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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Lonely? Waiting For Love?

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Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Mother Teresa

Loneliness is painful.

  • You want love, affection, and companionship; not loneliness.
  • You want to live with someone; not alone.
  • You want someone available for conversation, outings, etc.; not, “When can we get together?”

So what do you do while you’re waiting for that special person?

You remember, “Living alone doesn’t = loneliness?” It’s true. You can live alone and not be lonely. It just takes work.

True, living alone isn’t as convenient as saying to a husband or a wife, “Let’s go get some pizza.” You have to make calls, get ready, and get out of the house. It does take energy, persistence, and determination. But, living alone doesn’t = loneliness.

You may ask yourself, “Is it worth the effort?” All that calling and planning and then your friend opts out at the last-minute and you find yourself thinking unkind thoughts. You may even use a few words of a religious nature. Of course it’s irritating when people don’t follow through. But, my training and experience says it’s worth the effort to support healthy relationships.

You really need to get out of the house.

  • You need the positive energy that good people bring with them.
  • You need people to help you celebrate and mourn life’s events.
  • You need to hug and be hugged.

You’re free, of course, to retreat to the recliner, chips, and TV. It’s convenient and comfortable. Who doesn’t enjoy a good movie or a good book – especially if it’s a dark, rainy, miserable day? You really don’t have to do anything with friends. You can sit at home with your pets.

But, as I stated in the previous article, you suffer when you don’t accept life as it is for us humans. The truth is that you’re a biochemical electrical creature who’ s energized by good people. You actually really need good people in your life.

You may wish you were self-sufficient but actually life is too beautiful and too terrifying for that. Both wonderful and horrible things happen on planet earth. You need to travel with a group to celebrate good times and to find solace when difficult times arrive.

It all comes down to, “What are you willing to do?” What are you willing to do to keep yourself positive and healthy?

My professional, and personal, experience leads me to recommend your being proactive in at least three major ways:

  • Be ready to date so that you’re open to a new compatible person. For example –

Be social; stay used to being with people.
Don’t give in to anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Get help if you need it so that you’re a positive person.

  • Develop and support loving supportive relationships as a single person so that you’re being loved as you are. You’ll do better if you’re not starved emotionally.
  • Robotically get yourself to events where it’s possible to meet new people around your age. Go whether you feel like it or not. Act like a robot who’s programed to go out.

You may not feel like doing any of these things and of course you don’t have to. However, isolating leads to depression, then to anxiety, and then to even more depression and anxiety as you realize how alone you really are. Your friends drift away. Family doesn’t find you very inviting. Few people are attracted to depressed and anxious people; they’re emotionally draining. It eventually comes down to you and your pets and even your dog may not seem as excited to see you. But, your life doesn’t have to come down to this.

Here are a few things that elevate mood and energy. –

  • Use music, religious faith, beauty, and meaningful work to energize you.
  • Buy an affectionate pet. Petting, touching, is good for you.
  • Use meditation to increase your ability to connect with yourself, others, nature, and God.

Passively waiting is rarely a good strategy. Give yourself a chance. Be ready so that if the right person shows up you’re emotionally there. Why should you use lose a good opportunity and let someone else enjoy the relationship?

You’re not alone! Family and friends can still give strength and courage. Groups give helpful ideas and encouragement. Physicians, professional psychotherapists, and counselors work to decrease depression and anxiety and help people stay focused on their goals. Support is available. Be courageous and get the help you need.

Here are my main points –

  • A single person need not live a lonely life.
  • It always takes an effort to stay connected with people.
  • It’s worth the effort.

If you’re feeling lonely ask yourself –

  1. What’s my next step so that I’m loving and enjoying people?
  2. How can I get myself to do what I know I need to do?
  3. What help do I need?

I wish you the very best.

Feel free to comment on the article in the space below. You can email me at cmosemann@cox.net if you have any questions.

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