A friend of mine told me today about how his sister and brother-in-law are divorcing. Apparently there were some issues with substance abuse, but it began to really strain their relationship. While he was telling me the story, I tried to fathom how difficult it must have been trying to balance the reality of the love you feel for someone, while caring for yourself enough to know when to let go.
It’s been an interesting point of argument for a number of people I have discussed this with. If 50% of marriages fail, is it because of a lack of effort, or because it wasn’t meant to be in the first place?
On one hand, why feel like you have to stay with someone just because at one point you felt something powerful for them. If your needs are not being met, if the love isn’t being reciprocated despite your best efforts, why feel obligated? On the other, you wouldn’t have wanted to share your life with them if on some level you didn’t feel you could commit to them on a deep level. Granted, that’s not the case for every union, I think that’s the general idea.
It’s really got me evaluating, focusing on who I want to become, who I’m supposed to become prior to entering into my next relationship. I couldn’t imagine the guilt of making a decision I knew I’d later regret in the heat of the moment because I haven’t put the work into myself. I’m beginning to see this awareness as a gift.
I’m also beginning to consider how I’d like to learn from people who have suffered from addictions.