Fortunately, there are times our closest relationships are tested to the brink! Many of you are questioning this comment while beginning to wonder if I have lost it. I don’t think so, but I am certainly open to criticism…
The example I want to use to illustrate my feelings in this post will be marriage. Marriage to me is the closest relationship we will ever enjoy. Within marriage we share our inner most feelings often violating fears of vulnerability. We obligate to each other a commitment of complete dedication through all life may offer good or bad. We create a family perpetuating our linage. We build each other up to be the “best we can be,” and enjoy deeper intimacy than with any other person.
So why did I begin with “fortunately” we are tested? Today I see more interruption in significant relationships than I have in any other time. Some of which include very dear friends and close neighbors. I haven’t been immune personally, and I know without question there is light at the end of the tunnel. I want to give anyone reading this post hope for a better day (with the person you have called your closest friend); if you are currently struggling.
We begin our relationship with our hearts full of love, excited for the future, and feel as though we are walking on clouds. Little things which may be negative are overlooked and strengths are exaggerated as defining the whole person. Discussions are lighter, time spent together is less, and there really is no mutual obligations creating unusual stress.
As John Denver sang so well about Annie, our love contains senses like a night in the forest, the mountains in springtime, a walk in the rain, a storm in the desert, or a sleepy blue ocean. He also suggested we beg to love our partner, we give our lives to them, we drown in their laughter, we want to die in their arms, we desire laying beside them, and we want to be with them always. Good thoughts!
It is nearly impossible to maintain that heightened sense of love which leans so heavily on infatuation in the beginning stages of our relationship. What we often don’t see in marriage is that our love is maturing and growing significantly. We learn about each other over the years finding additional reasons for our bond. In our growth, our closeness allows for a partner to understand us so well that she/he could fill in sentences or suggest outcomes to events prior to the happening. This closeness may manifest itself (if not understood) is boredom.
We go through the same old routines, sometimes living as if we are robotic. Life may hand us a trial or two which tests our relationship. Difficult times then raise emotion, raised emotions create feelings, feelings are often misunderstood, misunderstanding leads to separation (if not physically, emotionally), separation becomes independence, and independence may sever the ties (communication) to one another that are so vital in relationships.
This slippery slope gets us running downhill fast! Know from me through witnessing miracles that this can easily be turned around. When it does, oh boy are you in for a great relationship; and a lot of fun…
To turn this ship around, at least one of you need to have the desire (you both have it, check your hearts); both is preferred (it will come). Let’s begin by having you express interest. To do this you may need to swallow your pride. Simply step forward with an extended arm of love. You will soon see there is willing partner awaiting your first move. Next open your heart with listening ears, don’t judge, don’t fix, don’t interject, simply sit back showing the greatest empathy you have ever shown. As you do remember this is the one who is your partner! Naturally you too will be given space for expression; wait patiently for it. Go to where is doesn’t appear safe, be vulnerable, share feelings, let your partner know how you feel and what makes you happy.
After our trials, our love is reawakened, our fire rekindled, and the clarity of us needing each other is magnified beyond belief. Learn from these experiences. If you feel that downward momentum coming into your relationship again (it will come), put on your brakes, open yourself, share feelings letting the ever present flow of emotion to move through your body safely and freely.
When these emotions are shared as above, the realization of the significance we play in each others life launches our relationship into a higher realm. A foundation is created limiting the times our relationship will fall into treacherous waters. Through these tests we become better, our relationships stronger, and we will endure more easily that which lies ahead of us. That is why I said, “Fortunately,” and mean it.
So, if you like I, have been down an unwanted road, or are going down that path today. Don’t give up! Know “this too will pass” and when it does; life will be better than you have ever dreamt...