I don’t know what it is about love that makes us endure all types of unnecessary things. I guess it is true what Shakespeare said, “Love is but a madness.” From that, it seems that we as a society are obsessed with the Happily Every After!
We love when the dragons are slayed, the maiden rescued, and the insufferable, impossible plot seen through–no matter the cost. Yes, at any cost. Yet, what cost is that? And how much is it? How much of yourself must you give to get it?! The most glaring thing about Struggle Love is how much it costs you.
It will always cost you the intangible things–trust, hope, healthy love concepts.
Once that happens? Once you are the one whom is totally hurt? This is where you begin to count up what you have lost, Sadly, by this time–at this late in the game–the losses are insurmountable. Having lived this, having seen my friends go through this, I have noticed four things that are indicative of ‘being in too deep.’ What does this mean? It means your heart is telling your head what to do–and the costs are about to escalate.
Blinders. By virtue of its definition, Struggle Love doesn’t focus on microlevel problems. The cheat-forgive-repeat cycle doesn’t matter. The maltreatment doesn’t matter. The insecurities fostered in this relationship. The focus is always the macrolevel goals–stay together at all cost! The thing is–the person with the blinders on is ‘the glue.’ This is the person who is the most invested, with the most to lose. They are the one that keeps everything moving–even if it is in a circle.
Pretending. This is deeper than classic denial. At this point, you believe in what is not there–nor may never be there. You latch on to the Honeymoon phase or phases of the relationship–idealizing those phases–believing that if you just ignore everything else, this ideal will become the reality. Yet, this is not always so. It is on rare occasions between rarer couples that the desire for the ideal becomes the reality for both involved. The key here is both. Sometimes both is non-existent.
Resistant. These are the external forces exerted on portion of the relationship–so that it will end. This force comes from people who see the relationship is neither going to change nor improve. And this force is put upon ‘the glue’ because they have the most leverage! The glue is the strength and foundation of the relationship–once they realize the relationship is doomed, it is only a matter of time. The thing is–it takes a while for this to happen. And sometimes it never happens! At this point of being resistant, the power of pretending all is well is seductive! It is enticing! The happily ever after appears to be not just in vision, but in grasp! At this point, the glue will believe in what they hope is there–rather than what is facing them.
Desire. Oh, this is the ugliest part! With all that has been invested in this relationship, you want something for this time! For women, this is normally marriage. That ring-dress combo is what we as women believe will make it all worth it: we will have been chosen. Being chosen is to be seen. To be seen is to be acknowledged–which is a basic human need. Everyone wants to feel significant. We often make the mistake of believing if we just put up with bad behavior, all the frogs will become princes–because that is what the story says. But it is time that we write a new story. This one, this time, maybe the princess doesn’t have to kiss a frog.
Maybe in this story, the princess remembers she doesn’t need a prince to feel special. Maybe in this story, the princess sees the frog, and leaves him where she found him. Why? He can’t do anything for her but bring issues and problems.