What every couple knows….
by: Michael Waldrip
The ideal of romantic love is of very recent origin in the world. Romantic love is the dominant view in the West. Seeking a partner who will fulfill the other is the goal of nearly everyone. Finding a partner that is your friend, confidant and lover is the Holy Grail for those seeking a lifetime partner. The search is on to find completion in the other. This journey to find “the one” is the grist of romantic novels and movies.
Anyone who is or has ever been married or in a relationship knows the other side of love – suffering. The possibility of someone meeting your deepest needs and someone who is there for you for the rest your life melts in the reality of unmet needs, hurt and loneliness. How did this happen? Or how could this happen? The person who pledged love to you, and nearness, and closeness and the possibility of intimacy is now distant, cold and unconcerned about your wellbeing. Maybe intimacy is a possibility, but it is more like chasing the mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Intimacy becomes a mirage.
Suffering in a relationship is a reality for so many and suffering takes many forms; but suffering always leads to pain. Few couples reach their full potential for happiness and growth. Suffering is the universal experience couples are most aware of.
Love & Suffering
Why is suffering the norm? It goes back to childhood. Everyone is looking for a partner to give him/her what was lacking. It is like being on the school playground and participating in a pick-up basketball game. There may have been fifteen people wanting to play but only ten can play. And the world is experienced differently from who is picked first, and who is picked last, and who isn’t picked at all. Everyone desires to be someone’s number one pick in life. When your partner isn’t there for you and is seemingly callous to your needs, the pain experienced in the past is revived in the present relationship.
If your relationship is painful and has suffering, I would challenge you to discuss this with a professional. Perhaps your relationship has much more potential than you realize. Seek the road better travelled!