and it broke my heart to see her struggle with that. I know for some, it’s much easier to stay in a comfy relationship, and for many people not straying from their daily snore is just fine, however, if you are an intelligent and passionate person it is the kiss of death!
It’s clear to me that what my friend and many others are trying to achieve through their relationships is certainty in a world full of uncertainty. She knows that no matter what happens they will do the same exact things and have the same mundane conversations and have the same sex, day in and day out for the rest of their lives. Now they did something that many couples who are having problems do, they found something to distract themselves from their truth, they got engaged. However no matter how you distract yourself from the truth, it will always rear its ugly head, and eventually the mask will fall off. Although my friend and her partner are now engaged, nothing has changed and she is left with the sinking feeling that she is missing out on someone wonderful and that truth haunts her because she is right.
However, stepping out of the relationship she’s crafted for herself for so long is scary and lacks certainty. She could run off and find someone equally intelligent and passionate but that person wouldn’t be as easy to control as the person she is currently with. With an equal that means she has to step up and stay on her game as well.
Look relationships aren’t easy but relationships with people who aren’t good for you are even more difficult. It’s like swimming in a river of really thick mud, you can do it but it will take longer to get anywhere and you’ll be exhausted! Life is already difficult why make it even harder? We are way too concerned in our society about who people are loving, how people are loving, and how long they are loving. We need to leave people the fuck alone.
If people get together and they work out, YAY good for them, if not who cares. We need to stop viewing break ups as the complete demise of society. Why do we need to torture people if their relationship doesn’t work out? Look we meet people at different times in our lives. Sometimes we pick someone as a reaction to something else that happened in our lives and that person suited our emotional needs then, but it doesn’t mean they are a good choice for long-term. However, we are trained to believe that whomever we meet that it has to be forever!
The true test of a good relationship is if that person is passionate about growing as an individual and both of you can grow with each other, and evolve within the relationship, otherwise you are just logging time. I know many us think that time = quality and if two people have been together for many years that it equates to them being a “good healthy couple”, but it doesn’t mean shit. I could buy a guitar tomorrow and I pluck at that guitar for the next 10 years and it’s possible that at the end of that 10 years, I still won’t be able to play a single song. What matters is what you do in those 10 years. Did I try to learn to play the guitar properly, did I practice everyday or just touch it sporadically and pluck randomly at the strings? The “how” is more important than the time invested. Time alone doesn’t equal success.
I really felt bad for my friend because I know what it’s like to find someone so perfect and natural for you and to lose that person. It’s a pain I don’t think I’ll ever get over, so I don’t know how she can go back and pretend not to know. I could easily see her moving past her current disappointment and staying with her partner and as her friend, I’ll be here regardless of who she’s with. There’s so much suffering in this world that we can’t control that this seems so unnecessary. We only get one ride on this rock, why not live it the best way you can?