We bring more of ourselves to love than we realise. That is, more of who we are deep down underneath is brought to bear upon our love, as is the deep-down-underneath nature of our partners.
When two such worlds collide, as they do in romance, love can become a symphony of blessing or, equally, the source of great pain. The truth of love: sometimes it works out; sometimes it doesn’t:
“Sometimes it lasts in love,
but sometimes it hurts instead.”
~Adele, Someone Like You (2011)
There are always discernible causes for love that ends, but pity the one who, in their ignorance, puts themselves beyond their relationship ending. Many have learned to rue such pride—to have thought their relationships were protected, somehow, from breakage when, in fact, they weren’t.
A World With No Guarantees
Despite assurances of commitment, that the relationship will endure any hardship, and that divorce is not an option, time is the great definer in the conquest for relational intimacy to truly endure.
Commitment is found to wax and wane over time; and whether it waxes sufficiently or is left to wane, at times too much, is up to each couple and each individual within that couple. One thing we can ‘rely’ on, though, is the mysterious phenomenon known to things outside of our control.
Anyone who feels their relationship is beyond trouble, disrepair, or final breakage is fooling only themselves. Things may still end badly.
Doing What Can Be Done
Granted that we have less control over our relational lives than we would like, it begs us to do the diligent work we can to protect, and provide for, our relationships. The amount of work we put in is commensurate upon the amount the relationship means to us and maintenance it needs. But we should also be reminded of the waxing and waning nature of all relationships; all relationships need nurture, ongoing care and attention.
Doing what can be done also relates to those times when love has ended badly; when things have gone beyond disrepair and into an irredeemable abyss.
When love hurts, and love’s executioner, grief, has entered the scene, there is a new thing to be done—a thing we never want to do, but something we must. A process of grief has commenced. Getting back at our betraying partners won’t solve our personal malady. No, only our fullest attention to the details of our grief will do that—that, with time.
Nothing hurts so much as love gone wrong. It happens to all of us in many ways. Worse, it occurs at the ending of a long-term partnership. And the process of grief begins; a process we need to attend to if we wish to be healthy again.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.