Are We Doomed to Fail Being Raised with Outdated Relationship Models?
If you grew up anything like me, you were taught that relationships consist of one man for one woman, until death do you part. Your parents and/or church provided a living model of how relationships worked (or completely failed), and with your young eyes you took the good, bad, and ugly to heart. Using that frame-work you set out to find that mate who shared similar values and interests so you too could have the long-lasting companionship that your role models did. And if you’re reading this perhaps you also found out that this happy ever after was not all it was cracked up to be, and that mismatched relationships are everywhere, and more to the point inside your own home.
My grandparents in particular, tried to instill in all their offspring that the key to a successful marriage is compromise, hard work, and learning to accept the faults of each other no matter what (alcoholism, infidelity, sexual incompatibility etc.). While the lifelong marriage commitment may seem appealing, it does not come with a manual. And that cliché can just add to the hopelessness many of us have felt when we realize our needs are no longer being met. But what happens if the person you were when you went into the relationship, is not who you are right now, or who you think you should be? And what if that evolution of self no longer aligns with that of your partner? Navigating these murky waters by ourselves often feels isolating, and that teeter totter of ignore it or be true to yourself can wreak havoc on our selves and our relationships.
The bottom line is, if you are anything like me, you’ve learned the hard way that that relationship model is clearly outdated, even impossible. And now you are struggling with what to do next, living with your mismatched relationship.
First Things First: You Are Not Alone
If you are feeling the weight of a mismatched relationship, take a deep breath, and know that you are not alone. The situation is rarely as hopeless as it may seem, and there are thousands of couples right now feeling the exact same guilt, remorse, or even just that out of sync feeling you are. There is no shame in changing or growing as a human. And to that end…