Writerly Rant #8
When 1+1 Makes 3
The biggest statistic there is on relationships is that without clear communication between two people, it’s hard to keep one going – a relationship. If everybody knows this, if smart people know this, why are people still breaking up over lack of communication?
I’ll tell you why.
People think they know their partner so well, that the conversation they should be having out loud with their significant other is being held in their head instead. This is not communication, this is assumption and we all know what happens when you assume…
A friend of mine lost his wife to cancer 5 years ago. A woman he met at work helped him through the initial stages of the grieving process. They moved in together 2 years later, as a couple, looking for new beginnings. Without warning, she moves out after 3 years. This devastates my friend and impacts not just his life, but the lives of his extended family as well – she had been welcomed by his relatives with open arms, infused herself within their lives, and then leaves without weighing the consequences of her actions.
Were things a bit rocky between the couple before her leaving?
Did she have open an honest conversations with my friend about her concerns?
She was passive aggressive and hinted at her feelings. She would hedge topics and talk openly with some of his relatives looking for advice that she never bothered to use.
The kicker is she says she still loves him.
But the ghosts of his past, particularly memories of his dead wife, haunt her on a daily basis. While I agree that my friend likely never properly finished grieving for his wife and needed extra help with this process, he never intended to rattle his new love with comparisons of the old.
But that’s what she chose to see.
Their house, their furniture, their plate set, their marriage bed, their old life clinging to dated walls and faded memories.
Where was the new beginning she was promised?
I wonder if her expectations were too high. Maybe they did move in together too fast. If she had just opened her mouth and was honest with him, they could have avoided this weird limbo-relationship they now find themselves in.
Now, here’s the kicker.
My friend is back in therapy for grief counselling; he is selling his family home & most of the furniture; and he is turning his life up-side-down for a woman who has done nothing to meet him half-way. Yet, she claims she still loves him.
So then, maybe the question is what is love?
I was married less than a month after turning 22. I have been married now for 13 years. Love alone has not kept us together – honesty has. Honesty has also contributed to all of our major disagreements over the years but our love was the glue that bound us together over these hurdles.
Love is not the fluff fairy tale romances are spun around. Love is mud in your eye and getting clean in the shower together afterward.
She says she loves him – but I’ve yet to see the proof of it.
He says he loves her – but a man can only give so much of himself before the well runs dry.
When all is said and done and the ghosts are laid to rest, will it be enough? Or will she simple find another excuse and another scapegoat to come between them?
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