When two people come together, a new entity is born, it is called relationship. Think of relationship as an independent entity, like a joint bank account if you will. Whether you withdraw money or deposit it, whether you lose your ATM card or use the overdraft facility, whether you gain interest or pay installments, all transactions have an impact on your account. And, that is regardless of who of the two does the transactions. Similarly, every action of yours or your partner’s makes a difference to the relationship — positive or negative. To better understand my viewpoint, remind yourself that a relationship is a third person. It is not what you are getting from your partner, but from your relationship. It is mutual ownership. I am personifying the three types of undesirable relationships for you:
1. The Abusive
This one is a no brainer. It is relatively easy to make a decision either way. It is not uncommon to end up in an abusive relationship. If your partner is the abusive type, no matter what, exit, move out. It is unlikely that his nature is going to change, it is highly improbable for that relationship to ever get better. There can never be a reason for abuse nor any justification. If you have children and you are thinking of putting up with abuse for their welfare, it is a mistake. They will emerge stronger and better human beings living in a peaceful environment. It is better to have a loving and caring family with a single parent than a loathing one with both. If you cannot move out because you are not financially independent, you must gather your inner strength, explore your options and gain such independence. No doubt, you may end up with drastic changes in your lifestyle, your standard of living may go down, but your quality of life will go up significantly.
2. The Pitiful
This one is a common scenario. In this type, there is a fundamental mismatch in partners’ viewpoints, preferences, likings and so forth. One partner tends to be weaker than the other. The weaker one is often more attached to the relationship. They both recognize that the weaker one needs to change. He tries to mend his ways, he sincerely tries to change but without much success. It is hard to pinpoint whether he is unable to change due to lack of discipline, or, capability. One of them has some fulfillment out of their marriage, and the other one, barely any. There is no physical abuse in the relationship, perhaps only emotional abuse in the form of unkept promises, unmet expectations, unfulfilled desires. Such promises, expectations and desires that were made and agreed upon mutually but one of the partner is unable to match up. The stronger one may not move out because he pities the weaker one. They keep telling themselves that the other person is trying to change. The fact is that you cannot be in love with someone out of pity. You can be caring, loving, concerned but not in love.
So, should you stay put or call it quits when a relationship is an average one, it is non-abusive but also unfulfilling? The truth is, it is you alone who can make that decision. Do not seek external opinions or affirmations. You sit down in peace and jot down what is important to you. For example, is money more important to you than love, your own fulfillment or having both parents for your children? Make a list; based on what matters to you, arrive at a decision accordingly. And, if you do move out, make sure you take your time before getting into another relationship. I have often seen that people end up repeating patterns in their relationships. They repeatedly make similar choices ending up in similar relationships. Spend time with yourself in solitude. If you want to make the existing relationship work, or you just cannot call it quits, you are only left with one choice: accept your partner exactly the way he is. You have tried to change him, and he has tried to change himself but it has not worked. Acceptance will give you peace.
3. The Insignificant
This one is even more complicated. In this type of relationship, there is nothing seriously lacking in your partner or in the relationship for that matter. You both are doing well in your respective careers. However, the relationship has become insignificant in your life. The charm died long ago and fulfillment has disappeared. It has truly become like a bank account — transactional. You cannot pinpoint your finger at one thing. Nothing is missing as much as nothing is left in the relationship. Your bedroom conversations sound like boardroom meetings, they are all about planning and practicality, reporting and reviewing, decisions and directions. In other words, boardroom has become bored-room.
This is one of the top causes that prompts individuals to go outside their marriage or relationship for flings and other alliances. They have grown tired of eating bland food, day in day out. Sometimes such flirting takes a serious turn transforming into an affair. The one who has discovered and revived love and laughter in his life, decides to move on. The other partner feels betrayed. Before they move out, the relationship shifts to type two: the pitiful type. The infidel is no longer attached to the existing relationship and tries to love the partner out of pity. He cannot punish the partner because the other person has not done anything wrong. But loving out of pity does not and cannot continue for long. And before they know it, they end up on the two different poles.
However, if the two partners remain sincere, it is possible to restore harmony and love. In fact, it easier because a certain degree of care and understanding is already there. Find and play on that common ground, not of responsibilities but of joy, of fun, of living, of loving.
Go on! sit down like adults and work it out. Working out can be more pleasant than moving out, giving is better than giving up, growing together is better than growing out.
Discover your own truth, find your own way, chalk out your own path, the one where there is room for two to move together.
Some men wrote to me saying that my posts on marriage were little harsh on the males, that I only used the masculine pronoun. Please note that by ‘he’ I mean both ‘he/she’. I would rather be grammatically right than be diplomatically correct (smile).