A woman who was married thrice once told me, “If you dream of getting married, make sure that you know that person well enough and that it is for the right reasons.”
There are failed relationships in this life due to a lack of the necessary ingredient: balance.
As all individuals, we go through the complicated process of discovering who we truly are. This may be our sexuality, hangups or rediscovering ourselves.
The first relationship we ever have is with our parents/carers; this is where we learn to build up trust and where we find our security.
Hopefully, in our early childhood years, we need not worry about the basic things that keep us alive as the responsibility should be on the people who care for us.
As a child, I would have never noticed if my parents were without money. We had what we needed rather than what we wanted.
The realisation was that not all children lived in a stable environment; their parents relied on them to be more responsible. For example, a single woman who is single-handedly struggling to raise more than one child and going to work may require the eldest child to take on more responsibilities.
I have always reiterated that childhood is the shortest time in your life and that between the ages of 0–10 years, a child should feel protected, safe, and secure in the knowledge that they do not have to worry about anything.
In certain circumstances, parents do not set a good example; their under-aged children are vulnerable when exposed to all kinds of unsavoury stuff in the media.
Our second relationship is outside of our comfort zone, the safety of our homes. We go to nursery/school, mix with other children from diverse backgrounds, are brought up differently, and pick up the environment’s good, bad, and ugly traits.
I cannot remember having a close friendship with anyone at school or church; I did not play out on the streets. I knew right from wrong, and hearing children using foul language shocked me. They never thought it was wrong because it was the everyday language in their homes.
The foundation of friendships and relationships is honesty, trust, and respect. Without those, there is no balance.
I set my boundaries around people, which does not necessarily mean that someone who swears disrespects me. It becomes a problem when it is about me.
Swearing was non-existent in my family home, and lack of respect for myself or others. It went without saying.
That was my norm.
The hardest friendships were when you started secondary school because you were more aware of human defects and had to accept that everyone was uniquely different.
The age of puberty when everyone wanted to fit in with the in-crowd. I was popular at school; I did not stick in groups. I used to be wherever the mood took me.
When I moved back to London, I had various friends in school, from the most reserved to the most popular. I was in the top classes in my subjects but did not work to my full potential, as I was always living with a sense of failure hanging over me.
I needed to understand what relationships all were about. I just went with the flow. I did not commit to having any individual as a best friend; I liked to be free and treat them all the same.
NO COMMITMENTS, NO CLAIMS.
There was no one special in my life at school. I was not interested in spending time with the girls because they were all about ‘the boys.
I had no interest in dating or romance; I was more interested in playing football and basketball. Did anyone fancy me? I would not have known because I saw myself as one of the lads.
I was under-developed when I was eighteen; I was very behind in my years and still had no interest in anyone beyond chatting. I needed more confidence and felt that my behaviour, at times, was odd.
There were people in intimate relationships at secondary school. Let us say people grew up quicker than others.
I had every reason to want a stable relationship, as I had a fantastic Father, a gentleman who took pride in his appearance and a true family-oriented person. He was honest and diligent. He made all his dreams for the future possible. He was intelligent and was a great advisor to people. He never lived hand to mouth. When he died, my mother never had to want anything other than his good self.
I had a stable, trusting, loving, and honest relationship with my Father. He was everything I would have welcomed when accepting a lifelong partner.
However, I never met anyone with these qualities. I was looking for a particular type of person, and although there were positives, they lacked in ways that were important to me and would irritate me.
I would eventually resent them and end the relationship. I could see no way forward. I wanted to live a stress-free life and remain independent, mentally, and emotionally balanced.
It was not just their behaviours; I lacked affection and did not want to be committed, as I always wanted to control everything.
I would not say I liked the emphasis on being classed as someone else’s property. As far as I was concerned when I left home, I was on my own, and God was my only judge, even though I practised being my executioner.
Our past defects can affect our future if we allow them to. The only way I began to address my problems was to engage in Relationship Therapy, not for dating purposes but to learn how to change my attitude toward people.
The other golden nugget was that I had to change my thinking pattern. I had to surrender all and wipe the slate clean to work on myself. I had to recondition my mind, which was filled with echoes of influences of negativity in the past years and revisit my behaviours.
It did not mean letting go of my values and principles. It was about me being true to myself without any outside interference.
REMEMBER, NOT EVERYONE IS RIGHT, NOT EVEN THE PSYCHOLOGISTS; THEY ARE HUMAN.
A good psychotherapist will admit that they are not always right and that you must think to process the information in your way. They are there to guide you and encourage you to reach your potential.
My Beloved Father always told me, ‘Parents get it wrong sometimes because they don’t have all the answers; they are human.’
I am being true to myself; I can only take people in small doses, and then I must be alone to have my ME time. I was not born to be a mother, a wife, or to cohabit. I am a better person when I am by myself.
Disrespect, dishonesty, and selfish behaviour will fail relationships and marriages.
Sometimes people are happy to remain in their comfort zone because they believe it is better the devil, you know, or they lack the confidence and self-esteem to move on.
I have always been aware of a dying relationship after being in an on-and-off, two-decade, too-long relationship from when I was nineteen. The hardest part is breaking up because of the fear of the impact this may have on your emotional and mental health.
I have since learnt that the worse pain is when you put up, shut up, and find you have wasted years on that one individual missing a better opportunity to improve your life.
For those who want to work on a relationship they feel is worth saving, I suggest a new routine or a change to reactivate it and an open and honest chat with your partner.
WHAT HAS MADE YOU QUESTION YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
There is always the possibility that you may outgrow your partner or feel like you no longer find anything attractive about them because of the attitude they have taken towards life, especially when they have given up on themselves.
I have failed relationships because of my lack of physical connection. My obsession with cleanliness and never being present. I limited my options by not wanting to go on holiday due to the panic of spending too much money or a failed preparation.
However, I am not taking the full blame as humans need to claim that they have their defects, not appreciating things from my perspective, taking things for granted and making me feel intimidated, as a female, in front of their friends. Of which I no doubt will speak out!
I have never wanted to share my whole life with anyone and have no problem with a little time without contact.
A healthy relationship should not be one-sided in any way. There must be a balance.
I would have never fitted the criteria of how I wish I could have been in the right circumstances, obviously with realistic expectations.
I would have liked to be fully present and not think about tomorrow or next week when I should have been concentrating on the moment.
I would have liked to of been more physically affectionate, as I have only ever verbally shown that I care.
I would have liked to overcome my paranoia and distrust and take a moderate risk instead of closing my mind altogether.
I have always openly communicated, but I need to be more patient with the people who like to over-elaborate.
I choose not to entertain dramatic events like arguing as there will never be a healthy balance amongst the sexes, especially when controlled by ego.
Is there such a thing as constructive arguing?
After the honeymoon period, people can get too comfortable and lazy that it becomes an everyday routine of boring things.
For example, they are spending their entire time watching what they like on TV and not considering others’ interests.
They spend the entire day on their mobile phones and are not present.
The only way I can wrap this one up into a perfect gift bow is to say that if you want to work on a new or old relationship, you have to be honest with yourself and stop finding excuses for others’ bad behaviour; it means that you will have to live miserably for the rest of your life.
YOU DESERVE BETTER
Affection is an important part of a relationship. Humans need to feel wanted and accepted. If you have a problem like me, you must discuss it with your partner.
PLEASE DON’T MAKE THEM FEEL UNLOVED
There are solutions to arguments if you treat each other respectfully and take the time to hear each other out. Peace will be found in an equal resolution.
In everything, there must be a balance.
Natalie M Bleau
The Scripture of Balance