Being in an intimate relationship means that we are prone to disappointment or hurt. This is a risk that we have to take. Although many like to paint their relationships with rainbows and cotton candy, we are nevertheless vulnerable to being hurt. Obviously, we like to present the best side of ourselves and our relationships especially to others, and even if there was pain, we would try to mask it.
So why do we want to hide the pain in our relationships? Surrounding the question are a million possible answers but perhaps the truth of the matter is we just do not wish to end the pain of our relationship. This could be because if we were to end the pain, it would involve us ending our relationship. And this would make us suffer even more. So, we choose to pretend that life is fine with no problems.
Can one really find happiness by doing this to themselves? By pretending that everything is ok, can we truly find happiness? Some may argue that if nothing can be changed then this is the only solution; we may not be happy but at least we are not fighting. In this way, is the heart able to take all the pain to continue the relationship? If this is what you have been doing, then perhaps you should reconsider the nature of this relationship. No matter how we wish to change the picture mentally, we have to remember that when we are not happy, the relationship slowly dies off as the heart closes up.
Being human, we are not invincible to the pain that relationships may present to us. We feel hurt when we are not treated well. Many people then try to manage it from a mental zone, hoping that they can better handle the situation. In my field of work, this approach has proven to be ineffective. The pain that people end up having to bear is often far more than the initial pain because of the act of bracing the hurt over time. As the pain accumulates, so too does the anger and resentment that one has towards their partner.
The idea of keeping things quiet to make a relationship work out is always a time bomb and is only a matter of time before the situation explodes. When that happens, there is no turning back as there is no way then to salvage the situation. Many marriages end because couples choose to keep their dark pain within their hearts to the point where they are unable to do so anymore and the pain is unleashed onto the partner. By the time such an explosion occurs, the other party would not even have a chance to salvage the situation because by then, their partner has already given up on the relationship.
Is there really any meaning to keeping and swallowing the anger? Maybe it seems attractive in the beginning, but as time grows to months and then years, it is not that easy to brace it. In fact, it could be easier if we allow ourselves to look at our anger and really work on it. We can begin by not judging ourselves for being angry. Sometimes when things do not work out, we should look at our pain and say yes to it. We should accept that we are not happy and know we have to do something about it.
Do not be skeptical about how this little awareness can help to change the nature of the situation you are in. Often, people who are honest with themselves find a better resolution than those who choose not to face themselves.
When we envision our pain and really relate to it, it means we are taking responsibility for our own feelings. We do not need to do anything to please anyone but to know that by addressing ourselves, we already avoid putting ourselves through more hurt and pain. Preventing pain from happening is something we all hope for in an ideal relationship. However, as long we look at ourselves truthfully when pain does arise, then we can find a faster solution to our pain too. So maybe now, at this moment, we bravely look at all the pain that we have experienced and we gently say to ourselves, “Yes, I accept