Let’s talk relationships. You know, those things we so often have trouble with. Right? Well, it’s not so surprising that relationships may be a bit of a problem for those of us enduring depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. So let’s chat…
Okay, true confessions – I’ve been married and divorced twice. And thank goodness I have two children from my second marriage only. If you’ve followed chipur you know how much I love them and how fortunate I feel to have them in my life.
So what’s up with this relationship business, anyway?
Well, I’m thinking we’re likely built much the same emotionally, so how ‘bout I offer my opinion based upon my personal experience. My money says we may just have a match.
For any number of reasons, which I left behind when I realized a psychodynamic approach to my stuff wasn’t bearing much fruit, I’ve leaned toward being a loner for as long as I can remember. Now, don’t misunderstand, I’ve always enjoyed being around folks – and have always been very active – but by the same token, I’ve often elected to be alone.
I suppose the best way to say it is I’ve always been able to entertain myself and occupy my own time. Do I get lonely? Yes. But do I hurt enough to be proactive in doing something about it? Um – no. Would I welcome a committed relationship? Sure.
Back to my marriages. I’m so thankful I now fully understand both of my marriages were grounded in my pathology and poor decision-making. Much better than a shrug of the shoulders and an “I dunno,” don’t you think?
Reading About chipur will provide a glimpse of my emotional and mental health history. Primary were always panic, generalized anxiety, agoraphobia, and separation anxiety. Of course, depression and self-esteem issues moved in and out; and alcoholism was a major factor between the ages of 18 and 30.
It’s a no-brainer that a combination of all of the above would result in some very dicey relationship decision-making. Of course, at the time, I had no idea my pathology had kidnapped my powers of reason; but, looking back, my relational decisions were absolutely grounded in the very false comfort and warmth of having that special “safe-person” by my side – as close to 24/7 as possible.
And, as in the case of my first marriage, should that safe-person have similar supporting habits, such as drinking, drugging, etc. – all the better.
Well, as the old saying goes, the chickens generally come home to roost. In the case of my first marriage, our wild and crazy lifestyle led my wife astray, seeking assorted lovers. But the parting of the ways in my second marriage at least had a more positive base – I began to get well and grow. And the enormous emotional and mental chasm that always existed became very painfully obvious, leading to a divorce.
You know, it’s curious – some 14 years later – I felt a lump in my throat when I wrote that last sentence.
Absolutely, relationships can be wonderful things; bringing so much love, warmth, comfort, and security. But we have to make sure our relational decision-making is based on terra firma. Here are some questions we need to be asking ourselves…
- Are we consciously making our relationship decisions based upon compensating for our perceived inadequacies?
- Are we “settling” for someone for “relationship” sake?
- Are we unconsciously making our relationship decisions based in our pathology?
- Are we entering a relationship to somehow resolve a relational or abandonment issue(s) from the past – consciously or “un?”
- Are we entering a relationship with someone because our very low self-esteem tells us we could never do any better?
- Your thoughts???
So how ’bout it, chipur readers – are relationship issues one of your chronic downfalls? Why do you suppose? What questions might you need to be asking yourself? Please share with us, okay?