The Mirror of Relationship
He woke up one day, and realized that he didn’t recognize his marriage, his partner or himself. He realized that things had gone on in a certain way for years and years, but that for a long time now, he had just been going through the motions.
Certainly, he loved his kids, now in their early teens, and was a very giving parent. He knew he wanted good things for them, was prepared to make all kinds of sacrifices for them, and could not bear the thought of hurting them. Outside of the relationship with the kids, though, what was there that remained positive, or that had any life in it?
He thought of his wife and felt that he had nothing in common with her anymore. It was almost painful these days to spend time together. She seemed so different from the woman that he had been in love with, all those years ago. He could remember how thrilled he had been to be with her, to share things with her, and just to talk early in their relationship. It had been so intoxicating! But now there was little that they enjoyed doing together.
With pangs of sharp feeling, he realized that he himself had changed. The young adult “keener” who had worked so hard to supply all the material things, and who had sought to advance himself any way he could had disappeared now. In that person`s place was someone who among other things, realized that he was not immortal, and who wanted the things that he did with his life and his time to count — to be meaningful to him. And right now what he was experiencing in his relationship was not meaningful, and was not making him feel good that he was alive.
The experience of this man is not uncommon. He could just as easily be a woman, or a partner in a gay or lesbian relationship. In our current world of shifting relationships, people are now often much readier to acknowledge when relationships and marriages are no longer working. This is not to say that such awareness comes easily: it may often be a very difficult matter for a partner when they finally have to admit to themselves that their relationship, once so full of hope, is now a shell of its former self.
When such awareness dawns, there is usually no going back from it. It may be that the couple concerned will end their relationship, or it may be that the relationship will change dramatically One thing that you can be very sure of: the relationship that used to exist has outlived itself, and is dead and gone. Something new, either within or without the relationship, must now emerge.
QUESTIONS FOR WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE RELATIONSHIP CRUCIBLE:
1. Who has changed in the relationship? Me? My partner? Both of us?
2. How did I see my partner when we first got together? What attracted me to my partner? How do I see my partner now?
3. Do I see my partner realistically? What are the aspects of him/her that I don’t acknowledge, or that I don’t understand?
4. Are there aspects of myself that I see in my partner. Are there aspects of anyone else that I recognize in him or her.
5. What am I really yearning for in relationship.
Website for Brian’s Oakville and Mississauga Practice: www.briancollinson.ca
Get “Vibrant Jung Thing” posts delivered to your email using the “FeedBurner” box in the left column!