Embrace or End the Relationship, the Choice is Yours

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”  Victor Hugo

One thing most of us are not short of, is opinions. In general, I am in agreement with many of the opinions of my friends. That is one reason that we maintain a friendship. There are other people in my life that are probably not in harmony with everything that I believe. It is interesting to experience a dialogue with someone who comes from a different perspective.

One of two things generally happens.

1. We have an engaging experience. From a mutual respect we learn from each other. I have friends that are more conservative than I am. We would disagree on some religious practices. But, we love each other. We were there for each other when our daughters had surgery. We were there to hug through tears of sorrow. We shared history, and experiences. We see beyond the current difference and nurture the areas that we agree upon. We do that because, at the core, we love each other.

2. I am shunned or dismissed because of a difference. The singular difference is so great in the perspective of the former friend that the disagreement becomes insurmountable. The disagreement may have been over who should be president. It may be over watching certain movies. It may be over church attendance. Despite the volumes of areas that might be agreed upon, the critical focus is on the issue that we do not necessarily agree on. My marriage of 30 years to a minister basically fell into this category. Despite the fact that we shared a love of reading, travel, dancing, cooking, gardening, riding bikes and playing games-the fact that I did not want to attend the ultra conservative church services was enough to dissolve the marriage.

The danger to a relationship is when you hear the words, “if you loved me, you would do……”. “If you loved me, you would listen to me….” Those are hurtful words of control and manipulation. They represent conditional love. A refusal to agree to disagree. In many ways that attitude is egocentric and calloused.

“If my love is without sacrifice, it is selfish. Such a love is barter, for there is exchange of love and devotion in return for something. It is conditional love.”   Sadhu Vaswani



2 thoughts on “Embrace or End the Relationship, the Choice is Yours

  1. I was that man. In 16 short years we went from coworkers, to lovers, to husband and wife, to the ministry and then the end. Because of my desire to be accepted in the inner circle I became an unyielding and controlling person. It was either my way or the highway…and that attitude became a self-fulfilling prophecy. She came home one night, packed some things and left.

    The damage was too great to repair and the marriage was dissolved. After some time we did communicate, mostly conversations about our adult children and their lives. I wrote poetry, sent kind words and apologies, but she had grown accustomed to her new life of solitude. I cannot blame her, looking back…I would have done the same. We did have dinner and a few glasses of Cabernet at our favorite wine bar; even making love one more time before I left the country.

    Somehow, I always thought I could convince her of the transformation that has occurred in my spirit and we could start anew. Honestly, I am happy that she is happy. She is deserving after enduring my angst for so many years and I cannot imagine a more worthy person.


    • thank you for sharing your heart felt story. It is a tragedy to have a loving relationship severed. I appreciate your honesty. My former husband and I are friends. I forgave him even at the time. I believe that he did the best he knew how to do. I think it is very thoughtful that you have reached out to her in a loving and accepting way. I am sure that even if you do not get back together, your words and actions, will have promoted a lot of healing.


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