Saturday, April 05, 2008

The problem with relationships is that they involve people?

While I ponder how best to recap this evening's concert with Mae, I thought I'd post something I wrote for my myspace blog:

Every now and again I get the urge to "discuss" relationships on my blog. Lucky for you, today is one of those days. ;)

My spouse and I have been married almost 32 years, and when I mention this fact to others it nearly always seems to elicit expressions of amazement. Sometimes it does seem like we’ve survived each other this long against all odds. I like being around people, and if I’m not then I’m on the computer communicating in some way, shape or form and/or listening to music or reading. I’m a very people-oriented person. My husband hates crowds and avoids them whenever possible. He would rather sit in front of the tv with his remote. If he wants, he can fall asleep to the noise and no one cares. He would be happy living in a remote corner of the world with no one to bother him. I like touching, hugs and physical expression. He is more aloof. He is very mechanically-oriented. I clearly don’t share that gift. I am bad about forgetting and misplacing things. He rarely does (although that’s changing in recent years - breaks my heart. LOL) In many ways, we are total opposites, yet we manage to work things out. For one thing, I don’t think anyone else would put up with him (and vice versa, if the truth be told.) There is every reason that our relationship should not have worked. Studies show that couples that live together fare more poorly than those that don’t and we lived together 11 months before getting married. Stats also show that couples that know each other 3-5 years have the most successful marriages - more than 5 years and the stats look a little bleaker as more than 5 years is generally an indication of committment issues. Obviously there are exceptions and we are proof of that. My husband and I knew each other barely over a year before we tied the knot. So, why are we still here?

It seems to me that those who have difficulty with relationships often fall into one of several camps. Some people want a relationship so bad that they will fall hard for anyone that seems to fit the bill, and when it isn’t healthy they will try to make it work just the same. They will even try to remake the person if that’s what it takes. So, they go from one bad relationship to another. They fall for what seems romantic or good to them at the time and never stop to think about what they really have to give to a relationship nor do they pay attention to warning flags.

The other extreme is a fear to commit at all. Sometimes people just have unrealistic expectations. They are waiting for their "perfect" partner. What if I "settle" for this person and "that" person is out there? The problem is that there is no such thing as perfect when people are involved. You cannot base a relationship totally on anyone else’s model completely as no two people (and consequently no two couples) are exactly alike.

Most of us have seen people with a seemingly perfect relationship and it’s hard not to want what they have. But if you know someone with a good relationship, and you really stop to take a look, you will see that they have that good relationship because they actually work at it. Yes, relationships are work!! They cannot be neglected and survive well. I would also maintain that no matter how close you think you are to another couple, I can guarantee that you don’t know everything about them or their relationshp. It might actually be kinda creepy if you did. ;)

What it boils down to is that some people just have unrealistic expectations. If you spend your time looking for the relationship someone else has, you will never find it. If you look for someone who is exactly "perfect" you will be looking a long time. Any two people can make a relationship or marriage work IF they both want to. What it really takes is committment. My pastor once said that a person was ready for that committment when they could think about someone besides themselves. And I believe he was exactly right.

Is it love without risk? Absolutely not! But few things worth having come too easy. There is an old saw that goes, "It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Whoever first coined that phrase was wise indeed. The person who avoids love to avoid pain never gets to experience the best part of living.

So, I’m looking at 32 years of marriage, with all of it’s ups and downs, and I can honestly say I’m glad I haven’t spent it alone. My husband and I are both so far from perfect it’s laughable. But we are committed (perhaps in more ways than one?) and love follows. It’s hard to truly imagine being with anyone else who knows me like he does and I hope he feels the same. If not, well, I love him anyway. ;) LOL

I’d say here’s to 32 more years, but still trying to decide if I want to be THAT old. LOL

Love, peace and God’s blessings,

Melanie

1 comment:

Andrea said...

ahh I really like this post.
You know.. I think i'm one of those ppl that have unrealistic expectations. I can't help it. Thing is that I come from a broken family so i really want to find the right person cuz Im so not going through a divorce. Im breaking the chain. I think you are very right, it takes commitment and effort, and real true love from both sides.