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Read Letter

Emotional Obsession

Dear Jack, if you don’t want the truth, don’t ask me for advice. You can’t ask people for counsel and then get angry when they tell you uncomfortable truth. Goes to the question of why you asked for counsel in the first place! 
If something is obviously not working and you keep insisting on making it work by force, why, it will break apart in the future! I’m trying to save you from impending tragedy. You don’t know the consequence of the course of action you’re pursuing. Sometimes life is stubborn against our wishes. Experience tells me that is sometimes the unseen hand of God. The resistance of life to our wishes is sometimes the mercy of God trying to overwrite the editorial of our tragedy. And so we have relationships that are not working which break, get patched together, break, and get patched together again. The parties keep breaking and keep coming back together, and it’s still not working. And they break again! If you insist on proceeding such recalcitrant relationship into marriage, you will suffer down the line and end up bitter.

There’s something fundamentally wrong in such a relationship, and the parties are obsessed with each other. The act of breaking and coming together gives the illusion of a shared sense of pain and history. It’s a fake fellowship. Sometimes we get so used to a mutual history of pain and disappointment we actually think we’re meant for each other. It’s why we hear weird versions of, “We’ve been through so much together.” Yes, you’ve been through so much together because both of you put yourselves through emotional wringers. In such circumstance it may seem there’s no other choice except each other. Especially if every other attempt at relationship refuses to work. Makes you think you’re fated for each other. And so we go back to what we had, like someone out of options who therefore chose a recourse to the past.

But there’s so much accumulated anger and pain in such combinations we never realise. It’s why when such relationships end in inevitable divorce, there’s so much bitterness and regret. And that bitterness can easily turn to hatred. The parties will end up hating each other. Recurrent episodic disharmonies in a relationship are a pointer to an unworkable union. And the parties become hardened in their positions because they already know each other’s position and routine. It’s curiously why they have an affinity for each other. They’re used to quarreling. But marriage is supposed to be joy, peace and happiness. Love is not a tragedy. Some of us have watched too many movies. It’s why we see love as a series of heartaches. We’ve bought into the Hollywood scriptwriters’ vision of marriage. And so our lives begin to imitate art. If you’re already quarreling so viciously now, isn’t that a pointer the marriage should never take place? But the movie scripts tell us they quarrel so much… but what a love they have for each other! Really?

Well, I’ve got news for you. In real life if they quarrel so much, neither will remember the good qualities of the other. Such relationships only work in movies. And the movies represent our hopes and dreams, not reality. It’s worse when a relationship is attended by paroxysm and physical violence. Such should never proceed to marriage. Some relationships are not physically abusive but are emotionally violent. By the time the parties are through with each other, they’re left raw and blue on the inside. These are not healthy relationships. Unfortunately they have capacity to breed obsession. The fact that you married in these circumstances is not proof of resilience of your love; it’s proof of foolishness.

Jack, this woman will cause you grief. Leave her alone. You can’t handle grief. You’re sensitive. You’ll be bitter. You’re both training each other with pain like participants in abuse porn. She’s a wayfarer, a rover in search of a particular substance which doesn’t exist outside of her. She thinks other people are responsible for her happiness, that they have to give her the something she wants. And she’s disappointed in you. She desperately wants you to give her that one thing no one can know. Unfortunately time is running out on her. With each wandering away she loses time. And so she’s back in desperation. She knows it can’t work. She does like you, but emotionally you’re incompatible. It just can’t work. Most of the quantities in marriage are emotions. You’ve got to be concerned with emotional compatibility. If your temperaments won’t gel, that’s evidence of emotional incompatibility right there.

The truth is, there are things she hasn’t resolved in herself. She needs to sort those things out first. Especially the quality of relationship she has with her dad. She needs to resolve that in particular. Those unresolved issues tend to haunt a relationship. Any whiff of her father brings out a disproportionate reaction. It’s why I recommend psychotherapy for her. This is not about “counseling”. It’s getting to the root of the issues. If those issues remain unresolved any man she marries will suffer in the marriage. She’ll punish him. Then there’s the fact you’re both trying to have your way in the relationship. There’s a contest of wills. The contest of will makes the love unworkable. You’re both stubborn. It’s why you keep breaking up. If you marry her you’d be unhappy. It’s self-abuse.

You need to get over the thought of her, your history together. And you need to study you. Self-knowledge is critical to success in marriage. And sometimes we need the help of others to come to a knowledge of ourselves. They can see what we can’t see. Be honest with yourself about yourself. We’re all works in progress. We’re all carrying the can of personal history from our past. History is not pretty. When you know yourself, you’ll at least know the kind of relationship you shouldn’t go into. Find someone you’re emotionally compatible with. Then you have a chance of a workable relationship.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Compatibility

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