If you have stopped relating to someone, step out of that relationship!
This is so important in a marriage when both husband and wife have stopped relating to each other – they must stop focussing on what each of them wants and instead look at what the kids need.
A couple we know have reached that point in their marriage where their differences are irreconcilable. Both of them are smart, intelligent and are earning well. They have been married for 17 years. And they have two young children – a boy who’s 12 and a girl who’s 6. Their differences have arisen from their individual definitions of happiness. The husband’s view of happiness is to work hard, earn well (he sure does), save a lot, stay at home as much as possible and immerse himself in his music – he’s a much sought after instrumentalist. The wife’s view of happiness is her career (she’s doing remarkably well too), a very active social Life, good shopping budgets, often dining at fine dining places and frequent, exotic vacations. Both of them have been unable, in all these years, to come to a common ground or definition of happiness. Especially after the birth of their daughter their different outlooks to Life have wrecked the peace between them. They have been sleeping in different rooms and end up having a fight over anything that they begin to talk to each other about. The boy, being at such an impressionable age, has been impacted majorly by their behavior and becomes violent every time his parents argue or fight among themselves.
Clearly the marriage between the couple is over. But they refuse to accept it. And continue to endure each other – while still getting at each other’s throats! This is causing the children to grow up in a very fractious environment at home. In all such unfortunate cases, parents must recognize that they have a huge responsibility towards their children. They have to ensure that the kids don’t grow up seeing strife at home. Even if it means the parents must separate for the kids’ sake!
Zig Ziglar (1926~2012), the great American motivational speaker, said this so well: “The greatest gift you can give your children is a happy marriage with your spouse.” And I believe if you can’t have a happy marriage then you must simply not have an unhappy one saying you are enduring it for the sake of the kids. In fact, if two people have stopped relating to each other – and that is evident when they develop different outlooks to Life or start sparring with each other – there is no point clinging on to labels like marriage or friendship or family. It is best they liberate themselves and each other.
Simply, no one can be happy trying to live Life based on another’s idea. When people come together in Life, as in a marriage, they bring their own individual ideas of Life to form a collective new idea for both of them. If this does not happen for any reason, and only a physical consummation happens, then there is no relating between them and so there’s no meaning in the marriage. In fact, marriage is at best just a label; a religious or legal framework in some cases, a social institution in some others! The word marriage does not make a relationship beautiful or meaningful. Continuing to relate to each other is what counts. Without even being married people can experience great love and companionship between them. And despite being married for years there are those who experience neither.
So, the key to living a full Life with anyone is to keep relating to that person. And when you do realize that you are not relating anymore, it’s best to let go or get out of it. For your sake, for everyone’s sake!