I Just Want to Be Happy
- Friday, August 30, 2013
I pressed, “Each of you have demonstrated that what you feel at the moment is more important to you than vows you made. Emotions change. They did before; they can again. What happens then?”
She scowled, “I thought I was in love when I married before. Now I know what love really is and this love will last a lifetime.”
Against the advice of many who cared about her, she divorced her husband and married her paramour. It lasted nearly two years.
Now she is alone. She left a man who loved her, though they had severe problems, for a man who made her feel loved beyond anything she had ever imagined. As happens so often, her fairytale love turned out to be just that, a fairytale. She gave up so much for a short-term elation. If she had decided to get the help she and her first husband needed, she would still be married – happily married once they worked things out - to a man who truly loved her.
Now, she is alone. Her life will never be the same.
A Fact of Life
In the beginning of a relationship, two people tend to be on their best behaviors as they try to make the best impression on each other. They tend to listen more, be more generous and giving, and are more attentive to the other’s wishes. My friend Willard Harley calls it the Mother Teresa phase of a relationship. He says that in this phase each person feels “I want to do what makes you happy and avoid anything that makes you unhappy.”
However, as time passes, we tend to listen less, become less giving, and are more attentive to our own wishes. Willard says we can evolve to what he calls the Attila the Hun phase where each feels, “I want to do what makes me happy and avoid anything that makes me unhappy.”
When one relationship goes bad, it is easy to assume that we will find another that will be much better. However, assumptions have a way of leading to disaster. Things do not always work out the way we plan.
Every relationship has its problems. They start with rainbows; they eventually experience thunderstorms. While leaving one person may seem to be a solution to current difficulties, developing a relationship with a new person always leads to its own difficulties. Every relationship – even the birth of a child – carries the potential of pain over time. An advantage to fixing problems in a current relationship is that you know what the problems are. In any new or relatively new relationship, problems will come; however, you do not know what they will be.
Many have realized that the problems they left paled in comparison to the problems they encountered. Working things out with a current spouse minimizes risk of even greater pain lurking over the horizon in a new relationship.
Publication date: August 30, 2013
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