The amazing story of two ordinary forty-something lesbians on the path to matrimonial bliss.
The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss
It just keeps getting better...
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Disappointments are to the soul what a thunder-storm is to the air. --Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
If there is a way to be perpetually blissful and never disappointed when it comes to personal relationships, I haven't discovered it. To be honest, I'm not sure that I would want to. The thing about disappointment is that it is based on values and belief systems. What disappoints me may not necessarily disappoint someone else who has a completely different set of expectations. However heavy and painful, facing up to and coping with these inevitable disappointments can strengthen the "realness" of a relationship, but if untended, I've found it can also deteriorate into resentment, avoidance and lack of trust. Sometimes, I'm not exactly eager to take the high road and try to figure out how to bounce back from disappointments and it can take me a while to negotiate through them.
I have an over-developed sense of responsibility which is both a positive driving force (I tend to almost always be the grown-up and am willing to make decisions and choices--no matter how difficult) and a bit of an albatross--I make mistakes, I beat myself up, I get disappointed when others aren't able to match that same level of responsibility. I have found that it easier for me to hold myself to a high standard and blame myself for blunders and mistakes than to feel the weight of disappointment in someone else: if only I had done a better job at...whatever...
In the land of personal relationships, there are those inevitable stumbling disappointments--trust gets battered a bit, expectations shift, reality saunters in and slaps both people upside the head. Staying grounded in the now can be especially challenging: if you did or said this today, then who is to say you won't always do this? For those of us who are a bit more, uh, seasoned--disappointments can be triggers and remind us of a stream of previous disappointments in a relationship that went sour (or was weighted down with untended disappointments that boiled up into resentment.)
I imagine that working through disappointment can be a way of clearing out old expectations but that is easier said than done. While I also imagine it gives us the opportunity to let go of the ideal and the ideas of who we thought our partner would or should be or we dreamt me might be as a couple, that doesn't necessarily make it a pain-free, easy process. It is a breeze to be in love when everything is simpatico and blissful, the commitment part comes into play when we face life's inevitable disappointments...