Relationship Penal Code
Romantic Relationships are considered to be the greatest source of meaning in a person’s life. The research has shown that married people live longer, are happier and tend to be wealthier than singles. With all this good press, it seems silly that people would sabotage their relationships or not get the most of the ones that they are in. This week we are jumping back into the dysfunctional relationship pool and discussing the common ‘relationship crimes’ people commit to destroy and undermine their relationships.
The most common relationship crime that tends to destroy relationships is ignoring and taking your partner for granted. This is the easiest crime to commit in a relationship. It’s kind of like speeding; you are driving along, not paying attention and you look down and you are going 80 miles per hour! If you are lucky, you notice and slow down or the sirens and lights pull you over. This is like a real relationship. You may notice that you haven’t paid attention to your partner. You think some flowers or maybe a random date night should quell any fears of distance. However, taking someone for granted is not a misdemeanor in the penal code of relationships- it is a Class 1 Felony.
When you choose to enter into a relationship, the commitment somehow signifies that you will love, honor and cherish the union. Whether you are in a long term dating relationship or actually take the plunge and do the vows, the commitment is real and the assumption of loving, honoring and cherishing are present. When we ignore our partners or take them for granted, we are making a choice to not cherish the relationship. We assume that they will be there when we need them and that our relationship is in a stasis just waiting to be reawakened like a deep space astronaut. No harm. No foul.
The reality is that the person who is taken for granted is actually not in stasis but is in a bizarre state of psuedo-abandonment. They cannot count on their partner to be there for them but are still required to go through the motions of the relationship on the hope that ‘one day’ he/she will love them again. The sadness deepens every night that they lay next to their partner, hoping for a touch or snuggle to reassure them they are not alone. Unfortunately, this is the most painful form of loneliness and the depression that follows attacks and destroys the last vestiges of self-esteem of the person.
From our aerial view, this is abusive. This is neglect on a level that should be criminal. The couple fakes their relationship and never lets on that they are no longer connected. There are no obvious signs of abuse like bruises but the neglect cuts deeper than a back hand with a wedding ring.
For this crime, the marriage/relationship is just a matter of either calling the death or deciding to recommit. The wounded must either decide that there is something to save or make the decision that the neglect was too much and choose their happiness. Staying in that state is not an option. Or, at the very least, it should not be an option. No one should live like that.