Last week, I answered the meme about the 8 things that would make a perfect partner. It was an enlightening exercise, especially reading the answers of others. Lo and behold, many of us had many similarities. Sometimes we included things that were lacking from our current partners and some things we were able to find in the partners that we had.
There is one fact that is inescapable and FTN partially grazed it. The man or woman of our dreams is going to remain in our dreams. We will not share our beds with the person of our dreams at least while we're awake. Some people may come close enough and others may seem far away from that ideal. FTN discussed how the ideal changes at different ages and stages. We do not stay the same. Neither do our partners. The ground is constantly shifting beneath our feet. We may find bliss, but only for a time. The good news is that if we found it once, we may find it again. The bad news is that it will be only for a time. Even in the best of circumstances, no one lives forever.
There comes a time to mourn the loss of the fantasy, the ideal, the perfect. There comes a time to make peace with what is lost and what will never be. Even if one leaves in search of a more perfect partner, that fantasy will also ultimately meet reality. That ideal to which we have held on to so tightly must be released. We must let go.
Why? Because that to which we hold on to so tightly has a hold on us. Has a hold on me. Letting go is so difficult. I'm sure there are many, many times when I will have to reclaim myself from the grip of fantasies and ideals that have no grounding in reality. It is within the ideal that never was and never will be that provides the medium in which resentment grows.
Watching the funeral of Coretta Scott King was an exercise in endurance. For almost 6 hours, her life was celebrated and her passing mourned. It was as if the people there could not let go. But eventually they had to.
And so it is with this ideal to which I've clung. I have held on to it like a dog on to a bone. When I met Arwyn, she truly seemed to fit my ideal. She was laid back, she was giving and she seemed to like being around me. Here was the beautiful person who seemed to want me. It had such a comfortable feel to it. It was like a dream come true. We seemed to want the same things.
But life is chock full of curves. Couples struggle with illness, disabilities, infertility, financial ruin, losing a child, in-laws, the loss of parents, having children with disabilities, loss of jobs, loss of limbs, loss of libido, social scrutiny, social isolation, infidelity, clinginess, depression and a host of other personality changes. In a society that lives and breathes personal entitlement, is it any wonder that so many marriages fall apart? It is simply ludicrous to think that a marriage partner is going to meet all of our needs all of the time. It just isn't going to happen. Should it? Should one person complete us so completely?
I don't know if I would call this acceptance. Grief is a better description at the present time. By releasing those 8 perfect attributes, perhaps I can make more room for gratitude by throwing off the yoke of resentment.