A relationship like this is like a one-legged person looking for another one-legged person in order to walk. The two get together, have two legs – and walk! Problem solved. In their initial phase of bliss they may even forget that they were ever one-legged. Until one day one of them wants to change direction or speed … and suddenly the other one is cruelly reminded of their disability. Any outdoor area would be made more child friendly with playground equipment such as these.
They can’t walk on alone and begin to limp. They fall down. And because they had completely forgotten that they were born one-legged, they blame the other person for the limping and falling, and even for the disability itself. Most people experience this kind of scenario at some point. Suddenly there is something missing in their relationship – tenderness, support, safety, passion, attention – and it’s all the other person’s fault. Imagine waking up on Christmas day and seeing outdoor fitness equipment in your back garden?
If you enter a relationship as only half a person and therefore think that you need someone to supply the missing bits, then paradoxically you lay the foundation for conflict and separation. Your partner cannot make you happy. They can count themselves lucky if they can do that for themselves. In the beginning you might be caught up in the illusion that this wonderful new person at your side is bringing wonderful new things into your life. But it is only a matter of time before you are cursing them for the very qualities you sought in the first place. Because they are withholding them from you and cannot or will not meet your expectations. Children love playing on monkey bars - didn't you when you were younger?
Once, in a relationship workshop, a husband and wife were standing in front of each other. There wasn’t more than a foot between them. Step by step, the husband, whose marriage was in great difficulties, had walked towards his wife. In this therapeutic process, with every one of those steps – some tearful, others heavy and reluctant – he had symbolically stepped through an issue which had separated him from his wife in the past. Now he was standing in front of her, vulnerable and open, watched by a fairly large audience. Finally he was forced to look her in the eyes and to be really close to her, to see her as she really was. Then, frightened and kind of panicky, he looked at the therapist. ‘I married her for the wrong reasons!’ he stammered, deeply shaken.
The therapist smiled sagely. ‘We all marry for the wrong reasons.’ The reasons disappear, the partner remains Women marry men because they are successful, smart and strong, because they can kill bears, read balance sheets and are skilful in bed. Women marry men because they are exactly like their father, or completely different. Women marry men because they are the father of their child or because their friends fancy them. Women