Relationships are a strange entity. We marry and assume it is for the long haul without realizing life changes on a dime. I watch an older couple sitting across from one another barely speaking. Their actions are of those who have been together a long time. Sadly when some are together for many years, boredom takes hold and the loving stops. They become 2 ships passing in the night barely blinking their lights or sounding the horn. Instead of addressing the dysfunction and the discomfort, many choose to live in a quagmire of conformity believing this is the way life and relationships are supposed to be. I once asked my friend who works in a spot if men ever frequented. Her response did not surprise me. She reported more men beautify when they are separated of going through a divorce. That made me sad and I wondered why that same man could not give that same attention to his long term partner. Why can we not appreciate what we have when it is right in front of us. I admire respectful and loving long relationships. When they last and are working well it shows two people doing the work necessary to maintain such an intimate connection.
I am here in Costa Rica sitting with 2 of my friends. We have not been close friends but we are cultivating our connection. I watch as they banter back and forth. They are different as he is the volatile temperamental one and she is the balm that calms him. They know each other well and work in sync to make a wonderful life possible. Yes she laughs when she rolls her eyes when he is on a rant but somehow she knows him and it works. He listens when she speaks and agrees frequently. She is soft spoken and has the patience of 100 angels rolled into one. I am thinking, my lord she needs it. They have worked as a team to make this piece of jungle a home and have navigated together the challenges that are all a part of being a part of a new culture. He confides in me that she is his glue and how lucky he is to have her. He is a big vulnerable kind hearted man. I watch as he breaks off pieces of food for a little dog that has wandered by.
I have come to understand that relationships are about respect and communication. It is the ability to listen and hear without interruption. It is about being able to say “I am sorry or that I was wrong.” It is about giving in to what another may desire instead of it being always about self. It is about looking at our loved one and saying just how lucky we are and how glad we are to have them in our lives. Love is a gift and when we have the one we love to walk with us on the path we call life, it is a blessing indeed and never to be taken for granted.