It takes a lot of courage to be in a long-term relationship. You don’t have any control over when it will end and it will eventually break up one way or another because your partner and you always have a choice to stay together or not and because you or your partner will die. This is the reality of every relationship.
Loss is the only guarantee and you can’t save your relationship from this fact.
Of course it’s not the guarantee you want but it is all you get – unless of course you walk out or die first. Can you accept this potential loss?
How can you open yourself up when you know that there’s only loss on the other side? You do this all the time, consciously and unconsciously – living life knowing that you’ll die.
We never want things to change, yet that’s all life is — change. We also believe in cause and effect. For example, if we do everything ”right” for ourselves and for our relationship, everything will work out and be just what we had envisioned. Unfortunately, that’s not how real life always plays out, no matter how hard we try.
As in life, in a relationship there are no guarantees. You’ll desperately want them, but they aren’t possible. Inherent in relationships is loss. You never know when your partner will leave you — either by choice or by death. Or, you might be the one to leave. You can say that will never happen, but this would be imprudent. What if your partner suddenly started behaving in harmful ways? You might have to leave to save yourself. Change is loss; loss is change. Never say never.
One of the biggest challenges is living the paradox — loving with all your might while knowing that loss is always lurking in the background. When you embrace love, loss comes with it; they walk hand-in-hand, one intensifying the other. It might seem contradictory to say this, but accepting loss is how to save your relationship.
Imagine that you are preparing for the eventual breakup of your relationship, just as this marriage cartoon says. Knowing that loss is part of your relationship, would you appreciate what you have more or less?