I was reading one of the many inspirational stories by Humans of New York, and came across a post about a woman who endured inhumane treatment for the sake of love. She naïvely believed that if she loved her husband enough, she would will herself to become someone else altogether, hoping that would please her man and culminate in her own happiness.
But she, and many of us, forget that love is not enough to sustain relationships. There are many other equally pertinent emotions, like acceptance and respect, which make the boat float.
We, in retrospect, look back and tell ourselves that I would have been fine with Mr.X, even though he would have forced me to exchange my wardrobe for black coveralls, limited worldly interaction and offered me to a life dedicated to kitchen and bedroom, at best. I would have been fine, because I would have loved him enough to ignore such ‘petty’ material desires of mine.
The truth, however brazen, is that we love ourselves more than we would like to accept. Such compromises and sacrifices question the very core of your being and make you wonder who you really are. The consequent resent and dissatisfaction makes you an unhappy person, and have you ever seen a sourly woman make a happy home?
When paths change and companions are lost, we torment ourselves with false self-disappointed notions. I, for one, am all for blame-thee-self (even when your best friend chants incessantly that he was a pig and not worth it). Maybe I could have done this better, it would have worked out if I had given that up…
But after so many years of loving, losing and repeating the same cycle, there is one thing I have realised and make an effort to remember always: Love needs to be honest and not about what s/he can be but what s/he is, and accepting that in entirety.
It isn’t easy; for example, I am forever finding myself in his closet, thinking up of ways that I can get rid of that checkered shirt I just can’t stand. Thankfully, it is a small inconvenience in a big scheme of things. But imagine if it were his perception of perfect wife that I was battling against? If he hoped that I would one day morph into Martha Stewart when I can barely make an omelette? It would have been disappointment, resentment and straying eyes.
Love the person s/he is now – I know people change but not so much when it comes to core values and family systems. Take it for the face value (men aren’t all that great a mystery anyway) and you will save yourself a handful of unnecessary battles.
Happy Weekend! Xx