Jan 132011
 

Koala We Grew Apart


          Here we are at Thursday, the day that we write about couple’s relationship on a week that we are writing about stupid reasons to break up. We have come so far together. You have read Monday through Wednesday and now you are at Thursday and… nevermind.

          Paul says: When it comes to bad reasons to break up, relationship ennui is, for me, the worst. To say that ‘we grew apart’ is the equivalent of a shrug and a ‘meh’.

          My daughter has spent much of her adolescent years being passionately noncommittal. If asked what type of food she wants for dinner, she will shrug apathetically and mumble something like ‘whatever’. But say that we are having a food that she does not like, from her ever new and revolving foods of despair, and she can be very ardent about how she hates that food. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

          The ‘we grew apart’ scenario is an adolescent and irresponsible way of ducking the real issues. Like the continental drift, it just happened with the people simply and innocently riding along. Well, I call bullshit. When my daughter, with full adolescent angst, shrugs and says, ‘whatever’, what she is doing is deflecting any responsibility. She won’t commit to a food in case it does not work out the way she hoped. She has given up thinking about it, instead feeling that it is just easier to let the topic go and ride out the consequences. The next meal will be better. The next spouse will be better. Let’s not spend too much thought on it.

          I tend to take a pragmatic stance on the issue of growing apart. If you can grow apart then you can grow back together. It works for trees. Grab a couple of tree trunks and push. That’s it. Not a lot of science on this one. Push long enough and the trees grow together. So the obvious question is whether or not you really want to apply to force necessary to grow together.

          When I hear someone say that he or she have grown apart from their significant other, I translate this into ‘I no longer care enough to do anything about it’. Now, this I can respect.

          I don’t care.

          I don’t want to.

          I am done.

          These are action statements. These are statements from a position of responsibility. The world did not shift under you without your knowledge or consent. You did not wake up one day next to a stranger, no matter how well the drama plays in the movies. People do change. I truly believe this. But they do not change overnight, unless there are space aliens or tumors involved.

          We grew apart because we did not try to grow together. One of the reasons that Lee and I really push the Marriage as Corporation thing is that it forces the couple to ask the question, ‘where are we going next?’ This is a question that needs to be asked often, through the eyes of hope.

          OK, I can ease off a little. The thing is that this particular stupid reason to break up really frustrates me. It is like buying a puppy and forgetting to feed it. It does not need any special food. You do not need to be grinding your own lamb and blending it with rice. Just a little easy mindful nurturing and you will have a big ass dog and a long loving relationship.

          Lee says: Ah, this is why you are constantly holding on to me like a koala.

Lee and Paul

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