Thursday, April 13, 2006

A different kind of relationship

Chris comes home today. I’ll be happy to see him but, as usual, I’ve enjoyed my time by myself and it reinforces my belief that, if our relationship were ever to end, I would experience relatively few problems in going back to single living. This was not always the case, however.

When I first separated from my husband (which was 11 years ago, now) I was filled with trepidation at the thought of living alone and I was quite keen to meet someone else and settle down with them before too much time elapsed. When this actually happened, I believed that I was all set to live in blissful harmony for the rest of my life. The fact that our ‘rebound’ relationship lasted barely 18 months, completely wiped me out and it took 7 years of living by myself and learning to appreciate my single status before I felt ready to take the plunge again. But this time, it was a different woman who was entering a new relationship.

I felt strong and independent. I earned good money. I was entering a career that I knew was the right one for me (coaching). I had a great house that I had no intention of letting go of (my house still belongs to me and is let to tenants. Chris’s house is owned by him and I live in it with him.). I had given myself time to really think about what I wanted from a relationship and the qualities and attributes that I wanted/needed from a partner and, more importantly, I was going into the relationship with my eyes open. I no longer imagined that this relationship was going to last for the rest of my life. Of course, I hoped it would and I believed that it might, but I also knew myself very well...

I am extremely interested in my own personal growth and development (well, would you want to hire a coach who wasn’t?) and I know that individuals in a relationship can change, grow and develop at different rates, which can sometimes lead to them growing apart and needing to go their separate ways. I believe that this knowledge has helped me to have a different kind of relationship and to behave better within that relationship. I am no longer as ‘clingy’ and jealous as I was previously. I no longer feel the need to spend huge tracts of time with my partner in order to prove to myself that we are a couple. I recognise that we have different interests that we both like to pursue and that to expect someone to participate in your own preferred activities, just because you are a couple, is unnecessary. Which reminds me of a quote that I particularly like:

‘Selfishness is not doing what you want to do: it is expecting other people
to do what you want to do’
(Author Unknown)

No comments: