Thursday, 23 February 2012

The 13 year itch...

A few nights ago, I met a girl called Kate who had been involved in a monogamous relationship for just over 13 years. She had recently done the the age of 33 she had decided to break off the relationship in order to "find herself". As we got progressively drunk, she opened up to me about the mixed reviews she had been receiving from her friends and family. While some chose to have no opinion at all, the majority had seemed to side with him making negative assumptions about her motives for breaking it off. Had she been having an affair or had she just lost the plot? And at 33?! Why would she compromise such stability for something so uncertain? And so the questions began…

Her story reminded me alot of my good friend Brenda who had also broken up with her boyfriend after being together with him for 4 years. The break-up caused quite a stir in our friendship circle and for a little while, there was an unfortunate divide. From the outside, they seemed to be the picture perfect couple who had it all...the perfect careers, the perfect house and the perfect relationship...what could possibly have been wrong that couldn't have been fixed?  The break-up came as such a shock that I soon found myself joining the bandwagon of judges dissecting the reasoning behind her untimely decision. Why did she do it? Was there someone else in the equation or was she just a commitment-phoebe going through a premature mid-life crisis?

For as long as I have known Brenda, she has never been single for too long. Every 2 years, like clockwork, she would get "the itch", trading in her current beau for the new love of her life. She had received a bit of a reputation in this regard so after breaking the curse it's no wonder we all thought that she had finally found her “happily ever after”. In retrospect, I could not understand why everyone was so disappointed. Surely the real disappointment was the fact that her friends had not given her the proper support? Instead of asking why, we should have been asking how or what we could do to ease the burden of a having just made a very tough decision.

Life rushes past at such a hectic pace that we forget to acknowledge the personal changes taking place in the lives of others. We can never fully understand their motivations until we walk a mile in their shoes, and even then our experiences may be completely different. I commend Brenda and Kate for their bravery. It takes a lot of courage to be that honest with yourself despite the critical responses you may receive from those closest to you. Stepping outside of one's comfort zone and leaping into the unknown is never easy especially when another individual is involved. The guilt of hurting someone we love is bad enough that we could really do without the extra judgement.

When it comes to supporting the our friends and the decisions they make, why do we always have an opinion? 

1 comment:

  1. "It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer