“One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;/ The Flower that once has blown forever dies.” – Edward FitzGerald
Death in any form is unavoidable. The death of a relationship no matter how short or how long should indeed have a proper burial.
Today we hear of relationships ending by way of a text or E mail. Some long-term marriages end when one or both parties realize they have been in a dead relationship maybe, forever, and this is their last chance for true love and happiness.
The first step is to be aware that you are in a relationship that is not providing happiness in the ways it should. You know how you feel about someone.
Now it doesn’t mean that the fire and passion of an earlier part of your coming together has to remain on complete fire, but it does mean that when the cinders do not ignite you are no longer emotionally attached the way you should be.
Death can have been at the door from the get-go. Maybe other aspects got you joined and kept you together. That’s all well and good and perhaps for the majority of people, enough. We are all different with varying capacities for connection and intimacy.
You will know if you are DEAD!! If your mind won’t entertain the thought your body will make you aware; it will get sick!
It’s sort of damned if you do know and damned if you don’t. A real conundrum and dilemma.
Years together mean NOTHING!! It’s like the gerbil running around on that wheel and going nowhere.
Some people are emotionally twenty something for life while others grow, develop and move on.
A dying relationship can come in small doses and ‘neglects’ on one or both parties. It can also be a fatal shot in one big blast opening the whole thing up for a final and quick exit.
Most are subtle and slow. No one is ‘minding’ the store.
Love in a grown-up relationship takes attention and really caring about pleasing the `other’ as opposed to oneself. It is a generous way of living and makes you happy to please. That is where your pleasure comes from.
So, let’s say you are aware that the thing you share is a dead partnership. The next question is what to do about it.
If there is a connection that turns you on; that can be fanned and the flame can be ignited; maybe even better than before.
If that is gone you can get professional help to review the issues and see if things can be changed and improved. You may decide to just remain and go on as is.
If not, then a serious discussion about the burial plans needs to take place.
If children are involved they and their welfare has to be reviewed. Money and legal concerns about property, insurance, and daily living expenses need to be discussed.
All the dividing up of assets is a big deal breaker for many couples. Things will NEVER make up for an empty heart!!
I used to say, after decades of doing marriage counseling, that we should stamp out first marriages. They are the ‘trial’ run, for the real thing!
Today young people are not marrying so fast and only later after much experience. My hope is that that will make for better loving couples.
One of the difficult areas in all of this is when one partner wants to bury the relationship and the other doesn’t. But trust me, if one side is feeling ‘dead’ the other is too, but can’t face it.
Burials are sad and difficult. Staring ‘death’ in the face takes a heap of courage. Not everyone is brave! And not everyone is capable of a decent respectful burial.
Today the opposite is also a consideration; burying something too fast before it may be officially dead.
There are no prizes here for endurance contests or doing one’s duty, sacrificing the ‘self.’ The good news is that there is no longer the old stigma and many families have joined other families to exhibit real happiness and working relationships to their children. Therein lies the real hope for the future!
“A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.” – Thomas Mann