Saturday 2 March 2024

Can relationships be happy over time?


“To loved and lost, or to never have loved at all?” 


There was always a phrase I recall as a kid that was used in many films or TV programs.  I would expect nearly everyone has heard it before:

It is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.”

Back then, it simply passed my mind as an obvious saying.  Nearly everybody desires to partake in the feeling of love, therefore even if it does not work out, you will always have the experience that cannot be taken away.  Fast forward to today, and I would still go by this consensus, however there is a bit more to it than meets the eye:

A recent movie

I recently by accident came across a low budget movie on Prime Video.  The movie itself will not stay in my memory for very long, however the dynamic possessed a somewhat greater appeal.  In summary, a woman was married to her extraordinarily rich, but over-controlling and serious, husband.  Her suffocation due to his dictatorship caused her to have an affair with a loser – no job, no money, no ambition etc – of a male lover (albeit a nice enough guy), however for a brief period of time she could not take the smile off her face.  It was like the lead weight had been taken off her back, and she could finally breathe in some air.

As she and her lover lay in bed, the man actually made a striking point.  His words were (in particular reference to her interface with both him and her husband):

You can have everything, but if you are unhappy, your life will be a pile of shit.  And you can have nothing, but if you are happy, your life will not be a pile of shit.”

In a way, the rest of the plot was predictable.  After a bit more fun and sex with the loser, she gets caught up in a drugs raid where he is arrested.  She consequently sees him for what he is – someone who could not realistically provide for her – in most categories, past a phase of a few weeks.  Conversely, the husband most likely gave her what she needed a few years ago – marriage, money, and security – yet the thought of being with him forever makes her want to vomit.

Speaking of vomit, she ends up getting pregnant.  It was most likely the loser’s seed, although it also turned out that she had two abortions when with her husband.  One scene in the film showed the husband explaining to someone that she had two miscarriages.  Read into this what you will.

I am going to keep this post short, because there is plenty of literature and assigned posts which cover this topic in detail.  Nevertheless, in the modern western world it really is difficult to be happy over a longer period of time.

Who is most to blame – women or men?

Both.  In essence, women want more from men that what they (the women) can realistically expect or what men can feasibly provide, whilst men want a pie in the sky life where their female partners stay as attractive as when she was younger and when they first met.  Whilst the former scenario is highly unlikely in comparison to the latter scenario being impossible, the one common factor is that neither are satisfied with the outcome.  Babies and material things can paper over the cracks for a time, but it will pretty much always come back to haunt.

Divorces creep up to a near one in two rate, yet even this high ratio does not tell the full story.  Of the half that do stay together, how many are still miserable and just plodding on because they cannot get out without it having drastic ramifications on their life?  I would say this accounts for forty percent, therefore, looking at it from optimistic eyes, this leaves a lucky one marriage out of every ten who are genuinely happy.

Long term cohabitation couples who are not married (and in particular if they do not have children) will be a little happier in my opinion, but the recipe of distaste towards their partners still follows the same path.  It just takes longer to get there.

Q-tip 1:                                                                                                                                         It is easy to make a woman happy in the short term of a relationship cycle.  Her massaged ego and validation needs alone produce this happiness.  The medium term brings about reduced happiness, bordering onto unhappiness.  As far as the long term is concerned, this is when unsavoury and frustration emotions take over at best, to abominate and resentment feelings at worst.

Q-tip 2:                                                                                                                                 Never finding a woman who you stayed with for a considerable number of years can be viewed upon like this.  You most likely never reached the peak or trough of happiness and unhappiness respectively, but your average happiness level over the equivalent period of time would have been higher.  Your stress levels will have been much lower too, which should mean you currently stand in better health than otherwise.

Q-tip 3:                                                                                                                            Marriage, or even long term relationships, are near on irrelevant when you are that dying man reflecting on your life.  You will only remember the love and happiness you acquainted with women, irrespective to whether you were with her for a lifetime or a month.

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