You might be reading this and thinking “why in the hell would a relationship therapist post such a depressing quote?”
And I’ll tell you right now.
Because, I read this quote and find it freeing and I think you will too after a few minutes.
Let’s break it down. I see unhappy couples CONSTANTLY, both in my practice and out in the world. At least when they’re in my office, they have recognized that change needs to happen for the hope of a happy relationship. The worst is when I see partners so full of anger and sadness, that the hope has all but vanished and they’ve given up on the dream they once had of a happy partnership.
The hard times are when people really start thinking they’ve made a mistake in picking their current partner. They start dreaming about the “What ifs”. What if I stayed with my high school boyfriend/girlfriend instead? What if I had waited longer to get married and really held out for a better spouse? What if my soul mate is actually still out there? You get the picture.
The thing is, NO RELATIONSHIP IS PERFECT. and EVERY. SINGLE. RELATIONSHIP HAS FLAWS*
No matter how well you fit together, you will have issues. You will have different ways of expressing love. You will suck at communicating. You will be unreasonably upset at the way your partner clips their toenails. If you decide that you want to stay together, accepting that every marriage is a “mistake” can be helpful. Because then, the pressure is off. You have then made the conscious decision to accept the bad along with the good, and THEN you can start on making it better. You aren’t holding out hope that there is someone else out there that will clip their nails in a way that doesn’t make you want to throw something across the room. You are CHOOSING your partner, along with all of their quirks, wounds, and bad days.
The pedestal of the “soul mate” or “perfect relationship” is gone. And now you are left with two very imperfect people, who care enough about each other to figure out life together.
And that my friends, is when we are free enough to seek happiness in our partners.
*If there is any kind of violence or abuse I am NOT encouraging you to overlook that or continue the relationship