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True Story of Leaving

True Story of Leaving

“If you tell a true story, you can’t be wrong.”   –Jack Kerouac

I would bet that for every couple that falls in love each day there are at least two couples who leave each other in deep and hurtful ways. Just this week, I was caring for one of my teenage daughter’s oldest friends whose boyfriend, who had been her friend since elementary school, broke up with her in a text that read, “I just don’t have that warm love feeling anymore.” This experience followed one earlier in the week as I listened to a longtime business friend — who had recently managed an incredible feat of agility, courage, and perseverance to save his business from an investor group gone bad — speak in a hopeless and uninspired tone about losing the feelings required to do the work to revive his 33-year marriage.

Intimate relationships begin early with this confusion that their truth is based on a feeling, and somehow as we grow up and age, we never quite get beyond the idea that our feelings are not a reliable barometer for the value and work demanded in relating. Too many Hollywood films set us up to confuse our falling in love bio-chemistry with the intention to love. Even many long term relationships slide down the slippery slope of feeling un-loved by a partner, which too easily can evolve into a self-fulfilling prophecy focusing on the relationship’s weakness, rather than the more balanced view of how it has also grown.

What is that “loving feeling” that we expect our relationships to fill us with? We know that the best bio-chemical response that our bodies generate in life is in the early glow of feeling loved. Our self doubts evaporate and life starts to work in ways that make things easy. As these feelings evolve and begin to include the wider experience of reality that people have both loveable and annoying traits side by side, our feelings of being loved have to also evolve. The truth is that we feel most loved when we are loving. In fact, it is impossible to not feel love in you when you are feeling loving towards someone else. Too often, we wait to feel loved by the other, and withhold our own capacity to love for the moment when we can safely reciprocate. This is fertile soil for stories of failing relationships to grow in.

In the case of my young teenage friend, I know that rejection in the awkward early teen years too often grows into harmful patterns of weakened self-esteem. Not being loved equals not being loveable and then we subconsciously use our lives to prove our ill gotten beliefs. When it comes to our intimate connections throughout our life, we all, usually invisible to ourselves, choose the partners and relationships which prove us right — both about what we believe about love and even more deeply how we see ourselves.

I reminded my business friend that if he were to apply even half of the energy and motivation he did to saving his marriage as he did to his business, he would find the time to ask and listen to the feelings that his wife had given up trying to share. I urged him to fight for his marriage with the same courage he brought to his business.  In the end, this is the turnaround that would most console him and bring him meaning as he ages, with or without his business. For my young friend, crying in a dark room after midnight, I held her close and made her repeat after me — “I am deeply loveable.” Telling a true story is everything.

Read more: Blogs, Love, Making Love Sustainable, Relationships, , , , , , ,

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

15 comments

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7:52AM PDT on Sep 16, 2012

Thanks

4:40PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Love takes work.

11:05AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Thank you. I wish I had seen it from this perspective before, but I am very glad that I do now.

1:06AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Thank you

10:28PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Excellent , The problem is in a disposable society , Its really far too easy for couple's
to simply call it quits .
In that I mean adult committed couple's .

8:40AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Beautiful,thanks for sharing

12:06AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

great article. i am glad there are parents like you out in the world to help young girls deal appropriately with young relationships.

and to help other adults deal appropriate with marriage. relationships are work, but love is the key factor. learning to love another unconditionally and show love is the most important part.

beautiful

10:51PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

yes you got to learn to adapt to things...with or without anybody you should learn to stand up on your own.

10:43PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

I think Cheryl I. and I are on the same page. Youth is one thing, but as we grow older, we learn and feel differently.

5:37PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Relationships are truly one of our most important teachers and whether to stay or go is an extremely difficult and personal question - there is not one solution that works for everyone.

While I believe the best way to have long lasting love is to give unconditional love, it must also be stated that one needs to be careful of not turning into a doormat for someone who is incapable of being in a committed loving relationship. If one is able to love him/ herself, he/ she is in a better position of knowing who deserves his / her love. Needing to be validated by another person will always result in a losing situation.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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thank you...apples will be ripening here shortly. Waiting patiently.

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