Recently I received a Facebook message from a friend telling me she was getting a divorce. This is a person I’ve known since Junior High and although we’ll comment on each other’s statuses here and there, we haven’t actually talked in many, many years.
It’s pretty cool.
When I received this message, I was shocked. Shocked, because to follow them on Facebook, they seemed to be the quintessential happy couple. I never would have imagined they were having troubles. I was sad. I was sad for her and sad for her young daughter. But I was also fascinated. Fascinated, because the reason she gave for divorcing her husband was one of the most unique explanations I’ve ever heard. But as she clarified further, I could absolutely understand why the marriage hadn’t worked out. It just was a scenario I never would have thought of.
And because of this, then I was scared.
One of the benefits I’ve found from starting this relationship with My Boyfriend at the age of 43 is that both of us have not only learned many things from going through our own relationships with others, but also we’ve seen the ins and outs of our friends’ relationships for over two decades. Neither of us have ever been married, so we can’t speak directly to that, but we’ve seen from afar – many relationships start, many relationships end, and many relationships still going strong after years and years.
My Boyfriend is an excellent communicator and I can’t shut up about most things in general, so we’ve earnestly talked at length on what we can do to safeguard ourselves from some of the common pitfalls we’ve observed. We are both extremely committed to this for the long-haul and we’ve attempted to go over every situation possible to ensure we’re prepared for whatever is thrown our way.
But the thing is, and what I learned from this message, is that that is just impossible. Situations will come up that we never imagined. We can love each other madly, we can take every preventable measure gleaned from watching our friends, and we can do our best to ward off uncertainties. But that is no guarantee we will be each other’s Happily Ever After.
I think I can say with all certainty that when one starts a significant relationship, everyone involved is hoping for the Fairy-Tale Ending. No one wants to end up resenting or hating or leaving their partner, storming out the door seething and screaming, “I FUCKING WISH YOU WERE DEAD!”
So why is it some relationships persist and some don’t?
I have no idea.
And that’s what I want to ask you guys – what is the the number one thing you’ve found that has made your relationship last? Or on the flip-side, perhaps ended it? What is important to remember when you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?
Please sound off in the comments below with your thoughts.
I’d love to hear them.