Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Succesful relationships

I don´t consider any past relationship of mine a failure, because each one has taught me something. One of them produced my two kids, who I cannot imagine life without, as all parents know. I was not the same person at 20 than I was at 30 or that I am at 46. When I think of past significant others, I now seem to realize why things happened the way they did with each one. I say “seem” because there are always two sides to a story of coupledom and I don´t know theirs.
For a time I said I knew what I did not want in a relationship. I did not want a cheater or a liar and I did not want verbal or physical abuse. Now I see that I did not, however, know what I DID want, and I have come to figure it out now. One day, I wrote a list of the attributes I wanted in a romantic partner, and many of them were based on my current values. I wrote the list thinking that perhaps it was unrealistic to expect every one of those traits to materialize in one person. I did, however, attract someone who fit the bill and strangely I was not too surprised. Perhaps I was finally ready to admit and deal with what I wanted.
As we grow older and have a longer and denser past, children, exes, responsibilities and quirks, I don´t think it is a bad thing to be choosy. There should be, in the name of self-respect and self-confidence, a set of minimum requirements that any potential partner should meet. Saying yes to anything less than that is self-destruction. The best relationships do, however, take into account that the other person is a partner, an accomplice, a lover and a friend, not someone to put down constantly or that you dread coming home to because the bickering won't stop.

Some of my current beliefs about relationships:

- If your partner is not your best friend, something is wrong.

- If you don´t know whether you are in love or not, you aren´t.

- If you need marriage counseling, it´s too late.

- If you are staying “for the kids”, you should leave.

- If you think you can change someone, you better change yourself.

- If you believe a soul-mate is perfect, you're in for a surprise.

- If you "know" someone is your soul-mate, what´s the rush?

What do you think?


  1. Amen Sista!! I feel the same way about my past loves. I would not change a thing because thanks to them I am the person you and many other have come to love and know. Great Blog!! MMUUAAHHH!!!

  2. Even if anonymous I would recognize that tone anywhere. Luvya! You are a gem!

  3. You seem to have a lot of absolutes listed as your "current" my experience the more sure you are of something, the more you have to learn. It may be wise to not see relationships as simply black or white. There is an awful lot of gray and there are always opportunities to make a relationship better. i.e. counseling.
    Good luck to you....

  4. Well, all that I really know for certain is that I never stop learning. My "current" beliefs may change tomorrow. I do believe in counseling - I did it for two years. And perhaps that is the reason why I have a very good relationship with the father of my kids, while - very sadly - I see that other parents don´t. Gray is the color of life, really, although I always see a silver lining around it. Thank you for your comment!

  5. Yes, unfortunately the issues in marriage are the same issues in divorce. It's immature to think otherwise. I applaud the effort you and your ex put into your relationship on behalf of your children.
    Again....good luck to you.

  6. And again, thank you. I am very grateful that my kids are able to have both parents at their school functions, birthdays, teacher conferences and any time they need us both. As a child of divorce myself I would not have it any other way. But, it takes 2 to tango of course.

  7. Yes, as a child of divorce also, it's the last thing I imagined for my son. But, if someone is not willing to do the work in marriage I suppose they can't be expected to do it in divorce. So, they let the child pay the price. I see it around me and it's a sad thing to witness. The good news is, of course, the examined self (if you choose it) and the ability to enter into the next relationship with eyes wide open.

  8. Thank you for this post, Lorraine. True that we cannot change others. If only I had understood that when I was young.

  9. I believe that everyone needs to be "choosy" like you said, afterall, it's our lives and we are the ones who take control of it and guide it in any direction we want. I think that is why you found the great person you are with now and i am sure that he also had to make difficult choices in his previous marraige in order to sustain the relationship wich ussually ends with both parents not agreeing to things and then the kids are the ones that suffer the consecuences. I admire you for what you have done and i am sure that everyone who comented on your blog feels this way or at least wants to but are too afraid to finally let it out. Keep up the good work.

  10. Thank you for saying what is on your heart! So many people sugar coat things and just try and please everyone. You are real with real experiences and I salute you for blogging your true feelings. Things spoken from anywhere other than the heart have no merit. It's either a cover up or a fraud telling someone elses story. I married my best friend/soulmate and we have been happily married for 13 years! Love your blogs..keep up the good work!

  11. Very thought provoking. You hit so many great points! Thank you Lorraine!

  12. Thanks to everyone who posted here. Minna, it is inspiring to know your story. And ... the most important relationship is with ... oneself. Hugs, L.