a rusted lock representing a long-term attachment in a relationship


How can the same word describe the bond between a parent and a child, and at the same time be the root of suffering?

Love songs and movies portray the union between two people (we’ll keep it simple for now) as this idealised life long partnership. People then are trying to live up to that ideal in their everyday lives.

You like somebody, they like you back. You get on well and decide to spend more time together. Somewhere along the way comes a point where a different process is starting to play a role. Peace and laughter are replaced by arguments. Before long the relationship is saturated with so much confusion and negativity that makes it hardly worth it, if at all. This is the stage that is the most interesting. Despite all the grief and suffering, some people still choose to remain in the relationship, even though it is no longer working. Marriage and children make it even harder to get out of this miserable place. Why? Why do people choose to remain in this type of relationship?

Every person is an individual. Two (or more) people create a union. Much like the Venn diagram, the overlapping part, the union is a combination of the individual components. Once the individuality of at least one participant is changed, the union inevitably changes as well.

Whatever the needs, it is comforting to know that you are not alone, that there is ‘always’ somebody waiting to give you a kiss and a cuddle and hear all about your day. After a while, we get used to ‘having’ this person in our lives. With time, as we grow and evolve, we change, together. Now the ‘new you’ only knows the life with another person in it and even the thought of ‘losing’ this person is scary enough, so it’s easier to just ignore it.

‘Having’ and ‘loosing’ signifies the idea of ownership and with that arise the questions of power, control and more expectations. This inevitably puts a lot of pressure on another person, since nobody is ever capable to live up to a made-up ideals that we have been exposed by the media and the society from a very young age. This twisted way gives rise to the belief of not being enough, which then leads to self victimisation. But this is for another time.

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