Avoid the slow erosion

Relationships don't end. They erode slowly.

I have written about this before, but in an angry tone; this is more of a saner glance on the topic.

At first, the signs are small: Minor differences give way to subtle conflicts.

One challenges what other believes in - and the other person starts losing confidence and commits to doing something out of character, allowing the long held personal values to change.

If this continues, one half of the relationship starts acting as if they are contributing more to the relationship, while subtly (or brazenly) indicating that the other half isn't doing anything.

This continues. Neither can stay truthful to their feelings nor talk about the issue (one feels that she/he is not doing much, while the other feels the opposite), continuing to avoid it altogether; there is plenty of good to concentrate on.

This, I guess, is what happens in creative collaborations that break, failed start-ups, and any failed enterprise which requires emotional involvement.

Is there any solution to this? I guess there is. And it is rather simple.

Listen. And supplant that listening with meaningful talk.

When the other seems upset, put your grievances aside and listen. You might have a hundred different problems, but they can wait. Let the other one pour their heart out, and don't judge them. Don't give an indication that you are judging them.

Tell them what you're thinking and when you are feeling otherwise. If you've lost your passion, say that. If you feel like being alone, say it. Just speak what you think is true. And let the other person do the same.

Don't avoid the problem, pretending everything is OK. That's what I did - and I ended up like whatever I am today.

Kicking the emotional can down the road and hoping that things get better will not make things better.

We can't achieve anything worthwhile without tremendous effort.

And relationships take a lot of effort.

If you're not sure, ask. Try not to second guess the person who has chosen to be with you. When things go haywire, we either stop talking or start blaming everyone around us, and also look for the worst by reading other's minds. These 'reads' destroy whatever semblance of reality we have, along with pushing the other person away.

Sometimes, all the effort one puts in is not enough. Some relationships are bound to end. They go on great for a short duration of time, each person complementing the other beautifully, but as the time passes - the differences grow and cannot be ignored anymore.

If this happens to you, do yourself a favour: end it. It's not fair on you or the other person.  Don't let it erode slowly.

Instead of staying in and wondering what went wrong and what more could've been done, every single day.


Soumya said...

I feel relations are dynamic. They change colors all the time... To me it has always been so... Sometimes its hot and spicy, sometimes warm, sometimes lukewarm, sometime ice cold, sometimes thoroughly boring too ;)...But whether to stay or not stay in the relation is a decision to be taken irrespective of the flavour at the current moment... To me atleast it has to be a logical decision ... But may be its my laziness talking... the absolute laziness which prevents me from giving effort even to my passion forget relations :)

Kris Nayak said...

You actually read the post in entirety - how can you call yourself lazy? :) It was mainly a rant, thinking about what I did wrong and what I should have done.

You are right about relationships being of different shades at different times. But I believe one thing should remain constant all the while - it has to be between two individuals who respect each other. We might be better than out partners in some spheres, and they better than us in a lot of other things - but in the end, we are equal. If one assumes the dominant position all the time, and the other has too much self respect to let it stay that way - you know where it is headed.
What I was trying to say was that lack of communication lets one person think that s/he is superior and should take control - upsetting the other one, leading to slow erosion. I didn't do it and ended up in this state. Was Just trying to let them out of my head, and maybe serve as a reminder not to do the same mistake again.