Monday, September 5, 2016

Presumption, Assumption and Judgment, the Relationship Killers...

Louis C. K. once said, "Nobody leaves a good marriage."
This is certainly something I believed; until tonight...

Here I am in Las Vegas, proudly proclaimed "The City of Sin," during my second stop on my West Coast store visit trip, and as usual, I am hit with this overwhelming feeling of everything being too fast, too grand, too much and yes... Very sinful. 
I'm far from being a purist but it is clear (as I look around me) why and how the say, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." I also believe that statement to be partially true. Many people bring back lots of addictions, and may require penicillin shots to help deal with what happened! 

So after a long day of training and catching up with the stores, I finally sat down for dinner - alone as usual - in one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas. I ordered my drink, pulled my personal phone out and started to catch up on life, while waiting for my meal. 

A few minutes later, a gentleman was seated at the table next to me. He sat and shortly, two menus were put on the table, leading me to believe he was not like me... he wasn't going to dine alone. 

I tried placing the focus back on myself, but as he was seated directly next to me (and right opposite from me), my eyes couldn't help to be drawn to him and his nervous behavior. 

He was older, late fifties to early sixties. Balding, could afford to lose some weight and he was dressed not to impress... He got up a few times, looking left and right, as if he were waiting for the hitman to mark him as a target. My best guess was that he wanted to make sure his guest would see him. I looked down on my phone thinking, "How cute, he is probably waiting on his wife to come and join him!"
It's funny how your mind can so quickly (and effortlessly) conjure up someone's story, someone's life by just looking at them... 


Then I heard a voice. The "woman" I heard had a high pitched voice, nothing like what my mind had expected to hear, so I again took my eyes off my phone, looked at the person seated to my left and how wrong I was. 
She was young, very young. The makeup plastered on her face couldn't hide how young she was...
She started talking. They weren't related. Just barely knew each other. She just celebrated her 21st birthday.


I tried to keep to my "business", and enjoy my meal but the reveal of their relationship left this feeling of disappointment in me, as if I had any right to judge


She then asked the question: "So what's your wife like?"
The question stung as if... 

I was hoping he would at least set some boundaries. However, after a quick silence he said: "She has good days when she doesn't bitch at me and bad days when she always bitches!" 
That was the first thing he found to describe the woman who's shared his name for the past 28 years. "She use to be my best friend," was the last thing I heard. There was a hint of regret, pain and yearning in his voice... I settled my check and walked out. 

As a married woman, I always wonder how so many couples get to that point. How do you get to the point where what you've taken years to build with love can be summed up so negatively; how it can become so insignificant to your partner and vice-versa?
Who is the true victim in that situation? Is there anyone who is blameless?

The fact of the matter is, we are all responsible for the state of our relationships. The statement holds true that "For every action, there is a reaction”. But while we can summarize it at such, we need to remember that a reaction has to be thought of, weighed and communication needs to happen before any reaction. 

The truth as I believe it is, it starts with us. We want to fix the other person because they are the ones to blame for presuming, assuming and passing judgment even though we don't take the time to share why we are becoming strangers (not only to them but most of the time, even to ourselves). We don’t take the time to share the growing paths we get on and instead choose to stand by, all the while being offended at our partners who don't understand or follow. 

With every step in a relationship, growth is expected. There's a little luck but a lot of hard work that needs to be put forth for any relationship to remain fruitful and flourish. There's a lot of compromises but nothing I'm learning is more important than communicating during this journey. Communicating, not because it will maintain your relationship, no... Simply communicating because "bitching" becomes "sharing", "nagging" becomes "requesting" and "questioning" becomes "caring". At times you might be the one that loves more. The one who gives everything you can to your partner and your relationship. But don't see it as being done in vain, don't see yourself as being in a competition with your partner. Communication will establish respect, even in a failing relationship, and that respect will yield a different answer than the gentleman in the restaurant gave the young lady. It will create boundaries that no one outside your relationship could touch. It will create that invisible line in the sand. 
If you don’t feel like you can be the one that loves more, you may not be with the right person for you. Don’t be with someone that you can’t be your best self with and appreciate. 

So today I do believe that yes, many leave good marriages because somewhere along the way it has become harder to share and understand, thus letting go takes place... It has become easier to fake it and say its okay when you really mean, "It's not okay."

Imagine yourself seated across from "temptation", at that table and being asked, "So what's your partner like?"  

What will your answer be?


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