But, with each of my last three relationships, I learned some fundamental truths about myself in a relationship. I am not surprised that dating has little or no allure. I had such a wonderful partner. I learned what if felt like to be loved with abandon and openness. And I learned how far I could go before I broke down over the disconnections that continued to happen.
It is not our job to fix broken relationships or broken people. Our job is to show up in the arena of a relationship and do the best we possibly can to love and be loved.
Richard and Tina’s story started with a fairytale wedding on the beach and continued, to this point, for ten years, two kids, and counting. Our conversation continues as we dig into a bit more of their challenges and successes.
As long as we are getting closer, and we are learning from our relationship mistakes, we can pick ourselves up after a breakup, knowing that we gave 100%. And, more importantly, we are closer and better equipped for the next potential partner that agrees to join us in "the arena."
From the position of strength and clarity, you can set out on our next relationship adventure with all of your confidence and energy pointing towards your goal. You do know your goal, right?
You must give your partner the assurance that you are not running away. And you must also allow them to hold their own pain. By "staying in your own lane" you are giving them several strong messages.
By sharing my pain about the divorce, my struggles with depression, and my adventure to become the best dad I can be, I believe I am giving others a chance to feel some of their pain and loss through my story. By living through it, by persevering, and by continuing to live on the positive side of life, I am giving my kids an example for our to live their lives.
The parents in Marriage Story tried. And when the mom is unable to read the things she loves about her husband, we see her hot flash of realization as she leaves the mediation without engaging in the process.