Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thoughts on a Healthy Relationship

One of my favorite and most respected professors once said something that has stuck with me to this day. He said a healthy marriage should be like two trees, standing tall next to each other. I wasn't sure exactly what he meant by this, but having experienced love's ups and downs, I now understand.

Nena and I relied on each other very much in many ways; emotionally, physically, and in almost everything we did. We used to joke that individually we were fairly incompetent, but together we made one whole person. We leaned on each other for a lot, but when the person who you depend on to make up half of your being is not totally there, it is very painful.

But what I have come to realize is that no one can be there 100%, all of the time. Not even if they love you with all of their heart. They are human beings and must have a life outside of the relationship. And so you too must also have a life outside of the relationship. If you do not, you will just end up disappointed and hurt. Like most of life's important lessons, I have had to learn this the hard way.

And so, if you love someone, do not give yourself completely and utterly. Do not lean on them, and do not let them lean on you. Be there for them when they are in need, but do not be a crutch, and do not let them be a crutch for you. It can only end in pain. You both need to build yourselves up, so that you may stand tall next to each other, looking more majestic together than you ever would alone.

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