Early in my career, soon after I started my business, I met a young couple who had decided to get divorced after seven years of marriage. They did not have children together. When is common to expect some tension, even past the denial phase between the husband and wife, I felt no such things with those two. They seemed to be in harmony with one another. They looked like two best friends. Two months later we met to sign their consent to divorce, a final document. I was filing their paper the following day. I saw them walking into the Starbucks for that last coffee. A man reached out to take her hand, than instinctively pulled it back. The reality started to kick in.
I ask all my clients about their story and I try to make them feel comfortable. Some like to talk and some don’t. I asked them why. They didn’t know why. Often times we feel like we fell out of love because many things are happening in life. Perhaps one of the spouses got depressed. Perhaps a major shift in life or a career has happened and suddenly we thing that our partner is no longer the one.
Other times we feel that being single will allow us to grow and learn more about who we are.
The truth is, we expect relationships to stay in the honey moon romance phase. We might not say so and we know it’s not realistic, but we still want them to. When the unrealistic expectations don’t get met, we grow into unhappiness. Instead of reaching out for help and understanding the dynamic of a relationship, we part ways from our loving partners. Some get depressed and reclusive, some start an affair. Finding a balance is crucial to keep our relationship healthy. A healthy dose of time alone, friends and family, a good talk with the significant one and some common interest are building blocks of a long term relationship.
My clients went separate ways that day. I often thought of them. I thought how they got along and perhaps they should have worked it out, since obviously they still cared deeply for each other. One day, I was at the grocery store and I recognized her. She instantly recognized me. We started chatting like a good old friends. Out of courtesy, I haven’t mentioned her ex husband. She told me that she was dating. She got a new job and found a nice place to live. Things were fine. Perhaps the truth is somewhere in between and the ending is bitter – sweet, as it often means a new beginning.