Disappointment in Love and Marriage?

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The only life worth living is a life you are truly and honestly passionate about.
Albert Einstein.

When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship. Joseph Campbell

If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.
Yogi Berra

Here are three examples of love and romance going south. Think about what they have in common and how you might advise a friend:

Brian: You want to leave? Just like that?
Sandra: Well, you know, we just fell in together. You needed a place to stay and I offered you a room. It’s not working for me now.
Brian: It’s been two years; I thought we were doing great.
Sandra: Well, I’m thinking that I need a change.
Brian: “Wow, I thought you loved me.”
Sandra to friend: Sharing expenses and sex were nice but I’m just not into Brian.

My take on it: Don’t assume that you know your lover. Ask where he/she is headed.

What do you think? How would you advise a friend?

What about this situation?

Ella: “Turn off the T.V. We need to talk.”
Michael: “Just a minute, the Redskins are about to score!” (Redskin fans know this is really important.)
Ella: “You’re always watching TV; we need to talk. Now!”
Michael: “Why?”
Ella: “I want to get married and have a baby.”
Michael: “What? With me?” (Confounded)
Ella: “Yes, you. Why not? It’s been two years.”
Michael: “I like it this way. I’m not into marriage and children.”
Ella: “You never told me that?”
Michael: “You never asked.” (And, he goes back to the game. After all, it’s the Redskins.)

My take on it: If you really want children, or anything else, you better ask your lover before you’re really attached emotionally.

What do you think? How would you advise a friend.

Henry: “Hi honey. Thought I’d call and let you know what happened at lunch. A brilliant idea came to me as I was drinking my coffee. I’ll get home as soon as I can but, again, I may have to work all night.”
Mary: “What, again? I might as well be single. It seems like you’re spending more and more time at the lab.”
Henry: “ Science is demanding. But, my invention could revolutionize my business – and our life!”
Mary: “I didn’t get married to go to bed alone and bring up our children by my self! Maybe Ken from daycare can stay with the children while I go to my garden club meeting tonight.”
Henry: “Ken who?”
Mary: “Oh just a man I met at daycare. He likes the kids and seems safe.”

My take on it: Before you marry get it straight about time devoted to work and time devoted to personal life.

How would you advise a friend?

So, what do think these examples have in common?

I see lovers making –

Assumptions
Unilateral decisions
Reactive responses

What do you see?

I believe that assumptions and unilateral decision-making will almost certainly lead to disappointment among lovers. You can’t know what your lover wants without asking. “Where is this relationship headed” is a very good question.

Living together, sex, even marriage, can give you the feeling that you’re a couple without there being any verbalized commitment to how you’ll live as a couple. You may give your all only to find that for your lover –

The in-love feeling wasn’t there or died.
He/she is looking for someone better.
A permanent live-in lover is scary.
Etc.

Consider inviting your lover to share his/her hopes, dreams, and expectations and share yours. This along with planning can avoid much in the way of assumptions, unilateral decision-making, and disappointment. Compassionate, loving, articulate people can honestly share their hopes and dreams and determine whether they want to commit to a shared future (marriage).

Of course there is an alternative to talking things out – never commit yourself to anyone or anything; just drift along and see what happens. Maybe true love is a myth.

But, the result could be this –

You: “This place makes me feel young again!”
Friend: “Are you nuts. There’s no one here over twenty-five. It’s a pickup joint. Have you forgotten how old you are and that I’ve been happily married for twenty-five years.
You: “We’re not two old for this place. Let’s see what happens.”
Waitress: “Hi pops. Lose your daughter?”

Actually, years of drifting may not look so pretty. It’s the clearest path to loneliness in old age. (You may not care about that now but you will.)

Commitment to someone, commitment to worthwhile work, and looking forward to something positive in the future all lead to contentment.

I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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