I know that this sounds like an obvious statement, however I see many wonderful people living a life of unhappiness because, although they love their partners, they are making themselves miserable just by living with them day by day.
I have wondered if the old black and white movies had anything to do with all this fantasy of a wildly tumultuous relationship, being seen as fabulous and exciting. For those of you who have never seen a black and white movie they were dramatic, romantic and always given over to the male being the strong super wise, hard to get, type and the woman being able to faint at the slightest glance in her direction from this totally adorable Adonis… I cannot think of an equivalent modern day example, except some of the horrors of the television series of later years. These shows have created just as many images to younger viewers of co-dependence and blatant messages of addictive behavior.
Some couples stick together, through every abuse and invalidation and cause themselves much heartache and depression. It’s one thing to hang in there until a few problems can be sorted out at the beginning of a relationship, however, what I have been able to see, is that many couples stay together because they simply are afraid to break out of the prison cell of unhappiness and walk feely without a partner.
To wake up every morning and not be happy with your relationship is a sure way to create depression and sadness. To live with constant verbal or physical abuse and invalidation is to create just that… an invalid. The fear of leaving an unhappy situation is sometimes so overwhelming that the abuse and name calling is the choice of preference. Then the fear itself becomes the oppressor
I hear my clients say to me “…but I love him/her”. It’s not enough. Love does not excuse actions that are detrimental to another. We can love many people, and if they choose to abuse us or call us names then we are able to choose if that person is good for us or not and remove ourselves from harms way. Love is having the same amount of respect for yourself as you have for another. Love is an equal exchange of energy and tenderness that draws from your heart to that of others. We can love many people; we don’t have to live with all of them!
Co-dependent relationships seek to change another, that is “mission impossible”! We can never turn our partners into someone that is perfect in our eyes… those movies, parents and friends all taught us co-dependence. Co-committed relationships recognize that both people need to change in order to create harmony and love.
If you are feeling depressed as a result of the negative behavior of a person that you know and or love, spend a little less time with them if you can, get some help from a counselor and I recommend some Rebirthing/Breathwork. The pattern of the abuse, control, intolerance or negativity may have been created by your past. It is often the case that we are subconsciously attracted to behavior that we recognize and are familiar with. I was only laughing today, with a client about how amazing it is that we can marry personalities who are almost exactly like our parents, even though at the time that we meet them they are nothing like them!
Don’t stay unhappy and depressed, I know that it takes courage to change, but you are the only one that can. Be gentle on yourself.
“I was like one who had shut myself in
Closed the windows, locked all the doors
Afraid of the dark and the beat of my heart
Yet knowing there had to be more
Though it sounds like a great contradiction
It’s the easiest thing to explain
You see, I was afraid I might never love again”
“ Love Again” by John Denver