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Read Letter

Finger-Pointing Missiles

My dear Jil, can’t you see we’re all ridden with faults and imperfections? In classical expressionism, we’re all fallen short of God’s glorious standard. We’re in effect substandard messed up products. There’s no human without obvious and painful faults. You’re full of faults, he’s full of faults. Therefore a good relationship is not one in which parties are perfect but one in which parties are accommodating. You’ve got to be able to absorb the faults of your partner and he’s got to be able to absorb yours. That’s how it works. It’s why we don’t keep a record of wrongs. Just accept your partner, accept his imperfections. He’s called human. We only see the other person’s faults in full glare when we place ourselves in the driving seat. It’s only when we sit on a pedestal that we can have an aerial view of the faults of other people.

A good relationship says, I am full of faults myself, who am I to judge you. A good relationship says these faults are there, but so are the graces and virtues. I’d rather concentrate on those. A good relationship says because I love you, I’ll overlook all those other things and celebrate the essential you. A good relationship easily waives off faults, and locks them up in the vault of yesterday and yesteryears. It’s about being there for each other, knowing you’re there for each other and will be there for each other. It’s about knowing everything else may fail around you but both of you have each other. You’ve got each other’s back. No one is perfect. No one can ever be. We’re wired to sin. It’s why we mess up. But we keep working on ourselves. We keep making amends, keep being sensitive to the needs of the other party, making adjustments in character. We keep adapting, keep meshing, to make one life out of two.

A good relationship recognizes differences, but exists despite them and because of them. It’s why I tell you, you don’t necessarily have to share common interests. But you need commonalities in values. That you play Ludo and he plays Ludo is not what’s going to determine whether you have a good marriage. You will have a good marriage when you recognize you play Ludo but he’s not really into Ludo. Nonetheless he allows you to have fun with your Ludo, appreciates you enjoy Ludo and leaves you to enjoy your Ludo. And once in a while he tries to see sense in your enjoyment of Ludo and buys you a special Ludo set for your birthday.

A good relationship recognizes individuality and differences in nature, but nonetheless loves unconditionally. If you want to keep pointing out faults, oh you have a lifetime to indulge that passion! Fault-finding marriages are relentless. Accusation can be so relentless it totally destroys the esteem of the other party. Why don’t you begin with a little bit of appreciation – you know, what you like about him – God help a relationship where the finger of accusation is permanently pointed like missiles aimed at America by Russia. Fingers of accusation are ballistic missiles. They destroy and devastate. Just appreciate your partner. And appreciate each other.

You can’t fill your relationship with negative energy and then hope for happiness. You’ll drive each other away from each other with accusation. You’ll become Satan to each other. Satan is the accuser. Just be there for each other. Care about each other, in silent reassuring ways. Let your kindness become a cushion of comfort in your relationship. But if you keep seeing the faults in each other you will generate fault lines in your relationship. And cracks don’t cement themselves in a relationship, cracks widen over time. Too many cracks and the edifice becomes endangered. That’s how relationships crumble.

The soul of the parties in an accusatory relationship is under siege. You will develop a persecution complex and become very defensive, always on edge. In everything you do, you’ll expect to be accused, which makes you not want to do. You’ll be wary. And so the relationship becomes starved of nutrients of verbs. There’ll be no loving actions. The home will of course become unbearable. The tension will be unimaginable – headache inducing tension. Sadness is full of pain. Marital sadness is full of gall. And when the parties in a relationship become each other’s tormentors, a detention centre is created. They create their own gaol. The marriage becomes an interrogation room. The marriage will be so full of anger each party will blame the other for everything. And soon someone resorts to some vice to relieve pressure and so creates a secondary problem. These things can be avoided. They can only be avoided however if pride is voided. Without yield by both parties the awful state of a marriage will continue until it totally disintegrates. If it does not visually collapse, it’s because it’s being held up by the duct tape of hypocrisy and societal convention. But those are no marriages. Marriages in which the parties hate each other but pretend in social circles are sham marriages. What’s the point, really? You don’t fool anyone. Not you, not him, not God, and not your society. They know!

It’s most unfortunate when young love turns to mature hatred. It’s a scary thing. The pain overwrites everything that was good and wonderful in the marriage. But parties don’t arrive at that state overnight. They begin with accusations and pride and fault-finding and unforgivenesses. They begin by not overlooking things that should be overlooked, absorbed and accepted. There are things we hope will change in our partners. But better to accept things may not change and love still. I’m just telling both of you to pull back and dial down the rhetoric. The alternative cannot be contemplated. Divorce is not what you think.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Acceptance, Differences

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