#130 - What was (or is) missing in your relationship?
There are times we find ourselves in relationships that, on paper at least, everything appears to be perfect. Deep inside though, it just seems like something is missing. No matter how hard we try to make the relationship work, it just isn’t right and we know it. Yet we refuse to acknowledge it and keep on trying. When we do get to the point of finally admitting something is missing, most of the time we will just attribute this feeling to a lack of chemistry. This problem can be further compounded when we ignore this feeling and get married.
Recently I made an observation about the missing chemistry in a couple of my past relationships. I have spent time examining both relationships and the role I played in their demise. In both relationships it always felt like there was something missing and the longer the relationships lasted, the stronger that feeling grew. As it turns out, chemistry may not have been missing at all.
If it wasn’t the chemistry that was missing, what was it? It wasn’t until the end of the second relationship that I started to recognize a pattern of hidden information coming out. At the end of one relationship, it was revealed that she had been sexually molested as a young girl. In the second relationship, there were negative personality characteristics that were revealed. As I look back over these relationships, there were some very subtle signs, but nothing that would lead one to believe that a traumatic or negative hurtful side existed. Both of these relationships were bound to fail, not because of what was said or done, but because of what was hidden deep inside. There were walls or barriers that prevented our ability to fully connect at the deepest most intimate levels. In both relationships, I ignored my gut feelings and tried to make things work.
I am always disheartened when I listen to Christian talk radio and I hear the host or guest talk about how we have to change this or that in our lives to make our significant other happy and to make our relationship work. Or, how we have to learn to love our spouse unconditionally. These are things that need to be done in mediocre marriages in order to keep the family together. What this tells me is that people in these marriages have settled for less than extraordinary…for less than they truly desired.
Sadly, most people have never experienced an extraordinary relationship or soul mate type of connection. They have never experienced the joy and excitement of a naturally occurring unconditional love. Most people are afraid to search for this relationship.
I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with a couple recently, Brett and Megan. They seem to have everything going for them. They were introduced to each other by her mother who had recognized some qualities in Brett that she thought would be ideal for her daughter. They met in December and have only had a couple of dates because they live several hundred miles apart. We sat and talked about the importance of the Four Cornerstones of Great Relationships, having many things in common, being able to talk about anything and everything and being able to work through their differences. In only two months, they have had most of the major and important conversations to make sure they were on the same page with each other. This is a couple that has a very high probability of successful and happy life together!
Ultimately, you cannot force a relationship to work. You have to do your best to be your best all the time. We all stumble and sometimes we fail. The most important takeaway from the article should be that extraordinary relationships aren’t the fantasy relationships of your favorite Hollywood or reality TV stars. They exist for ordinary everyday people. In spite of the fact that a relationship is extraordinary, it doesn’t mean that it is free from daily problems. Life happens! The strongest relationships are tested over and over again. Over time, these relationships become stronger because of the love and commitment these couples have for each other.
Learn to recognize when a relationship isn’t right. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t wait until you are married to decide something is missing. If the relationship isn’t right because of a lack of chemistry or there is something hidden from you, go with your instincts. Learn to trust your gut feeling. Whatever is missing (or hidden) ins’t going to change no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try.