18 July 2012

On Relationships and Matters of the Heart

A good friend of mine is struggling with matters of the heart at the moment. I so much want to help fix things for her. I am a 'fixer*'... for other people anyway. But often these issues can't be fixed by an outsider; it's up to the people in the relationship and no one else.

These sort of issues make me think of my relationship with my Ex. There has been considerable time between the rawness of what happened. In fact, it's crazy and amazing to think the break-up was 4 months ago!

I think there is an art to realising when things can't be fixed. Like: just throw out the toaster and get a new one because it’s cheaper and easier. And sometimes the old toaster is just so broken the wiring could now kill you. I am not implying that I was involved with a murderer. But the wiring was definitely f*cked.

It's now when you can look back and go: yeah, that was actually a sign that this relationship was doomed. I remember something he said to me on our very first date - I didn't like it, it didn't sit with me, and, guuurrrlfriend, it was a neon flashing 100 metre sign! I can remember it clearly too... I ignored it though.

There were many other signs, some of them subtle and some of them caused fights. I am sure he saw signs in me too.

I have learnt so much. Those years were not a waste. It was meant to happen. I KNOW the ending wasn't meant to be with marriage and children. Because I couldn't imagine it. Now and then my brain went there, I won't deny it - I just couldn't see it, and what I did see didn't feel right.

It was really great to have someone. And to be had by someone. Letting go is pretty hard. But now I don't NEED 'someone'. I don't really want 'someone' at the moment either. I'm happy just being me.

My friend's issues are different to what mine were. I am trying hard not to compare their relationship to mine; there are too many differences. I want her to be happy. I want him to see that he is hurting her, and to respect her more. The geographical distance makes it hard too - I want to be there for her, and to slap him around the head. I want to know his side. I want to FIX it.

I also wish all people could see both sides of a situation. I have had too many conflicts with people that just refuse to see the other side - it's too black and white. It makes me so angry, and sometimes it has hurt me. I thought 'putting yourself in someone else's shoes' wasn't a skill or talent, but apparently it is. I'm not saying that if you can do that, you will always be right. It can still come down to personal opinions...

People are complex. Put them in a relationship and the complexities multiply exponentially. I don't think I have ever seen a perfect one. My parents have been together for 37 years - still not perfect. Aiming for perfection won't work, in my opinion. I think aiming for mutual happiness is the goal - how can one person be happy in a relationship if they know their partner is miserable? And if they don't know their other half isn’t happy, it is usually because of lack of communication. Expressing feelings is never easy, but it has to be done at some point... or nothing can be fixed.

So, share your feelings in a calm environment full of trust. Don't be afraid, don't repress... Because how can a relationship work smoothly otherwise??


*I hate seeing friends in pain. I want, or need, to fix 'things' for them to make it better. I am a good listener. If only I could fix my own issues, right? I am usually a hypocrite with my advice, but it's the ol' 'do what I say, not what I do' story.

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