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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

People Whose Lives Are Destroyed By a Partner


An article in the press this morning spoke of an individual whose life had been destroyed by the very high-profile partner. Both are in their late 60's or 70's. I chose not to read the article - lack of time - but as I prepared for my day, I contemplated the matter at hand.

We are frequently drawn into relationships that at first glance appear to be heaven made on earth, until, of course, the truth hits us (and at this point it may be too late to easily do something about it because houses have been purchased, children have been born, or one may have - as a couple - moved to a far corner of the world, or started a business together), and we realize that either we made a huge mistake, or our partner soundly betrayed us by portraying him or herself as someone they are not. (Other potential reasons for this having happened, such as our own projections, our unmet needs, etc., rarely enter the equations of our thoughts regarding the matter, because generally we simply don't know about these things).

So we rail against it. We might start by complaining, having rows, manipulating, crying, begging, exploding, using drawn-out silences, etc., but very likely the end result is that nothing of consequence has changed. At this point we have a number of choices: one would be divorce or the threat thereof. Another would be to stick it out. A third might be to seek therapy - for oneself, or for the couple).

The second choice above - to stick it out - is the one that concerns me in this post. Sticking it out can have many different faces; many different guises, but one of these faces is, indeed, the face of having had one's life ruined by the partner.

Let's be clear, some partners are truly vile, selfish, cruel, and inconsiderate to say the least, alcoholic, abusive, and philanderers (male and female), are merely some of the adjectives we could use to describe one or the other we may have met. So of course, if someone like that has ruined the life of another who has stuck it out for many years, we would not have much difficulty in understanding how this came about. One of the two brought about a very bad outcome.

But is that really what happened? And please note, I'm not discussing any specific real person or couple. I'm merely throwing out some ideas. What if the whole thing is a dynamic process? A dance in which two people participate - each with their own role to play - as long as they AGREE to play said role. So the role of one is to be vile and ruin the other's life, and the role of the other - you guessed it - is to be the victim and to have their life ruined.

What I'm getting at here - and I know we can't fully generalize as there are always exceptions that simply wouldn't fit into the parameters I'm describing - is that at each step of the way, both partners have a choice. And the one whose life winds up being ruined also had choices. Some of those had to do with a specific mindset. With the kinds of thoughts he/she allowed to keep running through his/her mind. Some had to do with boundaries, or lack thereof. Some had to do with self-love. Some had to do with awareness. And last, but not least - not to mention that fact that there are many more that I'm not listing - some had to do with choosing to become responsible for the self.

Putting one or more of these into place, or making the appropriate changes in order to be able to put them into place, would mean, in the long term, that the life would not have been destroyed or ruined. You see, it's not always as simple as saying that something is someone else's fault. Part of the dance is one's own responsibility - many of the steps are of one's own choosing.

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