It ain’t what it used to be…
The impression I get of today’s love relationships is that they are chosen by chance (Internet dating), nourished through opinions of our peers (people who serve as soundboards about how we should feel), evaluated through the cloud of mood elevators, all through a short term lens. We feel that we can return everything to square one if things don’t work out to our liking. We “love” for the entertainment value of it; the truth of love requires long-term commitment to find out who we are through the eyes of another.
Very moderne, and very 1920’s at the same time.
We have not been trained in how to create, deepen, grow and manage long-term relationships. Our pattern for relationships tends to be what’s on TV or on Broadway or in Hollywood. But our emotions didn’t get the memo that we are so strong that we are unable to feel pain. We soldier on, damaged by emotional encounters. We have no universal guidebook for how to recover from rejection, how to re-define our own very personal parameters or – for that matter – how to enjoy those few “perfect” moments that we only realize are perfect in retrospect.
Maybe you elicit the behavior – you are dominant, he/she is submissive. And not in a “fun” way…) Maybe one of you is childish; the other is an old soul. One of you is the introvert; the other an extrovert. Opposites may attract, but very seldom is it the “glue” that sticks us together.
The ability to step back and view a relationship objectively helps us to see if we will be able to grow into our own skin with this person or if we are just repeating the same pattern, which inhibits growth, or if we will have to be less of ourselves and more of them. We don’t know how to discuss – and so we argue. Instead of working things out, one draws a (metaphorical) line in the sand and dares the other to step over it. We have no resources with which to deal with conflict, no way to effect conflict resolution.
In my marriage, I have been through more stages than you can imagine; my husband has more or less remained “himself”. This huge dichotomy within our marriage is what enables me to relate to many situations and enjoy many different types of people. Yet at our collective hearts, we have the same values. We come from the same social and educational and family backgrounds. And so, we understand each other. And together we make a whole person. And if I have issues, I write them out.
And so, here are three poems.
We’ll get through this, you used to say.
And we would.
It might be tough, but we faced it together.
And we won.
We would hold hands, facing each other,
Hearing with our eyes what our hearts were saying.
“There is nothing we can’t do – together.”
“There is no obstacle we can’t overcome – together.”
Well, now we aren’t together…
I can’t get through this by myself!
It is so tough!
I can’t do this … alone.
I look in the mirror and see a broken person.
A hopeless, helpless, sad, angry, desperate person.
And so I cry…
And then I rage!
I want to die…
What if I come back?
What if I say I’m sorry?
What if I tell you I will do anything – be anyone – endure any trial – try anything new…?
Will that be enough?
Will you forgive me?
Will you take me back?
Can we be together again?
Because I can’t do this alone…
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT BACK
You can’t take back Love!
Love can grow
Love can die.
But it can’t be taken back.
You can care for it and nurture it,
You can rip it from the ground, roots hanging.
But it can’t be taken back.
You said “When I told you ‘I love you’,
I didn’t really mean
I LOVE YOU.
I take it back.”
But you can’t do that.
Love has all the tenacity of an unborn fetus.
And it will cling to the wall of the heart
allowed to grow,
something awesome is born!
It will cling to the lining of the heart
some deadly device sucks the life out of it.
But you can’t take it back.
MY NEWBORN HEART
I am forever marked by you…
Your look, your smile, your touch!
I never knew I could begin anew –
Never knew Life could mean so much!
I am newly born, brand new!
The “me” I always knew I could be
Is here, right now, on cue!
Through my brand new heart, I see
That so many things were untrue.
Not lies, so much as ignorance.
I’ve learned so much because of you
By Divine Design, not through chance…
I am male or female, any shape, any age –
Where once I was boxed in!
I now can write a book, or craft a page –
I’ve learned to worship… and to sin.
These are my thoughts, my feelings, too.
But now I think you should know this:
Let me adventure into the real You
I want to give you my virginal kiss…
Reach out and wrap me in your arms
Use me to rejuvenate, unwind!
Show me your passion – I know your charms…
See the real Me with your mind!
We don’t have the luxury of Time
Circumstance will force us to part.
Love me now and please be kind
With me, and my newborn heart…