Falling in love is easy and fun. The initial experience is usually overwhelmingly exciting as it fills all of our senses. Meeting someone whom we believe is our alter ego, the love of our life, our soul mate, is like living in a dream … a dream of total enjoyment that leads us to believe that we have finally “hit the jackpot.” We may decide to commit, whether formally by marriage or deciding to live together as an exclusive couple. Actually, though, unbeknown to us, down the road it becomes a test. Yes, sometimes love can become a test. It becomes a test of our endurance, strength, devotion and faithfulness. In effect, love takes a right turn. Usually it’s not a turn that we choose to make. It just kind of happens over time as a result of the myriad of experiences that we encounter with the person we’ve chosen as our mate.
Oh, we can imagine that those extraordinary feelings we experience initially will last forever and if they could, that would be great. However, over time life tends to get in the way. Things happen that interrupt our nirvana … events that are normal and natural and some that aren’t as well. Raising children, finances, in-law problems, home buying and job stress are just a few of the obstacles that most committed relationships encounter. I suppose the final common obstacle of aging is sickness and, ultimately, death. Can and what will it take for a relationship to endure all of these elements? What kinds of character traits are necessary in order to do so?
First, I guess we would have to define the word commitment. Essentially, it means sticking in there through the good and the bad. But what does it take in order to be able to do that? First of all, postponing pleasure is a clear sign of maturity … a maturity that is essential to ride out all of those waves that tend to threaten the relationship. Add to that a measure of character or the ability to stand up to adversity and we have the key to an enduring relationship.
Every relationship moves through periods of adversity and conflict that are different for each but are all essentially threatening. In other words, there are a number of “left turns” that must be endured and conquered in order for the relationship to sustain itself … to right itself in those seas of adversity. It seems that the excitement and fun of those early years prepare couples for what lies ahead much as a solid base can support the weight of whatever is placed upon it.
Instead of ending the relationship, the wisdom gained from their experiences reflects a deeper judgment. They determine that this is just the beginning of the depth of their love. Each partner has a tremendous amount of love stored away for the other as well as a solid sense of dedication to each another that develops over time. These qualities, along with the resiliency of the human spirit to bounce back from adversity, are truly marvelous assets enabling them to deal with all of the left turns that lie ahead. Truly marvelous!
(16 July 2014)
Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.