I Do until I Don’t

I found out some news today that made me cry. A friend of mines is getting divorced. I can’t express how much I really was hoping that they would work things out. Even while knowing the improbability of that with them residing in two different states, I was hoping for a miracle. I was hoping that they would both come to their senses, realize the errors of their ways and reconcile. I can only imagine what they are going through now. After a few years of being together, they realize they want to spend the rest of their lives together and get married. After a few years of marriage, they realize that they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives together and get divorced. It doesn’t make sense to me. What did years of marriage reveal that years of courtship didn’t for them to change their minds? Having never been married, I have no personal experiences to compare the life of marriage to. However, I have dated a man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I can compare the self awareness of their situation to mines, just that theirs came after saying “I do.”

It may be the writer in me that makes me very analytic, but throughout the course of my last relationship, I analysed everything. My best friend said I was being too analytical and I needed to go with the flow more. I am so glad I disregarded that advice. Going with the flow would have never made me ask the questions that I needed to ask of a man that I was considering spending the rest of my life with. Not just questions of him, but questions of myself. The best question that a person can ask themselves while considering marriage is “If this person never changes, could you spend the rest of your life with them?” 

Often times we find ourselves being attracted to a person’s potential. We do like the person they are, but the potential they have is an irresistible allure.  No one is perfect, but everyone has the potential to be close to someone’s ideal of perfection. The person that shows the most potential to grow into our ideal is usually the one we find our hearts settling on. The unfortunate part is that, a person needs to be willing to become what you want. No matter how much they care about you, if they are unwilling to be the person you need them to be, you won’t go very far.  

When I asked myself this question in my last relationship, I knew it was over. I had already invested years into it without much improvement. It always came back to the one thing that I needed that he was unwilling to give. This is why a journal comes in handy. Going back over how many times I was discontent about the same things showed that progress was not being made. I knew that I couldn’t spend the rest of my life with this. Did it mean that I stopped loving him? No. It simply meant that I became aware that he would never be the person I needed. 

It’s not just about their character flaws. It’s also about the things that you need for them to do for you in order for you to feel loved. Affection and Love are two different emotions. Affection is much easier to communicate. It’s light and fresh. Doesn’t take much commitment to show it either. You show it as the mood hits you. Love? Not so easy. That’s why so many fail in showing it. It doesn’t matter what excuses a person gives you as to why they aren’t giving you what you need. The end result is still the same. You don’t feel loved. It’s obvious that a person should leave a loveless situation. I just wish the awareness of their situation happened before saying “I do.” Or maybe it did, but they both were trying to force the issue instead of moving on.